Why Does My Back Hurt When I Breathe?

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Breathe?

On average, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men experience back pain. This figure indicates the commonness of back pain. But what if it happens at the time of breathing? It can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.

Upper back pain at the time of breathing can be due to many reasons. These may range from heart problems to injuries and infections. A fracture in the vertebra, pleurisy, scoliosis and a panic attack are the other causes of back pain during breathing. 

Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that it causes discomfort during breathing. Due to it, an individual may not take deep breaths, reducing the supply of oxygen to the body. In the long run, it can prove detrimental to their health and may require medical assistance to better the condition.

Causes of Upper Back Pain When Breathing

  1. Pleurisy

A tissue covering the outer part of the lungs may swell due to an infection and cause discomfort due to pain in the chest. In medical terms, this condition is called pleurisy.

Apart from a faster heartbeat and tiredness accompanied by fever, pleurisy also causes pain on the upper back when breathing. This may cause discomfort and make the person gasp for breath. 

In most cases, taking sufficient rest helps an individual recover from the condition. But if pleurisy is due to the deposition of air in the lungs, an individual may need medical treatment or medications for recovery. 

  1. Muscle Strain

Muscle strain is one of the most ordinary conditions of pain in the back at the time of breathing. This generally happens due to the stretching of the muscles when the air goes in and out of the lungs.

Muscle strain is commonplace for those who are associated with sports. Those who do workouts may also experience it. Also, sometimes lifting a heavy object can lead to muscle strain.

The pain resulting from muscle strain subsides gradually with anti-inflammatory and steroidal drugs and rest. But if the condition worsens, it is recommended to seek medical assistance.

  1. Fractured Vertebra

The spine is made of several bones called vertebra. Generally, the vertebra does not fracture unless one meets with a severe accident or an injury in sports. However, studies indicate that osteoporosis can be one of the risk factors. This condition significantly weakens the bones and reduces their strength. As a result, they become brittle and more prone to fracture. 

A fracture in the vertebra aggravates pain at the time of breathing, making an individual feel uncomfortable. However, one can heal naturally by performing specific exercises. Also, adopting common approaches such as a back brace can help heal the condition over time.

  1. Panic Disorder

A panic describes a sudden feeling of nervousness that prevents an individual from thinking clearly. Thus, panic disorder refers to a condition featuring a sudden panic attack. Sometimes, an individual may also experience a panic attack due to its thought.

An individual who experiences panic disorder exhibits many symptoms. These include dizziness, irregular heartbeat, sweating, chest pain, and difficulty and discomfort while breathing.

Treatments include breathing exercises, medications, and relaxation techniques. 

  1. Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to the condition in which the shape of a straight spine changes into that of a curve sideways. The majority of the cases linked with back pain from this condition occur when severe. When the upper back pains due to it, it makes breathing uncomfortable.

As for the symptoms, it leans the hips and the shoulders of the body to one side.

Other than exercises, surgical treatments may be necessary to obtain relief from pain and bodily discomfort due to scoliosis. Doing it early on leads to better results.

  1. Heart Attack

In most cases, a heart attack occurs without notice. Fortunately, though, there are some indicators to identify it. The commonest one among them is the shortness of breath accompanied by chest pain.

A heart attack may also result due to irregularity in the heartbeat. In medical terms, this condition is called arrhythmia. 

Contrary to the common perception, studies indicate that the progression of heart attack is slow. But it can be fatal if not addressed in time. Before treatment, doctors usually diagnose the condition to get to the bottom of its root cause.

It is imperative to dial 911 when one experiences any of the common symptoms of a heart attack. These include pain in the chest, dizziness, back or jaw pain, and shoulder pain or arm pain. 

  1. Chest Infection

A chest infection may surface at any age and is not restricted by any age factor. This explains why it affects children, adolescents, and adults alike. The two general forms of chest infections are bronchitis and pneumonia. 

Generally, a chest infection leads to the inflammation of the lungs. Some of its common symptoms include a high body temperature, fever, and cough. The back pain resulting from an infection in the chest can be painful. It makes breathing difficult, thereby putting one in an awkward situation at the time of breathing. 

While adults can treat mild chest infection at home with medicine, older adults and children may need serious medical attention and further treatment for the same. Usually, it is a good idea to consult a doctor immediately upon experiencing the symptoms of a chest infection.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, the back may hurt at the time of breathing due to a wide range of reasons. One of the above conditions can be responsible for it. Taking the right medical advice can help deal with it. Seeing a doctor at the earliest will help with the diagnosis of the condition and help receive the right treatment accordingly. The sooner it happens, the better.

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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