• Martin Cane, M.D.
    Health Pro
    November 27, 2008
    Martin Cane, M.D.
    Health Pro
    November 27, 2008


    Thanks for your question.

    First let me assure you that this is very unlikely to be caused by any heart condition.  Chest pain due to heart disease is not affected by position or breathing. 

    The most likely cause is a problem in your rib cage, which moves with each breath you take.  You may have a cracked or broken rib, or strained ligaments/muscles between your ribs.  There is cartilage at the end of the lower ribs, and sometimes, with trauma, this can separate from the bone and cause considerable pain. 

     Another possibility is a problem in your lungs, such as infection, a bruise, a growth, or even a collapse of a portion of the lung.  Blood clots that have traveled from other parts of your body to your lung can also cause chest pain that is worse with breathing.  Most people with any of these problems are usually in extreme distress.

    The best way to find out what is going on and to get some peace of mind is to see your physician who will ask you some questions and examine you.  After this, he/she will be in the best position to determine what the problem might be.  He may request further studies to be sure of his conclusions.

    Make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.  Should you develop any respiratory distress or the pain is unmanageable, then a trip to the emergency is indicated.


    Best wishes and feel better.


    Martin Cane, M.D.

    Here are some links that you might find helpful:

    Costochondritis: A Common Cause of Chest Pain

    The Most Notorious Sources of Pain at Work and Their Solutions

    Heart Attack Symptoms in Women







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