What causes pain in the chest while breathing?

Posted on Mon, 21 Nov 2016 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Chest pains when I breathe
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
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16809 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Drug/Medication ,  
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Ibuprofen

doctor1 MD

Hi, for the past week I have been experienceing a weird pain/sensitivity on my left uppper torso under the armpit area which extends around my...

doctor1 MD

My left shoulder blade has been painful for 10 days now, I ve rested it, taken paracetamol / ibuprofen alternately every 2hours, tries hot & cold...

doctor1 MD

my face feels swollen and tingles (just on the left side, under cheek bone anong jaw line). There is no rash, fever, doesn t look any different...

doctor1 MD

My head has been hurting for like a week now I ve tried Tylenol ibuprofen and my dr even gave me two vicodines and still pain doesn t go away light...

doctor1 MD

I am 14 weeks pregnant with twins. For the past 3 days am having severe shooting pain in my arms and shoulders. It started with left hand now moved...

doctor1 MD

I'm 27 year old female from past few days I have got joint pains . especially while climbing up and down the stairs along with the cracking sound....

doctor1 MD

My left testicle has been giving me slight pain and discomfort for around a week now. Especially when I lay on my side to go to sleep, it floats...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

156 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction