The pain on the right side of the chest should never be ignored because it could be a sign of a serious health problem. Fortunately, pains on the right side of the chest are not usually connected with heart problems, although in rare cases this pain occurs during a heart attack. Read on to find out the causes and when you need to see a doctor now to review this particular chest pain and take action.
Some common causes of right-side chest pain are lung infections, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, rib fracture, or shingles. These conditions can cause pain ranging from a mild dull ache to shooting pains that cause chest discomfort. If any type of chest pain persists, it is important to see your doctor for a checkup.
The right side of your abdomen and chest contains many vital organs. For example, the gallbladder, pancreas, and liver are on your right side protected by the rib cage in your chest. Any inflammation or infection in these organs can cause pain in the chest, upper abdomen, and back. Because your heart is in the center of your chest on the left side, heart symptoms generally do not affect the right side of the chest.
Pain in the right side of the chest and when you need to see the doctor
In this article, the various causes of chest pain felt on the right side of the chest will be discussed. You will also find out when the chest pain is severe enough to call a doctor.
Chest pains caused by gallbladder infection
A sharp pain on the right side of the chest could be a sign of a gallbladder infection or gallstones. Your gallbladder contains bile that is needed to break down food and help with digestion. Any infection or blockage in the gallbladder can cause pain in the upper abdomen area.
Symptoms of gallstones can cause chest pain similar to a heart attack. Because of this, you should call a doctor immediately if you have sudden pains in your chest.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas that can cause constant drilling pains that can be felt on the right side of the chest. Your pancreas is in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. It excretes the digestive enzymes that are necessary to help keep your digestion working efficiently.
If your pancreas stops working properly, a buildup of enzymes can cause the pancreas to become inflamed. Gallstones can also cause pancreatitis.
Pancreatic pain usually starts just below your ribs in the center of your body and radiates to your chest, back, or side. However, chest pains from pancreatitis can also occur on the left or right side of your chest. Along with chest pains, you may experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and bloating.
You should call your doctor if your severe pain lasts more than 30 minutes and you also have severe vomiting or nausea.
Between the lungs and the chest wall is a thin membrane called the pleura. The pleura can become inflamed due to a viral or bacterial infection, a blood clot, or an injury to the chest. Any inflammation of the pleura (called pleurisy), will cause severe pain in the chest. The pain can be very severe and can be made worse by coughing.
Chest pains are felt in the area of inflammation. Therefore, if your right lung is affected, pleurisy will cause pain on the right side of the chest. You should see a doctor if your chest pains develop over several days or if the pain doesn't go away after a few days.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can cause pain in the right side of the chest, depending on which lung is affected. Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that is often the result of the flu, asthma, or lung infection. In addition to chest pain, pneumonia can also cause symptoms such as a severe cough, fever, and shaking chills.
According to the American Lung Association, along with the usual symptoms of pneumonia, you can also feel sharp chest pains that are worse when coughing.
If you've had a stroke, you may have a higher risk of right-sided chest pain from pneumonia. The Neurohospilalist Journal reported that stroke-related pneumonia often occurs on the right side of the chest rather than the left side. This is because the right respiratory tract is closer to the windpipe.
Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)
You will have sharp pains on the right side of the chest, if your right lung collapses. Pneumothorax (the medical name for a collapsed lung) can be caused by injury to the chest, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or tuberculosis.
According to the National Library of Medicine, a sharp stabbing pain in the chest that is aggravated by coughing is the main symptom of a collapsed lung. If the collapse is severe, you may also have chest tightness, blue skin, dizziness, fatigue, and a rapid heart rate.
A collapsed lung can become a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Another cause of pain on the right side of the chest or the left side is shingles. Herpes is caused by the virus that is responsible for chickenpox. The main symptom of herpes is a rash on your body that forms blisters. This can be accompanied by itching and tingling, as well as headaches, flu-like symptoms, and sensitivity to light. Shingles can also cause you to have very sensitive skin.
The herpes rash can wrap around the left or right side of your upper body.
Coscochondritis, or inflammation in the sternum, can cause pain on the right side of the chest as well as the left. Many people mistake costochondritis for a heart attack because the pain is often felt where the heart is. However, the pain is usually localized and can be reproduced by pressing on the cartilage.
Chest pains usually resolve without any treatment. Doctors advise taking plenty of rest and applying ice or heat packs to relieve pain.
Blood clot (pulmonary embolism)
Severe chest pains that do not go away with rest could be a sign of a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition caused by a blood clot that travels to the lungs. A common reason for developing blood clots is deep vein thrombosis.
Blood travels to the lungs on the right side of the heart and then through the left side into the lungs. If a blood clot enters your left or right lung, you will have chest pain on that side.
The best way to prevent pulmonary embolism is to avoid developing blood clots. P
Trauma to the chest
A blow to the chest will cause chest pain and could damage the organs that are protected by the rib cage. For example, trauma to the right side of the chest can result in injury to the liver or right kidney. Even minor injuries to the chest can cause pain that lasts for a few days after the injury. This can cause chest pains when you breathe, cough, or sneeze.
It is important to visit a doctor if you have any type of chest injury that causes pain. This is to rule out the possibility that the chest pain is related to the heart.
Excessive physical exertion can damage the chest muscles and cause pain on both sides of the chest. However, muscle tension often causes chest pain on the right side of the chest because many people use their right hand for physical work.
Muscle tension can break the muscle fibers in the chest wall. Heavy lifting, stretching, jerky movements, and even frequent coughing can put pressure on your chest muscles.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, chest pain on the left side is often associated with heart-related problems, such as a heart attack. However, sometimes the symptoms of a heart attack can also cause pain in the right side of the chest.
If you think your severe chest pains are due to a heart attack, you should call emergency services immediately.
When to see a doctor for chest pain
When talking about chest pain, all doctors say that any type of chest pain should never be ignored. Although the causes are not always related to the heart, they can be symptoms of other serious medical conditions.
It is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible in case your chest pain is caused by a heart attack.
Also, you should call your doctor if you have pain in the right side of the chest and also the left side, and if it is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
· Extreme pain under the breastbone that feels like someone is squeezing the chest.
· Any tightness or pressure in the middle of your chest.
· Chest pain that radiates to the back, left arm, or jaw.
· Chest pains that don't go away.
· Sudden chest pain.
· Vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, fast or irregular heartbeat.
· Fever and chills
· Coughing up green-yellow mucus.
· Difficulty to swallow.
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