Pleurisy is a painful syndrome caused by inflammation in the linings that surround the lungs, also known as the pleura, according to MedicineNet. Symptoms of pleurisy include a stabbing sensation in the chest, pain in the chest that becomes worse when taking a deep breath and shortness of breath.
The most common cause of pleurisy is a viral infection, according to WebMD, but the condition can also be the result of lung infections, a chest injury, a reaction to a medication or other diseases.
Physicians often treat pleurisy by external splinting of the chest wall and prescribing pain medication, according to MedicineNet. However, the underlying disease must receive treatment to ultimately relieve symptoms.