5 Reasons Your Chest Hurts After Hiking!

Why Does My Chest Hurt After Hiking

Spending your leisure time hiking is one great adventure you should try to cool off your head from work stress.

Also, taking your family hiking on vacation is a perfect opportunity for family rebonding and adventure.

But have you ever gone hiking and noticed severe or light pain in your chest, making you feel very uncomfortable?

If a family member or friend has experienced this, what do you think will be the course of this sudden chest pain?

Chest pain while hiking might be regular; sometimes, it needs a doctor’s attention. When you hike at a high altitude, the brain sends information to the heart to pump more blood which contains oxygen, since there is low oxygen in high altitudes. And when the heart overworks, it does stress the muscles covering it and causes pain.

This article will explain why your chest might hurt after hiking. By the end, you will discover how to relieve the symptoms.

Why Does My Chest Hurt After I Hike?

Why Does My Chest Hurt After Hiking

Sometimes after hiking or during hiking, then you experience chest pain. It might be a sharp pain in your chest or just a slight pain.

You should see a medical professional because it might indicate a severe medical issue like a heart attack.

People from 40 and above who are hikers and experience chest pains are more prone to cardiac diseases or lung problems.

In young people, it might be expected that since the oxygen rate in higher altitudes is low, the body will produce more oxygen.

Some Causes of Chest Pain During Hiking

#1. Exercise

If you exercise over a long time, your body calls for more blood flow and oxygen flow, making your heart pump blood faster.

The heart is also a muscle, which can get tiring or rupture depending on how severe the case may be.

When the heart begins to pump blood at an extraordinary speed, the muscles on the chest covering the rib might have to overwork.

When these muscles overwork for some time, they get stressed out and cause chest pain; your rib might also be painful.

#2. Cases Of Heart Ailments

If someone you know has heart disease and after hiking, the person feels pain in the chest due to stressing the heart.

People with heart disease are supposed to go hiking only upon the doctor’s approval, and they should have a medical schedule for hiking.

It is because some heart diseases cannot tolerate stress during hiking, and this opens the person to sudden death that a heart attack might cause.

#3. Difficulties In Breathing

It can lead to chest pain if you seldomly experience difficulty breathing when undergoing exercise or when you’re out hiking.

When you’re running, exercising, or doing something that can increase your intake of oxygen, then you find out your breathing becomes faster than usual.

If you have difficulty breathing, you’ll have an issue here since you cannot take in enough carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.

The heart will start overwork and release energy and enough oxygen for the whole body. In this case, the pumping rate of the heart becomes exceptionally high.

It can result in a sudden heart attack and, if not attended to, can cause death.

#4. Irregular Activities

Maybe it’s your first time hiking, or you haven’t gone hiking for a very long time, then it is normal for you in case you experience any chest pain.

Since the body is not into activities stressing, it will appear new to the heart. The heart will try its best to adjust and fit the requirement for that particular activity.

Since it’s new to working hard, the muscles will get tired and weak quickly, like those covering the rib cage.

The chest pain won’t last for long, maybe for a couple of hours or a whole day.

#5. Indigestion

When you eat and immediately go hiking, you might experience chest pain resulting from the indigestion of the food you eat.

When hiking, the food will tend to move according to the body since it has yet to begin digestion.

When your body moves upward, the food will tend to move toward the mouth, and sometimes, you might feel like vomiting.

When this happens, it alters the normal gastrointestinal movement and causes a reflex in the food movement.

When the food and acids in your stomach move toward the mouth, it might cause pain in your chest, which is best described as burning.

It is called heartburn, but this burn is not affecting the heart; it is just called so because it is sometimes mistaken for the heart and is in the chest.

Is It Normal To Feel Chest Pain After Hiking?

In most young people, chest pain is expected due to overworking the heart or lungs, leading to stressed breathing.

But for the old, only rare cases are normal since their body functioning differs from that of young people.

Even in the young, it could be traces of heart disease or lung problems that need medical attention.

The body needs rest, so it is improper to overwork it frequently, as you may come down with chest pains or any other illness.

So it is better to observe your daily rest time to cool down your brain and relax your body for a few hours.

There are some cases where you must stop hiking whenever you experience any of these. When you;

  • Feel a sharp chest pain
  • Feel a slight and slow chest pain for a couple of minutes
  • Find it difficult to breathe
  • Notice your heart is thumping very hard
  • When you’re tired
  • When you’re stressed out

Once you notice any of these and stop hiking, you should visit a sports health consultant if you are dealing with a deadly ailment.

As usual, if you were ignoring or terming the signs may be very dangerous to your health.

How Do You Get Rid Of Chest Pain After Hiking?

Getting rid of chest pain after hiking depends on the cause of the chest pain.

If the cause is heart disease, the cure is more than some pain relief drugs. Same as if it is a lung disease.

If the cause is due to hiking, getting rid of it won’t take much of your energy or resources.

Some remedies for chest pain after hiking are;

  • If you notice the pain during hiking, stop.
  • Take pain relief drugs.
  • Use a cube of ice to put on the affected place
  • A massage therapist would be nice
  • Take a perfect rest and sleep.
  • You should visit the doctor if the pain persists for more than a day or is unbearable.

Is Hiking Hard On The Heart?

Of course, hiking with no rest is bad for the heart, and as little as it seems can cause a lot of damage to the heart.

If the heart’s workload is frequently high, it can damage the heart.

When your heart is under a lot of pressure to produce more blood, it can cause High Blood Pressure (HBP).

HBP places your heart under complex problems as there is little chance it can cause a heart attack that can cause death.

It is advisable always to stop hiking when you notice pains in your chest and not overwork your heart.

Sometimes you won’t feel pain at first, but when you keep stressing the heart, you get exposed to some heart diseases.

Below is a table distinguishing chest pain relating to the heart and one that has nothing to do with the heart:

Reflux esophageal movementReflux blood flow
IndigestionIrregular heartbeat
Shortage of breathLow or high pumping rate
Pain on the right side of the chestPain on the left side of the chest.


Normal circumstances might cause chest pain during hiking and sometimes as a result of some defects or diseases.

These are things you should put into consideration in case you have pain in the chest.

  • Never forget to observe your rest time after hiking
  • Always see the doctor if you notice any abnormal pains
  • Do not neglect pains in your chest
  • Avoid carrying heavy items when having chest pain
Josh Matthews

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