Back pain when breathing

Back pain when breathing is usually the result of a muscle problem in the upper back. The back muscles are located very close to the lungs; When we breathe in, the lungs expand, forcing the muscles in the upper back and chest to move. A muscle strain in the upper back can cause this movement to cause a sharp or aching pain.

The muscles of the upper back: the latissimus dorsi, which runs from the mid back to below the armpit, the rhomboids, which runs from the shoulder blade to just below the neck, and the trapezius, which It extends from the mid-spine to the shoulder and neck. – They can cause pain when breathing when they are tense. These muscles become strained either from injury or prolonged poor posture.

Rigorous sports or poor body mechanics can leave you with an injured upper back muscle. These muscles, which are used primarily for pushing and pulling, can become strained if the work you are trying to do exceeds the strength of your muscles.

To correct back pain when breathing caused by injury, you must allow the injured muscle to repair itself by avoiding activities that stress it. Once the muscle has healed, you can gradually recondition your upper back to be strong and capable.

Poor posture is probably a more widespread cause of back pain when breathing than a back injury. Stooping, that classic example of poor posture, causes the pectoral muscles of the chest and the teres minor in the armpit to shorten, as the upper back is hunched and the shoulders are hunched in this position. These muscles chronically tense, putting a strain on the shoulders and back. As the muscles in your upper back become overstretched and tense, they weaken.

Tense muscles cause pain when we try to use them. With each breath, the muscles in your back move. This constant use of weak muscles can lead to chronic low back pain, notably triggered by every breath.

The situation worsens when the back muscles begin to spasm. For starters, tense muscles have a hard time receiving a healthy amount of fresh blood flow. Blood enters and leaves the muscles during a relaxation / contraction cycle. Since tense muscles cannot relax or contract properly, they do not receive the proper amount of nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Muscles deprived of oxygen undergo spasms or forced contractions; This is the body’s way of trying to relieve pain and protect muscle by limiting movement. However, the muscles of the upper back must move for us to breathe; when they have spasms, the movement can cause severe pain. The risk of back spasm in this situation is increased by the fact that the stooped posture contracts the lungs and limits the amount of oxygen circulating through the body.

If poor posture is the cause of your pain, then your body will need to be retrained to improve posture for treatment. First, the tight chest muscles must be restored to their natural length. This is best done with the use of a foam roller in a technique called myofascial self-release. Once the chest muscles have lengthened, the upper back muscles can be conditioned to keep the head upright. See for a list of exercises anyone can do to strengthen their upper back.

Practicing proper posture is more than just having enough strength; Since your body has learned the pattern above, you will need concentration and possibly the help of ergonomic accessories such as lumbar supports, cushions, and footrests to encourage proper posture. If the damage from your previous posture is severe, you may need a physical therapist or other professional to guide you through exercises and stretches for many of the muscles in your body.

Back pain when breathing is rarely a sign of a serious condition affecting the lungs. If you have chest pain with back pain, it is advisable to see a doctor. If not, your pain is likely a sign that your back muscles are not healthy and need attention. Breathing shouldn’t be a pain; start your back pain management plan sooner rather than later.

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