Saturday, September 30, 2023

Can You Have Upper Back Pain With Pneumonia

Pneumonia Symptoms And Back Pain

Can Pneumonia lead to shoulder pain? – Dr. Mohan M R

Krystal Morris

There are not a lot of people in the world who have not heard of pneumonia. Those who do not know what it is should know that it is an infection of the lungs. This infection can be caused by bacteria, virus or fungi. However, in most cases of pneumonia it is a certain bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia that caused the infection. There are no people of certain age who are struck by this infection but pneumonia can be fatal for babies and old people. There are lots of symptoms of this infection but probably the most common one is back pain.


The bacteria that causes pneumonia gets mixed with air every time a person who is already suffering from pneumonia sneezes or coughs. This way, a healthy person will get infected if he or she inhales that air. Another way to get infected with pneumonia is for the bacteria which are already present in the mouth or nose to go into the lungs. In addition to this, people who recently suffered from a certain viral infection or some lung or heart disease are at greater risk of ending up with pneumonia. People who smoke cigarettes also have a greater chance of contracting pneumonia.


Pneumonia symptoms: back pain


The doctors cannot make a diagnosis based just on back pain. In case there are some other symptoms, the patient will undergo a blood test and an X-ray. The treatment plant depends on the cause. Certain antibiotics are known to be quite effective in treatment of pneumonia.

Treatment And Prevention Of Pneumonia

The doctor is able to diagnose pneumonia with the help of clinical features, medical history, blood tests and radiological examination.

Medical treatment consists of antibiotic therapy in majority of cases. Low back pain is treated with pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines. Warm fomentation also helps to alleviate pain in back and chest. Patient is also prescribed medicines that relives cough.

Patient who is very sick will require hospitalization. He may need intravenous fluids to ensure proper hydration. Once the patient improves clinically with all vital parameters improving, patient may be switched over to oral medicines if he is admitted in the hospital.

Pneumonia is possible to be prevented by following these steps:

  • Pneumonia vaccine

Be Aware Of All The Symptoms

Some people who are diagnosed with lung cancer like Heather may only experience back pain. Other people may have several other symptoms. Some people even have no symptoms.

As well as back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain, other signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Persistent cough for 3 weeks or more
  • Wheezing
  • Loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing up blood or blood in your phlegm
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Hoarseness

Also Check: What Age Can You Get Pneumonia Vaccine

Don’t Miss: Are There Any Side Effects To The Pneumonia Shot

Severe Headache Possible Stroke


A 64-year-old woman with a history of hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes describes waking up with the worst headache of my life. This patient is recovering from a week of flu-like symptoms, including low-grade fever, a cough, and some diarrhea. She went to a COVID-19 testing center 2 days ago for a nasal swab taken but has not gotten the results back.

She has a long-standing history of chronic, non-specific headaches but her current headache has been much more severe and present in varying degrees for the past 4 hours. Now, she has become confused and is experiencing left-sided weakness. This patient is likely having a stroke, possibly triggered by a COVID infection.

Potential Scenario

Neurological symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, confusion and mild cognitive impairment, have been present in 36% of COVID-19 cases to date.7 These symptoms often begin 5 to 7 days after the onset of fever, cough, and other characteristic signs of the acute infection. Neurologic involvement is more likely to occur in COVID patients with risk factors for severe disease, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, as in this patient.8


As with chest pain, clinicians must recognize that new worrisome symptoms, including sudden onset of severe headaches or other neurologic symptoms, may be presenting manifestations of acute COVID-19 infection. Persons with such worrisome symptoms may too avoid seeking medical care out of fear of becoming infected.

Causes Of Upper Back Pain When Breathing

Pneumonia back pain shoulder blade MISHKANET.COM

Experiencing pain in your upper back while you breathe can cause confusion and frustration. Work with your doctor to identify the possible cause of your discomfort, which could be one of the following:


In most cases, upper back pain is caused by problems affecting the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons connected to the spine. Injuries like a sprain, strain, or muscle tension may cause pain and other symptoms in your upper and back.

Pulmonary embolism

This condition is caused by a blood clot that travels from one part of your body to another. Its especially common from the leg to your lung. The blood clot can block an artery and cause a sudden sharp pain in the upper back when you breathe.


Since pneumonia causes shortness of breath, struggling to breathe properly may cause upper back pain.

Lung cancer

When you have lung cancer, the tumor may apply pressure on the pleura, which protects your lungs from friction with the ribs. This constant irritation causes pain that you may feel in the upper back.

Spine problems

Also Check: Reactions To Flu And Pneumonia Shots

Upper Back Pain Isnt As Common As Lower Back Pain But It Can Still Be Troublesome

Your back is a complex structure that includes a stack of bones called vertebrae, separated and cushioned by spongy discs. Pain can arise from compressed or herniated discs, pinched nerves, or strained muscles.

