Causes of Chest Wall Pain

Chest wall pain commonly manifests while breathing and change of posture.
Common causes of chest wall pain are:
  • Pleuritis or commonly referred to as pleurisy- Here excess fluid accumulates between the two pleural layers.
  • Costochondritis– This is a benign inflammation of the costal cartilage, which is a length of cartilage that connects each rib, except the eleventh and twelfth, to the sternum. Costochondritis often results from a physical strain or minor injury.
  • Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where stomach acid leaks from the stomach and up into the esophagus, the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. This acid produces pain.
  • Anxiety– Sometimes, in phases of stress, pain in the chest area can be felt with deep breathing. This is a psychogenic problem.
  • A pulled muscle in that area can also give this symptom.
  • Herpes zoster – is due to the involvement of some nerve in the chest area.
  • Mastitis – refers to the inflammation of the breast tissue.
The treatment depends upon the underlying cause. Pain medication may be taken for symptom relief.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Causes of Chest Wall Pain

  1. priya

    Dear Sir,
    My daughter age 10, some time she feel small pain in her left chest for one to 5 seconds. No any other symptoms. She can playing well and no any problems with breathing. I bring him with a child specialist, he told this in nothing. Also he recommended a chest X ray and told nothing. After that also she noticed a small pain the frequency is 2 times per month. Is any other test required for this problem? What are the reason for this pain? Please advice.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      These may be growing pains. They occur in children as they grow, non specifically, in any part of their body.

      You may go for an X-ray as advised by your doctor.

      Take care that your daughter is getting enough calcium and vit D from her milk, (daily two big glasses). If not, external supplement may be started.

  2. Athena

    Dear reader,
    My 13 year old daughter has had a sharp pain on the right side of her chest. There are days when she doesn’t have it and days when she does. Sometimes the pain is bad or little and lasts from different time periods. She says it is a sharp sudden pain. She has told me that she had no trouble breathing when it happened and that she could go do normal things no problem. It feels better when she inhales. Everything I’ve read on this topic has said as a symptom is when you inhale it makes it worse but that is not the case. I’m worried it could be something serious. I’m going to take her to the doctor in 2 weeks but I would like to know sooner. This has been happening for about 5 months now. No other symptoms except for a rare occurance of absorption pain in the back of her neck but other than that she is fine. Do you know what it could be?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      These could be growing pains. There appears nothing to worry.

      Such pains would subside on their own as she grows up.


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