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What causes pain while breathing?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3094 Questions
I don't know what to do. I think I still have pleurisy (left side, diagnosed last Saturday) I still have terrible pain when i breathe, move or cough. It literally feels like I'm being stabbed. I can't take any more narcotics because I have an addiction problem. I certainly don't want to go down that road again. Should i go back to the ER?
Posted Wed, 12 Mar 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Brief Answer: See ER doctor, opinion of pulmonologist Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, The pain you describe, I am afraid is very characteristic of pleurisy. In case the pain persists, intensifies, this could imply that the amount of fluid in the lungs is still abundant. The management would actually depend on the underlying cause. Pathologies like tuberculosis and some tumors could easily reconstitute or refill even after removal. A proper evaluation to know the cause is very fundamental. The opinion of a pulmonologist would be most welcome. In case the pain is so intense, it would be important to ascertain the state of the lungs by doing a chest X ray. Persistence or intensification of the pain would deserve an urgent evaluation and management. I suggest a review by your emergency physician ,but a long term care by your pulmonologist or internist, in my opinion remains important. Kind regards. See your emergency room doctor first for reevaluation. Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes pain while breathing? 19 minutes later
I have naproxen. Would that help? I forgot to mention that the pleurisy followed pneumonia
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Reevaluation, ER, pulmonologist Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, Naproxen is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug. It is for sure going to help to reduce pain. I think this issue deserves a proper evaluation and identification of the cause of the pleurisy is important. Naproxen will only relief the pain, and will for sure not treat the cause. Pneumonia is at times accompanied by pleurisy. Persistence of pain might require a proper evaluation, to identify that the is not tuberculosis, or an atypical germ. It is imperative however to exclude other causes of pleurisy like TB, tumors. A proper course of antibiotics in case of normal pneumonia should lead to resolving of the pleurisy. Persistence or aggravation after drainage deserves a careful evaluation. The opinion of the emergency physician and the pulmonologist remain my humble opinion. Kind regards. Dr Bain
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