Do you suffer from back pain when breathing??? We hope that is why you are here. People tend to slip up on back pain or spinal pain thinking they will eventually get okay. But darn! back pain when breathing is not something you should overlook. Any such negligence might cost you your life, therefore, you should know the reasons for back pain when breathing and take precautions as required. 

Possible Causes of Back Pain when Breathing

Here are the major possible causes of back pain while breathing

Back Pain when Breathing
Back Pain when Breathing

1. Strained Muscles

You can get a strained muscle because of some injury or because of repetitive use or habits. If you, by any unfortunate way, have strained a muscle on your back, then most probably you will have sharp pain to the side of your body where you got injured.

Luckily, strained muscles have very fewer chances of being severe. Your back might get recovered by themselves with some rest. Some of the symptoms of strained muscles are:

  • Sudden pain when moving or breathing
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Trouble bending over
  • Muscle spasms

Even if you see these symptoms in you, it is better if you get a proper checkup. The doctor can then confirm if you are suffering from strained muscles or some other issues.

2. Pulmonary embolism

Back Pain when Breathing
Back Pain when Breathing

Do you know what pulmonary embolism is? For those who don’t know, pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in an artery of your lungs. This condition is very much life-threatening and needs to be immediately taken to medical care. Some other symptoms include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Restlessness
  • Weak pulse

The most common and notable symptom of pulmonary embolism is shortness of breath. 

3. Obesity

Too much fat around the abdomen, neck, and back increases the pressure or weight under your body. This increase in weight causes certain breathing issues or discomfort while breathing.

Also, people with obesity can have chances of developing obesity hypoventilation syndrome. If you think one of your reasons for back pain when breathing is obesity then you should also be careful regarding obesity hypoventilation syndrome. For that, you can check yourself with these symptoms:

  • trouble breathing at night
  • feeling sluggish throughout the day
  • feeling out of breath
  • Headaches

4. Bruised or broken ribs

The symptoms for both bruised ribs and broken ribs are the same. It is hard to differentiate for a layperson. To know the sharp pain in back when breathing, you can get an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI that will clearly show if it is a bruised rib or broken rib. Symptoms of such issues include:

  • discoloration around the injury
  • muscle spasms or twitching
  • tenderness around the injury

5. Fractured Vertebra

If you recently had a traumatic injury, then you might have a fractured vertebra. Be careful here, in this case, you have to minimize your movements, or else the pain will get worse and the possible symptoms are:

  • numbness and tingling
  • Weakness
  • bladder dysfunction

6. Heart Attack

A heart attack is caused when there is a blockage in the blood flow to your heart. Due to the stoppage of blood flow, your heart muscles start to die. The pain or pressure because of a heart attack then spreads all over your chest and back.

The symptoms of heart attack can vary from person to person, hence you need to be very careful because they are vicious to your health. If you feel that you are suffering a heart attack, then this is a medical emergency and you should immediately call 911. Symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain in your left arm
  • Continuous sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

7. Lung Cancer

Can you ever imagine lung cancer can also be a reason for sharp pain in back when deeply breathing? You will get tricked by lung cancer because they don’t provide any early symptoms. The tumor in the lungs can cause back pain when breathing. Also, if cancer spreads to other organs, the bones are likely to hurt.

Some signs that you can look for are mentioned below and in case you notice these signs, without any delay, approach a doctor and follow his/her advice for proper diagnosis.

  • a lingering cough
  • coughing up blood
  • chest pain that gets worse when you breathe, cough, or laugh
  • frequent respiratory infections
  • pain when swallowing
  • shortness of breath
  • hoarseness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • loss of appetite

8. Pneumonia

Pneumonia can also be the cause of your back pain when breathing. Depending on the type of pneumonia a person has, the level of severity and treatment varies. They can be severe or mild. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Coughing mucus
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath even when you are resting

9. Herniated Disk

The most affected region due to herniated disk is your lower back pain when breathing. They are also capable of sabotaging your nervous system, so if you notice any of the below-mentioned symptoms, kindly approach a medical specialist.

  • pain and numbness on one side of your body
  • tingling or burning near the injury
  • muscle weakness
  • pain that extends to your arms or legs
  • pain that gets worse after standing or sitting
Back Pain when Breathing
Back Pain when Breathing

10. Pleurisy

This condition can make inhaling difficult for you. You are likely to feel constant or stabbing pain in your chest. The pain often gets worse when you breathe. The pain may also spread to your shoulders and back. Symptoms:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sudden weight loss

11. Scoliosis

The direct cause of scoliosis is not always known, but most probably, developmental issues, genetics, and neurological conditions may contribute. People with scoliosis have chances of having pain in the rib cage as well as back pain when breathing. Symptoms:

  • Pain when breathing
  • Back pain
  • Uneven shoulders

These are some of the serious causes of back pain when breathing. We hope you take them seriously and make efforts to approach your provider.

Also Read: Back Pain Without Any Reason?