Right Sided Chest Pain – Should You Be Worried?
Generally, the pains on the left side of your chest are linked to heart problems so when you have pain on right side of chest there is no reason to panic and make an emergency run to the hospital. It is though, a reason to worry and you should visit your physician to find out the cause for pain on right side of chest because some of the causes for this pain could be health problems that are life threatening.
Causes for Pain on Right Side of Chest
Pain on right side of chest could be digestion, cardiovascular, or lung related. There could be other miscellaneous causes also.
Causes related to Digestion
- Indigestion — this is also known as heartburn and is one of the major reasons that you might experience pain on right side of chest. This can happen when your stomach acid gets into your esophagus, also known as your windpipe, and causes your stomach to be filled with food that is undigested. Having indigestion can result from medications, drinking alcohol and smoking too much, poor diet, stress, drinking too much coffee, etc. You can generally get rid of indigestion if you get rid of bad habits, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) — this is chronic indigestion that just will not go away and is normally caused by problems with your digestive system. It could be from a lack of good bacteria that is needed for digestion or an infection. If this indigestion does not clear up on its own you may need medical treatment.
- Viral infections — these are the type of viruses that can cause the flu or the common cold. As a result you could develop pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your lungs. It causes pain on right side of chest when you cough or breathe.
- Gallbladder infection — your gallbladder is that small pouch found under your liver and stores bile, which is necessary for digestion. Gallstones can block your gallbladder and cause an infection. It can cause sharp pain on right side of chests/
- Pancreas inflammation — if this is the cause the pain on right side of chest will get worse if you lie down.
- Liver inflammation — this is generally caused by hepatitis or an infection of your liver
- Food blockage — if a liquid or food chokes your esophagus it can result in congestion. This can trigger pain on right side of chest.
- Esophageal spasms — this happens when you are experiencing muscle contractions of your esophageal muscles
Cardiovascular Related Causes
- Angina — in addition to pain on right side of chest it can also cause heaviness, burning and pressure, aching, and discomfort. Angina is the medical terminology for chest pain due to coronary heart disease.
- Aortic dissection — this happens when there is a small tear develops in your aorta, the valve that connects your heart to the rest of your body. It can be caused by high blood pressure or accidents.
These problems or diseases can include bronchitis, infections, asthma, and emphysema. They can all cause pain on right side of chest. These are usually worse in those with damaged lungs or smokers.
- Pneumothorax — this is a serious medical condition that happens when a part of your lung collapses and usually occur after an injury such as a car accident or a fall.
- Pneumonia — this happens when your lungs fill up with fluid and causes pain on right side of chest. There are over fifty different infections that can cause pneumonia.
- Rib displacement — this happens why a rib is slightly out of alignment. It generally happens after an accident, excessive coughing, or athletic activities
- Fibromyalgia — this is a serious inflammation of your joints and cartilage and can cause pain on right side of chest.
- Costochondritis — this is an inflammation of joints and cartilage of your chest bone
- Tumors in certain places can cause pain on right side of chest
- Pulled muscle — if you pull a muscle in your ligaments or chest, or have an injury to your ribs it can cause pain on right side of chest
- Psychogenic pain — this means that the pain on right side of chest could be due to some underlying psychological disorder. One example is having a panic attack.
When to see your physician
- If the pain on right side of chest does not go away after a few days or becomes worse
- Having problems swallowing
- Coughing up a lot of mucus
- Fever and/or chills
- If the pain on right side of chest is accompanied by dizziness, trouble thinking, nausea, a rapid heart rate, heavy breathing, or excessive sweating
- The pain starts to spread to other areas of your body
- If the pain is accompanied by a feeling of crushing, squeezing, pressure, or tightness
- If the pain causes you to collapse or faint
- You are unable to move or get up
- Is accompanied by a low pulse or low blood pressure
Before any treatment can be done, it is very important that you find out what the root cause is so you can get the correct treatment.