Chest pain is one of the symptoms that most alarm us, especially if it occurs when we are simply breathing, without exercising or anything that requires a minimum of effort. In these cases, it is best to go to the doctor immediately, since it may be infections or other diseases that may be going unnoticed.
However, in this article we are going to tell you the main causes of chest pain when breathing so that you have a small orientation of what may be happening to you.
Causes of pain in the center of the chest
Among the main causes, the following stand out:
- Anxiety: when we suffer from anxiety, one of the most common symptoms is to feel a lot of pain in the center of the chest when breathing, making the inhalation process difficult. In these cases, it is best to take an infusion to help relax and, little by little, try to breathe normally again. Sometimes we may feel when breathing, but it is not surprising in anxiety.
- Stress: Stress is also another big cause of chest pain when breathing. When we suffer a situation that generates this feeling, the body tenses, often causing pain in the center of the chest. However, we must remember that this type of pain is only muscular, so we could even have a sore chest hour or days later, if the stress has been very high.
- Allergy: it may also be the case that we are suffering from a respiratory allergy without knowing it. In this case, it would be necessary to detect if the respiratory difficulty has ups and downs or not, since if so, it could be a problematic allergy that could give us a scare at any time. The best thing, in these cases, is to go to the doctor as soon as possible to perform the relevant tests to know what type of allergy you have, to what and what should be the treatment to follow.
- Running: we don't have to run literally. Sometimes we have the habit of going from one place to another very fast and that can make us feel that our lungs burn or that our chest even hurts when we breathe. If so, you should try to relax a little and slow down, since these types of actions are usually related to anxiety or stress.
However, both anxiety and stress can cause chest pain on the left or right side, and not only in the center of it. What's more, it can cause aches and pains in other areas of the body.
Causes of right chest pain
Among the most frequent causes that cause right chest pain when breathing, the following stand out:
- Pancreatitis: When the pancreas is inflamed, the first thing we notice is a stabbing pain that begins under the ribs on the right side of the body, passing through the chest and sometimes through the back as well. Nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms also often occur. If you suffer from inflammation of the pancreas, it is most likely that the doctor will recommend removing it through a surgical operation, although everything will depend on the degree of inflammation of that organ.
- Inflammation of the gallbladder: also known as acute cholecystitis, it usually occurs when a blockage occurs in the gallbladder, which produces a great pain in the right abdomen that expands to the chest in the case of gallstones or some type of serious infection.
- Inflammation of the liver: Also called hepatomegaly or liver inflammation, it occurs when the liver increases in size due to diseases or infections. It is very important to detect this inflammation in time, as it can occur from something as serious as hepatitis. Due to the place where the liver is located, it is common for one of its main symptoms to be pain in the abdomen or right chest, although this can spread to other areas depending on the cause of the inflammation.
Causes of left chest pain
As far as the left side of the chest is concerned, these are usually the main causes of breathing pain:
- Pericarditis: which translates to inflammation of the layer that covers the heart. In this case, the pain decreases when we lean forward, which is a great peculiarity when it comes to detecting this problem. Fever, pain throughout the body, and nasal congestion also occur.
- Infarction: Infarction, which is different from cardiac arrest or heart attack, usually causes pain on the left side of the chest, as well as breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the left arm. In a case with these symptoms, you must immediately go to the hospital or call an ambulance.
However, as we will see below, there are other problems that can generate not only pain in the left chest when breathing, but also in the back or other areas of the body. Read on if you want to know what they can be.
Causes of chest and back pain at the same time
Chest and back pains at the same height and at the same time, are quite dangerous, as they are indications of something perhaps quite serious, such as what we will show below:
- Rupture of the aorta vein: when this type of symptoms occurs, it is best to go to the doctor before, since it could be, for example, a rupture of the aorta vein. This usually happens especially in patients with high blood pressure. In case of this situation, it is most likely that you will have to go through the operating room urgently.
- Heart attack: Another possibility is that a heart attack is occurring. Discomfort in the neck, arms, and stomach may also be felt. As for the chest, you may feel as much feeling of compression, swelling, pressure or pain. It is best to call the ambulance as soon as the first symptoms occur, since in a cardiac arrest the patient ends up losing consciousness because the heart stops beating.
- Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia usually manifests itself in the form of acute and intermittent pain that can worsen depending on how the person breathes or moves. This usually occurs due to inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs. This disease can be present in any part of the body, but it is very common to occur in the chest and back.
- Nerve compression: if the pain begins in the back and spreads through the center of the chest, it can be a symptom of nerve compression, also called compression fracture, which is nothing more than a situation in which it produces a great pressure on one of the trunk nerves, giving way to injuries to the fibers and, therefore, muscle weakness or atrophy. This type of pain intensifies when breathing.
Other Causes of Chest Pain When Breathing
In addition to the causes mentioned above, it is also important to note that certain breathing problems can result in pain in one or both breasts, such as the following:
- Lung infections: various infections in the lungs, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, create a lot of pain in the chest area, due to both the pressure exerted by the lung mucosa, and the cough that can produce us.
- Chronic cough: if we suffer from chronic cough, it is very common that we feel pain in the chest, especially when we cough with a lot of effort, since the bronchi and the muscular area are usually damaged by the effort. In addition, when breathing the bronchi widen, so we would be stretching a painful area, producing, thus, even more pain.
- Digestive problems: sometimes, stomach problems, such as gastric reflux, gastritis or gas can cause severe pain in the chest and abdomen, mainly due to the pressure exerted on the lungs, especially when we are sitting and taking a deep breath.
Now that you know the main causes of chest pain when breathing, you may also be interested in this other article from on Why I get chest.