Chest pain on the right side is usually much less common than on the left side. On the left side is the heart, which often causes pain due to chronic or acute illness. On the other hand, on the right side there are parts of the lung, vessels and parts of the diaphragm. But also from the left side the pain can radiate and supposedly be assigned to the right half of the breast.


There are several causes behind chest pain in the right side of the body. Some of them may be harmless, others may be an indication of a serious condition. One possible cause may be an over-acidified stomach, which causes the affected heartburn to develop. In an over-acidified stomach, the parietal cells in the mucous membrane of the stomach produce too much acid. The acid eventually enters the esophagus by constantly regurgitation. This reflux can be very uncomfortable and cause pain. This pain can radiate both from the sternum into the right and the left half of the breast.

The reflux of gastric acid is easier when lying down. Therefore, sufferers have more pain, especially at night and in the morning. Often, lying with your upper body provides relief. Behind sudden onset of pain in the right breast, vertebral blockages, bruises and rib fractures may be present. While bruising and rib fractures usually occur in the context of an accident, a blockage of a vertebral body can also develop gradually and cause pain only at an advanced stage. Muscle and nerve strands are irritated.

Blockages of one or more vertebrae can lead to a strong restriction of movement and cause corresponding pain, which can then radiate into the chest. Even infectious diseases such as shingles ( herpes zoster ) can cause symptoms such as chest pain. It is a viral disease associated with a painful, belt-shaped rash on the back. This rash is particularly triggered by stress and a weakened immune system and can lead to severe discomfort.

Beneath the diaphragm sit the gallbladder and the pancreas. Acute inflammation or even chronic illnesses can cause chest pain, so that the pain can also spread to the top. The same symptoms can be triggered by stuck gallstones. Diaphragmatic hernias can also cause chest discomfort. In doing so, abdominal organs shift through muscle gaps in the diaphragm into the thoracic cavity. Too much pressure in the abdomen push them through the gaps. Portions of the organs can thus be trapped and, in the worst case, blood-depleted. They can also be painful and should be treated.

In addition, there may be pneumonia, which causes pain especially when inhaled and coughing. Pneumonia, which eventually spreads, can also affect the lung pelt in the process. The lung pleura ( pleura ) is very sensitive and, accordingly, inflammation and injury can cause severe pain. The pain is most of a pungent character and also occur depending on the movement.

In question is also a pulmonary embolism. This dissolves a blood clot and clogged a vessel in the lung. The result is sudden stinging pain, shortness of breath and possibly unconsciousness. Pain in the right half of the breast with unclear cause should in any case be examined more closely by a doctor.

Figure right-side chest pain

Illustration of chest pain on the right: internal organs seen from the front, partly protruding on the anterior chest wall and possible causes (AD)

Chest pain right

  1. Sternum - Sternum
  2. Right lung - pulmo dexter
  3. Pericardium - pericardium
  4. Rib - Costa
  5. Diaphragm - Diaphragm
  6. Liver - hepar
  7. Gallbladder - Vesica biliaris
  8. Stomach - aster
  9. Pancreas -
    A - pneumonia
    ( Pneumonia), pulmonary embolism
    B - acidified stomach -
    (Reflux of stomach acid
    in the esophagus)
    C - gallstones (picture),
    bilious attack
    D - inflammation of the
    ( Pancreatitis)


The gallbladder is a small organ filled with gall, which lies on the lower margin of the liver in the right upper abdomen. Gallbladder inflammation can cause pain there. These are due to the inflammation of the gallbladder itself and the biliary tract. Spasms of smooth muscle in the gallbladder and gall bladder can also cause this pain.

Typically, the pain is felt on the lower margin of the right costal arch, but it can radiate to the right shoulder and therefore cause quite general chest pain right.


Various measures are used in the diagnosis of right chest pain. At the beginning there is the targeted questioning of the patient. It is important to know how severe the chest pain is on the right, when and since when it occurs, if there are triggers and if they are dependent on breath. The question of an injury that has taken place and of accompanying symptoms can also speed up the diagnosis.
Then the physical examination follows. The scanning of the ribs indicates fractures, and the lung should also use the stethoscope to assess a so-called pneumothorax, which corresponds to a collapsed lung.