As a rule, upper back pain is unusual, since the upper back is structurally stronger than the lower back and also isnt as mobile, due to being connected to the rib cage. This lack of motion affords it some protection against the bending-twisting types of injury you might sustain in your lower back, which is significantly more mobile, and also against degenerative conditions like those that can cause spinal stenosis symptoms.

You can ease your upper back pain with over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Alternative approaches such as acupuncture and spinal manipulation therapies such as chiropractic and osteopathy also may help relieve upper back pain.

Sedentary Lifestyle And Working From Home

The pandemic has confined many of us to our homes, with millions of us working in cramped conditions not ergonomically designed to ensure healthy backs. Even when people havent had to work at home, they have been less mobile on the whole and many of us have spent more time sitting down than at other times in our life.

A study from Malta of 388 people found that 30% of people had experienced chronic back pain pre-COVID-19 compared with 49% experiencing back pain since COVID-19 emerged, with the majority of the latter claiming that they never experienced back pain before the pandemic.

Its not clear from the research whether the scientists recorded which of the participants had actually ever had COVID-19 or not, but the correlation between more frequent back pain after the start of the pandemic has been seen across the world, from Italy to Brazil.

It is possible the cumulative effect of bad posture and extensive sitting down is finally manifesting in peoples bodies.

Don’t Miss: How Can You Tell If You Got Pneumonia

This Is How To Tell If Your Back Pain Is Covid Doctors Say

There are numerous symptoms that could point to a COVID case, but some are more talked about than others. Common symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath, but patients have also complained about more unusual symptoms, including rashes and eye pain. Recently, Ellen DeGeneres said she experienced a COVID symptom she doesnt think is talked about enough: back pain. Of course, back pain is a very common phenomenon, but there are some telltale signs that can help you determine if what youre experiencing is a coronavirus symptom. Keep reading to find out how to tell if your back pain is COVID, and for more symptoms you may be unsure about, This Is How to Tell If Your Upset Stomach Is COVID, Doctors Say.

Dont Miss: Signs Or Symptoms Of Pneumonia

Can Shoulder Pain Be A Sign Of Lung Cancer

5 Causes of Back Pain and Chest Pain

Yes, it can. Someone with lung cancer may notice pain or weakness in the shoulder . Shoulder pain may occur if a lung tumor exerts pressure on a nearby nerve or if lung cancer spreads to the bones in or around the shoulder. Its important to note, however, that shoulder pain could also result from a condition completely unrelated to cancer, such as arthritis.

If shoulder pain occurs when resting, worsens at night or doesnt involve any loss of motion, it may indicate lung cancer. Other lung cancer signs include:

  • A chronic, hacking cough
  • A harsh vibrating sound while breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Recurrent respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss
  • Swelling in the face and neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent chest pain unrelated to coughing

Recommended Reading: Do You Need Pneumonia Vaccine Every Year

What Causes Upper Back And Chest Pain

When upper back and chest pain occur together, the symptoms can vary widely depending on the cause or severity. Some people may experience mild discomfort or tightness while others may have sharp or intense pain. This pain may be one-sided or on both sides. Below are potential causes of upper back and chest pain appearing at the same time.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

Pneumonia symptoms can vary from so mild you barely notice them, to so severe that hospitalization is required. How your body responds to pneumonia depends on the type germ causing the infection, your age and your overall health.

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:

  • Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
  • Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children
  • Confusion, especially in older people

Recommended Reading: Do You Have A Dry Cough With Pneumonia

Possible Causes Of Upper Back Pain That Affects Breathing

According to the American Chiropractic Association , around 80% of the American population has already experienced back pains at some point in their lives. Its also the most common reason why people miss workdays. The cause for back pains ranges from something as simple as hunching over computers and phones to more serious conditions, such as ruptured discs, bacterial infection, and cancer.

Most cases of back pain are treated with rest, stretches, and medication. But if its accompanied by other symptoms, its better to consult a doctor to find out the underlying cause. Upper back pain that occurs when a person takes a deep breath is already a sign to visit a physician. Here are some of the possible causes for the discomfort:

You Feel Pain In The Side Too

How does pneumonia cause back pain?

Anyone whos had a kidney stone knows theyre quite agonizingand they may cause upper back pain, says Dr. Ghannad. Its unlikely that this is the only symptom youll notice though. You may also feel severe pain in your side and back below your ribs, the Mayo Clinic notes. Discomfort while peeing or red- or brown-hued urine may be other clues. The best advice? If pain is severe and persistent, its a good idea to be evaluated by a physician, says Ghannad.

