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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Sharp pain while breathing

 Isef - Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:45 pm

I am a 35yo male. I am currently serving in the U.S Marine Corps and have been in good health until the last couple months. I am a smoker of 8 years, smoking approx 10-15 cigarettes per day. I am a non-drinker.

In late November I started to get a pain in the right side of my chest just below my rib cage. The pain would be constant but get more severe at the top and bottom of each breath. On a scale of 1-10 the pain being a constant 6-7 with an 8 or 9 at the top of each breath. I was short of breath and could only sleep on one side of my body. I could not lay on my stomach or back because doing so was so painful. Any attempt to try to take a full breath the pain would literally stop me from completing the breath and I would feel a sharp pain.

I ended up going to the Emergency room after trying to "Stick it out" for 4 days. The physicians assistant on duty had an EKG ran on me that turned out normal and also had a chest x-ray done that he said was normal. I was then told I was probably "Backed up" and was given a Fleet enema and told to take some metamucil(sp) or some form of laxative.

The pain continued and after a week moved to my lower right back. Sharp pains while breathing and shortness of breath continued. After a week or so this pain went away. In mid December the pain came back only this time in the same spot under my lower rib cage on the LEFT side. The symptoms were the same with sharp pains at the top and bottom of each breath. I Went to the hospital and once again an EKG was performed that was normal. I was given an x-ray that was normal and I was released with some 800mg motrin. The pain stayed constant for about 4 days and i developed a slight temperature of 102.7 that went away within a day. The pain moved to my lower back near my left kidney and produced the same type of pain. I also had pain that would radiate over my left shoulder. I continued to work doing my military duties as best i could and would get winded waling 50 yards and the pain was so severe especially in the colder weather that I would have to stop half way to may vehicle to catch my breath and deal with the pain. Once I would get home i would have to sit right away and try to relax myself. It was then that a spontaneous cough occured and i put my hand over my mouth to cover it. When i removed my hand i noticed a clear mucus with a dark clot of blood with fresh looking blood in my hand. I hadn't had a problem with coughing other than an occaisonal cough here and there.

I went back to the Emergency room and the physician on duty did the EKG, Lung X-ray, urine and blood samples were taken. I was then sent out to the local hospital in Japan for a CT scan to check for a pulmonary embolism which I have a family history of having from my older brother to my aunts and uncles. The CT scan was performed and was negative for a Pulmonary embolism. The Japanese doctor said I had Pleurisy and prescribed some form of antibiotic and motrin for the pain.

I was happy that someone had finally determined what I was suffering from and I had the medication to finally beat this. I took the anti-biotics ( I am still trying to find out the name of the medication since it was written in japanese) 3 times per day and the pain persisted. After a couple weeks the pain got less and less. Just as I thought I was nearing the end of this I started developing a pain back again on the right side of my chest just below the lower rib cage. Exactly as it was before. I went to the emergency room when the pain got so severe that when I would breathe i would get a sharp pain and a convulsive type reaction that would stop me from finishing a breath. This time the pain being a 10 (on a scale of 1-10). I felt a cold sweat and nausea during this episode. It took me about an hour to get my clothes on to go the doctor because it seemed no matter how i moved or breathed the pain would get worse. I went back to the emergency room, had yet another EKG performed that took 3 tries because i couldn't lay on my back without the sharp pains with every breath that would throw off the sensors. I felt less pain sitting and hunched over than standing up straight or laying on my back. The EKG was normal, Urine test was normal, and Blood test showed normal except an elevated white cell count that the doctor said the type of white cells that were elevated meant a bacterial infection. His diagnosis was i was still suffering from the Pleurisy and prescribed PIROXICAM (20MG) that i take once a day. Shortly after leaving the ER the pain moved to my lower right back near where my right kidney would be located. Right now I have that pain that comes at the top of each breath. I can not yawn or anything bacause the pain is so intense. This pain will sometimes stop me from finishing a sentance (basically stopping me from finishing a breath). I also have a pain that radiates over my right shoulder near my neck.

Please if anyone can help me. I have been suffering through this for over a month.

I just had my yearly physical and my PPD test was negative.
I have no swelling of my legs.
I am not coughing up as much blood as before but the mucus that i do cough up is kind of a really light pinkish color.

I am sorry if I didn't include anything or if i failed to explain anything. I hope you can give me some guidance. Thank you in advance.
 Dr. Russell M - Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:15 pm

User avatar Hi!

I was wondering if a sputum cytology or a bronchial lavage was done?

 Isef - Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:05 am

No, this wasn't done and I haven't a clue what it is unless it was the doctor (Physician's assistant) using a tongue depresser and looking in my throat. Thank you for responding.
 Dr. Russell M - Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:07 am

User avatar Hi!

Sputum cytology is nothing but the examination of the sputum or phlegm under a microscope to study the changes in the cells of the lungs. A bronchial lavage is to examine the washings of the lung for any abnormal cell. It would be best to discuss regarding these with your doctor.

Warm regards,

 Isef - Wed Jan 07, 2004 9:24 am

Thanks again bill!

I will discuss this with my doctor on my next appointment on Monday.
 MichaelH - Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:08 am

Isef.... I hope that you are still posting because as yesterday I have the same things.

