Asthma UK community forum

chest pains

ive had asthma all my life but for the past year and half i have had quite serious chest pains, ive been back ad forth to hospital, yet nobady knows what has been causing the pain. although recently i have been told it may be my asthma which is causing the pain.

just wondering if anybody else has had these pains and have managed to find a way of easing them


15 Replies

Hi and welcome to the forum. Chest pain is very common with asthma. I have chest pain all the time dating back to my childhood (I'm 53 now) particularly my left lung, which has some long term damage. The pain is much worse when I have a cold or any sort of infection. I've had tests over the years to check out my heart, which I presume you have had.

I take paracetomal when it's particularly bad and if I'm in bed (or resting) I have a hot water bottle. I find the heat is soothing. This topic has come up before - if you type Chest Pain into the search Keywords box on the left hand side of this page, it will bring up previous posts. Sorry I cant be more helpful, but at least you know you are not alone.


Chest Pains

Hi thanks for your post, I often get chest pains with this asthma, the other day I was refered to the repratory clinic where they did all the spiro bloods and Xray and whilst doing the lung function I started getting strong chest pains, It felt like the pain you get after being hit and it lasted for 30 mins + and then turned into a dull ach, the clinic seemed to be concerned with this, however, one of the team thought it could be pleurisy, Ive not found anything apart from pain killers to deal with it. I think time will tell on this one.

Keep Well


hi i have had a vairety of different tests, such as ECG's and xrays as well as lung functioning tests. whcih have all come back normal, which is really confusing me, becuase im still finidng i am struggling with these pains, i have been booked in for a ct scan on tuesday, which i am hoping can shed some form of light on the subject of these pains as i have never had these pains before the begin over a year ago, as you can imagine at 19 years old being in so much pain is not good, when friends are doing so much that i cant do becuase im in the pain, its like pot luck on planning for the few days in the month i get freedom from the pains.

i have been put on gabapentin to help with the pain, but wanted to no if anyone had faced these problems before and found a way to ease it without the use of medication. the pain i get starts in the back area near my lungs then come round the side which is often seriously painful causing it to catch my breath makin me feel really light headed.

upon recently going to the docs though i was told it may be my asthma or cound be a damaged nerve within my chest area, (hoping it is not becuae could lead to me requiring an op) wont know though till results of my CT scan comes back.

thank you for replying to my add


Hi krazykell and welcome!

Sounds painful. I've had chest pains too though not that bad, but they can be very painful and annoying. I'd always assumed they were connected to my rib pains (I managed, like a lot of asthmatics, to inflame my rib cartilages and they complain a lot - that also hurts round the back and sides sometimes, as well as a sharp pain at the bottom of the ribs on the front.)

Have also had all the heart investigations a few times (for that and other things) but all normal as well luckily.

Have they mentioned it could be your ribs? Hope the CT scan goes ok anyway and it's nothing serious. If it is ribs then painkillers are probably best - does the gabapentin work? I took ibuprofen which worked well as it's an anti-inflammatory but of course you may not be able to - often it's not an option for asthmatics, I've just got lucky with still being able to have NSAIDs.


i have found the gabapentin often helps to ease the pains. no not had a doc that has mentioned it could be something to do with my ribs. your lucky if you can still take NSADS, im one of those they seem to make my asthma really bad. what makes me laugh though about the problem im in is it is only recently they have decided to do this CT scan after redoing bloods,ECG's and xrays aswell as lung functions tests over and over again, i would walk in to the room fr the test and state it is going to come back normal before they have even got the results back, often shocking the doc or nurse doing the test.

i think they have only recently decided to do the CT scan as i have continuesly nagged them to death to help find an answer becuase it bugged me one doc would say one thing then another would say something comepletly different.


Ah that's a shame :( But glad the gabapentin does help.

Your post could have been me writing - I've often done the same, said 'it's normal, isn't it?' and been right. Though I don't always get it right - last appt cons went to get my blood total IgE results and I said 'I expect it's normal, isn't it?' and he said 'Actually no. It's high - substantially high.'

But yes, mostly they say different stuff (only just seen someone other than my GP who's good and actually listens) and do tests which come back normal - I have another thing which may or may not be related to asthma, feeling dizzy a lot and they keep doing same tests - having yet another echo next week. I'm predicting normal as the last two have been normal but maybe I shouldn't be so confident...

