ZocdocAnswersWhat causes chest pain on the right side of the chest?

Question

What causes chest pain on the right side of the chest?

What causes chest pains on the right side of the chest? I'm sure it isn't my heart (obviously, it's the wrong place!) and I don't think it's my lungs because they're always very clear. But obviously I don't like the feeling of these sharp pains , and I want to deal with it if it could be a glandular problem or something else that's serious. Should I just see a doctor about this?

Answer

There are many causes of chest pain, some of which require evaluation and medical treatment. The doctors who will be qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor. The most common cause of chest pain is a muscle strain or sprain. This pain will worsen often if you take a deep breath or if your press over the area. Similarly, an inflammation of the rib joints, called costochondritis, is often worse with pressing. Both of these conditions are self-resolving, but they may require medications for pain from your doctor if severe. Occasionally, chest pain on the right side can be a sign of a lung problem on that side, either an infection or a small air leak. If you have cough, fever, or shortness of breath, or if the pain is much worse with a deep breath these possibilities are more likely and should be evaluated. Finally, sometimes inflammation of structures in the abdomen, especially the gall bladder, can feel like pain in the right chest. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. If the symptoms persist, scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor may be advisable.

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

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