9 causes you feel back pain when breathing
August 19, 2022

If back pain occurs when a person is breathing, it may indicate a lower level of health. In some cases the pain is severe, and the possible causes range from swelling or infection to the spinal cord and lung cancer. Back pain when breathing may indicate a medical emergency, such as heart disease or pulmonary embolism, especially if the person has difficulty breathing or chest pain. This article explores some of the causes of back pain while breathing and explains when to see a doctor.

Types of back pain when breathing;

There are three types of back pain when breathing: which are as under.

  • Upper back pain when breathing

The upper back pain may be accompanied by respiratory problems for a number of possible reasons. These include disease, injury, and heart problems. If the cause is not clear, a person may want to seek medical advice. Pain when breathing may be a sign of a critical condition. Pain in the upper back when breathing often passes through the chest. Acute pain can be a sign of pleurisy or heart disease. Severe pain may be caused by a broken vertebra or muscle stiffness.

Observing other symptoms can sometimes help a person identify the cause of the pain. If back pain causes shortness of breath, it is important to seek medical advice, as it may be a serious cause.

  • Middle back pain when breathing

Many things can cause pain in the left side of your middle spine. Most problems are not serious. Moderate pain refers to pain that occurs under the neck and above the ribs. Therefore, the area contains many bones, muscles, tendons, and nerves. Pain can come directly from any of these. It may also appear on nearby organs that may cause excruciating pain in the lower back.

There are many bone and muscle problems that can cause moderate pain in your left side. Also, muscle tension occurs when a muscle is stretched or torn. Excessive lifting or overuse of your arms and shoulders can cause muscle spasms in the middle or upper back. When this happens, you may have pain in one or both sides. However, it can be treated with physical therapy.

  • Lower back pain when breathing

You may have low back pain for a number of reasons. However, the most common cause of lower back pain while breathing is a smooth disc, especially if that disc compresses the sciatic nerve or your spinal cord. The natural rise and fall of the body during respiration often elevates the smooth disk, because the spine no longer has an outer layer that can withstand shock. However, you may need professional advice on this matter.

When to see a doctor for upper back pain when breathing?

If you experience back pain while breathing, any of the causes listed above are a good reason to see a doctor. If your pain suddenly appears, worsens, or does not go away for a week, then call a doctor.

As soon as a symptom develops, consult your doctor. Be sure to mention other symptoms such as your back pain associated with fever, shortness of breath, and persistent cough.

Diagnosis for upper back pain when breathing

Identifying the cause of the above pain can be challenging, requiring physical examination and some form of diagnostic examination such as X-ray. Your doctor will be interested in knowing your medical history and will want to know when the symptoms started, the type of pain, where you are being asked, the lifestyle, and the history of the injury.

Possible Causes Of Back Pain Triggered By Breathing

Although back pain may vary from patient to patient, there are certain risk factors that can make you more likely to experience back pain while breathing. Some of these causes include:

1. Obesity

Excess weight around the abdomen, neck, and back can easily put pressure on your muscle groups and nerve groups, which can cause pain and discomfort while breathing. In severe cases, obese patients may also develop obesity hyperventilation syndrome (also known as Pickwickian syndrome), a condition in which the blood is deficient in oxygen.

2. Lung Cancer

The most common cause of back pain while breathing late stage lung cancer. Plants in the lungs that depress nerves in the thorax area can cause severe pain every time you breathe, laugh, or talk. You may feel this pain when you swallow food and water or cough up blood in the evening. However, you may also feel back pain due to dorsalgia.

3. Kyphosis

Kyphosis can often lead to excessive stress in the spine which can compress nerves and leave limited space for your lungs to grow. In addition to causing more difficulty breathing due to high pressure, severe forms of kyphosis can damage the spine where ribs begin to pierce the lungs and other internal organs. This tight space associated with lung enlargement will often cause severe back pain while breathing.

4. Heart attack

In some cases, a heart attack can cause chest pain and even back pain. This back pain can be moderate or severe depending on heart rate, and other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, pain in the arm, or excessive sweating. These conditions are always urgent and should be checked by a doctor immediately.

5. Scoliosis

Scoliosis begins when your spine bends from one side to the other and usually appears during puberty. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of scoliosis, problems with child development, genetics, and malnutrition are important factors. Spinal malformations also cause severe back pain and difficulty breathing, although symptoms may not always be noticeable at first.

6. Active injury

A broken vertebra or an injured and broken limb can cause back pain while breathing, especially if the injury is close to the abdomen. Because of the interconnected system of muscles, tendons, bones, and organs in the chest area, any severe or severe trauma is enough to affect your breathing, even after you have recovered from the injury yourself. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to reduce pain or to improve the patient’s quality of life.

7. Herniated disk

The most common cause of lower back pain while breathing is a loose disc, especially if that disc compresses the sciatic nerve or your spinal cord. The natural rise and fall of the body during respiration often elevates the smooth disk, because the spine no longer has an outer layer that can withstand shock. This condition can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated and may require severe physical therapy far from surgery.

8. Strained muscles

Excessive strenuous physical activity or abrupt movement may stress or damage the muscles in which it is stretched or torn. Depending on the severity of the injury, the tense muscles can compress the nerve endings in your back and spinal column, which can cause severe pain whenever you breathe. Usually, these conditions are resolved after a long bed rest – although your doctor may check you from time to time after the injury has cooled down to make sure the area recovers.

9. Pneumonia

Patients should never self-medicate or try to treat themselves at home when they experience pain while breathing. They should also avoid physical activity that may further strain the area like massages or vigorous exercise unless specifically approved by a medical professional.

Treatments for upper back pain when breathing

After talking to your doctor about your pain, they may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy

If your doctor feels that you need professional help to strengthen your neck, shoulder, and back muscles, they may recommend physiotherapy sessions for you.

  • Pain medications

Your doctor may also prescribe painkillers to make you feel better. Talk to your doctor to read their recommendations and what medications you should avoid.

  • Treating the root cause

Once your doctor has examined you, he may need to address the underlying cause of your pain.

  • Using good posture

Ensuring good posture while sitting, walking, or lifting heavy objects can help reduce the risk of developing upper extremity pain.

  • Massage

Getting a good massage can help loosen your muscles, get the blood flowing freely back to the painful area.

  • Quitting smoking

Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to experience chronic back pain. Therefore, quitting smoking can help relieve upper back pain.