For me it is on the right at the bottom of my rib cage. I was told I was just having a panic attack.

It started out really small but at least I could take a full breath. That was yesterday. Today the 4th I can no longer complete a breath and everytime I try to lay down and sleep the slightest movement courses pain through my body. I can burt, breath, cough or anything without it hurting. I have not had the pain move like you have described but it is unbelievable. I myself have a clean medical record. I don't smoke I don't drink or do drugs. I have never had any sicknesses or anything like that other then the comin cold and I have never been on any meds except Penicilin once for an ear infection that lasted 2 days. That and I have never busted anything either.

I don't know.. I just wont it to go away I see you said you have had it for a month I have had it for 2 days now. I feel better hunched over in a chair then I do lying down. It almost feels like it is not a problem with my lungs but maybe around it. I don't know I am no doctor. I am going to check at my hopsital here today in BC Canada and see what they say.. if I get any different answers I will definitly tell you about it,

oh god not I see that you last posted a year ago.. if you figured this out please tell me..
 rae - Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:44 am

Wow, some other people with the same thing I have. I am a 38 yr old female from canada. I am living and working in sweden. I have had this sharp terrible pain when breathing deeply in for the last three weeks. When I first got it I thought I was having a heartattack as it woke me from my sleep. The pain was on my left side and it travelled down my left arm and up into my shoulder, neck and face. I went to emergency where they gave me blood thinners and pain medication and kept me overnight at hopsital. They gave me an ECG and a lung xray and CT scan which were all normal. After two nights I was released after they insisted it was a problem in my back! I of course left there simply not buying it.

I have shortness of breath and can't get a full breath in or even out. I shake involuntarily (convulse) if I attempt to breath all the way in. Hunching over helps for me also. Laying down or standing especially for too long is agonizing. I haven't had a cold or anything other than a small cough about a month ago.

Over the past three weeks I have spent three separate occasions overnight in hospital. I have seen 8 different doctors. They have tested my heart and lungs, CT scans for possible bloodclots in the lung, they have said that it could be broken ribs or a pulled nerve in my back, but weren't 100% of that either since my pain seems to be coming from my lung. The pain has been also through to my back and has slightly moved down toward my kidneys. I have unfortunately been at the mercy of the hospital here in sweden because I do not have a regular family doctor. My left arm had been slightly purple (off and on over the past few weeks) which they have told me is from lack of oxygen. The doctors found a slight infection in my bloodwork and I had a slight temperature while in hospital. They ruled out any kidney problem because my bloodwork showed that was normal.

I have been seen by a neurologist also who thought perhaps this was spinal meningitis, and also wanted to check me for an aneurism or stroke. One doctor even made the pathetic comment that this could all be in my head. It comforts me to see that there are others here with the same pain as me. This is not in our heads. I can validate that!

I am now spitting up blood which frightens me. I have lost confidence in the hospital here and have been desperately searching for a north american doctor that may now be practicing in sweden. I am considering going to canada to get help but I work here and am also afraid to fly with this. During one of my visits to the hospital I was given an anti-inflammatory injection, but the nurse who gave me this hit a nerve causing paralisis in my right leg for about 5 hours. I have yet to return to the hospital since this, even after spitting up blood due to the lack of care performed there.

I have contacted my family doctor in canada by phone. She said that it sounds like pleuracy. She told me that an antibiotic could be prescribed... BUT swedish doctors do not give antibiotics if you can believe it, telling me that no antibiotic could be given for this anyhow. They have yet to even mention pleuracy to me here, even though I have mentioned it to them. They said they would have seen it in the lung scan, however my doctor in canada said that this isn't always the case. The doctors here have me on tons of pain medication which doesn't even help. In the hospital morphine barely took the edge of the pain I am experiencing. I hope someone can help me, I am so exhausted with this. I have averaged 3 hours sleep nightly since this began.

I noticed the first thread posted here was from a year ago (I too thought it was from this year). I warmly welcome any replies, private messages or help with this. Perhaps the person who posted the first thread will write back and let us know how long it lasted for him and what it was (if he ever did find out himself). I truly sympathize with anyone having this type of pain and especially not knowing what it is.
 Isef - Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:55 am

Hi everyone. I got a message on my yahoo that someone had replied to my original topic. My pain eventually subsided and at the present I haven't had any pain in about 9 months. The doctor prescribed some muscle relaxers and that REALLY helped stop the convulsing type pain i was experiencing. On occaison I can feel that pain start on one side of my back. At that point I try and take it easy and it goes away. I really do hope you all find the cause of this one and hope you start feeling better soon.
 Public_ip - Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:28 pm

Just wanted to let you know I have the exact same problem. I've had it my whole life and it's off and on. Also my dad and sister have it. No doctor has ever been able to explain it and we've been trying for years. Good luck.
 Public_ip - Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:29 pm

Just wanted to let you know I have the exact same problem. I've had it my whole life and it's off and on. Also my dad and sister have it. No doctor has ever been able to explain it and we've been trying for years. Good luck.
 camara - Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:00 pm

