Pain in right lung while exercising

Patient

Q: Hi. i am a healthy 18 year old girl and i have been exercising for basically my entire life. I havent had many problems other than a small heart valve leak but i had an ekg done and was cleared to exercise. Yesterday while running pretty vigorously on the treadmill i began to have a sharp pain in my right lung every time i tried to breathe. I immediately stopped running and the pain subsided within a couple of minutes. Any idea what may have caused this? I am not sick and feeling totally fine today.

Symptoms:  Hurts to breathe on right lung during run. no symptoms now though
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Running or excessive exercise can actually cause spasms of the intercostal muscles. These are muscles located in between the ribs which assist in inspiration of air as you exercise. These muscles can spasm from time to time resulting in this sharp pain. We recommend that you monitor this phenomenon to make sure it is not worsening or persists after exercise. Please try to stretch adequately before and after exercise to assist in alleviation of this pain. Please be guided accordingly.

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