Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why do I have a sharp pain in shoulder blade when I take a deep breath cough or sneeze?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have a sharp pain in shoulder blade when I take a deep breath cough or sneeze?


yesterday night (12/20/2013, today is 10/21/2013) at night i had chills, was shivering, i was cold if i wasn't under a blanket and if i was it felt like i was over heated, and was dizzy. Runny nose. mild-bad cough depending on how itchy my throat is.


Thanks for your question. It sounds like you need to speak with a doctor as I am concerned that you may have an infection that requires antibiotics, or another condition that requires the care of a doctor. What you seem to be describing appears to be similar to something that doctors call pleuritic pain. This is a sharp pain that a person can get when they take a deep breath in and have some irritation of the pleura, or the covering around their lungs. Most often, this is caused by an infection such as a pneumonia. Unfortunately, these usually do not get better without some help from a doctor, as they are usually so deep seated that they need antibiotics. Failure to treat in a timely fashion can result in complications such as a lung abscess, which can be very serious and even may require a complicated surgery to fix. There are other reasons that a person could be having the kind of pain that you describe as well. Muscle sprains in the rib cage, or even broken ribs, can happen after coughing too much. Finally, there are some tumors that can cause similar symptoms. Please speak with your doctor.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.