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Sharp Pain in Ribcage When Breathing: Causes and Treatment Options

Sharp Pain in Ribcage When Breathing

Sharp Pain in Ribcage When Breathing, can be hard when you have to deal with a painful, sharp pain in your ribcage while doing so. This condition, called costochondritis, can cause sharp pain on the right or left side of your chest that you feel when breathing deeply or coughing. The pain may radiate to other areas of your body, including your arm and neck. While the exact cause of costochondritis is unknown, there are many ways to treat this condition effectively without medication or surgery. Take a look at the most common causes and treatments of this painful problem below.

What causes sharp pain in the ribcage?

Sharp pain in the ribcage is usually caused by one of two things: chest trauma or infection. Other causes include pneumonia, coronary heart disease, and cancer. There are many symptoms that can signal a life-threatening problem such as tightness, congestion, difficulty breathing, or pain radiating to the left arm or jaw.

Sharp Pain in Ribcage When Breathing

How to know it’s not a heart attack:

Sharp pain in the ribcage when breathing may be coming from your back or lungs. Your rib cage is right below your lungs, so the pain you feel could be coming from that area. The first thing to do is have a physical examination by a doctor to see if it’s just pneumonia or something more serious. You may need antibiotics or surgery.

Symptoms of deep breathing difficulty:

Sharp pain in the ribcage when breathing can be caused by a number of factors. One possible cause may be lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is characterized by difficulty breathing, including shortness of breath and wheezing. Another possibility for this type of discomfort is costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage attaching the ribs to the breastbone. This condition most often affects people under 40 years old and typically causes chest pain rather than rib pain.

Asthma Triggers:

The main cause of asthma, allergic asthma, is caused by an allergic reaction to substances that are present in the environment. Common triggers for allergic asthma include pet dander, pollen, dust mites, smoke, and chemicals. There are two types of respiratory allergies that can trigger an attack of asthma – IgE-mediated allergies (sometimes called atopic or extrinsic) and non-IgE-mediated allergies (also known as intrinsic). Non-IgE-mediated allergies can also produce bronchoconstriction (narrowing of the airways), but this constriction does not lead to wheezing like in a typical asthma attack.

Non-IgE-mediated triggers for breathing problems may include reactions to inhaled drugs or high levels of emotions.

Anaphylaxis – Allergic reaction:

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid-onset, potentially life-threatening, and can be triggered by even small exposures to specific allergens. Anaphylaxis symptoms typically develop within five minutes of exposure to the trigger; the most common symptoms are lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, low blood pressure (BP), confusion, and itchiness on the skin. But these symptoms may not be as overt in children or elderly adults. People who have asthma or COPD are at an increased risk for fatal anaphylaxis because their airways can close with too much fluid buildup around them.

A diagnosis can be difficult:

A diagnosis for the sharp pain in your ribcage when breathing can be difficult, as it can be a symptom of many different disorders. Some possibilities that could cause chest pain are pneumonia, heart attack, costochondritis, or acute coronary syndrome. If you’re still experiencing this pain after trying one or more of these treatments, see your doctor get an accurate diagnosis.

Treatments for sudden, sharp chest pains:

Doctors will first ask questions about your symptoms, including where the pain is located and when it happens. A doctor might also perform an examination. Doctors might order imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans to identify the causes of the pain. Some of the most common causes of sudden, sharp chest pains are muscle problems, anxiety disorders, indigestion, or acid reflux disease.

Should I Go To The ER?

It’s normal to feel a dull pain or soreness in your ribs from time to time. But if you’re having pain that gets worse or feels sharp, or if it hurts to take a deep breath, don’t panic — there are a few causes for this symptom. One could be that the rib’s cartilage is inflamed (osteochondritis dissecans) or wearing down (avascular necrosis). Other possibilities include a tight rib muscle due to an injury, chest muscle spasms caused by anxiety or reflux, pneumonia, a rib fracture, pleurisy — an inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest cavity — heart diseases such as angina or congestive heart failure.

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