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Have chest pains when laugh or cough. Underlying cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I have chest pains when I laugh or cough...on the right side
Posted Wed, 23 Oct 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It may be pleuritis

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Chest pain that is experienced on coughing, laughing or taking a deep breath is usually related to pleuritis.

Pleuritis or pleurisy as it is sometimes called is inflammation of the pleural lining. This is the pleura- the lining of tissue that surrounds the lungs.

It can be caused by a viral illness ( the most common cause) though there are other causes as well. The other causes include pneumonia, heart attack, pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax.

If there are no other associated symptoms such as palpitations or shortness of breath then the likely cause is the viral illness.

If you are experiencing other symptoms you may want to consider an evaluation by your doctor which would include physical examination, ECG (to check the rate, rhythm of the heart), chest xray.

The normal course of treatment when it is related to a viral cause is the use of aspirin or NSAIDS (ibuprofen, cataflam, celebrex).

Narcotic pain killers can be used if the NSAIDS do not work.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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