21,160 members16,758 posts

Pain when breathing


I have SLE and raynauds, connective tissues disease and myositis.

In February, I sneezed and something happend and I thought I'd put my back out. I couldn't move for three days, or take a deep breath without a shooting pain on my ribs and back. It went off a bit but the last 2 weeks it's back with vengeance. It's only on my left side, and runs from my lower ribcage (where it joins the middle of my chest) all the way round and up my back into my shoulder. I can't yawn or take deep breaths without the shooting pain, and also turning to check blind spot when I'm driving that kind of movement really hurts. When I first did it the consultant said probs intercostal muscle strain. Wouldn't this of healed by now? Any suggestions?! Or excercises/treatment to help it? Thanks!

7 Replies

Sorry to here this ,I do quite a heavy job and I'm not saying this is what you have but I pull the muscle in my lower back a lot and it's painful to breath and is painful under ribs and lasts for about a wk if you have concerns go get chequed out


Hi 👋🏼 if it's costochondritis then it comes and goes with not discernable cause. It's painful and sometimes scary isn't it?

Do take something for it and if you are on prednisone your Dr might suggest you temporarily increase the dose.

If you fear it's your get it checked.



Hi there , i have had similar problems, i reached for a towel and that was it . It turned out that i had dislocated some ribs - they did do back in spontaneously. I was in severe pain and my back went into spasm. This has happened a couple of times since , physio and acupuncture did help but it took a while . I still get twinges if i turn awkwardly . It might be worth getting a referral to a good physio as i know the pain awful ,i also use a product biofreeze there is a roll on version that is handy . Best wishes


Hi, depending on how bad you pulled the muscle it can take up to 6 weeks for it to heal. Try using magnesium oil or arnica gel, arnica reduces inflammation and magnesium relaxes tight and injured muscles. Not sure about using them at the same time so best to rotate. Try a hot water bottle on the area too. Something as daft as a sneeze can do quite a bit of damage. Hope it feels more comfortable soon

1 like

Hi I try hot Stone massages

deep tissue massage but baby steps


I did something similar when I was pregnant back in 2003. I was in agony day and night by the time my ribs had been stretched apart by my growing baby. Fast forward 13 years and the same pain revisits if I do the wrong manoeuvre. You have my sympathy. I hope it settles soon. X


Hi BexeT,

We published a factsheet on ‘LUPUS: The Heart and Lungs’ which discusses how lupus affects these two organs and the common symptoms that can possibly occur:

If in doubt, it is always worth speaking to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing as he/she can provide you with the correct advice and treatment. Also, the doctor may refer you to a specialist such as physiotherapist or pulmonary specialist if required.


You may also like...