Pain in the back of breathing: 8 main causes and what to do
Pain in the back of breathing is generally related to some problem that affects the lungs or the lining of these organs, which is known as the pleura. The most common cases are the flu and cold, but the pain can also arise in more serious pulmonary alterations, such as pneumonia or pulmonary embolism, for example.
Although less frequent, pain can also be a sign of problems in other areas, from the muscles to the heart, however, these situations are usually associated with other symptoms that do not involve breathing alone.
In any case, the best option whenever this type of pain arises, especially if it lasts more than 3 days or if it is very intense, it is necessary to consult a neumonologist or a general doctor to have diagnostic tests performed, such as radiographs, and so on. manage to identify the possible cause and initiate the most suitable treatment.
Therefore, the most common causes of pain on the back of breathing include:
1. Flu and cold
The flu and the cold are very common health conditions that are caused by the entry of the virus into the body, which causes symptoms such as rhinitis, cough, excessive tiredness and even fever. However, although it is less frequent, both the flu and the cold can also cause the appearance of pain in the back of the breath, which is usually related to the accumulation of secretions in the respiratory tracts or the fatigue of the respiratory muscles for the act of coughing.
What to do: The flu and cold viruses are eliminated naturally by the immune system during a few days. For this reason, it is best to adopt measures that help to strengthen the body’s defenses and a faster recovery, such as keeping rest and drinking lots of fluids during the day. Find out 7 simple tips to do at home and get rid of the flu faster.
2. Muscle strain
Muscle strain is another relatively common and not very serious cause of pain in breathing. This condition occurs when the muscle fibers suffer small injuries and, therefore, generate pain for 2 to 3 days. This can arise when someone exerts greater effort with the muscles of the back, what can happen with bad posture during the day, perform exercises in the gym or, simply, by being very strong during a flu or cold situation.
What to do: The best form of treatment for muscle strain is rest, it prevents the use of injured muscle fibers. In addition, applying a cold compress to the area during the first 48 hours, 3 to 4 times a day, can also help relieve pain. Learn more about muscle strain and what to do.
Costochondritis consists of inflammation of the cartilages that connect the sternum to the ribs. This condition usually causes strong pain in the pecho, which can radiate from the back, especially when breathing deeply. In addition to pain, costochondritis can even cause shortness of breath and discomfort if the sternum is pressed.
What to do: Normally, the pain caused by costochondritis improves with the application of hot compresses in the sternum region, in addition to resting and avoiding great efforts. However, when the pain is very strong or makes it difficult to carry out daily activities, it is advisable to consult an orthopedist or general practitioner to assess the need to start treatment with medications, such as analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Learn more about this condition and its treatment.
Normally there is pain on the back of breathing if there is only a symptom of flu or cold, there are also situations in which the pain worsens, which could indicate an infection a little more serious, as is the case of pneumonia.
In these cases, in addition to pain, symptoms and rhinitis, which are common with the flu and colds, other signs and symptoms can even appear, such as intense difficulty in breathing, fever above 38 ºC and green phlegm or with blood, for example. Know how to identify a situation of pneumonia.
What to do: In case of a suspicion of pneumonia, it is always very important to consult a doctor to diagnose the problem and initiate the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of antibiotics. However, since pneumonia can be quite contagious, especially if it is caused by a virus, it is recommended that, if possible, you put on a mask when you leave the house.
5. Pulmonary embolism
Although unusual, pulmonary embolism is another problem that can cause intense pain in the back while breathing. This condition occurs when one of the pulmonary vessels is blocked by a clot, which prevents the blood flow to some parts of the lung. When this occurs, in addition to pain, symptoms such as severe shortness of breath, bleeding and bluish skin, for example, are common.
Embolism can arise in any person, but it is more frequent in those with a history of thrombosis, circulation problems, overweight or a very sedentary lifestyle.
What to do: given that it is a very serious situation, whenever there is a suspicion of having a pulmonary embolism, it is recommended to go to the emergency as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis and start the treatment, which is normally carried out using drugs that help to destroy it. the clot, like the heparin. I understand better what is the embolism, what are the symptoms and how to treat it.
Pleuritis, also called pleurisy, is another condition that can cause intense pain in the back while breathing, occurring when some type of fluid accumulates between the layers of the pleura, which is the membrane that covers the lungs. When this occurs, the pleura becomes inflamed and the pain tends to worsen when you breathe deeply or cough. Asimism, other symptoms include very frequent, feeling of lack of air and persistent low fever.
Although it is not considered a serious situation, pleuritis can be an important sign, as it usually appears in people who have another respiratory problem and can mean that the treatment for this problem is not working.
What to do: The investigation of pleuritis must always be evaluated by the doctor, for this reason, it is important to go to the hospital. To carry out the treatment, an anti-inflammatory drug is always indicated to relieve the inflammation of the pleura and improve the symptoms, without embargo, the doctor may also need to identify the cause of the pleuritis.
Pain in the back of breathing is always related to a lung problem, however, this can also arise due to certain heart problems, such as the case of pericarditis. Pericarditis is inflammation of the membrane that covers the heart muscle, called pericardium; which, in addition to generating pain in the face, can cause intense pain that radiates from the back, especially when breathing deeply.
Pericarditis is more common in people who have some type of infection or inflammation in another part of the body, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis or even caries.
What to do: The treatment of pericarditis can be relatively easy, especially when the problem is identified at an early stage. Therefore, if there is a suspicion of a problem in the heart, it is advisable to consult a cardiologist to evaluate both the symptoms and the personal medical history, with the aim of establishing a diagnosis and indicating the most appropriate treatment.
Despite that the most common symptom of a heart attack is the onset of very intense pain in the form of oppression in the pecho, there are also cases in which the pain starts with a slight discomfort in the back that stops breathing. Other symptoms that can be associated with the sensation of tingling in one of the arms, usually in the left hand, nausea and general malaise, as well as difficulty breathing.
Although it is relatively rare, heart attack is an increasingly frequent situation, especially in people who have some risk factors, such as a poorly balanced diet, smoking, living constantly under stress or having a history of high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
What to do: Whenever there is a suspicion of a heart attack, it is very important to go to the hospital quickly, since, even though it is diagnosed, there is a greater chance of treating the problem and preventing the emergence of complications. Learn more about how to recognize a possible heart attack.
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