Chest Hurts When Taking a Deep Breath

“My chest hurts when I take a deep breath!”– if this describes you, then you have to see your doctor instantly. While in many cases the pain in your heart might in fact be chest pain, it is important to rule out serious conditions such as heart problems that can be harmful.

Chest pain can be caused by a range of reasons including pain in any one of the organs located in the chest cavity– lungs, heart, esophagus, ribs, muscles, nerves or tendons. The pain might likewise have infected the chest from the abdomen, back or neck. Depending upon what is causing it, chest pain can be a stabbing, sharp, burning, dull, aching, tight or squeezing sensation. It is advisable to have a doctor examine you to determine the cause. However, here are some common causes of chest pain.

Why Does My Chest Hurt When I Take a Deep Breath?

If you feel “heart hurts when I take a deep breath”, some possible causes of the pain might include:

Muscle Strain

Extreme coughing can quickly irritate or hurt the tendons and muscles in between the ribs. This will cause chest pain. This sort of pain has the tendency to get worse with time.

Rib and Chest Injury

If you have a rib fracture, you will experience a sharp chest pain, which intensifies when you cough or take deep breaths. The pain is most of the time restricted to a single area that might feel sore when pushed. With such an injury, the joint in between the rib cage and the breastbone might end up being swollen. This condition is called Costochondritis and it causes chest pain when you take deep breaths. Injury to the ribs will recover by themselves, however you can take pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drugs.


If the chest pain is on one side, it could be a sign of pneumonia. When you have pneumonia you will feel pain on either the right or left side of your chest. You will likewise discharge yellow or green sputum that may consist of blood at times. The chest pain usually gets worse and is alonged with coughing and shortness of breath. Pneumonia will need prescription medication.


This is a condition that occurs as a result of the rupture of the wall linings of the lungs. This causes the lungs to collapse and as a result you can experience sharp chest pain, rapid breaths, quick pulse and extreme perspiration. In case of pneumothorax, you should see a doctor as it can be deadly.


The chest pain could be as a result of swollen wall linings in the lungs. This is a condition referred to as pleurisy. It is usually caused by pneumonia, a viral infection, lung cancer or tuberculosis. See a doctor as it can be fatal.

Pulmonary Embolism

This is a condition caused by the blockage of arteries by an embolism in the lungs. You will experience fever, fast breaths, chest pain and excessive sweating. The color of your skin might also change to a pale blue shade. In extreme cases, you may spend blood. See a doctor if you presume you establish lung embolism as it can be fatal.

Heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD or merely heartburn (acid reflux) can likewise result in chest pain. GERD causes acids in the stomach to move up-wards through the esophagus causing chest pain. The esophagus is located behind the middle of the chest thus it gives the impression that the pain is coming from the chest. You will feel a stinging burning sensation. If you’re struggling with GERD, you can treat it by following an unique diet of vegetables and fruits. You need to avoid fatty foods.

Heart Disease

Angina or heart disease could also be the cause of the chest pain. The pain is typically focused in the middle of the chest. This occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen, according to The pain might feel like some sort of tightness, squeezing, heavy pressure or crushing pain. The pain can spread to the shoulder, arm, jaw or back. This condition requires surgery or angioplasty.

chest hurts when i take a deep breath

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the tissue layers surrounding the heart. The chest pain of pericarditis is generally sharp and stabbing. It can radiate to the back, neck, or arm. The pain may get worse when taking a deep breath or lying flat and reduce when leaning forward.

Other Causes

Sometimes if you have the sensation of “heart hurts when I take a deep breath”, the causes may likewise include:

  • Stress or anxiety attack alonged with fast breathing. Relax, change place.
  • Shingles, where you experience sharp, tingling pain on one side of the chest and back. You might likewise develop a rash.
  • Narrowing or spasms of the esophagus.
  • Gallstones which cause pain and worsen after eating a fatty meal.
  • Gastritis or stomach ulcers cause burning pain when you’ve not eaten for a while.
  • A tear in the aorta can cause severe pain in the chest and upper back.
  • Swollen pericarditis is the sac surrounding the heart. Pain is focused at the center of your chest.

When to See a Doctor

Never ignore chest pain. See a doctor as soon as possible in order to get diagnosis and begin treatment in time. You likewise have to seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:.

Last Update - September 21, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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