Asthma UK community forum

Back pain

Has anyone had back pain when using steroid inhalers?

It is a constant stiffness and ache and sometimes it feels like a burning. I have tried paracetamol, Ibuleve gel and heat patches - nothing seems to help it. Sometimes a very hot shower eases it for a short time.

I've asked this before on the Forums here but it feels like I am the only person who has ever had this side effect.

I have tried so many different ones and am back on the Beclometasone. My whole back aches 85% of the time and it is really getting me down.

One doctor suggested I try Singulair and I wasn't sure about them as I know they can take 3 months to kick in.

Does anyone use Singulair as the preventer (with no other brown/preventer inhaler)?

I use Bricanyl as my reliever.

I can't get back to the GP until next Thursday!

Most of the doctors write question marks on my notes when I say I have a sore back and I think is related to the brown inhalers.

3 Replies

not quite the same, but I get on and off upper back pain when I feel asthmatic.

I have brought this up with all the docs but nobody seems to have heard of it, let alone be able to tell me why it happens.

I had an x ray a while ago but nothing showed up in the upper back.

For now it remains a mystery, but I have to add the asthma UK nurses on the telephone helpline for this website I once spoke to HAD heard of the upper back pain, and in MY case, I stress MY case, I was told a possible cause is not enough oxygen & having parts of my body work harder to try to compensate, I was also advised to ask docs to review my inhalers.

The upper back pain still happens here and there, even though I am now on relievers as well as preventer, but I guess in my case the asthmatic condition is still under investigation and so I hope my diary keeping helps when I show it.

Sorry for hijacking but hopefully some bits of what I've rambled on about might help you in some way even though we differ.


Is it your asthma that is causing this pain rather than the inhalers? When my symptoms get to a certain level I get an ache/pain between my shoulder blades. It feels like I want to dig my knuckles into where it is sore to relieve it. When my symptoms improve the pain goes.


I get the upper back pain with symptoms too, and the shoulder blade ache. The upper back pain feels vaguely rib-related but also back- related and also like if I hold it it might go away though it doesn't really. Had this tonight, probably because it was really humid in Boston where I've come from, is humid here and I've just sat up all night on a plane which my lungs dislike. It does seem to go with having a tight chest which is a symptom I get particularly when the weather is very humid.

Re Singulair, I was on it alone for a while as it was the only thing that helped. It did make a difference to me and kicked in within 3 days in my case so I'd say worth asking about! It may not work for you and I will say it only gets me partway there but it's definitely an improvement on how I was without it.

I'd suggest ringing the asthma nurses for suggestions on how to approach your GP about all this, if you haven't already rung them.


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