Severe pain in the sternum in the middle hurts to inhale

Psycho-emotional stress can cause severe chest pain.

Natural causes for compressing the chest and breathing hard are not considered the most dangerous. However, when they appear, you should think about revising the lifestyle. After all, the prolonged action of negative factors can lead to diseases in the future.

Severe discomfort from squeezing the chest leads to the fact that the patient begins to fear for his life. If stress becomes the cause of this condition, it only intensifies under the influence of symptoms. Other reasons include:

  • psycho-emotional stress, which is accompanied by a feeling as if there is a lump in the throat, heaviness appears on the left or on the right, difficulty swallowing occurs;
  • the same symptoms can be observed with severe nervous exhaustion;
  • stress, which is not minimized, sooner or later leads to nervous breakdowns and the development of diseases – from colds to more serious disorders.

Compression in the chest appears with obesity of the last degree

Sometimes the cause of compression of the chest and coma in the throat are antidepressants, drugs for hypertension, antihistamines.

Also, the reasons that are on the verge of pathologies and physiological changes include:

  • obesity – compression of the chest is especially common in the case of obesity of the last degree, but can also be observed in the early stages;
  • lack of exercise – voluntary or compulsory restriction of movement, which leads to diseases of the blood circulation, digestion and other systems;
  • smoking and alcohol addiction – both of these products belong to the category of dangerous toxins that cause severe poisoning of the body;
  • a sharp change in the environment – similar symptoms can be observed in people who come to relax in the mountains or at sea.

Treatment of pathologies causing squeezing symptoms

Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis

It can be difficult for patients to breathe amid a wide variety of diseases, and specialized specialists, such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist, gastroenterologist, and surgeon, are involved in their treatment after diagnosis. Therapy is selected in accordance with individual characteristics and the course of the pathology. There is no single method for correcting unpleasant symptoms.

If osteochondrosis causes pain and breathing difficulties, the patient is prescribed exercise therapy, physiotherapy and massage. If the symptom provokes severe illnesses such as a heart attack, surgical intervention is required.

Drug treatment plays a large role in detecting any pathology:

  • antibiotics can be used both for lung diseases and for some forms of gastritis;
  • blood thinners are prescribed for diseases of the heart and blood vessels;
  • immunomodulators are also used in almost all diseases that can cause heaviness in the chest;
  • for gastrointestinal pathologies, a separate list of drugs is used: anti-heartburn drugs, acid-lowering drugs, enzymes;
  • NSAIDs and analgesics are universal medicines that help cope with pain.

However, you should not take medication without consulting a doctor and before making the correct diagnosis.

Thoracic osteochondrosis is a complex of degenerative-dystrophic disorders in the intervertebral discs. A striking symptom is pain in the chest area, aggravated by movement, trying to take a deep breath, coughing, sneezing. Numbness in the limbs, neck, shoulders is felt. Compression of the nerve endings leads to increased vegetative symptoms – headaches, dizziness, a feeling of oxygen deficiency.

Scoliosis is a stable curvature of the spinal column along its axis. Strengthening of physiological bends involves internal organs in the pathological process, changing their size and location. Among the clinical manifestations are pains in the chest area, which are similar to heart problems and respiratory diseases.

Traumatic injuries combine in one group different types of mechanical injuries affecting the skeleton base of the chest and the organs located behind it. If only the bones are affected, the pain symptom is localized at the site of the bruise, and soft tissue edema and hematoma are formed there. The sternum hurts when pressed and physical activity.

Bruising, compression, concussion of internal organs is accompanied by impaired consciousness, a rapid weakened pulse, a drop in blood pressure, swelling and blueness of the upper body in the decollete zone. When inhaling, it is difficult to breathe, limbs get colder, short-term hearing and vision loss is recorded.

Vegetative-vascular dystonia

This disease, in which sometimes it becomes difficult to breathe, there is a feeling of compression of the chest, stands out in a separate category, as it is associated with a whole complex of symptoms. When VVD often appears hyperventilation syndrome of the lungs, which leads to unpleasant sensations.

The lungs, bronchi, as well as the heart are involved in the pathological process, which leads to the appearance of numerous signs:

  • it is difficult to take breaths;
  • there is pain in the lungs;
  • a person suffers from dizziness;
  • weakness, fainting develops;
  • the patient becomes pale, may suffer from sweating.

