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"I have sharp pains in my chest, what could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have sharp pains in my chest, what could it be?


Im 16 years of age and recently have been experiencing sharp pains in my chest, it sort of feels like a pinch


Sharp pains in the chest are a common complaint especially in young people and I suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. In general, most people worry about problems with their heart when they develop chest pains. At the age of 16 and with the description of "sharp pains" I think that a problem with your heart is unlikely. This type of pain is most likely musculoskeletal. This means that you might have pain in a muscle such as the pectoralis. It also might mean that you have some mild inflammation of the joint that joins the ribs to the sternum. We call this type of pain costochondritis. If the pain really worsens when you take a deep breath, then it might be that you have some inflammation on the outside of the lining of the lung. This type of pain is called pleuritic chest pain or pleurisy. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. The two of you can discuss the nature of this pain. Your doctor will likely want to know if it worsens with exercise or when you breath deep. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam to look specifically at the chest wall for musculoskeletal pain. If you have significant tenderness, then you doctor may decide to get an imaging study such as a chest x-ray. Good luck.

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