Why do I have chest pain while breathing during a run?

Always bear in mind that chest pain is a frightening experience especially when it occurs while taking a deep breath. There are several conditions that can cause chest pain in which some are benign and others can be life-threatening. If an individual experiences chest pain while running, he/she must stop. In case the pain does not rapidly resolves, it is important to seek immediate emergency care.

Exercise-induced asthma

If an individual is diagnosed with asthma, he/she is already familiar with wheezing, coughing and chest tightness that occurs along an attack. Even if the individual does not normally suffer from these symptoms, chest pain along with shortness of breath while running can indicate exercise-induced asthma.

These symptoms typically start within several minutes after running is started and can last for up to an hour after stopping. If the individual runs in cold weather, it can make the condition worse. The doctor might provide the individual with medications that must be taken before or after running in order to prevent or manage an attack.

Chest pain while running

While running, the individual might strain a muscle in the chest wall or any part of the upper torso.

Muscle strain

While running, the individual might strain a muscle in the chest wall or any part of the upper torso. This can trigger pain and if the muscle is close to the diaphragm or chest wall, the discomfort can become worse when the individual takes in deep breaths.

The individual might be able to figure out the location of the strained muscle by moving the body and noting down which movements aggravated the pain. If the individual strained a muscle, the area should be allowed to rest. For added comfort, apply an ice pack or heating pad. In case the pain does not subside within a few days, a doctor should be consulted.

Heart attack

When an individual experiences chest pain, many believe that it is a possible heart attack. In case the pain becomes worse when the individual takes a deep breath, it is not likely linked to the heart since the pain of a heart attack does not worsen during respiration.

The indications of a heart attack include crushing pain that can radiate down the left arm or jaw along with abrupt weakness, chest tightness, fatigue and fainting. If the individual experiences any of these symptoms, call for emergency assistance right away.

Blood clot or lung infection

The abrupt pain while taking a breath can indicate the presence of a lung infection such as pleurisy or pneumonia. If the individual has common cold or a mild respiratory infection and experiences chest pain while running, a doctor should be consulted to assess for a possible lung infection.

A blood clot or pulmonary embolism in the lung is also another condition that can trigger abrupt chest pain while taking deep breaths. Any piercing pain while breathing that does not subside after several minutes should be carefully assessed by a doctor.


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