Medical Specialty >> Gastroenterology

Doctors Lounge - Gastroenterology Answers

Back to Gastroenterology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

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,

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us