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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What causes chest pain while coughing?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15705 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi. 4 weeks ago had runny nose that progressed quickly to bad cough chest pain and wheezing and fatigue. Lasted for weeks. Went to dr a week ago On codeine for cough Took zpack. Was diagnosed with bronchitis cough has slowly gone away But my energy level is low And most part is I have pain when pressing down or coughing in upper chest near sternum on right side. Sternum has been popping when coughing and painful. Never really coughed up much mucus during whole event But had major post nasal drip and pressure in ears and swollen gland under ear. Any suggestions? Was coughing really bad and it hurt chest ? Can this last longer ? Thx
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
may be pleuritis/pleurisy or inflammation of muscles

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

The chest pain may be due to pleurisy/pleuritis or it may be due to inflammation of the chest muscles due to to previous persistent coughing.


Pleuritis/pleurisy is inflammation of a lining around the lungs, the pleura.

Both can be treated with anti inflammatory pain medication eg naproxen, ibuprofen etc .
You should consider seeing your doctor for an assessment if the chest pain continues or worsens.

The pain can potentially last for 1 to 2 weeks, this can be longer if the cough continues.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 44 minutes later
Thx. What about costochrondritis? Consistent popping Dr originally said this. I'm going back tomorrow

The current chest pain I have gets relief with zanalfex and Motrin with a heating pad

And I have no pain when breathing
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 35 minutes later
Brief Answer:
this type of inflammation can also occur

Detailed Answer:
HI

Motrin is a form of ibuprofen , it is one of the anti inflammatory meds that can help.

Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage/soft tissue between the ribs and sternum.
Inflammation was mentioned as a possible cause of the pain but admittedly of the chest muscles not the sternum/ribs cartilage.

Popping is not common but can occur as a result of inflammation of the area between the ribs and sternum
As the inflammation resolves, this would improve

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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