If a person feels back pain while breathing, then this can be a threatening signal for something very serious. Many conditions can be associated with it but serious ones are pneumonia, blood clot, or any other serious illness. Possible reasons may range from muscle strain to poor posture, asthma, anxiety, and heart problems.  Maybe some other conditions which are affecting internal organs become the reason behind this disease. If you suffer from this condition there are chances that it will recover soon but if it persists for more than two to three days then, you need to consult a doctor for back pain management.

Conditions Linked With Back Pain When Breathing

Conditions which have a link with middle back pain when breathing are given as follows:

  • Pleurisy

In pleurisy, any type of infection either bacterial or viral affects the pleura, which is present outside the lung. This condition results in difficulty breathing or chest discomfort. Moreover, along with breathing problems patients may also experience back pain along with shoulder pain. This condition becomes more intense upon inhaling. By taking medications along with rest, condition can be improved with the passage of time. Doctors can also prescribe medications for reducing swelling of lungs and fighting against infection. But in some cases, patients might need to visit the hospital for some time to remove the excess fluid (pleural effusion) around the lungs.

Other symptoms of pleurisy include:

  • fast heart rate
  • cough
  • tiredness
  • and fever
  • Sciatica 

In sciatica, the sciatic nerve becomes compressed in the lower back and the pain radiates to legs after passing through the hips. Mostly, this condition occurs due to spinal canal narrowing or bulging of spinal disc (herniated disc). Sciatica can lead to tingling, loss of sensation, and weakness of muscles.  Sciatica pain can be so intense sometimes, that it could take your breath away. OTC pain relievers, physical therapy, heat and cold therapy, and in some emergency condition surgery can be used to get relief of sciatica pain.

  • Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis not only affects the hip or knee but also affects the spine. In osteoarthritis, damage occurs to the cartilage that cushions the facet joints, which connect your spine to each other. When a person is already suffering from this type of condition and also breathes, his back pain gets worse.

When to See a Doctor

If you have middle back pain when breathing that lasts for more than a week, see your doctor to rule out an underlying cause. They may also prescribe physical therapy to strengthen your back muscles. You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.

  • You should see your doctor sooner if you notice sharp pain in your back while breathing, or if your back pain is accompanied by:
  • Tingling or numbness in your legs or buttocks
  • Fever, weight loss, or bowel or bladder problems
  • Head to the emergency room, or call 911 if you experience:
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that’s sharp and prevents you from taking a deep breath
  • Blood in your cough

Conditions Requiring Emergency Medical Attention

Serious causes of middle back pain when breathing that require emergency medical attention are:

  • Heart Attack: 

Shortness of breath (SOB) along  with chest pain and discomfort in the back, neck, arms, or jaws are the most common warning signs of a heart attack. 

  • Lung Cancer:

As a result of this condition, breathing and coughing may be painful if the tumor pushes against your spine if lung cancer has spread beyond the lung. 

  • Chest Pain:

You may experience chest pain which is caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart. In addition, you may experience back pain as well as difficulty breathing due to the insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart.

  • Pulmonary Embolism: 

If you experience sudden shortness of breath, intense chest pain or backache, fainting, or weakness due to a blood clot in the lung, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How is Upper Back Pain Treated When Breathing?

The physician may prescribe one or more of the following solutions following a consultation regarding middle  back pain when breathing:

  • Medication 

Pain killers are sufficient to relieve discomfort in the upper back if there is no underlying cause for the pain. Listen carefully to what your physician has to say about the medicines you should take and those you should avoid.

  • Injections 

Injections are used to deliver powerful pain medications directly to the facet joints and nerve roots. Patients who are interested in experimenting with other treatments, such as exercise and physical therapy, may benefit from these drugs in the short term. However, these injections are effective at relieving acute or chronic pain when administered at the right dose.

  • Massage 

It facilitates the free flow of blood to problematic areas. The purpose of massage therapy is to provide maximum pain relief to patients by targeting different areas of the upper back.

  • Physical Therapy

As a result of this treatment, pain and discomfort are relieved in the problem areas. Besides strengthening the muscles in the upper back and shoulder blade, it also increases the flexibility of the neck. Patients suffering from upper back pain caused by an injury or trauma can also benefit from physical therapy.

  • Sleep on Your Side

If you sleep on your back, you should be aware that this position places pressure on the spine. Under your knees, place pillows to reduce the pressure.

  • Good Posture

Many American adults suffer from upper back pain as a result of poor posture. The risk of upper back pain can be reduced by maintaining a good posture when walking, sitting, or lifting heavy objects.

The Bottom Line

Back pain caused by breathing can be caused by several factors. As a result, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is advisable in order to address the pain caused by one or more of these causes. 

The symptoms of severe or worsening back pain while breathing should be discussed with your physician. You should seek medical attention at Fort Worth pain management immediately if you experience symptoms of a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or severe pneumonia.