ZocdocAnswersWhat's the cause for this pain on my right side?

Question

What's the cause for this pain on my right side?

The pain is sharp when I breathe deeply or sneeze, the rest of the time I have a dull/burning pain approx 3" beneath my breast and towards the front of my ribcage - ie towards my midline rather than towards my side. It started a month ago and was more acute then, the pain radiated around to my back, I took NSAIDS and it settled after a week. However the pain never completely resolved and its now starting to get worse. Its also more painful when i lie on my left side! I haven't pulled any muscles and am healthy other than having mild asthma - I take seretide and salbutamol as needed, i also smoke although and I'm trying to stop! I saw my doctor yesterday and she didn't seem concerned, checked my BP and listened to my chest then prescribed seretide and booked me in for a spirometric test. Im a 30 year old female and BP etc fine! Please help as I'm concerned that its potentially going to get worse. Thank you.

Answer

Please contact your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms. Chest pain that is sharp during deep inspiration is called pleuritic chest pain. There are a number of different causes of your chest pain. The differential diagnosis is broad for pleuritic chest pain but includes pulmonary embolus, pericarditis, rib fractures, pleural effusions, and pnemothorax. A pulmonary embolus is caused by a clot from your lower extremities that travel to the lung. Some risk factors for a pulmonary embolus is smoking, long periods of immobility, birth control pills. Signs of having a clot in the lower extremities is if you have a tender calf muscle. People who have a pulmonary embolus have symptoms of pleuritic chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, which is a covering over your heart. The pain is worse when you are changing positions. The causes of pericarditis are broad including infection to an autoimmune process. Rib fractures are also a possibility if you have been coughing or vomiting a lot recently. Fractures could present with sharp pains when breathing deeply. A pleural effusion is a collection of fluid outside of the lung. The fluid could irritate the lung and cause pain. The causes of it are also very broad and includes infections, autoimmune processes, to malignancy. Another possibly is a pneumothorax which is a tear in the lung causes air to be trapped outside of the lung. You should contact your primary care doctor if your symptoms are not resolving and be reevaluated. You are heading in the right direction by not smoking.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.