Stitches When Breathing, What Are They Due To?

People who experience discomfort such as pinpricks describe the problem as feeling needles stick into their chest, making it difficult for them to breathe. However, there is apparently nothing there (on clothing or directly on the skin) exerting any pressure. For this reason, the cause is usually unknown until you go to the doctor for a check-up.

Would you like to know what can cause the punctures in the chest, how to act about it and when to go to the doctor? In that case, do not stop reading everything that we are going to tell you below.

What are punctures?

arrhythmia chest pain

As we mentioned at the beginning, many people define the pricks as if they feel one or more needles sticking them in the chest or even directly in the heart. They also indicate that this usually comes on suddenly and causes breathing difficulties .

Contrary to what is often thought, punctures are a common phenomenon that most people have occasionally experienced on occasion. Despite this, we should not ignore them because they are a common annoyance.

If they occur frequently, it is essential to go to the doctor for a check-up. In this way you can find out the cause of the problem and start the most appropriate treatment.

Possible causes of discomfort or stinging when breathing

There are three main causes of prickles when breathing: anxiety, stress, and heart problems.

Anxiety and stress are the first cause and we should not ignore it. It should be noted that punctures do not have to appear when you are under a stressful situation or when you feel really anxious, they can appear later. Moreover, the normal thing is that if you have gone through a stressful situation, the “blocks” appear in the next few days.

Woman with headache from anxiety.

Experts tell us that the highest rate of heart attacks or problems arise during vacation periods or weekends. They are those moments when we try to relax, and then the body is unable to do so and those punctures appear, for example. Therefore, anxiety can trigger the following situations that cause us to suffer from punctures:

  • High muscle tension: being so high we are not able to breathe properly.
  • Vegetative hyperactivity.

On the other hand, punctures can also be the consequence of an untreated heart problem.To find out if this could be the cause, we should know that there are risk factors that favor the appearance of heart problems. Some of them are the following:

  • Age: people over 50 are more likely to suffer from a heart problem.
  • Hypertension.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Family background.

Discover: Muscle pain and tension due to stress

How to act in case of experiencing punctures when breathing?

The first thing that experts recommend us to do is sit down and try to calm down. For this we can focus on breathing slowly and deeply, counting numbers or naming colors and things at random. Then, when we are calming down, we must become aware that it is something temporary and that the discomfort will disappear in a short period of time.

Throughout the entire process it is important to breathe calmly and slowly, taking air through your mouth slowly. We could also try to take our pulsations (since this information can then be discussed with the doctor).

How to take a deep breath?


Deep, abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing is basically about getting the air into the lungs, going down to the diaphragm. If you follow these steps, it will be easier for you to get it:

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Place one hand on your abdomen.
  3. Take air through your nose, little by little, without haste. You should notice how your gut rises and your hand moves.
  4. Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
  5. Place your lips as if you were going to blow out a candle, and then, let the air go little by little, noticing how your hand descends.
  6. Take another breath for two seconds.
  7. Exhale for 4 seconds.

If the punctures do not stop after five minutes and become more intense, we should go to the doctor. We will also see a doctor urgently if your pain spreads to other areas of the body, such as the neck, jaw, and arms, and we experience chest tightness and cannot breathe normally.

In conclusion, the essential thing is to control that this discomfort does not extend too much in time and, above all, that it does not lead to other symptoms such as those previously exposed.

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