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Why am I getting sharp pain in chest while breathing?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11916 Questions
Hello, I have been unable to take XXXXXXX beathes withoutsharp pain on the left side of my chest only when inhaling deeply for over 48 hours now. This is not unfamiliar as this has happened to me before, I believe it is precordial catch syndrome, however it has never lasted longer than a minute or so. I am 36 years old and I don't know how to make it stop and how long to wait it out? Thank you.
Posted Sun, 17 Feb 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Precordial catch symdrome is a cause for chest pain. In general it has specific charateristics, such as the pain of the left side of the chest. This pain should not radiate to any other area for the diagnosis to be made. In addition, it is normally described as sharp pain , worse on taking a breath, episodes last from 30 secs to 3mins. It never occurs during sleep (no history of waking up due to the pain).

It is thought to be due to 'pinching' of one of the intercostal nerves.
It is difficult to say how long an episode will last because the time frame varies, it may last only a few days for one person and weeks in another.

Even though taking a XXXXXXX breath is painful, some persons find that if they force themselves to breathe as deeply as possible, it results in a popping noise that results in pain resolution. At present there is no other recommended treatment available.

The other cause of pain on inspiration would be inflammation of the pleura or pleuritis.
This can occur in a variety of clinical setting including but not limited to infections, inhaled chemicals , trauma or as a result of medication.
It is treated by identifying the cause and by the use of voltaren on a full stomach.

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

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