When To See A Doctor
Since back pain is so common, it can be easy to ignore the pain and any mild accompanying symptoms.
However, its always a good idea to talk to your doctor about any pain you are experiencing.
Sometimes symptoms that dont seem all that bad could be warning signs of a serious condition.
If youre experiencing the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, as you may have a medical emergency:
- Shortness of breath, especially if it interferes with routine daily activities
- A very high or low heart rate
- High fever
- Numbness, aching, or tingling in the arm
Symptoms Of Upper Back Pain When Breathing
Upper back pain mostly occurs anywhere along the spine between the base of the neck and the bottom of the ribs. Some people with upper back pain feel discomfort when they sneeze, cough, or take a deep breath.
If you have a medical condition that affects your internal organs like yourlungs or heart, you may experience upper back pain while breathing.
You may also feel upper back pain in your shoulders and neck if they have been affected by a medical condition or injury.
What Is The Connection Between Upper Back And Lung Pain
Your lungs lie in your upper back area and so problem in your lung can easily refer directly to the muscles in your upper back. Lung problems can also be recognised when your upper back pain is associated with breathing or coughing.
Finally, if your upper back pain is only associated with deep breathing and coughing, it is likely to arise from your lungs and warrants medical attention. Again, best to visit your doctor or physician to get it checked out.
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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
- Loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss
- Coughing up blood or blood in your phlegm
- Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
- Swelling in the face or neck
Diagnosing Your Back Pain
Tell your doctor right away if your back starts to hurt. They’ll try to figure out the cause of your back pain to decide on the best treatments.
You may need to have tests that can help your doctor see the bones inside your back. These can include:
Your doctor may also want you to get a blood test to check your calcium levels. If they are higher than normal, it could be a cause of your pain.
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How Do You Treat Hyperinflated Lungs
Treatment depends in large part on what’s causing your hyperinflated lungs. Your doctor may prescribe a type of medicine called a bronchodilator. It can open up your airways and help reverse the effects of hyperinflated lungs by allowing the trapped air to escape. Certain types of exercise might also help.
How Lung Cancer Can Cause Back Pain
Dr. Psallidas explains, Bone is a common site of metastasis in lung cancer. It is reported that approximately 1530% of patients with lung cancer will have bone metastases1.
Evidence shows that approximately 50% of lung cancer patients with bone metastasis have a spread of cancer cells to the spine2. Back pain could also be the first symptom that patients with lung cancer ever experience.
The back pain from lung cancer will not respond to conservative treatments that are prescribed for musculoskeletal back pain, such as exercises, stretching, yoga, heating pads, hot water massages and deep tissue massage.
It will not get better with rest or over time, and is not triggered by body position or physical activity.
Dr. Psallidas is the main author of many peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in pleural disease and lung cancer.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Top image: Freepik.com shayne_ch13
References1. Roodman GD. Mechanisms of bone metastasis. N Engl J Med 2004 350:165564. 10.1056/NEJMra030831. Can Cancer Cause Middle Back Pain?2. Michael Kuchuk, Christina L. Addison, Mark Clemons, Iryna Kuchuk, and Paul Wheatley-Pricea. Incidence and consequences of bone metastases in lung cancer patients. J Bone Oncol. 2013 Feb 2: 2229. How common is it
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Lung Pain On Left Side
Pain in your left lung will typically result from similar conditions as pain in your right lung.
However, heart conditions such as angina and stroke are more likely to cause chest pain in the left side of your body.
While this pain may not specifically come from your lungs, its crucial to seek medical assistance if you experience severe pains in the left of your chest.
Consider How A Lung Cancer Attorney Can Help You
If you suffered from back pain and received a diagnosis of lung cancer or mesothelioma after a medical evaluation, you might have developed your cancer because of exposure to asbestos years or decades previously. The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review your case and determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. Call us today at for your free consultation.
