When coughing pain in the chest

The pain accompanying cough is a frequent nuisance. In addition to physical discomfort, the patient was worried about the alarm, is this the sign of a serious complications. Experiences partially justified, since chest pain are of a different character, intensity, explained by many factors, are treated differently.

Possible causes of pain

Often when coughing pain in the chest due to fatigue of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. Cough tremors strain the respiratory muscles, excessive stress irritates the muscle fibers, the accumulation of lactic acid causes pain. Similar symptoms are manifested intercostal neuralgia, bruises and chest injuries. Cause of pain may be catarrhal diseases, complicated with inflammation of the trachea, bronchi.

Significant pain occurs in pneumonia, the involvement in the inflammatory process of the pleura or mediastinum worsens the patient’s condition. Cough with chest pain may indicate a specific (tuberculosis, sarcoidosis of the lungs) and malignant diseases. The cause of the pain often becomes spasms of bronchi (asthmatic bronchitis, bronchial asthma). Pain that increases with cough that is accompanied by a cardiac disease (pericarditis, myocarditis, angina, acute myocardial infarction).

Intercostal neuralgia in men

Intercostal neuralgia

Symptoms of the disease are diverse, manifested by severe pain, tingling, burning in the chest, possible areas of numbness or increased sensitivity of the skin. Discomfort dramatically enhances a deep breath, cough. Neuralgia of the chest often resembles the symptoms of angina pectoris, gastritis, bronchitis. To cause disease can:

  • hard work;
  • lifting weights;
  • a sharp twist of the trunk;
  • a long stay in an uncomfortable position;
  • trauma;
  • the common cold;
  • hypothermia;
  • stress;
  • osteochondrosis of the spine.

Neurological syndrome develops due to spasm of the muscles and further irritation of the intercostal nerves. There are two signs that help to recognize the disease. You can find the position of the body in which pain is not felt. Second: gently pressing his fingertips along the intercostal spaces reveal the plot to the sharp pain at the bottom of the rib where the nerve.


The cough that accompanies a respiratory infection, causing pain in the chest in the middle, according to the projection of the trachea. Cough movements irritate the respiratory muscles, causing pain below the chest cavity, where the diaphragm is attached, hurt intercostal spaces. Pain syndrome is often so pronounced, which makes breathing difficult.

Inflammation of the pleural layers


Inflammation of the pleural layers is manifested in a tingling, drawing pains, greatly aggravated by cough. Dry pleurisy creates a feeling of friction under the ribs, pain increases with slope in a healthy way. Exudative pleurisy may some time be asymptomatic, but the accumulation of the effusion is of the essence lung, causes shortness of breath. A characteristic feature is the severity, the backlog of diseased half of the thorax during breathing.


Inflammation of lung tissue accompanied by temperature reaction, cough, phlegm. Dry cough pain in chest close to the sternum, because they suffer covered dries phlegm bronchi. The development of the wet component makes it a bit easier expectoration of sputum, but there are unpleasant sensations on the side of inflammation. The symptoms greatly depends on the extensiveness of defeat of respiratory organs (segmental, lobar, total pneumonia).

Chest trauma

The situation when even with a slight cough pain in the chest, requires the exclusion of traumatic injuries of the ribs, sternum, pleura. The patient may have forgotten about the injury, while cracks, fractures bone tissue for a long time manifested pain syndrome. A thorough inspection will identify changes in the soft tissues, careful pressing will detect the lesions. Bone fragments can injure the lung, may develop pneumothorax.

