sharp needle like pain in chest when breathing

sharp needle like pain in chest when breathing


One of the pains that brings people to medical clinics with fear and anxiety is sharp chest pain when breathing. Have you also experienced sharp pain in your chest during deep breathing and are you worried?

Read more:

Doctors call pleurisy a type of sharp chest pain that occurs when breathing (especially deep breathing).

Pleurisy is pain that is caused by the stimulation of membranous layers called the pleura that cover the surface of the lung, these pains are also called pleuretic pain.



pleurisy or pleuretic pain

What are the symptoms of pleuretic pain or pleurisy?

What are the symptoms of pleurisy?

What are the underlying causes of pleurisy?

When should we see a doctor?



Pleurisy or pleuretic pain

The term is used by doctors to describe any sharp chest pain that is exacerbated by breathing, sometimes this term is also used equivalent to pleural inflammation.



What are the symptoms of pleuretic pain or pleurisy?

These pains are caused by disorders, inflammation and injuries and diseases of the lungs, pleura and other organs and parts inside your chest, which include:

  • The part of the spine that is located behind the chest
  • Ligaments, muscles, and soft tissue injuries in the thoracic axis
  • esophagus
  • Breasts
  • The heart, especially the membrane covering the surface of the heart or pericardium



What are the symptoms of pleurisy?

Depending on the underlying cause of painful breathing, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Cough


  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing while breathing
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain that spreads to the back or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath


You may have pain in your chest that gets worse with breathing.

Pleurisy can cause sudden, sharp, severe pain, sometimes like the insertion of a knife.



What are the underlying causes of pleurisy?

Sharp chest pain that is exacerbated by breathing can be due to the following:

1. Cardiac causes

2. Pulmonary causes of pleurisy

3. Musculoskeletal causes for pleurisy


1. Cardiac causes

The heart is located next to the lungs, and heart disease can Heart disease can irritate the lining of the lungs (pleura).

Heart diseases and problems that can be associated with pleurisy include:


  • Inflammation of the lining of the heart or pericardium:

Doctors call pericardium inflammation pericarditis.

Conditions that can cause pericarditis include infections, cancers, kidney failure, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

Other symptoms of pericarditis are as follows:

  • Sharp chest pains, especially on the left side
  • Pain in one or both shoulders
  • Feeling of sweating and shortness of breath


  • Rupture of the aortic artery:

Aortic dissection (AD) is a condition in which the aorta ruptures in an area of its wall that is weak. Aortic dissection is a medical emergency. The patient suddenly experiences very severe pain that spreads even to the lower back.


  • Myocardial infarction


  • Increased pulmonary hypertension:

Pulmonary hypertension is a very serious disorder, Blood pressure rises inside the pulmonary artery.

Some medications, some diseases that involve connective tissue, some autoimmune diseases and even heart failure can cause this serious disorder.


2. Pulmonary causes of pleurisy:


  • Pneumonia:

Doctors call lung tissue infections pneumonia, the causes of pneumonia are:

Viruses: Coxsackievirus, RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus), influenza, Parainfluenza, mumps, CMV, EBV

And certain bacteria.


  • Lung cancers:

They are commonly associated with chest pain that will worsen when you breathe.

Pulmonary adenocarcinomas grow in the periphery of the lungs and involve the lining of the outer surface of the lung or pleura.

Pulmonary adenocarcinoma is more common in young women and non-smokers.


  • Pulmonary embolism:

Recent surgeries, a history of vascular disease, and blood clots forming in the deep veins of the legs, or DVT, predispose a person to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Sudden sharp chest pain

Sudden shortness of breath

Vomiting blood


Take it seriously and go to an equipped medical center immediately.


  • Atelectasis
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Mesothelioma: a type of cancer of the Pleura layers


3. Musculoskeletal causes for pleurisy:


  • rib fractures
  • Inflammation of the junction of the ribs to the sternum is called costochondritis by doctors.
  • Accumulation of blood and fluid in the space adjacent to the lungs


Other causes of pleurisy

  • Gastric acid reflux into the esophagus or GERD:

This disorder can cause painful symptoms in the back of your sternum.

These people sometimes have chest pain that gets worse when they breathe.


  • Shingles:

When the herpes zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, reactivates in adulthood, it can cause shingles.

People complain of burning and sometimes stinging pain in the skin before itchy shingles form on their skin.


If you have chest pain that is aggravated or caused by breathing or if you have any of these symptoms, get to a well-equipped medical center immediately.



When should we see a doctor?

  • If you vomit blood.
  • If you have a fever and chills.
  • If you suddenly have shortness of breath.
  • If you have stabbing pain in your chest.
  • If you have a sudden tingling pain in your chest.
  • If you have sudden shortness of breath.
  • If you have a sudden increase in heart rate.
  • If you have a sudden increase in the number of breaths.
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