BOOK ON HEALTHChest pain can have a myriad of causes, and making this determination can be difficult and often requires a doctor to pick apart what the symptoms means.

Pleuritic chest pain is a sharp pain, focused, below the skin surface, and is accentuated by coughing, sneezing, or breathing (deep or shallow).   It is typically on only one side of the chest.  Causes of pleuritic chest pain include lung infections, broken or bruised ribs,  and torn or injured chest wall muscles.

Pleurisy, is specifically inflammation of the lung lining that causes  a pleuritic chest pain….so it is a specific cause of pleuritic chest pain.  Distinguishing features by history and exam allow me to figure out whether the symptoms described are pleurisy.  So if you have sharp chest pains that worsen with breathing or coughing…you are having pleuritic pain, but we will have to talk more to see if you have pleurisy.