Pain In The Back When Breathing
Treatment options – Treatment options will depend on the type of pneumonia a person has. When bacteria are responsible for the infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. When a virus is responsible, supportive treatments are available. Severe pneumonia may require hospitalization.
shortness of breath or difficulty breathingsevere coughing or coughing up blooddizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousnesspain in one or both armsswelling in the legsweakness or numbness
Back pain while breathing may be a sign of a serious underlying condition or even a medical emergency, so it is important not to ignore the symptom. People with severe, persistent, or worsening back pain should visit a doctor. Anyone with symptoms that could indicate a heart attack or pulmonary embolism should receive emergency medical attention. Read the article in Spanish.
What does it mean when your back hurts when you breathe?
1. Muscle Strain – Breathing uses a lot of different muscles, even under normal circumstances. If one of those muscles is injured from a fall, car accident, or other form of trauma, it can cause discomfort to the injured area and possibly chronic back pain.
- You can even get muscle strain from overworking your body.
- Muscle strain is one of the more common causes of back pain when breathing and luckily, it’s a simple thing to fix.
- Typical remedies for muscle strain include stretching, heat packs, cold packs, and over-the-counter medication.
- This type of strain should begin to feel better in a few days and be fully healed in a few weeks.
However, long-term use of painkillers can lead to some nasty side effects. If a week or two goes by and you aren’t feeling any better, this would be a time to contact a professional for additional information.
Is pleurisy serious?
What can I expect if I have pleurisy? – Your outlook for pleurisy depends on what’s causing it. If your pleurisy is caused by infection, it should go away as you get better. If it’s caused by an ongoing illness like cancer or an autoimmune disease, you may always have some risk of pleurisy coming back. Very rarely, pleurisy has life-threatening complications.
Why does my back and ribs hurt when I breathe?
A sharp pain in the chest or ribs when breathing in may be due to a muscle strain or anxiety. But, it can sometimes indicate an injury, pneumonia, pleurisy, or pericarditis, which may need urgent medical attention. Pain around the chest and ribs will often resolve on its own or with minimal treatment.
- However, it can occasionally be an emergency, requiring urgent medical intervention.
- In this article, we discuss seven possible causes of sharp pain when breathing in and explain when to seek medical attention.
- Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that causes inflammation of the air sacs, which fill up with fluid or pus.
Pneumonia occurs as a result of bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The severity of the condition depends on a person’s age and overall health. People with pneumonia often experience chest pain when breathing in. The other symptoms, which may range from mild to severe, include:
a cough coughing up sputum, a green or rusty phlegm, from the lungshigh feverchills difficulty breathingfatigue sweatingfast heartbeat
Both the type of pneumonia and the severity of the condition will determine the treatment options.
For bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common form, antibiotics may help treat the symptoms. Antiviral medications, rest, and a high intake of fluids may help treat pneumonia resulting from a virus. Antifungal medications may help treat fungal types of pneumonia.
A doctor may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce the symptoms of pneumonia. Learn more about pneumonia here. Pneumothorax, also known as a collapsed lung, occurs when air enters the pleural cavity, which is a space between the lungs and chest wall.
The air accumulation can increase pressure in the pleural cavity, making part of a lung or even an entire lung collapse. Pneumothorax can occur as a result of a chest injury or an underlying lung disease, such as tuberculosis. People with pneumothorax may experience sharp pain in the chest that worsens during breathing or coughing.
The degree of collapse determines the signs and symptoms of pneumothorax. These may include:
shortness of breathsudden chest paintightness in the chestheart palpitationsfatigue cyanosis, which is where the skin or lips turn slightly blue
Treatment for pneumothorax involves inserting a chest tube or needle to remove excess air from the pleural cavity. For mild cases, the condition may heal without this procedure being necessary. Learn more about pneumothorax here. Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, a tissue that lines the chest cavity and covers the outside surface of the lungs.
sharp pain in the chest that worsens during breathingpain that radiates to the shoulders and backshortness of breathcoughing
The treatment for pleurisy will depend on the cause of the underlying condition. For instance, if the condition is due to a bacterial infection, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to manage the symptoms. For the pain and inflammation that pleurisy causes, a doctor will recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.
