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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Pain in left side of chest below breast


 Cassiestyles - Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:16 pm

Hi, I am a 35 year old female. For about two weeks, I have been experiencing a dull pain in the left side of my chest, but usually when I cough, sneeze, or laugh. It doesn't really bother me when I breathe normal, and I am not having any shortness of breath. I am on a blood pressure medication, and I take it faithfully once a day, 25mg. My blood pressure is under control. Do you have any idea what this can be? There is a history of pleuricy and heart disease in my family. Kindly let me know if I should be concerned about this. I have no other symptoms accompanying it.
Thank you.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:50 am

User avatar Hello,

The chest contains many organs, like the heart, lungs with its pleural covering, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, and nerves. They all can be the source of the pain felt in the chest.

The pain you have described is more likely to be due to pleurisy.

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, which is a double-layered membrane covers the lungs separating it from the rib cage. Viral infections like flu, are the most common cause of Pleurisy. The pain is felt as sharp pain which get worse by Coughing, sneezing, moving, laughing and deep breathing. Auscultation of the chest shows a characteristic sound known as pleural rub.

Another possible cayse is pain due to myoskeletal problems.
Overexertion of the chest wall muscles (excess cough) or their inflammation as a part of viral infection like flu or cold results also in chest pain, the pain is usually aggravated with certain moves and is usually associated with tenderness over the affected muscles.

In these conditions the chest pain is usually aggravated by taking deep breath, and cough.

The condition gradually improves with rest, plenty of fluid. NSAID can help reduce the pain.

Direct clinical examination is essential.
Best regards.

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