Also important for the diagnosis of right chest pain are apparatus procedures. For chest pain on the right, an ECG should always be used to rule out an inadequate supply of the heart, ie in the worst case of a heart attack. Even if this is more noticeable on the left side, chest pain can also occur on the right side.
Furthermore, an X-ray of the ribcage makes sense. Here you judge your lungs and heart in shape and size. There may also be evidence of rib fractures or lung processes such as pneumonia or tumorous neoplasm. In cases of doubt or suspicion of, for example, pulmonary embolism, further measures such as CT or MRI are useful for the diagnosis of chest pain on the right. Depending on the outcome of the initial examinations, further steps may follow to provide a definitive diagnosis.


For chest pain on the right, it is difficult to make a definitive statement on the duration of the symptoms. This is because the duration is dependent on the cause of the right chest pain as well as the extent of the disease. In the case of rib contusion or fracture, the duration of chest pain on the right often takes several weeks. Likewise, pinched nerves in the rib area can cause pain for months without proper diagnosis.
Even in the context of pneumonia, chest pain can become noticeable for days, but it disappears after taking antibiotic therapy. In the case of pneumothorax, it may be that only at the beginning of a stabbing pain was noticeable, which is no longer felt in the course. Unless it is a tension pneumothorax causing severe pain in the clinic until it is relieved.

If there are circulatory problems in the heart, over a period of months and years chest pain can occur again and again in the sense of angina pectoris, which manifest during physical exertion and disappear again in peace. In acute myocardial infarction, the duration of the discomfort is until the vessel is reopened.

Stinging chest pain right

Sudden onset of pains in the chest can have various causes. If additional symptoms such as sweating, shortness of breath and an oppressive feeling are added, these symptoms may indicate an acute myocardial infarction. But also circulatory disturbances of the afferent vessels, pericarditis or arrhythmia may be the reasons for the acute pain attack in the chest. The lungs may also be causally responsible for the symptoms. A cold that is deep in the lungs and that may even lead to pneumonia or bronchitis can cause the pain in the chest.

In some cases, lung cancer can also be painful. Here are particularly persistent complaints over a longer period of time a hint. The various diseases in the lung are often exacerbated by breathing. In some cases, a painful cough may also occur. Muscle tension or a poor posture can also trigger these symptoms. The pain is often an indication of a poor posture in the workplace and too little compensatory movement. Here massages and regular sports as well as physiotherapy can provide a quick remedy.

Furthermore, the psychological aspect should not be ignored. People who are under a lot of stress and pressure, have little time for exercise and a healthy diet because of work, can develop similar symptoms. The body defends itself at some point against this enormous pressure and the stress and thus calls for rest periods. Often it is difficult for the doctors but also for the patient to find the psyche as the cause of the symptoms, because first of all possible reasons for the organs are sought.

If the causes are of a psychosomatic nature, the patient should try to accept this and make changes to one's lifestyle. Frequently, sports or even regular breaks during the day already relieve the symptoms. In some cases, psychotherapy may be advisable. It can help to better deal with the stress and the pressure to perform and shows the person concerned how to react better to it.

Differences between man and woman

Chest pain right in the woman

Pain in the right breast in the woman may be related to, among other things, the monthly cycle. Due to the hormonal changes in the body, various organs, including the glandular tissue of the breast, can respond to these changes. The pain is particularly common in some women a few days before the onset of monthly bleeding. These complaints can affect just one breast or both breasts.

The hormones progesterone and estrogen can swell the glandular tissue. The skin and also the musculature can be displaced thereby. The pain is often accompanied by a feeling of tightness and nipple hypersensitivity. The symptoms often decrease after the menstrual period has started. Cooling ointments and comfortable clothing can help against the feeling of tension and pain.

The complaints can also be caused by other organic causes. In the right half of the breast, for example, the lungs or organs adjacent to the diaphragm may be affected. Gallstones, inflammation of the pancreas, an over-acidified stomach or pneumonia can be the cause in question.

Last but not least, chest pain or chest pain may radiate from another area of ​​the body into the right side of the breast. Accordingly, a disease in the heart for the symptoms come into question. Prolonged complaints that do not return by themselves should always be clarified by a doctor, as the causes can be so diverse. Some are harmless, others may cause further complications if not treated early.

