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back pain when breathing

Back pain when breathing is usually the result of a muscle problem in the upper back. The back muscles are located very close to the lungs; when we inhale, the lungs expand, forcing the muscles of the upper back and chest to move. A muscle strain in the upper back can cause this movement to cause a sharp ache or pain.

The muscles of the upper back: the latissimus dorsi, which runs from the mid-back to below the armpit, the rhomboids, which run from the shoulder blade to just below the neck, and the trapezius, which it extends from the middle spine to the shoulder and neck. – can cause pain when breathing when forced. These muscles become tight either from injury or from prolonged poor posture.

Rigorous sports or poor body mechanics can leave you with an injured upper back muscle. These muscles, which are primarily used for pushing and pulling, can become tight if the work you are trying to do exceeds the strength of your muscles.

To correct breathing back pain caused by an injury, you must allow the injured muscle to repair itself by avoiding activities that stress it. Once the muscle heals, you can gradually recondition your upper back to be strong and capable.

Poor posture is probably a more widespread cause of back pain when breathing than back injury. Slouching, that classic example of poor posture, causes the pectoral muscles in the chest and the teres minor muscle in the armpit to shorten in length, since the upper back is stooped and the shoulders are hunched in this position. These muscles become chronically tight, putting a strain on the shoulders and back. As the muscles of the upper back are overstretched and tight, they weaken.

Tight muscles cause pain when we try to use them. With each breath, the muscles of the back move. This constant use of weak muscles can lead to chronic upper back pain, triggered noticeably with each breath.

The situation worsens when the back muscles begin to spasm. For starters, tight muscles have a hard time receiving a healthy amount of fresh blood. Blood is pumped in and out of the muscles during a relaxation/contraction cycle. Since tight muscles cannot relax or contract properly, they do not receive the proper amount of nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Muscles deprived of oxygen go into spasm or forceful contractions; this is the body’s way of trying to kill pain and protect the muscle by limiting movement. However, the muscles of the upper back must move in order for us to breathe; when they spasm, movement can cause severe pain. The risk of back spasms in this situation is increased by the fact that the stooped posture constricts the lungs and limits the amount of oxygen circulating in the body.

If poor posture is the cause of your pain, then your body will need to be retrained to improve posture for treatment. First, the tight chest muscles must be restored to their natural length. This is best done with the use of a foam roller in a technique called self-myofascial release. Once the chest muscles have been lengthened, the upper back muscles can be conditioned to hold the head up. See for a list of exercises anyone can do to strengthen their upper back.

Practicing proper posture is more than just having enough strength; Since your body has learned the old pattern, it will require attention and possibly the help of ergonomic accessories like lumbar supports, cushions, and footrests to encourage proper posture. If the damage from your previous posture is severe, you may need a physical therapist or other professional to guide you through exercises and stretches for many of the muscles in your body.

Back pain when breathing is rarely the sign of a serious condition that affects the lungs. If you have chest pain with back pain, it is advisable to see a doctor. Otherwise, your pain is likely a sign that your back muscles are unhealthy and need attention. Breathing shouldn’t be a pain; start your back pain management plan sooner rather than later.

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