Chest pain in the morning


I wondered if womeone could help me, or if anyone has a similar experience.

I don't have much asthma during the night (I doesn't wake me up) but when I wake up in the morning I often have chest pains, and my chest feels tight, like there's a weight on it. For some reason, this seems to be worse if I sleep on my back, or if I sleep late in the morning.The pain usually eases once I stand up, take deep, regular breaths, and take my morning dose of seretide, but the tightness is hard to get rid off: it usually stays with me most of the day and my breathing feels more shallow, even if I take Ventoline. It is very frustrating, I feel this spoils my days off work as I can't enjoy whatever I'm doing as much as I normally would.

I have mentionned this to my GP and to the doctor at the respiratory clinic, but they don't seem to take it seriously, since I don't have attacks or wheeze. I realise it could be worse, but still I'd like to get rid of it. Would breathing exercices or breathing physiotherapy help?

I have mild asthma, triggered by excercise and allergies, but rarely wheeze and usually have a normal peak-flow. My most common syptoms are cough (I cough a lot, all days, all day long) and chest tightness.

Thanks if anyone can help!

9 Replies

  • My experience is kind of similar to yours. I wake up at about 4-5am and need my inhaler, but then when I actually get up I find my chest is tight and full of crap until around 2ish.

    I'm afraid I don't know if breathing exercises or whatever would help though I'm afraid.

    Sorry not to be more help x

  • Sorry I can't offer any help either, but I wake up with a tight chest every morning, and the same as you it is worse if I sleep late. Some mornings it is milder and just goes away when I get up and start moving around, some mornings it is worse and accompanied by shortness of breath and in that case it can continue into the morning.

  • I know how you feel because I am the same with the pain. I have Arthritis and at one time I thought it had spread to my ribs because I was in pain every morning. All round my ribs as if a heavy weight had been lying on me all night! Sometimes it lasts all day and is always in the background but lately I have found that I can no longer lay flat in bed with just pillows. I have mentioned this to my doctor who just said that I have Asthma and that it sometimes just arrives and all he could suggest was to take pain killers. I now have a foam wedge bed rest which has helped a lot but not cleared it altogether. May be worth a try and not too expensive mine was £25 well spent. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Hi,

    I know what you mean about this. I never used to have a tight chest that much but recently I've really started to notice it oan almost daily basis, and throughout the day (I haven't noticed it more in the morning but it is there). Chest pains are also a feature throughout the da y and hae been fo a while though again for me not especially in the morning, but I also have the funky, furry feeling on waking up which does tend to wear off. I start the night propped up but tend to slide down and move around in my sleep which makes things worse.

    Really the drs should be listening to you about this as chest tightness is one of the classic symptoms of asthma, but as I know very well they don't always listen properly and sometimes you feel like you're saying the same thing over and over and no-one ever hears it! Like you I have no attacks, just persistent SOB and tightness and generally good PFs along with no wheeze, so I have been in the same situation with not quite being taken seriously by some drs and it is really annoying. My latest cons however has said that this just makes it a lot harder to assess what my asthma is doing, and doesn't mean there's nothing going on.

  • Thanks for your replies, it's good to know I'm not the only one! I actually had a doctor tell me that I didn't have asthma and was just unfit, because my PF was normal...

    Philomela, did your doctor have any opinion on how to ease this? I mean, if it's a normal asthma symptom maybe increasing/improving the treatment could help...

  • You're welcome! Sadly you are not the first to be told that and won't be the last. You can't really change your consultant (I went through two who basically told me I was hyperventilating and stressed, or, in the words of (actually good) consultant number three, 'he thinks you're mad'.) However, you should, if you can, change GP - is that the only one in the practice you've seen? Having a good and supportive GP made a huge difference to me as it meant I was able to get referred again and had someone listen to me properly and back me up.

    Chest tightness is a normal asthma symptom yes as is the SOB I also get but no, sadly my consultant isn't really sure how to proceed at the moment even though he's a major big cheese in the asthma world - I've gone through rather a lot of treatments which haven't worked! My lungs' favourite occupation is confusing me and any medical professional I come across - but in your case you're not necessarily there yet even if you do sound similar to me in several ways, so don't panic - a lot of the time chest tightness can be improved/removed by tinkering with the preventers. I see you're already on Seretide; perhaps that doesn't suit you, or maybe you need an add-on therapy as well. You clearly aren't properly controlled and your doctors should be paying attention, so if you possibly can I would make an appointment with a different GP asap and tell them all this.

    PM me any time if you'd like - as I said I've been there and been used as a lab rat. Asthma is a pain, and I'm not as bad as many on here but non-classic asthma can be a real pain as many doctors just don't seem to be aware that it can present differently! Sometimes I would welcome a wheeze...

  • I have those pains, and while not always in the morning, what I notice is I can no longer sit on unsupportive seats like stools - I think the posture these force my body into are a trigger.

    In addition to that, I can no longer wear tight fitting clingy clothing round the waist nor round the bust nor bra's that shop assistants claim are the right size, because they are all triggers - perhaps it something todo with that ""squashed lung"" thing that was recently mentioned in the discussion group.

    Actually I am no expert on asthma at all, but I sometimes wonder whether my poor posture is a trigger in itself, and as we are not in control of our posture while we're asleep perhaps this is significant with regards to your question...

  • Hi all,

    I asked a GP in my family and he thinks it might be due to gastroesophagal

    acid reflux, which apparently builds up when you're lying down for a long time and can affect asthma. (I'm not sure about the translation of ""gastroesophagal acid reflux"" by the way, sorry but this conversation wasn't in English!). This could be treated with specific drugs and could ease the pain / asthma symptoms in the morning. As those drugs have a low toxicity, there's not much risks linked with taking it.

    I'm going to mention this to my consultant at my next appointment and see what happens.

  • I get dreadful acid and a feeling of being about to be sick but never thought it could be connected to my chest pain or Asthma! My husband takes one tablet a day for acid reflux because he has copd and it works for him. I think I will see my doctor next week to see what he thinks.

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