I think I may have something similar, but I have not gone to see any doctors yet.
I have the pain on and off now for 4 years! Sometimes it is better, sometimes it is worse and constant. Although i don't have blood coming from any mucous, i do sometimes get blood in my mouth which is from my gums, esp in the morning. But I havent had this for a while. But still the pain mostly under my ribcage on my left side. I cannot sleep on that side as it hurts more if i put pressure there.
What are your exact symptoms Public ip?
Does it hurt more on the left or right?

 skybird - Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:35 am

i'm a medical student currently doing my 3rd year in UK. I'm thinking two ways you can have it investigated. Initially, i thought it was plurisy. The best thing is to send sputum culture and sensitivity. They grow the bug and find out which antibiotics works. They can also do a test for fungal infection. If those labs come normal, i'll get neurology referal. It seems nerve involvement. The question is any recent chemical exposure? Recent travel? Is your current job exposed you to any hazardous enviormental before all this started? You need to discuss it with your doctor with those other possibilites? Are you the only one with this symptoms? Co-workers?
 KaiQom - Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:22 am

im suffereing from something similar to you guys. for the past 2 weeks at totally random times ill get a pain just under my rib cage on the right of my stomach. this pain lasts for about 5 minutes then goes away and this is how its been for awhile. it will just come and then go. it causes me to not be able to breathe in properly as it hurts too much in the pain area. so for me im guessing when my lungs are full of air (when i breathe in) its pushing a muscle or something and maybes that muscle is the causing the pain im not sure but its worrying me alittle because it keeps coming back every so often. and ideas??

i don't smoke nor drink.
i don't cough up blood although hav had blood in my mouth in the mornings mostly i think. thats my gums though nothing else.
i don't execise that much maybe this is a problem which is causing the pain?
 dandu - Tue May 10, 2005 6:15 pm

[quote="KaiQom"]im suffereing from something similar to you guys. for the past 2 weeks at totally random times ill get a pain just under my rib cage on the right of my stomach. this pain lasts for about 5 minutes then goes away and this is how its been for awhile. it will just come and then go. it causes me to not be able to breathe in properly as it hurts too much in the pain area. so for me im guessing when my lungs are full of air (when i breathe in) its pushing a muscle or something and maybes that muscle is the causing the pain im not sure but its worrying me alittle because it keeps coming back every so often. and ideas??

i don't smoke nor drink.
i don't cough up blood although hav had blood in my mouth in the mornings mostly i think. thats my gums though nothing else.
i don't execise that much maybe this is a problem which is causing the pain?[/quote

I have the same pain for about three years now ! if anybody know about it please help
it starts when i was exposed to the chemicals from the company i used to work
it was bad pain and i quite the job !so plaese help if you know any medication
 maituselah - Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:47 pm

I am in a way relieved to see that i am not the only one with this problem but mine started actually a week ago when i realized that when i take a deep breath I would get a sharp right shoulder pain and a pain at my right side, under and about my ribs...I thought it was just gas (don't ask me how) ...But some times the rib area does not hurt but the right shoulder always does...I am sorta worried cause I dunno what it is...anybody came out with something more reassuring..? Also my side is tender some times...
 maituselah - Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:52 pm

I would aslo like to add that the shoulder does not hurt when I move only does when i breath.
 KaiQom - Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:41 am

well its been awhile since i posted and the pain has gone away, but i still get it now and again still don't know wot it is and its never been as painful as it was before im sorry i cant help everyone and say what it is because ive not found out myself hope your ok guys take care
 hibbytlu - Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:20 pm


I am 20 years old and i have the exact same pain in my should now for about 3 days!!! its weird because it doesn't really hurt with slow controlled breaths but as soon as i inhale deeply i get a sharp in my shoulder collar bone region. It also occurs when i exhale fast and kind of keep the exhale going for too long i get that stitch pain! One more thing is i have sort of a numbness or tingle in my right arm do to this pain! if anyone as any advice it would be greatly appreciate!!
 maituselah - Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:10 pm

To tell you the truth, almost straight after i posted my question on the website, my pain went away. It slowly faded out, then it got to mychest on the left side the next morning, I even had weird palpitations while breathing deeply...but since then I am feeling much better..I am suppose to go see a doctor soon andsee what he says..but I have to say that is the weirdest thing I have ever felt and also it is weird that many people have hte same thing but do not know what it is. Good luck in your quest and if anything surfaces, pass the message down..I think all would appreciate it greatly.
 lucille - Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:20 am

I'm having sharp pain on the left side of my back, behind my lower ribs. It becomes even sharper as I breathe in, so I end up not taking a ful breathe because of the pain. Then I find myself also short of breath. Certain positions make the pain increase even more. I had this once, six months ago and thought that I might have to call the squad. The pain was seriously affecting my breathing. I took a tylenol 3, advil and after 3-4 hours the pain was decreasing. The same kind of episode happened again last week. Then today I woke up with the same thing, so I'm online trying to figure it out. The above comments sound so similar to my pain. I have no coughing or blood.
 newbot - Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:50 pm

ok i rpetty mutch got the same

and i see alot other have it

can some one tell us if its dangerous ?
 dolly - Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:03 am

