British Lung Foundation
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Upper chest pain

Visited gp last Wednesday due to upper back pain and was told to commence taking another course is Amoxicillin , already had course mid August followed by course of steroids as instructed by gp. I do suffer with lower back pain which is ongoing with occasional flair ups. The current pain is affecting my breathing,I gasp when walking and agony when I cough or sneeze. Is this normal with copd? Would appreciate any advice. Regards Joyce

10 Replies

One to watch. If your breathing gets worse get off to the hospital AE. Sometimes these infections are hard to get rid of. We have to be very careful that they do not turn into pneumonia though. i had that twice both times breathing was very bad indeed. But is usually sorted out in the hospital and within three days is gone in most cases.


Thank you for your reply,due back to GP Weds if not cleared said he will try something else. Will seek help if it gets any worse. Joyce


No that's not normal Evelene,please make sure you do see the Doctor & get it investigated,let us know how you get on.

Take it easy till then,& rest up,don't forget to keep the fluids up.

Love & hugs Wendells xxx


Thank you Wendell's. Sat 2 and half hours waiting for daughter having pre op tests.wasn't able to go in with her but she didn't mind. I stayed in car with my husband . breathing was OK back uncomfortable now having spasms of agonising pain which comes and goes which is exactly the same as the lower back pain I have suffered with for years on and off. Going to have to take some stronger pain killers till it improves which means I will be sleeping more hours than awake.Hope you are keeping well. Joyce


i have copd and dont get the pains your describing....why are gps so quick to give out antibiotics they are so bad for us


Hi .Mandy I wondered at first if the pain had been caused by the steroids which can cause thinning bones and I already have curvature of the spine and lost several inches in height

.probably right about the GPs. Joyce


Hi Evelyne, lung tissue doesn't have nerve endings so you won't get pain from that, except lining of the lungs, the pleura, as in pleurisy which is hellishly painful.

Im wondering whether the pain is on one side? It's possible to pull an intercostal muscle (between the ribs) and this will give dreadful pain when breathing in, and much worse when sneezing or coughing. Ive done that a few times at the side, but never in the back so Im not sure if this could be what you've got. (Obvs wouldn't be sure anyway not being a medic ;) )

Did your GP listen to your lungs? I dont understand why s/he would give you amox for upper back pain. If you are coughing up discoloured mucus then ABs are probably needed but you don't mention that. If an infection isn't clearing then you would need a sputum test to see if bacteria are still present.

Personally i have found amox useless and so have a good few people here i think.

There are other AB options. I take Augmenten (sp?) which is amox coupled with clavulinic acid - this makes the amox work properly for people who don't respond to amox alone. It is quite strong though and something to discuss thoroughly with your GP.

Doxycycline works for some. Don't be fobbed off with endless amoxicyllin though if they are not working.

Some GPs know eff all about copd. Is there are respiratory nurse at your practice who you could see? They usually know much more. Otherwise ask for a referral to a consultant if it is an infection which isn't shifting. Also you could call the BLF helpline (click on red balloon top right of page for contact details) and ask about your pain. They are very informed and very helpful.


Thank you to have gone to so much trouble in replying to me. The doctor did examine me and said I had an infection. The pain I have started on the left side and has today moved to the right side just as painful . despite the number of anti biotic courses I have had in nearly four years I have never been asked to submits sample of mucus for testing though a GP speaking at our breath easy group said that we shouldn't be given more courses without them knowing what bugs are causing the infections. Cheers



GP speaker is correct!

Do hope pain gets under control and you feel better Joyce.


Thank you. Joyce


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