What causes pain in the chest while breathing?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Nov 2016 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Chest pains when I breathe
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
costochondritis, pleuritis, pericarditis are the most common causes

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Chest pains on taking a breath may be related to different possible causes , the most common ones are: (1) costochondritis which is inflammation of the cartilage between the sternum and the ribs.
It causes central chest pain which can vary from one person to the next.

(2)pleuritis- this is inflammation of the pleura which is the lining over the lung. This lining can sometimes become inflamed for different reasons, it causes chest pain on breathing as well

(3)pericarditis- this is inflammation of the pericardium, the lining around the heart.

All three of these conditions can cause chest pain in breathing. If you have a history of a persistent cough, then pleuritis is most likely.
If there is pain when you press the sternum in the center of your chest, then costochondritis is likely.

Anti inflammatory medications, if the person is allowed to use this class of drug, is normally started.
Eg- ibuprofen, cataflam, naproxen, aspirin. In most cases of costochondritis, this is all that is needed

In the case of pleuritis, the cause of the pleuritis would need to be determined by examination and investigations.
Pericarditis, if suspected, requires an echo

Unfortunately the best way to determine if any of these conditions is present is by visiting your doctor for an assessment which would involve the history of all of your symptoms, examination and appropriate investigations.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16809 Questions

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