Upper back pain with trouble catching breathe

Just wanted to share something today that I have just learned. Occassionally I have trouble breathing along with upper back pain. Thought it was arthritis from riding too many miles on my bike yesterday, but I also had trouble catching my breath. Speculated it was asthma related, but always believed it was my lungs were inflammatory. So, I had to get out of bed because I tossed all night from this pain. I made myself a cup of pukka relax tea (chamomile, fennel and marshmallow root) and the back pain diminished and I can catch my breath. Marshmallow is suppose to help lung function, and boy it did today. The only trouble I am having is that I probably need to cut back on my distance bike riding. It will be trial and error. I know I push myself too hard sometimes riding because I enjoy the challenge. It will be hard for me to back off and I won't know how much. I have read on here that others have to watch their cardiovascular workouts. Is it because of the inflammation in the lungs is my question? And how do you know when to back off a little? Curious? Thanks for any advice.

29 Replies

  • Hi I had the same a couple of years ago, I had to Get up in the middel of the night I thought it was either a blood clot on my loung or shingles, saw my gp first thing and got antibiotics for shingles, I was lucky because didnt Get the rash. I Must add I still suffer from nerve pain still but Nothing complained to what it was, stress less

  • Ftfj

  • Ftjftj63....how did you know it was shingles without a rash? And what does antibiotics due for shingles? I have been getting nerve pain. Are these related to shingles?

  • Hi again I was a nurse before and simpley recognised the symptoms it was so painfull i couldnt breath properly but my gp knew it was shingels cos pain was coming from nerve system, I took a blood test INR and that was normal (no blood clots ) I was lucky I had no Sign of the rash, I got my bloods back after a few days and the test was positive for herpes shingles the antibiotics stop this and save you Even more suffering. They won't help once the rush has appeared I would like to add you can have the symptoms of shingles without rash for weeks or Even months. I'v had Lupus SLE for 14 years. It's better to be safe than Sorry I would see my gp

  • I might do that since last night the pain was horrid. But, when I went to bed, it got better. I guess I should make an appt. I am tired of doctors though. Thanks for advice.

  • Yes I know the feeling

  • Hi please go hospital and get checked for clot i had same things amongst other things almost died with pulmonary disease

  • Thanks Avionne....I am a little shy of hospitals...don't think it's serious enough....tired of hearing tests show everything ok, they send me away, and then my ins co doesn't pay for the bill,or I owe $500 for blood work. Can't afford it. My ins is not that good. I guess if it continues over the weekend, I will go to clinic up the street. Thanks for your concern.

  • Oh no!! Sorry i assumed u were in the uk hun(nhs)..i will pray for you at the moment i am battling with my lupus

  • Sorry Avionne about your lupus flare...feel better soon... Thanks for caring

  • I get the breathlessness for about a week and chest pains too, but that's after I've had a depomedrol injection. I had asthma as a kid, but this feels very different. Not like tightness in my chest, but just being unable to inflate my lungs as normal because my chest feels like it's going to explode, so I pant like a dog. My GP put that little device on my finger to test for oxygen saturation (?) but that reading was okay. Probably because I was panting like a dog quite well. I had a chest Xray and blood tests to check for tuberculosis/chest problems, but they came back OK too.

    I tend to listen more to my body exercise-wise, and not risk doing much at all. I can only do a fraction of what I used to be able to, and nothing to the competitive standards I could manage before, which is frustrating. Just got to take things a little easy. I collapsed and broke my leg over a year ago. Never broke anything before then. That episode made me realise not to exert myself too much. But it's a difficult one, because I imagine part of you, like me, thinks belligerently, "No I'm not going to let this lupus take away any more of me and my life"

  • Diagnosed2012....yup...I am a fighter. I keep exercising so that it doesn't get me. But, I think I have to back off. Very hard. I walked 4 miles with my friend this morning. She is younger than me with no health problems. Hard for her to understand. Stinks...I had a chest X-ray recently, they thought I had pneumonia. Showed everything fine. I don't get it.

  • I know the feeling well. I agree with all of it. Rest when your tired but careful with clots...goes with lupus... Be aware of breathing and being tired. I hope everything goes well.

