Chest Pain with Coughing

Chest pain may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms like coughing. The pain may be due to forceful or persistent coughing, or can occur independently of the coughing. Nevertheless it is important to identify if both chest pain and coughing are related and to isolate the possible causes of both. Chest pain with coughing is not always due to respiratory causes since certain gastrointestinal and cardiac (heart) conditions can cause chest pain and also trigger coughing.

Causes of Chest Pain Coughing

Most diseases that affect the respiratory passages may result in coughing and chest pain. This may be due to inflammation of the airway, mucus production or fluid in the lungs. Infections of the respiratory passages are by far the most common cause of chest pain accompanied by a cough. However other pathologies that do not directly affect the respiratory passages may also cause coughing and chest pain.


  • Common cold, seasonal flu (influenza), H1N1 swine flu, SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome).
  • Epiglottitis, tracheitis, acute or chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and croup.
  • Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Opportunistic infections of the respiratory tract in HIV/AIDS patients.
  • Sarcoidosis.
  • Asthma.
  • Post nasal drip.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) like emphysema.
  • Smoke inhalation.
  • Allergies.
  • Foreign body or aspiration.
  • Tumors.
  • Pleurisy which may cause chest pain and coughing upon deep breathing.


  • Heart failure.
  • Pulmonary embolism.


Some types of the following drugs can cause coughing which may result in chest pain. This side effect may not occur in

  • Antihypertensives, particularly ACE inhibitors.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Certain statins which are used for lowering blood cholesterol.
  • Some over-the-counter (OTC)  cold and flu medicines.
  • Certain weight loss drugs.


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Esophagitis.
  • After an endoscopy or barium esophagogram.

Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

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  • dnicholas56

    The chest pain started about a month ago.
    I do not feel it until I cough,are I am laying down and go to sit up.
    I do not if this has anything to do with it,but I had a pain in my left side for a while then it went to my right side. Now it has center in my chest. Below my breast and up in between them.
    I have no fever are cold/flu systems.
    Any ideas as to what causes this are how long it may last.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi DNicholas56

      There are so many possible causes of chest pain with coughing. You don’t give much information about your age, gender or past medical history. It is difficult to say. Either way, chest pain is not something that you should diagnose online. You need to see your doctor because there can be very serious causes of chest pain.

  • chidochashe

    i’m having chest pains especially when doing chores.i also have pains at the back.i once had a kidney infection

    • Dr. Chris

      Dear Readers

      Please ensure that you provide a sufficient amount of information if you expect any member of the Health Hype team to respond to your comments or questions. A two or three line listing of your symptoms is not a question and there may be no response from a member of our team.

  • Kamil

    Hello, I’ve not been feeling well for the past 2 weeks. First it looked like simple cold: blocked nose, coughing and lack of energy but then after a couple of days I had a 39.9 and 38 degrees fever for 3 days. Then it disappeared but stuffed nose and coughing, didn’t. I should mention that every time I cough, my right chest side hurts but then and only then. Also, for the past 3 days, I’ve been waking up with a headache but it’s not a typical one. Every time I look up or to the sides, it starts hurting. Should I go see a doctor or treat it at home with meds?

    I’m 17, male and never had any problems with my health.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Kamil

      See a doctor. You may have a secondary infection that followed the cold that you had. This could be affecting the lungs (bronchitis) and infection of the sinuses (acute sinusitis) may account for the head pain etc. Other more serious infections like meningitis or encephalitis may also be possible and may not present with the typical symptoms at the outset. See a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Romy

    i have some chest pain every time i cough, i have normal temp, normal bp normal pulse rate, but i have runny nose for almost 3 days already…. though sometimes i get dizzy… ive been taling expectorant and cefalexin for 3 days already…. what else will i do?

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Romy

      Sound like you have an acute respiratory tract infection like the flu. Frequent coughing can cause muscular chest pain. However the concern is about conditions like bronchitis which may arise as a complication and would account for a productive cough, if present. Best you have this monitored by your doctor if it persists for a few more days or is getting worse.

  • Mark

    i have been coughing most of the last 3 days and have a heavy cold and flu type bug I think, my chest is now painful do I need to see my doctor ?

    • Hi Mark. Hopefully you are feeling better by now. The chest pain may be due to the severe coughing but it is always good to get a medical opinion, even in a common acute infection like the cold/flu. While these type f infections usually do not lead to any complications, there is always the possibility that complications like bronchitis or pneumonia can arise. Your doctor will be able to detect this early and treat it accordingly.

  • shf

    I have had chest pain on the right side chest in the lower left area of my right pectoral muscle for a week or more everytime I try to elevate my torso while Laying flat it hurts also when I twist my torso while laying flat to roll over either way to get up and out of bed it feels like my pec muscle/chest is tearing. When i try to sit up from a recliner or if i move my right arm in a certain way it feels like painful tearing in this little spot in my right chest. When I cough pain is excruciating, or just taking a deep breath, when I touch the area the pain is only in a small area size of one inch about an inch from the nipple .i play tennis could this be a muscle strain injury? Arthritis attack or chest flu? The pain now seems not as bad as a week ago. I’m 50 have had problems like when I eat I feel like the food won’t go down and is coming out of my stomach sometimes or acid burning when I swallow with a feeling of nausea when I swallow sometimes not every time. I have had arthritis, acid reflux, plantar fascitis, anxiety disorder, insomnia, tennis elbow excruciating pain in the left elbow and bouts of severe joint pain in the shoulders that ocurred 15 yrs ago and recently the elbow, knees, feet, wrist, and back. I’m male 6 feet 205 lbs do not smoke or drink alcohol drink one cup of tea every morning.

    • Hi SHF. It could very well be muscle strain but there are several other concerns. The fact that the pain is so prominent with movement should raise the concern of other conditions like pericarditis, gallbladder problems and pancreas problems. The latter two conditions would explain some of your digestive symptoms. Stomach problems may also be a factor here, such as gastritis or peptic ulcer disease, although the symptoms may not be so intense with movement. Of course there are other less common but serious conditions that need to be considered here, especially as your age puts you at high risk of several such conditions. This includes conditions like a heart attack. There is really no way of saying for sure and you should discuss it with your doctor. Further diagnostic investigations are definitely necessary from what you report. Only then can a diagnosis be reached.