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26 Medical Reasons Why Your Chest Hurts

Photo by Joyseulay from Shutterstock

Respiratory cause: Pulmonary Embolism

The first entry on our list when it comes to respiratory causes is pulmonary embolism (PE). The pain associated with it can be either gradual or sudden. Many patients reported a sharp pain, such as the pain experienced when a heart attack occurs.

PE is basically a blood clot stuck in an artery that’s found in one of your lungs. People with pulmonary embolism have difficulties breathing, and this awful experience can come all of a sudden.

Other symptoms associated with pulmonary embolism include:

  • swollen legs
  • severe coughing accompanied by a mix of mucus and blood

Seek immediate help if you experience any of these. A pulmonary embolism can be fatal!

Respiratory cause: Collapsed Lung

People with collapsed lung experience pain when they inhale. Also known as pneumothorax, collapsed lung happens when air gets stuck between the chest wall and the lungs.

When you inhale, your lungs expand, and the buildup of air found near them can put a lot of pressure on these essential internal organs.

Pneumothorax is usually caused by an injury such as a car accident or gunshot. But it can also happen due to rib fracture. If any of these happened to you and it feels impossible to inhale and exhale normally, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Respiratory cause: Pneumonia

Stabbing pain is usually felt by pneumonia patients when they inhale, and it often occurs due to a flu complication or any other respiratory infection. If left untreated, the pain becomes unbearable. And chest pain is not the only symptom. Patients may also experience the following:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • chills

Do you feel pain while inhaling? If the answer is yes, talk to your doctor immediately, especially if you’re also coughing up blood.


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