  • Thank you lucky.....I pay very close attention to when my back hurts and I can't breathe. I moved my nAtto k enzyme for sticky blood back to what was working for me. After rheumy said I didn't have lupus, I decided to cut back and see if he was right. I finally can breathe better today and less back pain. I believe it was a combination of both connective tissue from bike riding, and maybe not taking enough enzymes. I am going to stick with this schedule and see if I breathe better. Thank you everyone for caring and sharing.

  • I quite often get pain in my chest and upper back. Again, I too was worried about more clots so ended up at A&E a few times. The next time I saw my rheumatologist, she pointed out to me that the joints between your ribs and spine or sternum are still joints and still have the capacity to be inflammed just like all the rest. I was slightly embarrassed not to have already made that connection myself...! D'oh!

  • Jojo...I thought it was the connective tissue too. But, why can't I breathe along with it? what do you do for connective tissue pain? Heating pad works, but feel like I am always going to have on. I am trying to get a full time job because we cannot afford our health ins anymore on our own, and my husband just found out he has a very bad herniated disc in his lower back and may need surgery. I don't even know if I can work full time. I am exhausted and stressed trying to get my daughter back into high school. No matter what I do I can't lower my stress right now.

  • Been reading loads of good reports about high strength d3 and its ability to ward off infections. When I remember to take it I have taken 5000iu and there does seem to have been a positive effect.

    When I was really unwell last month I took 10,000iu d3 as a one off and that or something else I had took reduced my symptoms. I have read that it reduces the need for antibiotics which tend to mess up the GI tract and cause all sorts of additional issues in the process.

    I also take 1000mg vit c or have done since the weather has turned cooler. Not had the flu jab. Fingers crossed but feel I may have made the right decision for me.

    I get sore throats and coughing mainly at night and am finding that it may be acid reflux related. I have begun to lose faith in gaviscon which does not seem to work anymore.

    I had been reading about apple cider vinegar being beneficial for reflux. I have found that when I get the sore throat some ACV diuted in water seems to help. I actually quite like the taste but maybe its because my body is asking for it.

    Back to d3, it is apparently a hormone that most people produce when they spend time in the sun but it also helps the body to use calcium and has some protective effect against colds and viruses. Its worth reading up on it.

    I havent used marshmallow root. I read it was contraindicated against one of my many big pharma drugs. I am losing a bit of faith with a variety of big pharma drugs at the moment which either dont do what they promise or cause additional problems requiring the use of more big pharma drugs.

  • Thanks overnight ...I take d3 5000 iu when I remember. Is it true u need to take zinc along with vit c? I read that somewhere. I take vit c sometimes. I have been getting sore throats already with weather change. Had swollen glands other day. I try to throw garlic in everything when I don't feel well. Heard it's a natural antibiotic. Hiatal hernia causes acid reflux. Almost all of my older siblings have hiatal hernia. I don't understand what's going on with all these health problems. My sister believes it's stress. I agree. Our world is getting way too complicated. What really upsets me is seeing my one daughter sick all the time, and my other daughter with all kinds of joint problems. Thanks for sharing..

  • Hi, I suffered with acid reflux and my doctor put me on Omeprazole and its been much better.


  • I used to take lansoprazole but stopped doing so when I lost my hearing in one ear. That class of drugs is associated with hearing loss and with only one ear now working I didnt want to take any chances.

    I am finding more and more that many of the drugs we are prescribed are just a short cut to taking ever increasing doses in the future. Either of the drug in question or that they cause yet another problem that has to be medicated. Rather a good business model for a drug company to follow.

    At the moment I am concentrating on finding more natural remedies that are not contraindicated by what I am already taking.

  • Overnight...I agree with your choices of looking for natural alternatives. I believe medicine makes our bodies freak out and attack it because it's an unknown substance. I think we are finely tuned machines. Good luck. And share what you find If you can, I would be interested.

  • i read something yesterday which i largely agree with although we tend to place so much faith in doctors and go along with what we are told.

    ....... An headache was never caused by a deficiency of painkillers.

    ie its not a deficiency of one drug or another that causes symptoms.