Chest pain right in the man

Chest pain in men can have many different causes. Among the more harmless diseases include an acidified stomach, pneumonia, muscle tension and vertebral blockades.

In the lung several diseases are considered. In addition to the classic pneumonia, a painful lung tumor, a so-called pancoast tumor in the lung tip, can cause discomfort. In addition to possible pain, he causes a narrowing of the pupil, a drooping lid and a sinking of the eyeball.

Other lung diseases may include pneumonia or a sudden pulmonary embolism. The cause can also affect other organs. Thus, some diseases of the heart such as a myocardial infarction, circulatory disorders or arrhythmias may be responsible for the pain.

Furthermore, organs such as the gallbladder or the pancreas may be affected. With gallstones or a pancreatitis, it can happen that the pain radiates into the upper body, whereby the cause often remains unrecognized. In men, a psychological aspect is more often in question.

Occupational stress and pressure can also trigger pain in the right half of the chest. In any case, pain chest should be clarified by a doctor, because they can also be an indication of a serious or even life-threatening illness.

When do you experience chest pain?

Chest pain right when inhaled

In some cases, patients suffer from chest pain on the right side, which is most noticeable by inhalation (pain on inhalation). The fact that chest pain is breath-dependent on the right side is an indication of a problem in the lungs or chest wall.
Because the intercostal muscles are involved in inhalation, ribs and muscles can be the cause of the pain. Behind it may be a bruise or fracture stand, also entrapment of nerves conceivable. Then, protection, pain therapy and possibly a Einrenken displayed. Patients often refer to these chest pains as heart piercing while inhaling

If this is not the case, the cause of chest pain on the right when inhaling may be in the lungs or the lung pelt. Here, pneumonia can lead to chest pain right when inhaled, which can also pass to the lung pelt. Then you feel especially when inhaling pain. The reliable diagnosis is made with an X-ray, the therapy consists in the administration of antibiotics.
Even less serious, viral respiratory tract infections such as the flu can cause such discomfort, with only sparing and symptom control help.

In rare cases, there is a malignant tumor or pulmonary embolism behind right chest pain when inhaled.

Chest pain right after coughing

When coughing, an increased pressure in the chest is typically built up. This is held and stabilized by the bony thorax (ribs and sternum). In chest area lesions (bones, muscles, nerves) coughing can cause chest pain. If the chest pain is on the right side, this is more likely to argue against involvement of the organs in the chest, as most of them are in the middle (trachea, esophagus) or left (heart).
However, small adhesions in the lungs or respiratory and pulmonary tissue disorders can be the cause of right chest pain when coughing.

Chest pain right after exercise

Breast pain on the right after sport must be differentiated into pain that occurs once after exercise and those that appear regularly after physical exertion. Chest pain that occurred immediately after exercise may be an overuse of the intercostal muscles or may be caused by a trauma such as a collision.
But especially young, healthy men can develop a so-called spontaneous pneumothorax, in which the lungs collapse without apparent cause. This phenomenon occurs more frequently after sports and can be shown on the right side due to breath-dependent chest pain. He should be medically clarified, but is usually no cause for concern.

You should become clairaudient when chest pain regularly occurs during or after exercise as there may be a circulatory disorder of the heart. It is then an angina pectoris, in which the coronary arteries supply the heart muscle under load is no longer sufficient with blood. This can be left untreated in myocardial infarction. Thus, if there are respiratory problems, dizziness or nausea on the right side after sports chest pain should be clarified immediately to avoid problems with the heart.

Chest pain with back pain

Back pain can be felt in a variety of ways. The most common cause of back pain is a dysbalance of the muscles. The typically sedentary activity of the majority of the population leads to a weakening of the back muscles in combination with a long, consistent posture of the back. This leads to tension in the back.
Typically, this is noticeable by back pain around the chest. Through the interaction of the musculature of the body, this pain can radiate into the chest and thus into the breast itself and make themselves felt there.

Chest pain in pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman's body goes through many different changes. Many are due to the hormonal changes.
These are important, for example, to prepare the uterus for the upcoming pregnancy and breasts for subsequent breastfeeding.