Factors provoking chest pain on the left and breathing problems

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Intercostal neuralgia is a pathological condition accompanied by pinched nerve endings. As a rule, pains are felt in the left area of ​​the chest, but can spread to the clavicle or scapula.

The main symptoms of neuralgia:

  • untidy sensations worsen with a deep breath, coughing and / or sneezing;
  • pressure pain intensifies;
  • numbness of the pinched area of ​​the endings;
  • convulsions;
  • slight tingling sensation;
  • profuse sweating.
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Osteochondrosis is a pathology accompanied by a change in the structural tissues of the intervertebral disc.

It is characterized by the following clinical picture:

  • pain intensifies with deep breaths and during physical exertion;
  • the left hand goes numb;
  • the intensity of pain varies depending on the pain;
  • muscle weakness.

The pains are mostly aching.

Osteoporosis is a disease in the development of which bone tissues lack calcium, they are destroyed. Sharp pains in the chest appear during sharp turns of the body, bending and trying to take a deep breath.

  • diseases spread to the arm and neck in the form of shooting sensations;
  • the peak of pain is so strong that a person can lose consciousness.

Painful sensations always increase for a long time.

Pneumonia occurs when the body is infected with infections, bacteria and viruses. As a rule, it develops against the background of a weakened immune system.

  • severe cough with sputum;
  • chills;
  • feelings of lack of oxygen;
  • high body temperature.

Painful sensations intensify with inspiration.

Pulmonary embolism develops against a background of clogged arteries through which blood enters the lungs.

Features of the pathology:

  • sputum discharge with bloody spots;
  • severe cough, accompanied by a lack of oxygen;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • pain and wheezing during breathing;
  • elevated body temperature.

The pains are strong, attacks occur suddenly.

Signs of pleurisy:

  • chills;
  • feelings of lack of oxygen;
  • high body temperature;
  • general malaise and fatigue;
  • dry cough.

Painful sensations manifest themselves in the form of a burning sensation, the pain can be dull or acute. The intensity increases with a change in body position, movement and inspiration.

Pneumothorax is characterized by an accumulation of air in the lungs. During an attack, the following clinical picture appears:

  • dry cough;
  • panic condition;
  • pain and difficulty breathing;
  • blanching of the skin.

The pains may be pressing or sharp.

Gastric ulcer can provoke chest pain

There are a large number of diseases that affect the digestive system, which provoke pain in the chest.

  • Ulcer – pain caused by damage to the stomach and duodenum. Develop primarily on an empty stomach. Often the condition is accompanied by severe heartburn.
  • Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreatic tissue. Localized pain in the lower chest. Amplified at night.
  • Esophagitis – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the esophagus. The pain intensifies when swallowing hot or solid foods. Manifested in the form of severe burning.
  • Chronic cholecystitis. In addition to the chest, pain spreads under the ribs. Indigestion and bitterness in the mouth are also noted.

A diagnosis is required to undergo a medical examination.


Fracture of the ribs is characterized by painful sensations that can be localized not only in the chest. Strengthen with inspiration and a change in body position. Unpleasant sensations can additionally develop due to the crunching of the edges of the damaged ribs. In a severe fracture, bone fragments can injure soft tissues and organs.


Lung cancer is an oncological disease. Painful sensations develop as a result of regular exposure, as well as against the background of transferred bronchitis and tuberculosis.

Due to the lack of pronounced symptoms, the pathology is diagnosed in the later stages. The clinical picture:

  • sputum with a splash of blood;
  • dyspnea;
  • dry cough, attacks of which last a long time;
  • pain that interferes with breathing;
  • accelerated heartbeat.

An increase in the number of seizures indicates the progression of oncology.

Osteosarcoma is an oncological disease accompanied by the formation of tumors on the ribs. Strong pulling pains are noted, which are localized from the side of the injury. Negative sensations intensify with inspiration, especially at night.

In the last stages of development, soft tissues swell over the affected rib.

Angina pectoris arises as a result of the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries that block the lumen of the blood vessels. The disease is popularly called “angina pectoris” because of a sensation that mimics the presence of a foreign body in the sternum in the middle, as if something was stuck. Pressing pain and burning from the center of the chest radiate to the shoulder, shoulder blade, and neck on the left side. A characteristic feature of angina pectoris is a positive reaction to the action of nitroglycerin.