    They generally appear because the body either lacks something or wants to get rid of something.

    Now if we can only get to the bottom of what those things are the body will be better placed to cure itself.

    Btw, I havent used my microwave in best part of a year. I have found that overall I have had less serious issues in this time. Is there a link? I don't know. But there are suggestions that foods that have been microwaved take on a more jagged form when viewed with kirilan photography.

    Also been reading that EMF's may be linked with sticky blood.

  • overnight...threw out my microwave 15 years ago. What is EMF's?

    That's why there are so much detox and cleanses out there. I had one nutritionist ask if I ever worked with chemicals. I said I house cleaned with bleach for a year, dipped dogs in flea dip for several years. All without wearing gloves. He said you could have those chemicals stored up in your body, and still trying to get rid of it. Also, careful with cleanses. I had a preventive med student tell me not to do a cleanse with lupus. Not sure why. I didn't clarify. But, it could be something about boosting your immune too much. I remember trying a liver detox once, and I had diarrhea nearly the whole time. I stopped.

    I will use milk thistle occasionally if I feel I am having liver trouble. My mom basically had colitis, but died at 48 from becoming septic. I was told she turned yellow. I wasn't old enough to see her at the hospital. Hope you are feeling good today. I am finally breathing better and feeling ok. My back doesn't hurt either. So strange how it just comes and goes. Terrible not being able to breathe without strain. I have not been able to isolate what triggered it though.

  • Electromagnetic fields or frequencies.

    I have posted a link on the Hughes Forum today

  • Interesting. I will have to read.

  • Hi There

    I think I'm going with connective tissue inflammation along the ribs. I've been mildly suffering, too. If I take a deep breath into my back (I sing and that's one of my singing exercises) it is very painful, as if every muscle is tight, tight, tight and my ribs expand and I get that stretching pain (that is almost a relief, you know?). But sometimes, my breath IS involved and I do have a history of asthma. So, here's what I think (and I am NO professional): all inflammations in the body are linked. Why NOT the muscles or joints around the ribs. Especially for you, if you are leaning into your bike and your arm muscles are activated, your middle back is working too. So, it becomes irritated. If my muscles and joints around my lungs were irritated why wouldn't the lung villi respond with irritation as well. The inflammation is close by and the whole area responds, right? Take a puffer, take a break! Stretch like hell before and use heat after and slow down (a little) and see? I find my rib cage is really sore in the morning, gets better in the middle of the day and gets sore again in the evening, same as my feet and hands...seems like regular Lupus crap to me - which not being dismissive - because Lupus is CRAP :)

  • Thanks nerosa...I think you are right. I don't stretch at all. Lazy. I will try your advice, stretch before and heat after? Makes sense. I was just talking to a friend trying to understand why our muscles tighten up so much often. Keep moving...I usually tighten up when I am sitting down. I hope the heat will keep it loose. And yes, my back is terrible when I get up, good in the day because of movement and bad again at night. Thanks again.

  • I had pleurisy which caused very painful area to my back and lung area and was taken into hospital.

    I have had shingles twice once given an anti viral drug but need to get it early on in symptoms this lessens the severity of shingles.

    I hope you are feeling better now.

    Doreen x

  • Doreen...I am feeling better. When I get the back pain, I use a heating pad. But, sometimes it feels like an organ pain in my upper back, though I don't have any there. Weird. Gets bad in the middle of the night. I went bike riding yesterday because it was warm out, but forgot to not push myself and go 9 miles. (I so enjoy riding) . I was ok when I got back, but had to use the heating pad. I also had phlegm coming out of my lungs. Is that inflammation? I have not been able to pin that down yet as to why. Maybe I become inflamed by riding too long. I get worried if I stress my lungs, my heart gets stressed. I should however, not worry so much about my heart because my sono back in april on my kidneys, they saw my heart as well. If something was wrong, they would have told me. But, I still worry. Wish I could get rid of that worry. Hard when you feel a new pain, or an old one. I drink marshmallow tea daily for my lungs. I believe it helps. Not as much phlegm after I drink it. Hope you are feeling well these days!

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