Asthma UK community forum

Peak Flow Pain

When I measured my peak flow last night the actual process gave me quite a sharp pain deep in my chest. I had the same this morning but the pain was more intense and although no longer sharp, I still have a lingering 'soreness' a few hours later.

I've been measuring by peak flow for years and never had anything like this. The only problems I've ever had are breathlessness/coughing/exhaustion when my asthma's been particularly bad.

Has anyone experienced this or have any idea what's causing it? My asthma is pretty poor at the moment and my PFs are low. I'm seeing the doctor next week so I'll mention it then. I really need to be measuring my PFs carefully at the moment so not doing them to avoid the pain isn't an option. :(

2 Replies

Ratty, sounds like you might have pulled an inter-costal muscle they are damned painful when they 1st go and every time to cough or try to do anything like a PF it will hurt. On the plus side you have to be doing you PF right because you don't pull inter-costal muscles without putting quite a lot of effort into it! Lost of people ""huff"" into their PF meters and that will give a low reading. I aways say if you put enough effort into to cough afterwards you must be doing it right. If PF's are making it worse don't do them and explain this to your Dr it is not unreasonable to stop them because it hurts. Heat pads are great for the pain, but if you react to NSAIDS avoid ones with ibuprofen in them, although I doubt it proke anything you don't need minor splattage as well!


Thanks Bex. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I do my PF right, the docs and consultants have always said I have a good technique and yes it often makes me cough.

Right now coughing is causing the same pain so I'm trying to sit as still as possible and avoid any exertion. It's not really working... I'll try a hot water bottle, hadn't thought about trying heat. I don't use any of the gels because I am allergic to NSAIDs which cause more than a minor splat and until someone can definitively say the gels are OK, I'm not going to risk it.

I'm quite sure my GP would be OK about me not doing PFs because of this but I am worried by it because my PFs are pretty low at the moment and they're the best indication I have of needing help - I'm very symptomatic at the moment so symptoms alone aren't the best warning (or wouldn't give enough warning) and I need to know where my peak flows are - they have been dropping over the last few weeks and I've been told in no uncertain terms, if they get to a certain level (which they're not that far from :( ), I get help.


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