How strange but comforting to find people with similar symptoms! I've had pneumonia in the past (twice) and pleurisy in the past (twice) so I know what pain is when breathing. About 4 weeks ago, I suddenly had severe pain when breathing - couldn't fully breathe in without terrible pain. It hurt above my brest (left side) and in back, in the same place). Walked the floor for couple of hours - didn't know whether to go to E.R. (didn't). Took everything for gas that I could - no help. It subsided somewhat and I went to bed - but that hurt, too. It went on for a few days, less severely, then ended. Then I reached for something in my car about 10 days ago and it started all over again. Went to Dr. next day - had chest x-ray, EKG, he told me they were normal. Told me to take Advil. After several days, it got better. NOW: have found a lump on my back, left side - same area where it hurt in back. No injury - no warning, just a lump. Any ideas?? Are these related? Thanks.
 AngelVoices - Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:34 pm

I am new here but I was searching things up on a condition that I have had now for over 15 months. I couldn't help but notice how simular a post was here made last year by a man in the Marines and seen a Japanese dr. I want to say Sir what you described is a conditon that is not that widely known and always misdiagnosed. It's called Costochondritis. It is inflammation of the rib cage and upper breast bone. It's very painful and can sometimes be more painful taking deep breaths. This is normally diagnosed when all other tests like xray, Ekg and Ct scan come out Normal to rule out other more serious problems. I do not know if you still have this condition, and I pray not as it's been lingering with me for what seems like forever. It's very painful and hard to get rid of. I suggest any of you here with these symptoms tell your dr about costochondritis <sp? and have them check that out. I used to think I was having a heart attack or I thought I had bruised ribs. Well at least that is what it sometimes feels like. It is inflammation of the rib cage and upper breast bone. See an Ortho dr or a Rhuemotologist.
God Bless,
For more info on this u may email me at
 prison526 - Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:04 pm

im suffereing from something similar to you guys. for the past 2 weeks at totally random times ill get a pain just under my rib cage on the right of my stomach. this pain lasts for about 5 minutes then goes away and this is how its been for awhile. it will just come and then go. it causes me to not be able to breathe in properly as it hurts too much in the pain area. so for me im guessing when my lungs are full of air (when i breathe in) its pushing a muscle or something and maybes that muscle is the causing the pain im not sure but its worrying me alittle because it keeps coming back every so often. and ideas??

Do people reply to responses here?[:I]
 vanessah - Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:13 am

I am glad I found this page, I am 26 years old and had a baby 7 weeks ago so no one is really taking my pain seriously ( "Are you sure it isnt just post natal depression etc etc ) Anyway my pain is under my chest on the right side, near the ribs and towards my back. It hurts when I breathe in, yawn etc. I cant lie on that side or on my back. The last week the pain has also spread to my shoulder blade when I breathe in. I am really worried and have been to the doctor. Have had abdominal x-ray and ultrasound and a chest x-ray. Now I am going to get a lung scan to check for a clot. After that I don't know what im going to do because the doctor said shes not sure what it is. Can someone please help me or give me some advice because its really getting me down. I just want this pain to go away. I have always had chest pains higher up on the left side and in my arm but after ECG's etc nothing was found so was told it was probably muscular. That was in 1998. I am a heavy smoker ( sometimes a pack a day ) and I used to drink a fair bit although don't anymore. My e-mail adress is so if anyone has any tips or advice or suggestions please please please email me asap! Thanks alot.
 bluiz24 - Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:09 pm

I am a 30 year old female. I smoke regularly (approx. 15-20 a day), do not drink and am otherwise in good health. I have noticed the last couple of days that whenever I take a deep breath or move just the right way, I get a sharp pain on the left side, just below my bottom rib bone. I just recently was treated for a severe uniary tract infection and have taken the antibiotic as directed. During the course of this UTI, my bowels backed up and I had to take a perscribed stool softner to help with this problem. I am feeling fine in regards to this matter but am wondering if the pain could anyway be associated with the UTI? IF not, has anyone experienced this problem or know what it could be? Any help with this would be wonderful.
 shanelle - Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:57 am

I am 22 years old, have been smoking since I was 14 (I'm South African and many of us start at such an age... technically I began at 11 but I'm sure I wasn't inhaling then.)

Five nights ago, I had just exercised, and I flopped down on the couch panting hard... and I got a painful stitch under my right breast. I've had stitches before, but this was a really bad one! Lying down was painful, and I preferred to slouch forward. I did eventually get to sleep, but when I woke up the next morning, the stitch was still there!

That day was AGONY!! I was snotty with my colleagues, I couldn't get comfortable, and I couldn't breathe properly!!! Since then, the pain sometimes abates during the day and I can't pin down any movement I do that triggers it again, but EVERY NIGHT I have woken up with INCREDIBLE PAIN!!! I can't breathe, can't lie down. I have been up again since 4AM now.... had a hot bath because that helped last night... made another hot water bottle. I AM GOING NUTS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF SLEEP!! It hurts to laugh.. at any time of day.

The pain is still located in my right side. It feels like my lung. Then I have been getting shooting pains down the middle of my back, and twinges in my right collar bone. Now I really can't lie down..on any side!

I have been looking up.. as you all have.. what the hell could be wrong with me. I am currently living in England, and have heard horror stories about waiting lists forpathology tests and x-rays. Will try and get in to see the doc tomorrow. I was kind of relieved to see this, because, for the past 2 hours I've been thinking 'lung cancer'.

