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Causes of Chest Pain on the Right Side of Your Body

Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Nurse Vicky

Causes of Chest Pain on the Right Side of Your Body

Chest pain is a common health concern that can be a source of great worry and discomfort. It’s important to understand that chest pain can originate from various areas in and around the chest, including the right side.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various potential causes of chest pain on the right side of your body, shedding light on what you need to know to address this issue effectively.

Understanding Chest Pain: A Quick Overview

Before we dive into the specific causes of right-sided chest pain, it’s crucial to have a general understanding of what chest pain is and how it can manifest. Chest pain can range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating pain. It can be acute or chronic, sharp or dull, and may or may not be associated with other symptoms.

Causes of Right-Sided Chest Pain

Now, let’s explore the possible reasons why you might be experiencing chest pain on the right side:

1. Muscle Strain

  • Symptoms: A sharp, stabbing pain that worsens with movement.
  • Causes: Overexertion, heavy lifting, or sudden movements.

2. Costochondritis

  • Symptoms: Tenderness and pain when pressing on the affected area.
  • Causes: Inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone.

3. Gallbladder Issues

  • Symptoms: Pain in the upper right abdomen, which can radiate to the chest.
  • Causes: Gallstones, inflammation, or infection of the gallbladder.

4. Pleurisy

  • Symptoms: Sharp chest pain, worsened by deep breaths or coughing.
  • Causes: Inflammation of the lining around the lungs.

5. Lung Problems

  • Symptoms: Breathing difficulties, coughing, and chest pain.
  • Causes: Conditions like pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or lung infections.

6. Digestive Issues

  • Symptoms: Heartburn, acid reflux, and chest discomfort.
  • Causes: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gastritis.

7. Rib Fracture

  • Symptoms: Localized pain, worsened with movement or deep breaths.
  • Causes: Physical trauma or injury.

8. Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

  • Symptoms: Burning or shooting pain with a rash on the skin.
  • Causes: Viral infection affecting nerve roots.

Seeking Medical Attention

If you’re experiencing chest pain, especially if it’s severe, prolonged, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention. Chest pain can be a sign of a serious medical condition, and early intervention is critical.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is chest pain on the right side always a cause for concern?

  • Not necessarily. It can be due to muscle strain or less serious issues, but it’s important to rule out serious conditions, especially if the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms.

2. Can digestive problems really cause chest pain on the right side?

  • Yes, conditions like GERD and gastritis can lead to chest discomfort, often mistaken for heart issues.

3. How is pleurisy treated?

  • Treatment for pleurisy depends on the underlying cause but may include pain relief, anti-inflammatory medications, and addressing the root issue.

4. What’s the main difference between right-sided and left-sided chest pain?

  • The location of the pain can provide clues to its potential causes. Right-sided pain may be related to organs like the gallbladder, while left-sided pain may be linked to the heart.

5. How can I prevent chest pain due to muscle strain?

  • To prevent muscle strain, it’s important to use proper lifting techniques, warm up before exercise, and avoid sudden, jerky movements.

6. Is chest pain on the right side always cardiac-related?

  • No, many non-cardiac factors can cause right-sided chest pain. It’s essential to consider a wide range of potential causes.

7. Can anxiety or stress cause chest pain on the right side?

  • Yes, stress and anxiety can manifest as chest pain, often referred to as “stress-related chest pain.” However, it’s important to rule out other causes first.

Remember, this information serves as a general guide, and it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and tailored advice based on your specific symptoms and medical history.

Now that you have a better understanding of the potential causes of chest pain on the right side, you can make more informed decisions about your health. If you have any concerns or persistent symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical guidance for a thorough evaluation. Your health is paramount, and early detection and treatment can make a significant difference.


Chest pain on the right side can stem from various underlying causes, ranging from benign muscle strains to more serious issues involving vital organs. It’s crucial to pay attention to the symptoms and seek medical evaluation to determine the root cause of your discomfort.

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