4 Possible Causes of Stabbing Pain When Breathing

It might happen out of nowhere — you’re just going about your day when suddenly it hits you: You feel a stabbing pain when breathing.

Since breathing is essential, having pain when you’re trying to breathe can be very frightening. In some cases, it’s a harmless circumstance that will pass, but in others, it’s a very serious symptom that warrants immediate medical condition.

Medically speaking, stabbing pain when breathing describes a symptom known medically as pleuritic pain, explains Kamran Boka, MD, a pulmonary medicine specialist with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and UT Physicians in Houston.

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