How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Wu Your Own Question
Dr Wu
Dr Wu, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1835
Experience:  Board certified family physician, extensive experience in adult medicine, specalizes in geriatrics.
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr Wu is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My chest feels like a "bruise", comes and goes, can start on

This answer was rated:

My chest feels like a "bruise", comes and goes, can start on one side and move to the other side...can last for days or just one day. Hurts to breathe, like a bruise, seems worse when it is humid out. Hurts to lay on the dominent side


Thank you for submitting your question. You may have a condition called costochondritis- inflammation of the joints in the ribcage.

Pain associated with deep breathing(pleuritic chest pain) is usually caused by injury to the ribcage or the lining of the lung. If there is a problem with the lining of the lung, typically patients have shortness of breath. The pain should stay on one side only. Lying on the injured side should not produce any pain

In costochondritis, however, the inflammation can involve joints on both sides of the ribcage. Ribcage expansion(deep breathing) or pressing on the ribcage can cause pain.

Costochondritis is quite common among women. The cause is unknown.

You can try taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like motrin 200mg three times a day(be sure to take with food). You should see an improvement within days. If the pain does not improve, or if you develop any shortness of breath or cough, then you should seek medical attention immediately.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It does hurt to breathe, but I don't struggle to just is painful....but it can start on one side, mainly the left side, stretching to my shoulder, and work it's way to the right over a few days.....I have not taken any pain reliever but will try that....what causes this to come on a certain times? Ot not have it bother me for months son end? There is consistency.......but I guess it is not heart related?? Or a major lung issue??

Most likely not heart-related. If leaning on the chest wall produces the pain, then it is almost certainly a problem with the ribcage and underlying muscles.

Pain related to heart disease is usually exercise-related, and is a pressure-like sensation. Cardiac chest pain is not related to the motion of breathing.

I doubt you have major lung problems. If so, you should have shortness of breath or cough.

The cause of costochondritis is unknown, although some people suggest that it is stress-related. Try motrin for one week and see how you feel. If the pain doesn't get better, the next step is a chest xray.

Dr Wu and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you! So much appreciated!!!