Pleurisy is a specific type of chest pain. The following, from the Mayo Clinic, is a good definition.
By Mayo Clinic staff
Pleurisy is a symptom occurs when the double membrane (pleura) that lines the inside of your chest cavity and surrounds each of your lungs becomes inflamed. Also called pleuritis, pleurisy typically causes sharp pain, characteristically when you are inhaling and exhaling, with or without cough.
Pleurisy occurs as a complication of a wide variety of underlying conditions that in any way irritate the membranes (see above), most often with lung infection but at times with infection limited to the pleura (see above). Relieving pleurisy involves treating the underlying condition, if it's known, and taking pain relievers.”
In some instances such pain can be referred to the shoulder.
A new onset cough with mucous production is a sign of respiratory infection. The infection can be in the upper (common cold or sinusitis) or the lower (bronchial tubes or lungs) parts of the respiratory system. If your pain truly is pleurisy, you should seek help from a medical professional. In most instances a chest X-ray will be appropriate.
Which side of the chest is the pain on? And the shoulder pain, is it on the same side? What color is the mucous? Does it hurt worse to take a deep breath, like a stabbing pain?
It may not be pleurisy, but the possibilities are severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Left sided pain may be heart related, and sometimes heart related pain can radiate to the shoulder (left) and arm. Is there pain to your neck or jaw at all?
Mucous that is other than white, clear, or light yellow is concerning. Is there blood in the mucous? Discolored mucous may mean pneumonia or bronchitis. Bloody mucous may mean a blood clot in the lung. Huge risk factors for a lung clot are: diabetic, smoker, overweight, drug abuse.
My advice is to not wait and to see your doctor or go to the ER with very much haste! Heart problems, blood clot in your lungs, and pneumonia are all serious concerns here!
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I'm sorry I haven't replied to you sooner. I didn't receive any notification on this. I just happened to look at my posts & saw there were 2 answers. I got an emergency appt with a GP at my clinic. He did a thorough check and luckily said it's not pleurisy, but a severe chest infection. He also said the pains I was experiencing can be caused by this & refer to my shoulder (left one) & travel down nerve pathways or something like that. (I forget the exact medical terms he used). He put me on a course of antibiotics & some Oxycontin 30mg for the extremely agonising pains during the night. Thank God & the doctor, the infection is almost cleared, & I'm not waking with those bad chest & shoulder pains, so am not needing to take the extra Oxycontin any longer. (I'm already on 20mg & 30 mg for severe osteoarthritis & phantom limb pain). So glad to not need the extra oxycontin, as I'm very wary of the side-effects of too much. Scared stiff, more like it! So thanks for explaining & asking me about my symptoms. Oh, the mucous was off-white colour, & I'm still coughing up some, but taking lots of Vit. C, cod-liver oil & eating lots of garlic. Thanks!
Thanks you so much for taking the time to explain the symptoms to me. I really appreciate it. Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but I didn't get notification that I had 2 answers. Found out by looking at my post about this. I was lucky to get an emergency appt with a GP at my clinic. He listened to my chest & back, diagnosed a severe chest infection & put me on a course of antibiotics with some extra Oxycontin for those agonising chest & shoulder pains in the night. It's all nearly cleared up now, but still coughing some off-white mucous, but not as much, & the pains no longer wake me up all night, so don't need the extra Oxycontin, thank God, as I'm already on it for severe osteoarthritis. I don't want to get addicted to needing the extra, so have stopped taking that extra dose now. Thanks again! Your explanation was very interesting.
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