Preventive Healthcare

Right Chest Pain: Understanding Symptoms and Risk Factors

Recurrent right chest pain is a worrying sign of your overall wellness. It can manifest as a side-effect of a potential viral infection or surrounding complications. Patients with thoracic and abdominal issues are also prone to experience trauma in their right chest.

Unlike left chest issues, having right-side chest pain may not suggest an emergency issue. But it does require prompt clinical inspection, meaning you must never ignore such symptoms. Read this article to learn about the potential causes and risk factors associated with the condition.

What Leads to Right Chest Pain? Symptoms

If you have right-side chest pain, you may be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Chest Muscle Strain 

Individuals who engage in physical activity like heavyweight lifters or those doing strenuous activities may feel right chest pain. It can result from strained chest muscles, leading to severe inflammation that evenly spreads. 

While these stay limited to mechanical injuries, they can turn worse from repetitive exposure without allowing sufficient recovery. If you receive frequent chest muscle strain, consult your physician. 

  1. Indigestion and Heartburn

Digestive anomalies like indigestion and heartburn can give you stark but limited right-side chest pain. Sudden acid reflux leads to concentrated digestive acids entering your oesophagus, causing a burning sensation reaching your throat. 

The occasional heartburn may suggest an upset stomach. However, if you experience it frequently, get a clinical consultation from your doctor.

  1. Severe Anxiety 

If you are prone to mental health issues like PTSD or have phobias, you may experience an onset of chest pain. These effects may repeat if you panic or experience hyperventilation. 

While it may appear harmless, it can turn dangerous if the patient lacks coping mechanisms. These symptoms might often mimic that of a heart attack, meaning clinical consultation is a priority for you.

  1. Rib Problems

If you have a broken or swollen rib or experience underlying inflammation from costochondritis, you are prone to chest pain. This can lead to bouts of sharp but temporary onset of trauma. 

Chest pain from underlying rib issues can get worse when attempting deep breathing. It can recur every time you cough or perform any action requiring rib movements. 

  1. Blunt Trauma

You may experience sudden right-side chest pain after an acute blunt injury. This can happen from taking a direct hit on the chest from shooting or sports activity. It can severely affect underlying chest muscles and trigger a panic attack.

Even if you cope with blunt chest trauma, get immediate clinical support for prompt diagnosis. Never neglect injuries from a direct chest injury.

  1. Viral Infections

Children can develop right chest pain from a viral infection like chickenpox, influenza, pneumonia and bronchitis in adults. These pathogens infect your natural respiratory mechanisms and thoracic functions, causing acute inflammation.

If left untreated, it can affect your lungs and cause an accumulation of fluids. Consult your doctor for guidance on chest issues with viral infections.

  1. Breathing Complications

If you have severe lung complications like pneumothorax, it’s natural to experience right-side chest pain. This can trigger sudden breathlessness with acute trauma to your right chest. 

Breathing complications could also be side effects of emphysema, trauma from lung intubation or exposure to blunt injury. Call for immediate clinical support to get prompt treatment. 

  1. Cardiac Inflammation

Chest pain on the right side is among the primary symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis patients. It causes inflammation of the heart muscles and the protective sac covering it. 

This can happen because of underlying swelling around the heart muscles or the onset of viral infection. You may experience acute pain, meaning prompt clinical care is essential to prevent further escalation.

  1. Hypertension

Severe hypertension leads to abnormal pressure around the thoracic region. It pushes the heart and lungs to their limits, causing the onset of severe right chest pain

It also creates havoc on your circulatory system with repetitive spasms all over the body. The condition can lead to heart attacks if left untreated. 

  1. Pulmonary Embolism

Sudden blood clots in your lungs can pose a grave risk to your health. It can compromise vital blood circulation to your heart or affect natural breathing. 

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include right-side chest pain. This can also lead to myocarditis from acute obstruction of pulmonary veins. Seek immediate treatment if you are a heart patient and experiencing chest pain.

Risk Factors for Right-Side Chest Pain

Individuals with existing thoracic complications are most prone to report that the right side of the chest hurts. You can also develop it from lifestyle and untreated health complications. 

Here are some underlying issues that can increase the risk of chest pain on the right side:

  • Active lifestyle without time to rest and recover
  • Poor digestive habits (leading to frequent acid reflux)
  • Untreated lung infections
  • Old chest injury 
  • Malignant growth 
  • Improper sleeping postures leading to spraining of chest muscles
  • Obesity leads to hernia-like complications (pain is limited to the right rib cage and may spread to the upper chest)
  • Acute smoking issues


You can develop occasional or frequent discomfort on the right side of your chest if you have one or more of the above symptoms. Although not as severe as left chest pain, these can worsen if neglected. Your right chest pain may be related to existing thoracic complications. 

It could just be your first time taking a direct hit while playing football but it should not be ignored. Get prompt medical care to gauge underlying trauma. 
If you are experiencing frequent right-side chest pain, your doctor shall suggest specific diagnostic tests. Metropolis Labs offers state-of-the-art diagnostic tests managed by trained technicians. You can visit the directory of services provided here. For the best offers, visit your nearest Metropolis Lab today.

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