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!! Everyone who has written in is from such a different part of the world it is just not feasible that it's envoronment related. There MUST be an explanation. I'm sick of not being able to breathe!!

Going to try the muscle relaxant thing tomorrow too.. someone wrote in to say it worked.
 acuario2000 - Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:59 pm

I sometimes when I sleep if I am facing down I have this pain in my lower abbs on the right side of my body, I also realize that when I have short breath which I do very often I also feel that are very sensitive. About a year and a half ago I asked my doector and he told me that it was a muscle pain, but he didn't even run any tests. What could this pain be. It is not a very sharp pain but it is bothersome, mostly when I sleep.
 calliw - Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:21 am

I am 17 and have pains like people here are describing (sharp pain on left side of chest when trying to breathe in) since I was 13- they've come about once a month and last for about 2 or 3 minutes.

I've been having this though for the last 2 days (5/6 times a day) so I went to the GP and he said that they were just muscle spasms that 'were'nt serious', and 'normal'. He said that they happen when you are 'stressed' or maybe depressed. I don't think this can be true because I am not stressed or depressed. He wasn't able to suggest any way of relieving the pain and said just put up with it until it goes away.

Is there a way of reducing the pain or ending the muscle spasms once they've started?

 fromwi - Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:27 pm

Umm i new to this, i'm a 19 yr old female college student, don't drink or smoke, but i have the same symptoms as alot of you, I juss stater getting them like 3 days ago and there getting worse .. I have extreme back, lower rib pain, and the air way burns when i breath deep, it last for a few minutes, and just walking slowly short distances or moving too quickly causes terrible shortness of breath, i get shoulder pains when i sleep or breath umm i started getting blood in tha stuff i cough up and when i blow my nose..and i'm always tired but i can never i haven't been able to sleep becuase of tha pain whn i try, i tried the musle relaxers as some suggest they juss helped me sleep does neone else have any suggestions
 angelo - Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:03 pm

Im 14 and a half living in the uk, ive been smokin for about 2 years now not many, up to 10 a day. ive also had your problem, i cant take deep breathes because i get a sharp pain in my left lung. I have'nt said anything to any one because ive only had it a few times and it goes away after about an hour. If i get it any more frequently i will probably go see my doctor but im afraid it might turn out to be something serious.does any one know what this is?Also it looks like people here have two diffrent problems, half the people posted are maily haveing back and sholder pains and the overs are having pains in lungs(or around)) when breathing. Could these be two sperate problems or are they both conected?
 MsMarie - Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:44 pm

I am a 22 year old healthy female. I too am a non-smoker and I don't drink. I can first remember having this pain at about 5 years of age. It's always been in the same place (on the left side of my chest over my heart) and it'll prevent me from breathing in as deep as I normally would. It lasts anywhere from 3 minutes to a half an hour, and it's spontaneous. I may have had 20 to 30 episodes in my lifetime. It's not as severe as coughing up any blood, or it moving around my body, but, I am worried that that might happen to me also. I have not yet seen a doctor about it. I'm sorry to see that so many people have this condition, at the same time, It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one. I encourage people that are reading these stories and have the same problem to post your story also. It might make doctors take this more seriously.
 marisamobley - Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:41 pm

Ever since I can remember sometimes when I breath I will get a sharp, stabbing pain right in the middle of my chest. Most of the time it's in my chest; sometimes I get it under my right rib cage and just now 5 minutes before I wrote this I had it on the left side under my rib cage and now my left shoulder is hurting along with my leg down in my calf muscle. The pain lasted for about 6 breaths. Well I could inhale a little each time, but I had to exhale quickly because of the pain. I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my family and all of a sudden it hit me. I had to try to breath and sit up at the same time and just wait till it was over. It finally ended and I feel okay except for my arm and leg feeling a little different than normal. I have had a cold for the past week and I do cough sometimes. For the past 4 months; I have felt nauseas off and on throughout the day. I had my tubes tied jan. of 2004 and I've taken 5 pregnancy tests, the doc even did a blood test just to make sure. Along with this; I've had bad headaches, a pain in the left side of my neck that sometimes feels like a burning pain and pain in my left ear off and on. I have palpitations which I've had for as long as I can remember. I used to just have them about once or twice a month and now they are once or twice every few days. I can't do much because my muscles start hurting pretty bad. Right now it's hurting just to sit here and type this message. I've have more symptoms I've tried to write them down as I get them because I started to notice they keep coming back more frequent than they used to. If anyone has any idea where I should go from here; please let me know. I've been to my doctor but she said I was bipolar and that's all she's focused on. During the time I went to her with my depression, my life was going downhill. Now my life is way better and I know I'm not bipolar because I took myself off the medication and I'm mentally happy. Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to try and help me.
 anthonyb - Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:52 pm

hi my name is anthony im 16 n i live in germantown md ..forabout the past 2 months i have been feeling sharp pains in my lower left or sometimes right back when i take deep breaths..i am a previous smoker of about 1/12 years ..i live with another family not with my parents so its not like i have someone to talk to about this ,...sometimes my heart will hurt also for about 1 or 2 second my heart will tense up or i duno wut happens but it feels like my heart is being squeezed very hard...i do not now wut this is and i am reasearching on it but i don't know wut else to do...i feel like i am dying...please if someone could talk to me about this ..please email me at and i will appreciate it....
 BrownEyeGirl - Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:06 pm

