U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Ireland
A 21-year-old female asked:

What exactly causes the normal tight and aching chest/throat/face when crying? because i get similar pain at other times, sometimes exacerbated by deep breaths. clear chest ct, neg cardiac work-up.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Roberts
37 years experience
Muscle and low CO2: Crying usually consists of many muscles tightening, sometimes in almost spasmodic nature. Combine this with associated hyperventilation, and chest tightness, a sense of inadequate breath, and perhaps even tingling can occur. It simply depends on how violent the crying is.
Dr. Vernon Barton
General Practice 53 years experience
Nerve irritations: We have sensory nerves in our airways, trachea etc that let us know when things are not right such as bronchitis with its irritation and coughing. Crying and deep breaths may trigger the same receptors with similar tightness/aching. When bothered, try to stop the hard breathing by relaxing and breathing slowly in through the nose, hold it briefly and then gently exhale with a slow sigh. No smoke!

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Dec 2, 2014

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.