While considering whether stage 3 lung cancer is curable, its important to know that lung cancer that has reached stage 3 has spread to organs near the lungs as well as lymph nodes, located farther from the lungs. According to Healthline, Stage 3 lung cancer breaks down into three categories: Stage 3A, when cancer has …
Most patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma pass away from respiratory failure, pneumonia, or another respiratory infection. Mesothelioma is asymptomatic during its early stages it does not present symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. By this time, the patient may struggle to breathe. An aggressive, deadly, and currently incurable cancer, mesothelioma carries a five-year …
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Is My Lower Back Pain Cancer
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people see their primary care doctor. It is very rarely a sign of cancer. Back pain is usually caused by other problems, such as:
- Spinal problems like disc degeneration, arthritis, or stenosis
Back pain is unlikely to be a sign of cancer. Still, there are some types of cancer that can cause back pain as an early symptom. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize symptoms that might point to cancer.
This article looks at back pain as a symptom of cancer. It also looks at when you should see a doctor, and how back pain is diagnosed.
Diagnosis Of Lung Cancer
A doctor will not merely take your symptom of back pain and diagnose lung cancer. Instead, they will look at your complete medical and health history along with your symptoms. Additionally, your doctor will consider whether you were a smoker or have a family history of cancer, including lung cancer.
Your doctor will likely order diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays of the chest, CT scans, or MRI scans. These tests will determine if your back pain in any way relates to cancer, including lung cancer, or simply indicates a muscle strain or bulging disk.
If your diagnostic tests confirm a lung cancer diagnosis, the doctor will determine your treatments for lung cancer based on how far cancer has spread in your body and how large the tumor appears on the scans.
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Back Pain And Lung Cancer
Most cases of lung cancer will include other symptoms that accompany the back pain. According to the journal Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, 54.7 percent of patients who develop lung cancer also had a cough, and 45.3 percent report indigestion at the time of their diagnosis. However, the same report indicates that in rare cases, the only symptom of lung cancer that a patient experiences is back pain.
Back pain for lung cancer patients will feel different for every person. Some patients with lung cancer may feel a generalized ache throughout their back, while others will feel sharp, stabbing pains. You should visit your health care provider or doctor if you develop any back pain out of the ordinary for you. Early diagnosis of lung cancer can offer more medical intervention options that could prolong your life.
What Upper Back Symptoms Warrant A Trip To The Doctor
Most bouts of upper back pain gradually go away on their own or with conservative at-home treatment . However, some symptoms are more serious than others and require swift medical attention.
Severe, persistent upper or mid-back pain that develops suddenly
Pain that is progressively worsening
Pain that hasnt gone away in a week
Pain that is interfering with your daily life
Pain that isnt responding to conservative treatment
In rare cases, upper back pain is indicative of a serious and/or painful medical problem, including lung cancer, kidney stones, or spinal infection.
Additionally, because the thoracic spine is linked to the ribs, some people with upper back pain report sharp pain when filling their lungs with air to take a deep breath. Though this symptom may be benign, it could also be a sign of a blood clot. If you feel faint, short of breath, or a spike in upper or mid-back pain when you take a deep breath, see your doctor immediately to rule out a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Finally, its especially important to see a doctor after youve endured a traumatic injury, such as a fall. Even if you arent experiencing any back pain, you should be evaluated by a physician to ensure your spine did not sustain damage .
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How Lung Cancer And Back Pain Are Linked
When we think about back pain, usually the last thing that comes to mind is cancer. Instead, we connect it to things like an injury, such as a muscle strain or ruptured disc. Or we may think it’s because of a degenerative disease, like arthritis or osteoporosis.
Back pain caused by lung cancer shares some common features with many of these disorders. Yet it also has distinct differences. These may relate to how and where the cancer causes pain, both directly and indirectly.
Some possible ways in which lung cancer can produce back pain include:
- A tumor can place direct pressure on the structure of the back, most often in the mid to upper back rather than lower back.
- A tumor can irritate the nerves that serve the lining of the lungs and chest wall. This may trigger a sharp and sometimes chronic nerve pain.
- Cancer spread from the lungs to the spine and bones happens in some 30% of people with lung cancer.
- Spread of cancer to the adrenal glands occurs in 40% of people with lung cancer, and can cause pain right above the kidney.
Healthcare providers may overlook a possible lung cancer as the cause of back pain, especially in people who have never smoked. However, at the current time, most of the people who develop lung cancer are non-smokers, either never smokers or former smokers. Lung cancer cases are rising in young women and men who have never smoked.
