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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Sharp Pain


 lgarcia466 - Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:00 am

As of yesterday, I have been getting a sharp pain on my left rib cage side. The pain is coming from about the 2nd or 3rd rib cage down from the Xiphoid Process. When I take a deep breath, cough or sneeze; I get an extremely sharp pain. Sometimes it feels like something just popped right inside my rib cage when I sneeze or cough too hard. I would appreciate any information that anyone might have. I am extremely concerned at to what it might be.

Thank You
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:33 pm

User avatar Dear lgarcia466,

Inflammation of the pleura covering the lung gives a sharp pain that is associated with cough and is more severe when taking deep breath. It makes also breathing very difficult. The condition is due to viral infection in most of the cases.

You have mentioned that you suffer also from cough, sneezing, probably low grade fever too, thus a viral infection is more likely to be the case, and it has affected your pleura.
The condition gradually improves with rest, plenty of fluid. NSAID can help reduce the pain.

If you have a productive cough with yellowish or greenish sputum, or high fever, you should visit your doctor immediately to receive the proper medical care.

Overexertion of the chest wall muscles 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 all of these conditions the chest pain is usually aggravated by taking deep breath and cough.

If there is no improvement in your symptoms or if you have any other associated symptoms as I mentioned before , you have to be checked as soon as possible by your physician.

Best regards,

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