Among other things, the breasts of women are stimulated by the hormones progesterone and estrogen to growth. More specifically, the mammary glands increase in volume to produce enough milk for breastfeeding. In addition, more fat cells are also formed, whereby the breast gains in total volume.

These changes can cause chest pain in many pregnant women. Overall, breasts are more sensitive and tense during pregnancy. Furthermore, the cause of chest pain, especially if it affects only one breast, may be inflammation of a gland. The small gland ducts can narrow slightly and bacteria can trigger an inflammatory response. The inflammation may disappear after a few days on its own or should otherwise be examined by a gynecologist. In addition to a few home remedies such as quark wrappers, cooling ointments, relaxation baths and loose, comfortable clothes help against the chest pain during pregnancy.

Breast pain while breastfeeding

When breastfeeding, chest pain is due to two different mechanisms. Thus, increased milk production can lead to a feeling of tightness and resulting chest pain. Ideally, the amount of milk produced should correspond to the amount of baby's drink. If this is not the case, the chest pain can be alleviated, for example, by pumping the milk.

Another cause of chest pain can be inflammation of the breast. Skin lesions can penetrate the chest and cause localized inflammation due to minor skin injuries. Typically, the breast is red and swollen, and it can also be painfully tense and overheated.

Chest pain during menopause

During menopause, many hormonal remodeling processes take place in the female body. Typically, this mainly affects the sexual organs. These include ovaries and the uterus, but also the female breast can be affected. Thus, there is a greater obesity of the breast, while the connective tissue is weaker.
These changes can cause chest pain, but often occur on both sides (one after the other or at the same time). If the chest pain is only present on one side, a clarification should be made with the gynecologist. The cause of the pain may be, for example, cysts or tissue growth (benign or even malignant) in the right breast.

Where do you experience chest pain?

Chest pain right and left

Chest pain in the left side of the body is much more common than on the right side. Not least, the heart is very often the cause of complaints. There may be various diseases here. Direct pain in the heart (see: heartache) can be an acute circulatory disorder. The complaints are summarized under the term angina pectoris. They are accompanied by a sudden onset pain attack in the chest, a tightness and shortness of breath. The affected person often develops great anxiety. The pain can also radiate to the right side. A constriction of the coronary arteries can therefore result in a threatening heart attack.

As the coronary vessels become tighter and tighter through deposits, the adjacent heart muscles are no longer adequately supplied with blood. It causes a sharp acute pain in the left breast, which may be accompanied by breathlessness, sweating and nausea. This pain often radiates to the shoulder and left arm. But since the symptoms of a heart attack can be very different, the symptoms can also spread to the back and on the right half of the breast. Patients are often scared to death and should be hospitalized as soon as possible.

Other possible heart diseases include cardiac arrhythmia and high blood pressure ( hypertension ). There is also pain in the left half of the chest, accompanied by shortness of breath and headache. In an aortic aneurysm, the vascular wall tears open in the aorta. This is a life-threatening situation as the patient loses a lot of blood. The symptoms can radiate up to the back and the entire chest.

Pain right in the chest and in the arm

Breast pain on the right can cause it to radiate into the shoulder and arm. Chest pain radiating to the left arm is particularly dangerous as it is a classic in acute myocardial infarction. Here then immediate action with understanding of the rescue service is required.
It may also be in rare cases that it comes to chest pain and pulling right in the arm. Although this is not typical for a heart attack, this pain should be clarified quickly.

Also, load-related chest pain right, which emanate from the heart, can radiate into the arm. In addition to cardiological causes, muscular or nervous problems with chest pain with radiation in the arm are conceivable. Thus, a muscle tension in the chest over the interconnection of the nerves in the arm pull, even direct Nerve Einklemmungen can express themselves.
As a further trigger for chest pain right and pulling into the arm, the gallbladder may be responsible for the discomfort. The spasms caused by gallstones are usually indicated in the upper abdomen, but can also pull into the chest and are typically also in the right arm.
In some cases, shingles are also the cause of the discomfort. This rash is conceivable anywhere on the body, including the chest and arm. Chest pains on the right side, which pull into the arm, can also occur here, whereby a rash is seen over the painful areas.

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