Aa
A
A
A
Close
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Community
1.46k Members
Avatar universal

How was the diagnosis of your pleurisy (pleuritis) established?

The doctor will ask you many questions about the pain, such as where it is located, how long it has been there, and how you've tried to make it better. The doctor will also ask about your personal habits, especially smoking, including the use of tobacco and street drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. Do not hide any information from the doctor. Anything you say will be just between the two of you, and you won't get in trouble with the law.The doctor will perform a complete physical examination and may do a number of tests to exclude other conditions such as pericarditis, heart failure, and other pleural disorders such as pneumothorax (air leaking into the pleural space), pleural effusion (excess fluid around the lung in the pleural space), hemothorax (blood in the pleural cavity), and empyema (pus in the pleural space).A doctor or nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and the oxygen saturation of your blood.The doctor will look at your skin for rashes or bruises. Infections of the skin such as shingles can cause chest pain, as can bruises.The doctor may press on your chest. If you have pain that the doctor can duplicate, especially in front where the ribs come together on the breast bone, you may have costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage of the chest.The doctor will listen closely with a stethoscope to your lungs. By listening, the doctor can sometimes tell whether you have other diseases of the lungs, such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, or a collapsed lung (pneumothorax). Some people with pleurisy develop a rubbing sound (called a   pleurisy friction rub) that is heard over the area that hurts. The doctor will also listen to your heart's rate and rhythm and determine whether you have any murmurs or extra heart sounds that may indicate a defect in or injury to the heart.You may need a   chest X-ray.The doctor may order electrocardiogram (ECG).  Medical professionals may perform some blood tests and send some of your blood to the lab for analysis to help rule out other causes of chest pain.
55 Responses
Avatar universal
I had a bad cough which I thought was left over from a lung infection 2 weeks previously.  Then I started getting this stabbing pain in the right hand side of my chest.  I assumed it was pulled muscles from the cough.  Then the pain escalated until I was almost in tears. I couldn't move without excruciating pain in my chest.  My doctor was away and I didn't want to go to the hospital to sit for hours.  I had some Tylenol #2's left over from some previous affliction and took those along with Motrin and ice packs.  I slept sitting up in a lazy boy.  Still figuring it was muscle related I went to my chiropractor.  He thought it might be associated with my ribs.  He did a body massage with a machine which helps for a few hours.  I was still in massive pain.  I asked him if I could have a lung infection and he said it was certainly possible.  I finally went to my Doctor and it took him a couple of minutes to diagnose pleurisy.  That was a week later and way too much pain.
Avatar universal
I just got back from the ER to find out I have pleurisy.  I thought it was panic/anxiety attacks for the last 4 weeks, so I took my Xanax, normally one would make the pain stop.  Last night, the Xanax wouldn't work and I couldn't breathe, walk, or sit.  It was off to the ER for 6 hours of, Chest X-rays, an EKG, and every blood test known to man. The doctor came back to say I have Pleurisy. I was prescribed 800mg Ibuprofen and another pain medicine.  The doctor told me it will take a week to feel better and to just take it easy.
Avatar universal
I have had this before. I had been at the pc for a long time, not sitting up straight, which made me wonder if the lung had been "pinched" causing the fluid. I developed a sharp pain below the right breast, but also felt pain in the upper shoulder area. It was very difficult to breathe and this was my only symptom that time. At first, I thought it was gall bladder pain or bad heartburn, which I've also had before. Nothing seemed to help till I was told to take 4-5 ibuprofens. That at least dulled the pain. I went to the doctor the next morning and was diagnosed with pleurisy, put on an anti-biotic and regular ibuprofen. This time, I woke with bad heartburn and a slight tummy ache. I thought I had a touch of the flu. Over the course of the day, I developed a fever of 100.4. The pain began almost 12 hours later, again in the lower right breast area, but also in the upper shoulder. It was night time, so I took 4 ibuprofen, which again helped,  but by no means gets rid of the pain. I went to the doctor this morning and again, it is pleurisy. I had no cough, though I did a couple of days ago. It helps to lay on the opposite side. It hurts badly to lay on my back or be up moving around. Today the doctor put me on an anti-biotic and regular ibuprofen.
Avatar universal
I began with sharp stabbing pain in the lower part of my shoulder blade a couple of nights ago. I had also developed a slight congestion.  I took ibuprofen and slept for about couple of hours then I woke up with the sharp stabbing pain in the middle of my back on the left-hand side. The next morning, I went to the doctor, and he listened to my lungs and said they were clear.  He sent me home saying I had shingles, but I didn't have any blisters or indication of skin discoloration.  He said he didn't want to prescribe anything until he could confirm it was shingles, and call him the next morning to report. Again that evening I took more ibuprofen before going to bed and was able to sleep for a couple of hours and then woke up to terrible sharp and burning pain.  This never occurred in my chest and it didn't hurt to breathe. I called the doctor the next day and said I still didn't have any blisters, but the pain was still there.  He prescribed valacyclovir and pain medication. I took one dose of valacyclovir and pain medication that day before going to bed and slept all night. I called the doctor the next day and reported that still didn't have blisters and pain and subsided.  Now he thinks it was a touch of pleurisy.
Avatar universal
Started with a head cold, which went into my lungs. I'm sure I've been through a dozen boxes of Kleenex. The muck coming out of my sinus and then my phlegm was unbelievable. I'm a non smoker, always have been. The symtoms seem to be getting better till I awoke this morning with what feels like a pulled muscle under my shoulder blade. The pain radiated down my arm. Uh oh! Off to the doctor.   Pleurisy. I was prescribed a medication that was $72 for 10 pills. Ouch! I don't know which pain was worse!
Avatar universal
During an office exam, my doctor heard the noise that he described as "two pieces of leather rubbing against each other" as pleurisy.  He said that only 1 in 10 people with pleurisy have this "noise" and it was fortunate that I did as it helped support his diagnosis.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.