I'm having sharp pain on the left side just under my breast. It becomes even sharper as I breathe in, so I end up not taking a full breath because of the pain. This pain has been coming and going every few months for the last 2 years. Each time, the pain only lasts for about 5 minutes. I am a healthy, 28 year old female. I do not smoke. There is a history of diabetes and heart attacks in my family. I have regular checkups with my family doctor once per year and all results came back normal. My family doctor believes the issue is related to stress and lack of rest.
 holliecat - Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:15 am

Did you ever find out what you had because I am having the exact same problems.
 seevw - Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:31 pm

Just thought I would let you know that I too have had these symptoms since last Friday. On Saturday I was rushed to the local A&E as the pain was so bad and my breathing so shallow.
I had urines, bloods, ecg's etc and nothing showed up until I had an Xray. This showed a slightly fuzzy area at the bottom of my right lung ( where most of the pain is ).. So I am now on a high dose of Augmentin 625mg to kill whatever is in there and extra strength Paracetamol/aspirin to aid me with the pain. Its now 5 days later and the pain is much less severe but seems to react to cold. My chest is now loose and rattly and im hopeful that it may have just be an infection.

Now my Xray didnt show anything conclusive but the Doc said he thought I might have a severe infection and prescribed me the above tablets. Maybe you guys have infections that didnt show on Xrays? Hell I didnt even have a cough either.!

will post again in 7 days trime to update you on how I am once the full course on antibiotics have been taken and I have another Xray.

Good Luck.!

 kikijor - Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:48 pm

I'm a fustrated mom and no one can seem to help my daughter. She has had all test's and came back negative, Has trouble breathing now and then , pain under rib cage and it shift's from left side to right and sometimes to upper body. Nothing help's her, any suggestion's. Also has coughed up blood in phelm.
 MousePotato - Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:28 pm

I am curious if any of you have shingles. It surely sounds like the same kind of pain. A good round of cortisone will clear it up. However, I understand that if misdiagnosed and you're on antibiotics that could prevent the actual rash that is associated with shingles from appearing. Anyhow...check out shingles and the next time you're in that pain under rib and in back and with breathing...ask the doc about a round of cortisone. Take care.
 Marsaw - Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:37 pm

Maituselah. I have the exact same symptoms that started last Sunday, on my left shoulder and under my left rib. when this started, I was already having physical therapy for upper and lower back pain. I mentioned it to my therapist, and she thinks it's a muscle that is spasming. She helped me a lot with some exercices and manipulation on Tuesday.I felt much better that day, and didn't rest. It started again on Wednesday. I'll see my therapist again tomorrow, and I'll find out whether she will be able to help me again.
 Unexplained - Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:16 pm

I am 54 yr. old/F/smoker. For the past 2 mos. have experienced 2 dif. types of pain. Distinct, severe pain started under right breast/rib area from within, feels like a peg going straight thru to my back, which is extremely aggravated with cough/deep inhale, when it feels like "IT" is going to explode. From that a different type of pain radiates, as if I could actually feel my whole lung upon inhale. Sometimes it also is aggravated in certain positions. Blood, EKG, Xrays=NEG. Cat Scan does show Emphysema, possible Plurisy, but Doc dissagrees. Finished Antibiotics. Pain Meds. just about took the edge off. Was advised to see Nurologist and have MRI. To date, pain is less, but still there. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thank's! From One Hurting Puppy!
 Marsaw - Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:54 pm

I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and possible emphysema. Took Levaquin for 10 days, but had shortness of breath, and now I am on 7 more days of antibiotics.
Hope this helps.
 Kim2345 - Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:31 am

I am a 42 year mother of two and have been living with sharp pain in my chest since my early 20's. I have had some tests done but nothing truly extensive. I have had that magnetic imaging done. The best description / diagnosis which seems to fit and work for me is something hardly anyone has heard of - and yet is a satisfactory answer for me: slipped rib. Go online and look it up. Chances are something like this could suffice for many of these readers - not all however.

When I was told this - it was like a cloud lifted. We all think the worst, but as my doctor said, if I have been living with this for so long, if it was terminal I would not be alive.

I still feel pain - but understanding slipped rib and how you move can greatly reduce it's affects. It also can curve around into your back. I used to put my arm up when I commuted and after I was given this diagnosis, I stopped putting my arm up on the door rest and that has been a major factor in the reduction of the pain. I still get it every day, but just gentely pressing on the pain site for a minute or two seems to help. How you sleep is also key. I started putting a pillow between my knees and oddly enough this seems to have helped too.