My husband has no chest pain

Heart disease

The cough may be accompanied by pain when there is concomitant cardiac pathology. Painful cough movement provokes pericarditis, myocarditis. Sensations physical activity, dyspnea, the patient can not take a deep breath. Pressing pain behind the breastbone, heartburn is a dangerous symptom often indicates the development of stroke. If the pain experienced under the shoulder, supraclavicular region, left hand – need urgent help because this is acute myocardial infarction.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer pathology long flowing with subtle symptoms appearing gradually increasing weakness, fatigue. Only the involvement of the bronchial structures and the pleura causes a cough, pain in the chest. Compression by tumor of the bronchus leading to atelectasis below the level of obstruction, impaired breathing, begins hypoxia of internal organs. Tumor toxicity is manifested by nausea, vomiting, dizziness. May develop pulmonary hemorrhage, and acute anemia.

Why chest hurts when you cough

Localization of pain often helps determine the source. The reasons for pain syndrome are many:

  • fatigue of the respiratory muscles from frequent cough movements;
  • inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, drying of respiratory epithelium;
  • irritation or inflammation of the pleura;
  • intercostal neuralgia;
  • germination, compression of the bronchus by the tumor;
  • traumatic injuries of the chest and thoracic cavity organs;
  • inflammatory or ischemic disease of the heart system.

My husband when coughing pain in the chest

In the middle

Pain center chest when cough is more often caused by catarrhal tracheitis or bronchitis. Another reason is the inflammatory process of the mediastinum – mediastinitis, including tuberculous origin. Dull dragging pain in the chest, radiating to the back, causing esophagitis (inflammation of esophagus), similar symptoms manifested by neurasthenia.

Behind the breastbone

Acute burning sensation in the chest, usually indicates cardiac pathology, although the same feelings may occur esophagitis, heartburn. A distinctive feature of the pain associated with angina, myocardial ischemia – severe weakness, rapid heart rate, the presence of a reflex of fear. Aching pain in the center of the chest when coughing probably talking about tracheitis, spreading them on nearby departments – about the bronchitis.


Common cause is intercostal neuralgia. The cough becomes painful, the patient takes a forced position that allows at least partially alleviate the condition. Common soreness in the right half of the thorax requires the exclusion of pleurisy, tuberculosis. Pain when coughing will be accompanied by a right-side hearth pneumonia. Barbed, «shoots» the nature of pain is accompanied by traumatic injury of the ribs.

The patient complains to the doctor for chest pain


In addition to intercostal neuralgia, pleurisy, pneumonia left-sided pain are due to pericarditis, myocarditis, angina pectoris. Suspicion should cause the stinging sensation of compression in the region of the heart, shortness of breath, palpitations, tachycardia. Such symptomatology is characteristic of ischemic lesions of the heart muscle can be indicative of evolving myocardial infarction.

To what doctor to address

The main objective for painful cough – to identify and eliminate the cause. With respiratory infections, tracheitis, bronchitis, contact the therapist (the child – to the pediatrician). Suspected chest injury requires examination of the trauma, surgeon. A neurologist finds out the source of intercostal neuralgia. With pain behind the sternum, in region of heart, we need to call the emergency assistance or to visit a cardiologist. Further radiological and laboratory examination will clarify the diagnosis, prescribe the appropriate treatment.

What to take if coughing hurts chest

Treatment should appoint a doctor, as pain in the cough has a different origin. Setting the respiratory nature of the disease, the specialist will recommend anti-viral drugs, often derived interferon. You may need antipyretic, anti-inflammatory («Paracetamol», «Ibuprofen») and antihistamines. Bronchitis doctor takes into account the nature of inflammation. Dry, non-productive cough requires the use of expectorant to thin phlegm means: «ACC», «Mucosolvan», «Bromhexine», «Ambroxol».

Treatment of intercostal neuralgia involves a set of activities whose purpose is the elimination of irritation of the intercostal nerves. Appointed anti-inflammatory drugs, usually nonsteroidal group «Indomethacin», «Phenacetin», «Phenylbutazone». Shown vitamin, you may need a massage, acupuncture. Drug treatment of pneumonia, chest trauma, cancer, cardiac pathology is carried out strictly individually, taking into account all peculiarities of the disease and the patient.

Video: Intercostal neuralgia and chest pain

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