Learn more about pleurisy here. Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage, a tissue that connects the breastbone and ribs. The chest pain that costochondritis causes can range from mild to severe. People with costochondritis often experience chest pain, which may radiate to the back. The exact cause of costochondritis is unclear.
However, the condition may result from a chest injury, strenuous exercise, severe coughing, or a joint infection. Costochondritis typically heals on its own. However, a doctor may prescribe NSAIDs to relieve pain. Physical therapy, including stretching exercises and nerve stimulation, may also be helpful, as may heat treatment.
If other measures do not work, a doctor might recommend injecting corticosteroids or numbing medication directly into the affected area. Learn more about costochondritis here. A traumatic injury to the chest may result from a sports-related incident, a surgical procedure, or an accident, such as a fall from a height.
Approximately two-thirds of people who experience physical trauma have chest trauma, with the severity ranging from a rib fracture to injury of the heart. Chest trauma can lead to sharp pain when breathing in. Other symptoms of chest trauma may include:
shortness of breathpain that radiates to the neck or backcoughing up bloodbruising of the chest wall
Doctors will determine the best treatment for chest trauma based on the cause and severity. For instance, if a person is gasping for air, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will likely be the first approach. People with chest trauma should seek immediate medical attention.
Learn more about broken ribs here. Severe stress and anxiety may cause anxiety attacks, a possible symptom of which is sharp pain when breathing in. An anxiety attack can produce a stabbing, needle-like sensation in the middle of the chest. The dread of an upcoming event or a fear that something could happen typically triggers the condition.
People may experience the following symptoms during an anxiety attack:
chest painheart palpitationsdifficulty breathinglightheadednesssweatinga headache
Treatment options for anxiety-related disorders include:
cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) support groups for people with specific conditionsprescription antidepressants or anxiolytics to reduce the symptoms, in some cases
Anyone considering seeking professional help should ensure that they select a well-trained and qualified professional. Learn more about anxiety attacks here. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, the sac-like tissue surrounding the heart. The cause of pericarditis remains unclear, but viral infections are a common cause. Other factors may also cause pericarditis, including:
injury to the heart or surgeryinflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus other health conditions, including tuberculosis or kidney failure
People with pericarditis experience sharp pain when breathing in or a dull ache that may feel better when sitting upright or leaning forward. The pain may also radiate to the left shoulder and neck. Other symptoms of pericarditis can include:
fever shortness of breathlightheadednessheart palpitationsswelling of the abdomen and legsa cough
The best treatment for pericarditis depends on the cause and severity of the condition. If the condition is mild, it usually gets better on its own. For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe OTC pain relievers and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
difficulty breathingchest tightness or painsevere shortness of breathrapid breathingair hunger, which refers to the inability to breathe in sufficient air sudden dizzinessfever excessive sweating
Experiencing sharp pain when breathing in can be worrying. Although the condition may not be a cause for alarm — at least in most cases — it can sometimes be a sign of a severe illness. The condition may arise due to various causes, including chest trauma and other medical conditions, such as pneumonia.
Does lung pain feel like a pulled muscle?
Pleuritis – Pleuritis, or pleurisy, refers to inflammation of the lining of the lungs. A bacterial or viral infection is the most common cause. Pleuritis can cause pain that feels like a pulled chest muscle. It is generally sharp, sudden, and increases in severity when taking a breath.
How does lung pain start?
Potential causes of lung pain include respiratory infection, pleurisy, tuberculosis, pneumonia, asthma, or pulmonary embolism. Pain in the lung area may also be related to heart or intestinal tract issues. People often cite ‘lung pain’ to describe the pain they feel in their chest.