I hope this is helpful for some of you.
 Jano1317 - Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:23 am

I've read most of these problems and get the same thing. a pain in the left chest that shortens my breath and sometimes I worry because I cannont breath because It hurts too much. I am 14, never smoked or drinked and when I go to sleep I'll just randomly wake up during the night not being able to breath because It hurts too much. Should I worry about this and go see a doctor because I don't really wanna die because I didn't get this checked out.
 Dgirl - Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:29 pm

I too been having sharp pain in ribs when i breathe sometimes I've been having these symtoms since i was young but doctors always say i must of strained a muscle and give me pain relievers but it still comes back all my xrays test and ekg test come out normal . What is this misterious pain from? any help?
 itsfreakinJon - Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:24 am

I have had this same issue off and on for about 7 years. The temporary solution, for me anyways, is to make a fist just tight enough to allow a slight airflow, and put my fist to my mouth and breathe all the way in, nice and slowly, through my fist being careful to restrict the amount of airflow to my lungs. Doing so feels as though I'm stretching/strengthening my lungs. The pain goes away immediately and doesn't return for some time.
 Tashi - Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:03 am

I'm only 15 years old. I'm starting to get worried here... Once in a while I used to get sharp pains in my right lung.. then it would switch to my left lung, where it consisted the most. They used to be sharp pains, then the next year they were bad where I couldn't take a full breath. Back around nine months ago, I have a SEVERE one, where I couldn't breathe for a full minute. I thought I was having an asthma attack. It's been several years and still getting these, and they occurred more. Now, all of a sudden ever since a few months ago, they have stopped. My mother always tells me that I overreact about it, and the doctor said I was fine. These sharp pains should NOT be, in my opinion.

Well, lately I have been getting the urge to take deep breaths, like one every couple of minutes. I'm excessively tired, and I do not know if that has to do with anything... because I have tried to get so much extra sleep, and STILL getting these. It's also winter... So I am worried if I have caught something. I do not smoke or do drugs or anything. I have smoked once, which was last week. That was my only time.. And I've been researching, and I've read these replies, and I'm VERY VERY VERY worried. I have a fear of gravity, also. As in, I'm scared the floors will cave in, or I'll have internal combustion because of it. Now. This fear comes at random times. (It's the weirdest phobia. I know.) And I have stress constantly from school and my family always arguing. I'm sleep deprived, too. My immune system is weak, which is obvious because I get sick so frequently.

Could my breathing just be a part of some psychological disorder? Or some infection such as Pneumonia? Or a formation of asthma starting?

I just turned 15.
I'm pretty young to have such worries, but no matter how many times the doctors and my mom have told me, "YOU'RE FINE". Obviously, I feel I am not.

Please, if ANYONE could help me or lend me further knowledge.
I would love to hear some.
 varjroxx515 - Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:15 pm only thirteen...i have been having those for a while..when i run...walk...or if im just in class studying...i don't understand whats going on. can someone explain in english please?
 papp - Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:26 pm

i know this will sound totally stupid, but i have had this for around 2 years and i get the same pain as many people have described. somtimes its when i move too quickly or just randomly, but the stupid thing is if i can get back it to the position i was in when the pain started it generally fixes it! or if you move about loads bend back and forwards side to side, just stech and bend as much as you can. it works for me although i don't know if it will work for you but its worth a try. hope it helps!
 swtazcandyy - Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:47 pm

My symptoms are very similar to those described but I am not coughing up any type of mucus or anything. I went to bed one night and woke up the next morning with this stabbing pain on the left side of my chest by my ribs. It was an off and on thing, but was always worse when I coughed or sneezed or took a deep breath or even just bent down. I am on my 5th day of this now and its the worst one I've had! Today the pain was constant with certain times when it was worse. I do not smoke and have a clean medical history. Can anyone tell me what this could be? Or what I could do to help this horrible pain?
 NoOneSpecial - Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:24 pm

Sounds like you may all need your gallbladders removed . . . .
 september340 - Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:16 am

i have a really bad pain on my upper left side of my back when I lay down and take a deep breath it hurts so bad I'm 13 but I just want to know if it's any thing serious
 hititreallyhard - Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:51 pm

Hey guys, a very similar thing happens to me. Hopefully this will help you out because it works for me.

Sometimes I get sharp pains when I breathe and I have to take shallow breathes (I don't cough up blood, that sounds totally different and more severe?). I do two things that usually work and the pain hasn't lasted past step two for me, so it might help you out.

1) I walk around with my arms extended above me and I wiggle my body from side to side. When I first started experiencing these pains I figured I had some sort of air bubble trapped inside my lungs and I was trying to get it out (that's obviously impossible, but this is what I believed when I was younger). This works most of the time.

2) If the above doesn't work I strike the area that hurts really hard. I literally hit my chest where the pain feels that it's emanating from and that fixes it. Sometimes it feels like maybe my ribs move when I do this? I'm not sure, it seems like they reposition themselves? Anyway, I usually smack my chest a few times and presto! It's gone. Obviously, I don't try to hurt myself but I strike myself just hard enough that I sound like a drum.

Hopefully this helps guys, don't go hurting yourself if it doesn't work out when you strike your chest. We might be experiencing different things. I haven't ever "drummed" my chest more than 3 or 4 times.

