ZocdocAnswersWhy am I have stabbing pain and trouble breathing?

Question

Why am I have stabbing pain and trouble breathing?

A lot of times I find myself not being able to get a full breath without leaning over and pushing on my knees and this is usually followed with a painful stabbing pain around my right collar bone. I am a healthy 18 year old I'm not over or under weight. I don't live a sedentary life style but I can't run a mile either. I also have a very slow heart rate at times if that matters. (Normally my resting heart rate is in the low 40's) my mom said the pain is from gas. I've taken Medicene to make myself burp and it doesn't help one bit and the pain only gets worse when I try to lay down. Please help me.

Answer

It sounds to me that the chest pain that you are having is most likely a pain called pleuritic chest pain or pleurisy. I recommend that you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. This is a type of chest pain that worsens when we take a deep breath. It is often caused by inflammation of the lining of the lung. As the lung expands the lining rubs up against the chest wall causing pain. The pain can be described as a stabbing pain and is usually relieved with rest, taking smaller breaths, or by taking anti-inflammatory medications. Pleuritic chest pain can be a sign of other conditions such as a pulmonary embolism and I like to make sure that that's not on the list of possibilities for everybody that comes in with these symptoms. Thus, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You will need a comprehensive physical exam and perhaps even an EKG if your doctor is uncomfortable with the idea of you having chest pain without some sort of a heart evaluation. If your pain is suspected to be pleuritic in nature, then your doctor will likely start by prescribing you a non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen which should help. Good luck.

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