Read below about chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing

Take Quiz

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Chest Pain That Gets Worse When Breathing or Coughing

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Pleurisy

    Pleurisy is inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest (the pleura) that leads to chest pain when taking a breath or cough.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath, muscle aches, fever, cough with dry or watery sputum, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)

    Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    Costochondritis is generally self-limiting but may take several weeks to go away.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, chest pain that is worse when breathing, chest pain, rib pain when moving, pain when pressing on the chest
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  3. 3.Fluid Build - Up Between Lungs and Chest Wall (Pleural Space)

    The lungs are separated from the rest of the body by two layers of membrane called pleura. In between these two layers, there is a space called the pleural space. If an abnormal amount of fluid accumulates in this space (which could happen as a result of infection), the lungs cannot function as well as they should, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain.

    Full recovery may require several days of hospitalization and several weeks of recovery at home.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    being severely ill, shortness of breath, fever, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, coughing up green or yellow phlegm
    Symptoms that always occur with fluid build-up between lungs and chest wall (pleural space):
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Atypical Chest Pain

    Atypical chest pain describes the situation when someone's chest pain is unlikely to be related to heart or lung disease. There are many other possible causes that could explain chest pain, like sore chest wall muscles or psychological factors like stress and anxiety.

    Recovery time depends on the underlying cause.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    chest pain, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that always occur with atypical chest pain:
    chest pain
    Symptoms that never occur with atypical chest pain:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Chest Pain That Gets Worse When Breathing or Coughing Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing.

    Take Quiz
  5. 5.Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax)

    A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax.

    2-3 days

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, rib pain on one side, shortness of breath, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  6. 6.Pulmonary Embolism

    A pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage in an artery in the lungs. It is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage to the affected lung, low oxygen levels in your blood, or damage to other organs in your body from not getting enough oxygen.

    A pulmonary embolism is life-threatening. Recovery depends on treatment.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath, cough, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, fever, wheezing
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  7. 7.Bacterial Pneumonia

    Bacterial pneumonia is the infection of the lungs with bacteria (as opposed to a fungus or a virus).

    1-3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia:
    cough
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  8. 8.Chest Pain From Reduced Cardiac Blood Flow (Angina Pectoris)

    Angina pectoris is chest pain that is felt when heart muscle needs more blood than it is currently getting. This may result from coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This is due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls.

    Angina pectoris is reflective of underlying heart disease, which is a chronic condition once it develops.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    chest pain, chest pain, tight, heavy, squeezing chest pain, moderate chest pain, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone
    Symptoms that always occur with chest pain from reduced cardiac blood flow (angina pectoris):
    chest pain
    Symptoms that never occur with chest pain from reduced cardiac blood flow (angina pectoris):
    productive cough
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Chest Pain That Gets Worse When Breathing or Coughing

  • Q.Do you notice your heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly (also called palpitations)?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Where is your chest pain exactly?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing symptom checker to find out more.

Take Quiz

Chest Pain That Gets Worse When Breathing or Coughing Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing have also experienced:

    • 13% Rib Pain That Gets Worse When Breathing, Coughing, Sneezing, or Laughing
    • 12% Rib Pain on One Side
    • 5% Chest Pain
  • People who have experienced chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing had symptoms persist for:

    • 49% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Less Than a Week
    • 13% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing were most often matched with:

    • 50% Fluid Build - Up Between Lungs and Chest Wall (Pleural Space)
    • 33% Pleurisy
    • 16% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing

Take Quiz