Doctors often ask whether you have ‘chest pain’, by which they mean any unpleasant sensation in the chest like heaviness or constriction which makes you need to stop or slow down.  Usually the sensation is across the chest but it can sometimes be hard to localise and even describe.  It’s a bit like having toothache when the pain seems to fill the mouth and it is impossible to say which tooth it starts from.  Sometimes breathlessness and chest tightness combine in one sensation.

The key is that this sensation happens reliably on some sort of effort and gets better within a minute or two when you slow down or stop.

Chest tightness is most common with aortic stenosis but can occasionally occur with aortic regurgitation.