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Why does my left rib cage hurts when i cough?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 292 Questions
I woke up with pain to my left rib cage. It hurts more when I to breath through my nose. It hurts less if I breath through my mouth. It is a sharp pain when I cough. I feel shortness of breath when I sit a certain way. it feels tender when I touch certain parts of the rib cage. I think I should go see a doctor at the emergency room but extremely fearful of catching any other bacteria or infection. I never had this problem before. I do not have any other issue just painful when I breathe. I try to see if it would get better but it has been six days like this and trying to read on the internet to self diagnose myself. Been trying to get lots of rest and drinking tea and water but not been able to eat due to the stress. I can not eat when stress. I look at every part of my body but can not find anything wrong with me except that there is a slight bruising on my upper left side shoulder blade.
Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Meher Lakshmi Konatam 5 hours later
Brief Answer: related to trauma Detailed Answer: your description is very classical of pleuritic pain. Pleura is nothing but the covering of the lungs. Lungs are not pain sensitive but if something effects the pleura, we can perceive the pain. this pleura is closely adherant to the rib cage. As the ribs move with the respiratory movement, there is pain as the pleura is disturbed. you said there is no other symptom except for pain with respiration. This is related to some injury. You also said that the is bruise over shoulder bade. All this point out to injury as the cause of pain. All you need to do is take good pain relief medication and take rest. we need to give time for the injury to heal, then the pain would subside completely. till then pain relief medication would suffice.
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