Briarowl and Bronchiectasis

I have been reading all your posts about bronchiectasis. A doctor in our practice (not my regular GP) told me that you don't have pain with bronchiectasis unless you have an infection. I have had a sputum test recently and it is clear after 5 months of pseudomonas. But I have a lot of pain, especially on waking up and in the mornings. It is made worse the more exercise I do. Any comments please.

18 Replies

  • I don't have bronchiectasis but my understanding of all these lung diseases is that they are highly individual and effect people differently. I have chest pain; I am not sure if it is the airtrapping and hyperinflation, which happens quickly with Obliterative Bronchioltis and so the rib cage doesn't have much time to adjust to the lungs getting bigger, (or am I being too simplistic?). Alternatively it might be evidence of pulmonary hypertension from the chronic thromboembolic disease....

    Whatever it is in your case insist on the doctors taking it seriously. Chest pain can indicate very serous problems and your heart should be checked out.

    BUT I am not a doctor, what do I know?

    All the best

    K xxx

  • I get pain with bronchiectasis - not all the time, but a fair bit, also cough blood, usually small amount but will never get used to that, will always scare me. The pain is significsnt, and needs strong pain relief sometimes. When I was diagnosed, I said to the consultant, is that why I get this pain in my lower rib, and she said yes.

  • Firstly there are no nerves inside the lungs. So nothing to transmit pain messages. Most pain comes from the pleuritic sack that contains our lungs and the intercostal muscles between each of our ribs.

    I do have Bronchiectasis and I experience periods of pain. Personally even though I have a reasonable understanding of anatomy and physiology I don't care exactly how the pain is generated. When pain becomes too excessive for me to think straight then I expect to have an appropriate form of pain relief to hand.

    Regards, Rib

  • Your GP never had bronchiectasis. I used to have terrible rows with my consultant in the early eighties because he insisted that bronchiectatics don't get pain unless they have an exacerbation. Eventually the diary cards which his patients filled in contained the question ' how much pain did you have today?' I can get pain anywhere, of different types, sometimes sharp, sometimes a heavy dull pain/ache. I'm so used to pain that when I had an empyema, pneumonia and pleurisy in Jan 2015 I soldiered on taking paracetamol. If it gets too bad or doesn't feel natural for you or you have a fever, go to the doc and get it sorted.

  • @Briarowl, how did you get rid of the pseudomonas? Thanks! 😃


  • To cure the pseudomonas I had a line inserted and received IV therapy of antibiotics 3 times per day for 2 weeks. I have had to have this treatment 3 times over 3 years. This was all carried out in my own home. Its a wonderful service and stops you from going into hospital. Pseudomonas makes you feel really unwell and week for some time afterwards.

    take care - Jan

  • Jancon, I have pseudomonas and am allergic to the oral antibiotics and just found that I don't tolerate the nebulizer Tobramycin either! I think the only way to get the IV treatment here, is to be hospitalized. I don't think I can do it at home. Thanks for the info.


  • Hi - I cant tolerate the nebulizer Tobramycin either. They tried me with 2 - cant think what the second was, but I could not tolerate either, in fact I felt quite ill.

    You take care now. Jan. x

  • I too was told you don't get pain with bronchiectasis. I wish that consultant could have worn my body for a day. I believe the pain can be caused by scarring and comes from the pleural area rather than the lungs. I use prescription pain relief gel which does seem to help a bit.

  • It may be all the coughing has damaged some muscles and hence the pain. I had a pain for three years in lower lobe of right lung area but all X-rays etc showed nothing . Physio told me it was muscle damage and so I rested a lot and it is much better . Always one thing or another but we just keep going. Hope you are having some sun. Good for us with lung issues. Take care try heat and rest .

  • I have bronchiectasis and my lungs hurt and I have junk on my lungs, when I manage to cough it up it feels a lot better. I get the pain in my ribs when I have a bad infection, thankfully not often now I am on maintenance antibiotics. Take care x

  • Shirleyj: look up 'Active Cycle of Breathing technique' - ACBT - (also known ass huffing) on Google. It is a method of taking deep breaths etc that helps the mucus/phlegm to be coughed up. I have been doing it twice a day for 4 years and it really does help me

  • Thank you, I do the huffing exercise, I also have a flutter device, these do work, I probably don't do them enough, sometimes it is very gluey and I find it hard to get it off my chest. Thank you for the advice though x x

  • hi Shirley f the junk on or in your lungs is to sticky get you doctor to put you on carbocisteine it will break the sputum down also put a load oh pillows and cushions on your brd lay over the the top and the gunk should drain down causing you to to cough and that done two or three times a day for havle hour should help but don't blame me if you fall to sleep like I always do forgot to say get a few sputum pots to spit into

  • hi squady, thanks for the advice, I already take carbocisteine, it usually gets like this when pollen count is high or air quality is bad or getting over chest infection x

  • can you remember whe your mum put vicks in hot water and you had a towel over your head to hold in the fumes I still do that if have a bad infection ,if its pollen you can get a week free of bother, see your doctor, good luck for the future

  • where do the nhs get them,i have acute broniectasis since 1962 wth a lung resection in 1971,the pains you can get you could write a book one the worst is when you get lesions that's when tne scare tissue sticks together it gets you as you breath in and as you breath out like sticking a needle into the lung,i used to have to tip myself to get the crap from the base of my lung that was the good old days I now have stage three copd and tachycardia caused through both lung conditions somebody mentioned about coughing blood had that a lot in Germany the medics decided 2 foot of snow and _27 degrees was to much and causing me to cough up blood my sargent major called me a lier and spit blood into the snow shame I got his boot I still laugh over that does any body get breathless with it id but l lost halve a lung to it but all three of my complaints make you short of breath

    the be all end of it is my sats are 99/125 halve hour ago

  • Hi. I have just been diagnosed with this and I have some pain and tightness of chest. I was told i don't have an infection. I do exercise seems to help a bit but seems to always be ther.

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