Myocardial infarction develops in the same way as angina pectoris. Only in this case there is a complete blockage of the vessel supplying the heart with blood. Cells of an organ cut off from food begin to die out gradually. The first symptom of a heart attack – severe compressive pain in the sternum in the middle can occur, even at rest. Then, intense pain syndrome spreads to the left shoulder, neck, collarbone, the area between the shoulder blades, and the lower jaw.

  • darkening of the eyes;
  • cold sweating;
  • confusion;
  • inexplicable feeling of fear;
  • tachycardia;
  • pallor of the skin, blueness of the lips;
  • labored breathing.

Read: what is Thompson’s myotonia.

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the serous membrane covering the lungs. The main manifestations are sternum pain and cough, which does not weaken the feeling of tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Dry pleurisy is characterized by stitching pain, aggravated by movement and breathing, weakening while lying on the sore side.

Similar symptoms are pneumonia and bronchitis. Due to the accumulated pathological fluid, breathing is difficult, a painful cough appears. Forced expiration through the mouth leads to overstrain of the respiratory tract and muscle tissue. Therefore, the pain originating in the chest is given to the interscapular space.

Inflammatory processes in the lower parts of the lungs and their pleural membrane provoke innervation of the phrenic nerve. This explains what may hurt in the diaphragm when inhaling.

Problems with the liver and bile ducts (pancreatitis, cholecystitis) are detected by dull wave-like pain on the right side of the chest, which gives back to the back between the shoulder blades. Unpleasant feeling intensifies after eating, especially oily or fried. A plaque appears on the tongue, bitterness is felt in the mouth.

Esophageal dyskinesia is a violation of the progress of semi-liquid and fiber-rich foods from the pharynx to the stomach. The characteristic signs of the disease are pressing pain in the sternum in the middle, spreading along the surface of the chest, to the diaphragm, shoulders, and a sensation of a lump in the throat. The pain syndrome is stopped by a sip of water. Often the attack ends with regurgitation of the contents of the stomach.

It may be useful: how to identify a bruised spine and help the victim.

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Diseases of the spine

Scoliosis can cause chest pain

Very often, breathing difficulties and chest pain provoke various pathologies of the ribs, spine and sternum.

  • Scoliosis. The most common pathology in which the vertebrae are deformed to the right or left side. They press on soft tissues, which leads to feelings of compression. Scoliosis progresses very quickly, but is most common in young children.
  • Thoracic osteochondrosis. The vertebrae bend and narrow the intervertebral discs, which leads to compression of the nerve roots and muscle spasm. The patient feels girdle discomfort, pain during breathing, limited mobility.
  • Rib injuries. Such symptoms often appear after an impact, fall, accident or other reasons leading to bruising or fracture of the ribs. A hematoma, bruising, swelling of the affected area appears.

There are other bone diseases that can cause discomfort. But they are much less common.

Cardiac pathology

A common group of causes of severity and pain in the chest includes pathologies of the heart and vascular system. They are often accompanied by blueness of the skin, severe fatigue, swelling of the legs and shortness of breath.

Common diseases include:

  • heart defects that are already observed in childhood;
  • myocardial inflammation, as well as pericarditis;
  • heart failure;
  • arrhythmias of a different nature;
  • cardiomyopathies and dystrophies;
  • ischemic heart disease.

Depending on the disease that causes the pain, treatment is prescribed. Medicines are used, as well as folk remedies and alternative methods of therapy.

Pain in the sternum in the middle will help eliminate medications from different groups, which are selected depending on the underlying disease.

