The first thing that comes to mind when you suffer chest pain is that you are having a heart attack. Undoubtedly, having chest pain should not be ignored, but even so, it should not cause alarm either since it may not be as serious as you think it is. As a matter of fact, there are many people who suffer chest pains. The pain has nothing to do with their heart.
There are several issues that can cause chest pain; these include problems with your esophagus, nerves, ribs, muscles or lungs. While some conditions can be life-threatening, others aren't. Should you experience chest pain that's unexplained, see a doctor for further evaluation so that the doctor can confirm the cause.
You can have chest pain on any part i.e. from the neck to the upper abdomen. There are several physical symptoms that one might experience, as a result of right-side chest pain:
- Trouble swallowing
- Burning sensation behind the breastbone and within the chest
- Pain on the chest while changing the position of the body
- Taste of reflux in the mouth
- Pain while breathing, especially when one is lying down
- Crushing, squeezing or tight sensation
Causes of Pain in the Right Side of Chest
1. Heart Problems
- Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when blood flow, through the blood vessels of your heart, is reduced. As a result, the muscle cells of the heart die thus causing chest pain.Even though the chest pain experienced is somewhat similar to that caused by angina, it is usually a crashing pain that is more severe. The pain can also be accompanied by other symptoms like sweating, severe weakness or nausea.
- Coronary Artery Dissection: This is a rare condition caused by several factors. It results from the wear and tear of the coronary artery.You may experience abrupt severe pain. This pain also comes with a ripping or tearing sensation which travels up to your back, abdomen or neck.
2. Lung Problems
- Pneumonia: This condition is a lung infection and can cause different forms of chest pain like a deep ache of the chest and can also cause Pleuritis.Pneumonia is abrupt and causes chills, cough, fever and cough filled with pus from your respiratory tract.
- Pneumothorax: It often comes when your chest has an injury. It occurs when part of your lung collapses and releases air into your chest cavity.This condition also causes pain, which gets worse each time you breathe. It also has other symptoms like low BP (blood pressure).
- Pulmonary Embolism: When you have a blood clot, and it travels in your bloodstream then lodges in your lungs, it can cause trouble breathing, acutepleuritis and rapid heartbeat. Pulmonary embolism may cause shock and fever. This condition is likely to follow vein thrombosis (deep) or thereafter immobility for a long duration.
- Pulmonary Hypertension: This condition is a type of blood pressure, but one that is abnormally high and in your lung arteries.You will feel chest pain on your chests right side that resembles that of angina.
- Asthma: This is the condition whereby your airways get inflamed.They include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.
3. Gastrointestinal Problems
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD is also called acid reflux. This condition occurs when the contents of your stomach go back to your throat. As a result, it will cause heart burn and sour taste in your mouth.Acid reflux can be triggered by smoking, obesity, fatty or spicy foods and pregnancy. Heartburn and heart pain caused by acid reflux are similar because your esophagus and the heart are closely located and also share the same nerve network.
- Esophageal Hypersensitivity: This condition occurs when your esophagus becomes quite painful when exposed to some acid or when pressure changes (even slightly).You will feel pain in the right side of your chest. The cause of your esophagus' sensitivity is still a mystery.
- Esophageal Rupture: This is the condition where your esophagus has been ruptured.You will feel an abrupt, severe pain in the right side of your chest. The sudden pain may be followed by vomiting.
- Peptic Ulcer: This is a recurring, vague discomfort and may be as a result of painful sores in either the small intestine or stomach lining.It is common in individuals who drink excess alcohol, smoke, take painkillers like NSAID's or aspirin. To ease the pain (which may include right side chest pain), you can take antacids.
- Pancreatitis: This is a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreas damage happens when digestive enzymes in your body get activated before getting secreted in your duodenum, attacking your pancreas.You will feel pain on the lower right side of your chest, and it gets worse when you're laying on your stomach and feel better each time you lean facing forward.
- Gallbladder Problems: This is the fullness sensation you feel after you have eaten fatty meals. The sensation is normally on the right side of your lower chest.You may feel pain in the chest i.e. in the lower right side of your chest. You may also feel pain in your abdomen's upper right side.
4. Liver Problems
Right side chest pain can also be a symptom of liver inflammation. Liver inflammation is caused by a myriad of reasons. These include viral and bacterial infections or drug and substance abuse. More often than not, this condition is caused by the Hepatitis virus. However, it can also be caused by a liver disorder known as fatty liver. Fatty liver is characterized by the accumulation of triglyceride vacuoles in liver tissues and cells. Over consumption of alcohol and drug abuse can also cause liver inflammation. The chest pain associated with this condition can be attributed to the liver's proximity to the chest.
5. Muscle, Bone or Nerve Problems
- Rib Problems: This is mainly caused when your ribs have been fractured probably from an injury etc. The pain gets worse when a person coughs or breathes.Pain is in one area, gets more painful and feels sore by the touch. The area that joins your breastbone can also be inflamed.
- Shingles: Is a condition that is as a result of the virus known as varicella zoster.This condition can prompt a band-like, sharp pain. After the pain, you may see some telltale rash appearing (normally a couple of days later).
- Muscle Strain: Coughing really hard can inflame or injure the tendons and muscles between your ribs thus causing chest pain.Chest pain is experienced, and it gets worse with every activity done.