What Causes Pain In The Right Side Of The Chest?

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Question

Asked by Jean

What Causes Pain In The Right Side Of The Chest?

I have a sharp, stabbing pain in the right side of my chest. What does this mean?

Answer

Here are some excerpts from an article I made from a previous question on HealthCentral called 'Sharp Chest Pain: What it Means and When You Should See the Doctor.'

As a cardiologist I see people of all ages who develop chest pain. Chest pains come in many sizes and shapes. They might be experienced as fullness, heaviness, an aching, a drawing, burning, squeezing, fluttering, and many, many other ways.

One very common presentation for chest pain is that of a sharp chest pain. Sharp can be perceived as stabbing, like a needle or a knife is piercing the skin.

A good thing to know is that pain that is sharp, like needle is not often due to heart blockages. Particularly, if the pain is worse with movement or breathing rarely indicates coronary heart disease.

Pain that gets worse or better with a change in position or movement most commonly indicates that the ribs, muscles, cartilage, or lungs are involved. This isn't to say that such pain isn't important. No sharp chest pain can occur with serious conditions.

A blood clot in the lung can also cause a sharp pain. Pneumonia or lung infections can produce sharp pains that are worse with movement. Fluid the fills the sac surrounding the heart called the pericardium can be sharp in nature.

If you're having sharp pain, you shouldn't ignore your symptoms. Check with your doctor. They'll have the answers.