Anyway good luck because I know how painful this can be.
 cstark619 - Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:04 am

I am currently a nursing mom who quit smoking when my daughter was born, just over a month ago.
My pain began a couple of days ago, I woke up with a sharp pain in my left side, just under my breast that wraps around to my back. It came on with a slight cough (minimal light brown phlegm). Since the cough has subsided. I thought I had slept funny as I am breastfeeding while laying down. I tried to stretch out my side, but couldn't find an area that releaved the pain. It has since begun to affect my left shoulder and occationally my neck. I feel the pain consistently when I breath in. It becomes increasingly painful when I am laying down breathing or not, almost spasm like in my chest/side. Tonight is the first time that I haven't been able to find a position that didn't hurt. I am taking ibuprofen to see if that will relieve the pain, being that it feels muscle related. I have had my husband massage the area, but it appears to be only give me temporary relief. If anyone could reccomend something I would greatly appreciate it. I'm already not sleeping enough with the new baby and this is not helping.
 cstark619 - Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:50 am

I was amazed to see that there are so many other people suffering from the same symptoms I have been recently experiencing. It started out wih sharp pain under my left breast that wraps around to my back and a slight cough. I quit smoking after many years and thought they were retaled. But it has since begun to affect my shoulder and occationally affects my neck. I've tried to stretch out the area, but have had no relief. I am finding that it mostly presents itself when I breath in. But when I lay down the pain is constant. At first I was able to sleep on my right side or my back, but tonight I can't get relief any angle I try. I've also found that my side (between breast and back) goes into spasms and I have a difficult time breathing if I attempt to lay on my left side. I am breast feeding my month old daughter and am getting less and less sleep because of this. If anyone has any recommendation please let me know. I'm willing to try anything right now!
 sylver - Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:28 pm

@NoOneSpecial: I had my gallbladder removed in 2002. The pain from a gallbladder attack never extended up to my shoulder and was never on my left side or the center of my chest. It felt like severe food poisoning cramps - it did not cause any difficulty breathing.

This is completely different. So far as I know, I have not been exposed to strange chemicals. Just hit me today. The breathing-slowly-through-my-fist seems to help. Otherwise, I am a experiencing stabbing pains underneath my right ribs, and if I stand or walk much, that pain starts stabbing just at the end of my right clavicle as well. Occasionally it hurts in the center of my chest too. Mostly, it just hurts to breathe deeply.

The last time I had similar symptoms, I thought it was a kidney infection; UTI tests all came back normal, though, and doctor thought it was more likely musculoskeletal in nature.

One thought I had - my mother recently experienced similar symptoms, and thought she was having gallbladder attacks. It turned out that she'd recently gone off her proton pump inhibitor, and that was what was causing it - when she went back on, the pain went away! She has a hiatus hernia, and it was related to that. I'm wondering if any of you have been tested for one?
 EWCDPM - Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:10 am

How interesting! I have been battling this since I was a young boy (now 44 years old). When I was 11 years old, I had a brain scan (post sleep deprevaion), xrays and full exam. Their conclusion.. My chest cavity was expanding. Of course this was not the case.

Here's what I know: In my case, I have nearly outgrown it but had a fairly severe instance of it this morning. It is often brought on by stress or a period following stress or physical activity. I have a breathing routine during these episodes where I stand or lay and breath as slowly as I posibly can. I don't mean relaxed breathing, I mean REALLY SLOW, a rate you can not possible maintain for long but can live with for 30-45 seconds. It relieves the pain nearly 50% of the time.

In EXTREME cases where I have the pain at the top and bottom without enough room to get enough air, I have taken a VERY FAST and deep breath. It hurts, it's horrible, it feels like I ripped out a rib but it instantly stops the pain. You may even feel a pop associated as you break through the restricted limits of your breathing.

While I am sympathetic to all of you experiencing the same situation, it's nice to know I'm not alone. I genuinely thought I was some sort of weirdo.

I wish you well - Dave
 Rumpus01 - Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:46 am

I am having similar issues as everyone in this post. I have found no answer after visiting the doctor, however; I recommend everyone get a chest x-ray first to distinguish whether or not it's Pneumonia. I had this a couple months ago, and the pain I have now feels the exact same... Sharp pain when inhaling or exhaling, shortness of breath due to lack of deep breaths. If it's pneumonia, the x-ray will show it. Pneumonia typically will have other symptoms such as fever and cough or sinus related problems as well though. chances are if you're fine in that area, it's not pneumonia.
I had pneumonia on my right side, and my left side is what currently hurts. Right under my rib cage almost it feels like a bubble is going to pop when i take a deep enough breath. X-rays were clean, doctor just gave me some advil with codine in it, which doesn't help a whole lot in the long run, but does allow me to breath a little more deeply before I get the really sharp pain. When i do take a deep breath, the "bubble" area feels like it twitches or shudders a little bit, and I can't finish exhaling because it practically knocks the wind out of me with pain. I have noticed the pain seems to get worse when i get nervous.

My first advice is not to freak out because it only decreases the air-intake you're already having trouble getting.
I would then get an x-ray and take some form of pain medicine.
My pain has been constant for over 24 hours now.
Strangely enough, it gets much more painful at night but not because i'm sleeping or doing anything differently than during the day.

It hurts to move, breathe, burp, yawn, cough. Pretty much can't do anything but focus on controlling my breaths. I really hope this goes away, as it seems no one knows what it is or what to do about it. The only thing the doctor suggested was that it could be an irritated nerve.

Another tip, I've been reading around, and it seems some people get this chest pain figure out it's caused by eating Gluten. This particular disease is called Celiac, and can cause different kinds of sickness from eating gluten foods.

I'll post back in a few days if I learn more or if the pain stops. This is very seriously painful, and i have not done anything stressful for the past few weeks besides listen to BPs oil mess.

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