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Chest pain when coughing, laughing or sneezing. Clear lungs

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 5137 Questions
I am experiancing chest pain on the right hand side mostly under the arm about 3 inches from the center of the arm pit. It is a dull ache most of the time but is sharp with a cough or laughing or sneezing. Certain movements cause a sharp pain as well, such as leaning forward or getting up from a seated postion. My lungs have been listened to by a professional and they are clear. I have had the pain for 10 days and it has gotten better the pain was from the center of chest to the area under the arm pit and I could barely move at first.

Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 11 hours later
Hi there.

Thanks for the query.

Do you have fever, cough, giddiness, shortness of breath ?

Does the chest pain increase on taking in a XXXXXXX breath ?

Is there any lump in the breast or armpit ?

The clinical history provided can lead to many possible causes for this clinical picture. If you have associated shortness of breath or abdominal and feet swelling as well, it could be because of fluid around the heart. This kind of pain increases on coughing, laughing, as well as lying down. Inflammation of the bag around the lungs can also cause a similar pain and is associated with coughing, pain on taking XXXXXXX breath, coughing or laughing..

Since your lungs on auscultation are clear, it may not be a lung or pleural pathology. I would advise you get an EKG done just to make sure your heart is also fine.

Since the pain is more localised to the centre of your armpit, it could be because of lymph node enlargement or muscle spasm.

Kindly feel gently for any sort of lump in both breasts and the armpit. You can get a gentle massage over the chest to reduce possible muscle spasm.

Since the pain is reducing, it is atleast not progressing, thus indicating less sinister pathology. Nothing to worry.

Kindly get yourself examined by a Doctor to look for possible lumps like lymph nodes which may be pressing against a nerve. Also since you may be having muscle spasms, application of a pain balm will help.

Muscle spasms can occur due to improper position while sleeping on the bed. Kindly avoid much turning during sleeping as this is put chest muscles into contraction for long periods and can cause muscle bruising and spasms for few days.

Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Drink 1-2 litres of water daily. These will help maintain a good electrolyte level in your body, which will prevent muscle spasms.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing speedy recovery.


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