Read Also: How Do I Treat Pneumonia At Home

Whats Causing Lung Pain In Your Back

There are several reasons you may be feeling pain in and around the back of your lungs.

This pain may be due to injuries or disturbances in the lining of your lungs or the bones and muscles surrounding the organs. Persistent coughs can even cause back pain in the back of your lungs.

However, your lungs have very few pain receptors, and people often refer to more general chest pains as lung pains.

Flu Vs Pneumonia: How Can You Tell The Difference

Influenza and pneumonia have some common symptoms, but they are not the same. Knowing which illness is which will help you get timely, appropriate care and avoid complications.

When you find yourself coughing and running a fever, flu or pneumonia could be responsible. To get the treatment you need, and lower the risk of serious complications from either condition, it is important to understand the differences between flu versus pneumonia symptoms. The causes can differ as well. Flu is caused by viruses, but pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Also, pneumonia can develop as a flu complication.

Also Check: Do You Need Antibiotics For Pneumonia

How Is Acute Bronchitis Treated

Acute bronchitis is usually mild and does not cause complications. The symptoms often resolve on their own and lung function goes back to normal.

In most cases, antibiotics are not needed to treat acute bronchitis. Thats because most of the infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. If it has progressed to pneumonia, then antibiotics may be necessary.

Treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms, and may include:

  • Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Cough medicine

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

Why Can Other Conditions Cause Pain Near The Lungs

5 Common Causes of Back Pain

Pain in your chest or abdomen can sometimes feel like its coming from your lungs.

For example, if you experience muscle or bone damage around your chest, this may feel like the pain is originating in your lungs themselves.

Conditions involving other organs within the abdominal cavity may also result in pain around the lower end of your rib cage or in your chest. These conditions can include:

If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, its important to see a doctor. These symptoms may be related to other underlying conditions. Still, finding the cause will help determine the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Your doctor will ask you to list:

  • what youre feeling

They will also perform a physical exam. The exam may include:

  • listening to your heartbeat and breathing
  • assessing your airflow
  • checking your oxygen level
  • feeling for tenderness in the painful area

Your doctor may also order one or more of the following diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pain:

Read Also: How Often Do I Have To Get A Pneumonia Shot

Four Back Pain Symptoms You Need To Pay Attention To

As indicated above, back pain is a common issue affecting many people, but it can also be an early warning sign of something much worse. Unless you have a prior condition or injury, and with a little rest and proper medication, back pain really shouldnt last longer than a few days.

Here are four symptoms that you need to be aware of to help safeguard against a more significant problem from occurring. If any of these persist longer than a few days or so, you should seek medical assistance.

What Should I Do If I Have Chest Pain

Do not ignore any type of chest pain or avoid getting treatment.

If your chest pain is new, comes on suddenly, or lasts longer than five minutes after you rest or take medication, call 911 or have someone take you to the closest emergency room.

If your chest pain goes away or comes and goes, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible to find out what is causing the pain, even if it is not severe.

Also Check: Can You Get Pneumonia From Coughing

What To Do With Back Pain From Pneumonia

You need to control the back pain. It is not just a matter of comfort. Uncontrolled back pain from pneumonia makes it difficult to recover and also makes you vulnerable to more complications. You can start by taking some Tylenol. Ibuprofen or Naproxen can be taken on top of the Tylenol. The goal is to make your pain tolerable enough to be able to cough and take deep breaths regularly. If over-the-counter pain medications are not enough, you may have to ask your doctor for prescription pain medications to enable you to cough and take deep breaths comfortably. However, it is best to avoid opioids. They can make you drowsy and suppress your cough reflex.

When you have a severe, sharp pain in your back from pneumonia, you may avoid taking deep breaths. If you dont take deep breaths, the lower part of your lungs may collapse. A collapsed lung can worsen your pneumonia and make you more short of breath.

Taking deep breaths and coughing normally are two very important things to help you recover from pneumonia.

When Back Pain Requires Immediate Care

Treating Broken Ribs Safely

A condition called malignant spinal cord compression may develop in some people who have lung cancer that spreads to the spine. These symptoms include worsening back pain, weakness in the legs, and sometimes loss of urinary or bowel control. This is a medical emergency, and immediate treatment is needed to prevent complications such as paralysis.

Don’t Miss: What Medicines Are Prescribed For Pneumonia

Back Pain Related To Long Covid

Of the millions of people who have become sick with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, a sub-set have seen their symptoms persist for months with no end in sight.

Pain has been a dominating symptom in Long COVID sufferers, with many becoming disabled and having to give up their jobs because of it.

Back pain had been identified as a symptom of those with Long COVID the long haulers, as some call them back in 2020.

So far there is no specific advice on how to deal with back pain related to COVID-19 compared to any other back pain, and gentle exercise and stretching have been suggested.

Popular Articles
Related news