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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest Tightness and occasaional shortness of breath

 getwellsoon - Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:41 am

Hi Doc, I have been experiencing tightness on my Right chest ( nearer to the middle) and shortness breath the past few days. These symptoms normally come and go. It is always there when I am seated driving or sitting at my office desk. I also experience it when lying on the bed getting to sleep. However, the problem does not come when I am moving ard like walking , and doing activities with work. Is this severe? Can you advise what am I likely suffering from? Thanks.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:26 pm

User avatar Dear getwellsoon,

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 could be due to:
Inflammation of the pleura (pleurisy) covering the lung gives a sharp pain that is associated with shortnesss of breath and Cough. The pain increases when taking deep breath, and coughing. Viral infection is the commonest cause of Pleurisy.

Overexertion of the chest wall muscles (spasm) 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, posture and is usually associated with tenderness over the affected muscles. Pain due to rib or chest wall bone disease is also another cause of Chest pain.

Sometimes Chest pain is not originating from the chest itself; instead it is due to problems in the digestive tract (like gall bladder disease).

I advise you to follow up with your doctor. Only by complete history and physical examination, the correct diagnosis can be reached.

Best regards,

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