The most effective remedies:

  • Nitroglycerin is the most popular drug prescribed for an attack of heart disease. Helps to normalize the work of the body and eliminate the severity, pain in the sternum. When a symptom occurs, put 1 tablet of the drug under the tongue. If there is no effect, re-taking the medicine is allowed after 40 minutes. The drug is not used for course treatment. Cost – from 50 rubles.
  • Barboval is a drop-shaped remedy used for pain in the sternum provoked by angina pectoris or other heart pathology. When discomfort occurs, you must take 25 drops of the drug, it is allowed to repeat 2 times a day for 7-10 days. The drug has a sedative property and eliminates pain. Price – from 120 rubles.
  • Validol is the most popular medication used for pain in the sternum, as well as heart rhythm and tachycardia. Helps to quickly eliminate the manifestation, not used in courses. If pain occurs, put 1 tablet under the tongue, repeat if necessary after 2 hours. The cost of the medicine starts from 20 rubles. for 10 tablets.
  • Atenolol is a drug from the group of beta-blockers, which is prescribed to eliminate pain in the sternum, provoked by heart disease. The medication reduces the heart rate by reducing the oxygen demand of the myocardium, this allows you to reduce the load on the muscle, slightly lower blood pressure. It is necessary to take tablets in courses of 2-3 weeks. The patient should take 1 tablet in the morning and evening. The price of the product is approximately 80 rubles.
  • Spasmalgon is an antispasmodic, used for pain that is triggered by muscle spasm or intercostal neuralgia, osteochondrosis. The patient is prescribed tablets, which he should take 2 pieces per day. The duration of the course should not exceed 10 days. The price of the drug starts from 60 rubles.
  • Rennie is a remedy for reducing the acidity of gastric juice, which is used when pain is associated with exacerbation of gastritis or peptic ulcer. Helps to quickly eliminate heartburn and discomfort, improves body function. The patient is prescribed chewable tablets, which he takes 1 piece 3-4 times a day for 3-5 days. Price – from 150 rubles.
  • Omez is a medicine that blocks the production of hydrochloric acid and protects the walls of the stomach from its negative effects. The patient is recommended to take it in case of pain in the sternum associated with pathologies of the stomach. The course lasts 3 weeks, should be taken 1 tablet 3 times a day. The price of the product is from 100 rubles.
  • Ketorol is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug with analgesic properties. Helps to eliminate pain provoked by osteochondrosis, additionally eliminates discomfort in the thoracic spine. Use of tablets is allowed no longer than 7 consecutive days, 2 pieces per day. The cost of the drug is approximately 130 rubles.

The patient may be prescribed one or more drugs, depending on the severity of the underlying disease.

Folk methods

The pain in the sternum in the middle can be eliminated with the help of alternative medicine recipes with sedative properties. Typically, recipes are used for suspected pathologies of the heart and digestive organs.

  • A decoction of hawthorn is the best way to strengthen the heart muscle and eliminate pain in the sternum. For 2 l of water, you need to take 200 g of pre-chopped hawthorn fruit, cook for 10 minutes, insist for at least 4 hours. Ready and filtered medicine to use 150 ml 2 times a day. The course lasts 2 weeks.
  • A tincture based on valerian rhizomes is also cons />

Alternative medicine prescriptions can be used only in the absence of contraindications, and also after consulting a doctor.

Other methods

Among alternative methods of treatment, dietotherapy and relaxation therapy can be distinguished. These methods have a beneficial effect on the entire body, improve well-being, facilitate heart function and reduce the frequency of symptoms. The main advantage of the methods is that they are effective for pain of any origin.

Diet therapy involves the exclusion of the following products from the menu:

  • Canned food.
  • Marinades.
  • Smoked meats.
  • Confectionery.
  • Fat meat.
  • Fatty dairy products.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Carbonated drinks.
  • Fast food.
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In addition, do not abuse caffeinated drinks. The diet should consist of a small amount of cooked or stewed meat, fish, fresh and stewed vegetables. It is useful to include cereals, boiled potatoes, greens. Among dairy products, preference should be given to those that contain a minimal amount of fat. Such a diet is recommended to adhere to constantly.

Relax therapy involves daily relaxation using appropriate music. After a hard day, the patient is recommended to take a comfortable position, turn on the sounds of nature and breathe deeply for 20-30 minutes, feel the tension go out of the body and the brain is freed.

After 2-3 lessons, relaxation will come faster, and overall well-being will improve significantly. The minimum course consists of 20 daily sessions, but it is better to use the technique constantly.

Pulmonary diseases

At least lung diseases lead to breathing difficulties:

  • chronic asthma or bronchitis;
  • swelling;
  • foreign bodies in the airways;
  • hydrothorax or pneumothorax;
  • emphysema;
  • thromboembolism.