Good luck with your CT scan - hope you get some answers but also that it's something they can easily fix and you can get rid of the pains.


it gets annoying though when they do the same tests over and over again especially when you know your self its going to come back normal, im just hoping i get an answer other than normal with the CT scan. need to get it fixed soon its really annoying me know, more with the fact i see one doctor at the hospital and they say its my asthma then see different docs and they say it could be a damaged nerve, which could need an op to fix that. :( .

ive had the feeling of being dizzy a few times, but find it harder to discribe to people, my doc has linked mine to my chest pains, as they can take my breath quite badly, so im on constant watch of my mum, she consitently panics bout my asthma.

what i dont get when they say it could be my asthma surely i should have had these pains before now, considering ive had asthma for 19 years. my asthma is really well controlled aswell, which also adds to my doubt bout it being my asthma


I have had Asthma since my early teens...I am 64 now...and my chest pains started a few years ago. I have osteoarthritis and thought it had developed in my ribs. A dull sometimes sharp pain in my ribs and under my shoulder blade on the right side. I too have had heart checks which came back normal I was worried about my heart and it was good to know it is fine. It sounds awful but it is such a relief to hear of other Asthmatics with this problem!!! I do sometimes think that I am going slowly nutty with the variety of symptoms I get. I too get dizziness but I have low blood pressure so I assume that is the cause. Maybe just being exhausted from the Asthma and plain old lack of a decent nights sleep could cause lots of the problems we all seem to have???? My GP says I make him Never!!!


having similar trouble myself at present, so you are not alone KrazyKell. my asthma gives me symptoms that are like a dull ache/tightness in my throat, then the same sort of ache starts in between my shoulder blades. if i dont do something like take my inhaler and rest then it progresses to the lower base of my rib cage left side where it stays. it hurts to lie on it, to touch and to breathe (randomly it doesnt hurt yawning as much as breathing). coughing (one of my other symptoms) doesnt help either. i have wondered if it was my rib cage or my lungs or my linings between the two (pleura). cant work it out, but have found that paracetamol takes the edge off as does using my reliever. take care all of you xx ><>


mine does not seem to hurt when breathing, when someone touches near my ribs, which is kinda confusing, as it can be very uncomfrtable to lie on. which can often cause me to wake during the night in really bad pain.

mine is like a sharp pain, which then eases to a dull ache which can often switch back and forth whcih makes it harder to discribe to the docs. i find it easier explaining it to people who have asthma themselves as they often understand alot more.

i found paracetamol worked a little but the pain seemed to get worse which has caused my medication to be swapped back and forth to find the best pain relief, which at the minute seems to be gabapentin. i find my reliver can help to ease the pain a little on some occassions.

asthma sufferers dont seem to get it easy.


Do you find it hurts more when you lay on your side? kind of crushing pain in the ribs? This wakes me up at night and I just have to get up no matter how stupid a time it is.I found that I do not get as much pain since I got a back rest so that I can sleep sitting up a bit. I do hope you get sorted out soon and feel better than you do at the moment.


O my goodness my 6yr old daughter has been crying all day today with chest pain. Her asthma is definitely alot worse too. :-( she's never complained re chest pain before now tho. :-/


awww poor little one - Emily. please can i suggest that if your daughter is in that much pain that she's cried all day that you get an emergency appointment for her with the GP. it's not good that it hurts that bad! please give her a gentle hug from me (all the way from the Isle of Man).

Pauline - i know how that feels and i wish that propping me up in bed was as good for me as for you! propping me up is great for the lungs especially if the chest is playing up, however its no good on the hips or lower back.

take care. see the GP if the pain is too bad and doesn't ease with releiver or painkillers, please!

xx ><>


Spiritedstream I know what you mean about hips and back problems! I have Arthritis in my knees and hips and a problem with my Pelvis and most mornings I am stiff as a board!!!! But being able to breath a little bit better outweighs most things. My poor husband gets out of bed and asks what stupid time did I get up this time and was it my chest or other aches and pains that did it?!

Poor little one crying and not being able to explain what is wrong. Hope she gets better very soon. My son had awful problems with Asthma when he was younger...from about 4 months until he was 11 when it just went! He still gets hay fever but no wheezing or chest problems at all. Good luck with everything and fingers crossed she is one of the lucky ones who grow out of it.


My chest pains seem to ease if I have 2 puffs on my Reliever Inhaler. I recently went to the Doctors to tell him about the awful pains I have been suffering with and he has given me a Preventer Inhaler. I'm hoping this may take the inflammation down in my tubes and ease the pain.


You may also like...