Are you experiencing chest pain while breathing?

Chest pain has become synonymous with heart attacks. However, there are many causes of chest pain that are not related to cardiac problems. The symptoms of a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases include pressure or fullness in the chest, acute pain in the chest, which is not affected by breathing and may radiate to the jaw, neck, arm, and back, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, etc. Chest pain when breathing is generally not caused by heart related problems. Given below is a list of problems that cause chest pain when breathing.

Chest Pain When Breathing

Chest Pain Causes and Cures

Pain in the chest pain when breathing can be caused by a number of health problems and illnesses. Let’s take a look at some of them in detail.


Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of the cavity surrounding the lungs. It is also known as pleuritis. The primary symptom of this condition is acute chest pain when breathing and coughing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, and chills, and dry cough. The most common cause of pleurisy is a viral infection, but it can also be caused by other ailments like pneumonia, autoimmune diseases, etc. Treatment of the illness depends on the cause of the illness.


One of the symptoms of pneumonia is sharp chest pain when breathing deeply or coughing. It is normally caused by a bacterial infection, and treatment includes taking antibiotics. Other symptoms of pneumonia are high fever, shaking chills, productive cough, shortness of breath, sweating, muscle pain, and so on. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, hence it is important to go to a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.


Pneumothorax refers to a collapsed lung. It happens when air escapes into the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs and creates pressure on the lung. It can happen because of a chest injury. Mild cases of pneumothorax heal on their own, but severe cases need immediate medical attention. The primary symptom of this condition is sudden and acute pain in the chest.

Pulmonary Embolism:

This is a condition where one or more arteries that supply blood to the lungs get clogged. This happens due to the presence of a blood clot in the artery. The symptoms of this condition include sudden chest pain when breathing in, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, skin turning blue, sweating, etc. Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening if not treated promptly with anti-coagulants. More on sharp pain in the chest.


Costochondritis is commonly referred to as chest wall pain. It is an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and the sternum. The main symptom of this condition is chest pain when breathing and coughing. The most common cause of costochondritis is a blow or injury to the chest. It is nothing to worry about. The pain can be relieved by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. Read about chest muscle pain.


Pericarditis is a condition in which the membrane surrounding the heart becomes inflamed. There is no real underlying reason for this condition, and the main symptom is a stabbing pain in the chest when breathing, which resembles the pain of a heart attack, and is, therefore, often, misconstrued to be a heart attack. Treatment includes bed rest and non-steroidal and steroidal drugs and medications.

Broken Ribs:

Another obvious cause of chest pain when breathing and coughing is a broken rib. In case of an accident or any trauma to the chest, one or more ribs may have a fracture. The only symptom of this may be pain in the chest when breathing or pressing the chest. More on chest pain causes.

These were some of the causes of chest pain when breathing. It is better to visit the doctor if you are experiencing any kind of pain in the chest, especially acute chest pain. Chronic chest pain is normally not life-threatening, but chest pain that develops suddenly and is severe should be immediately examined by a physician.

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