Lung diseases are accompanied by heavy breathing and shortness of breath. Oxygen deficiency develops, which can lead to encephalopathy.

When urgent medical attention is needed

Ambulance is necessary in the following conditions:

  • Under the sternum, in addition to soreness, a person will feel compression, his breathing is difficult, pain radiates to his left hand, lower jaw, and scapular region.
  • The patient is sick, his head is spinning, the rhythm of the heart and breathing is broken. The skin is gray, cold sticky sweat on the skin. Blood pressure (BP) is lowered, filiform pulsation, and fainting are observed.
  • Well-being does not improve when taking Nitroglycerin, pain lasts 20 minutes or more. The patient is shivering, he coughs with mucus, which has a yellowish-green color, or blood, swallowing is impaired.

It is important to understand that pain during breathing indicates health problems. Therefore, the patient urgently needs to seek medical help if discomfort worries for a long time. Self-medication will only aggravate the problem, complications will arise that will lead to death.

You can not independently interpret the signals of the pain syndrome, or ignore them. To establish the exact cause, you will need professional medical help. We will show you whom to contact when detecting certain signs.

  1. Diseases of the spine – a neurologist, chiropractor, vertebrologist, traumatologist.
  2. Respiratory diseases – therapist, pulmonologist.
  3. Cardiovascular problems – cardiologist.
  4. Gastrointestinal diseases – gastroenterologist, endoscopist.

Pain in the sternum in the middle is one of those cases when procrastination can lead to irreversible consequences.

Other causes of discomfort

One of the causes of cyclic pain is intercostal neuralgia.

A variety of diseases can cause compression in the chest cavity, breathing difficulties and pain:

  • Intercostal neuralgia. Osteochondrosis, stress, and injuries usually provoke it. The patient feels a burning pain on the left or on the right, it intensifies with coughing.
  • Acute gastritis. Often, pathology leads to compression of the chest due to the pressure of the stomach on the diaphragm and chest cavity.
  • Angina. Squeezing occurs at the level of the throat, lump is felt. Caused by enlarged tonsils. The patient is disturbed by asthma attacks, blue lips.

Other respiratory diseases, as well as pathologies from the gastrointestinal tract, can provoke symptoms.

Breast Pressure During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, chest pain can be caused by oxygen starvation of the myocardium

Unpleasant symptoms develop in women in the 2-3 trimester of pregnancy, when the organs begin to strongly compress the lungs. Also, chest pressure can be caused by such factors:

  • hormonal changes – relaxin is produced, which affects the structure of the chest and can cause breathing difficulties;
  • uterine pressure – the organ increases in size so much that it constantly presses on the diaphragm, which leads to impairment of the nerve endings;
  • myocardial oxygen starvation – the heart experiences a serious load during pregnancy, which leads to the development of some pathologies.

First Aid

If there is compression in the chest and difficulty breathing, it is important to provide the patient with first aid. Only after this proceed with the diagnosis:

    If a person has an attack, it must be la >

With difficulty breathing and pressing pain in the chest, the patient is forbidden to lie on his stomach. Doctors do not recommend leaving the patient alone.

If the onset of symptoms was preceded by an injury, you should immediately call a doctor and do not try to straighten the bones or pull the damage yourself. Warming dressings, compresses and other medications are not allowed until the diagnostic stage.

Diagnostic Methods

With heart pathology, an ECG procedure is performed

In severe cases, after calling an ambulance and delivering the patient to the hospital, a diagnosis is made in the hospital. Less commonly, it is performed directly at the patient’s home, but usually one cannot do without X-rays and other instrumental procedures. Even if the symptoms are removed at home, the patient is recommended to undergo the following examinations:

  • ECG for detecting heart pathologies;
  • chest x-ray to determine the condition of the ribs, bones, and spine;
  • fluorography – to determine tuberculosis and other lung diseases;
  • angiography for the study of blood vessels using radioisotopes;
  • MRI is prescribed for a detailed study of internal organs and the musculoskeletal system, with its help it is easy to detect neuralgia, hernia, osteochondrosis;
  • Ultrasound of organs – examine the digestive tract, heart and lungs;
  • sounding of the stomach and intestines is prescribed if the symptoms are associated with pathologies of these organs.

Also, the patient takes blood, urine, feces, if diagnosis requires.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.