Medication For Pain Relief
Over-the-counter pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen, may help mitigate mild or moderate back pain caused by lung cancer. That said, always ask your doctor if these painkillers are safe in your particular situation. For more severe back pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, including morphine or other opioids. Talk with your health care team to understand what pain relief medications you can take with your cancer treatment.
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Why Does Lung Cancer Cause Back Pain
There are a number of methods which lung cancer can cause back pain. The growth alone may contribute to back pain by developing direct pressure on structures in the back. Cancer may likewise irritate nerves traveling through the chest or the lining of the lungs which can be analyzed by the brain as back pain.
Back pain also may be caused by the spread of lung cancer to bones in the spine. Roughly 30 to 40 percent of people with lung cancer experience bone metastases at some time during their health problem.
The adrenal glands are small glands in the abdomen near the top of the kidneys. Lung cancer metastases to the adrenal glands occur in 40 percent of people with lung cancer and are yet another possible cause of back pain.
How Is Lung Cancer Back Pain Different From Other Causes of Back Pain?
Back pain related to lung cancer is typically referred to as pain occurring in the mid to upper back.
Unfortunately, back pain due to lung cancer can be very much like other causes of back pain, and it is important to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.
If you have other symptoms in addition to back pain, it can be more likely that you are handling lung cancer. Early symptoms of lung cancer might include a consistent cough, spending blood, shortness of breath, or general symptoms such as tiredness or unexplained weight loss.
Lung Pain Vs Heart Pain
One of the main concerns with chest pain is whether the pain arises from the heart. It can be serious and even life-threatening. Heart pain or cardiac pain is usually centrally located this means it is in the middle of the chest. However, airway pain and lung pain can be central in some cases. Heartburn which is the central burning chest pain caused by acid reflux can also be mistaken for cardiac pain or lung pain.
Reflux is usually the least serious cause. The most likely differentiating factor is if the pain is relieved with an antacid then it is most likely heartburn . Nevertheless it is important to seek medical attention. Further diagnostic investigations may be necessary to differentiate lung, esophageal and heart pain.
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Other Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
It is important to also evaluate other symptoms you may be feeling. For instance, you might have pain in your chest. This pain will tend to be worse when you breathe, laugh, or cough.
You should be on the lookout for chronic coughing. You want to take note if the cough lasts for eight weeks or more. You might cough up blood or bloody mucus if you have lung cancer.
Shortness of breath can also occur when you have lung cancer. You could experience breathing troubles after you partake in light physical activities. This occurs when your airway passages become narrow.
A lung tumor can press on your airway and cause frequent lung infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. In addition, lung cancer can cause you to have a raspy voice, because a tumor or chronic coughing could affect your vocal cords.
You might also feel tired frequently if you have lung cancer, because cancer cells use nutrients from your body to grow. Finally, you may experience unexplained weight loss.
Treating Lower Back Pain In Austin Tx
While lower back pain can be an early sign of cancer, it is also important to note that many other reasons can explain it, as well. For example, an unattended injury from prolonged standing and lifting weights in the gym can strain the muscles in the back, causing pain.
If you are experiencing discomfort and persistent lower back pain, make sure to get early screening and diagnosis with a trusted physician. Resist from trying to find answers on medical websites. Despite having scientifically backed data and articles, it is still better to have a thorough consultation with your primary care physician.
The dedicated team of healthcare professionals at Endeavor Physical Therapy in Austin, TX can help you identify the root cause of your lower back pain. You may call us at 467-4546 or book an appointment using our online form.
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Liver Abscesses Or Cysts
A liver abscess is a pus-filled mass inside the liver. Liver abscesses are not common and often develop due to bacterial or amoeba infection .
Also, Your liver may contain cysts . Most liver cysts are congenital .
Liver abscess causes severe symptoms with fever and severe pain . On the other hand, liver cysts are often asymptomatic unless large in size or multiple.
Learn more about liver abscesses and liver cysts.
Symptoms Of Upper Back Pain
Many cases of upper back pain are caused by problems affecting the soft tissues in your spine . Sprain, strain, and muscle tension are common soft tissue injuries that may cause pain and other symptoms in your upper and middle back. This article describes symptoms of upper back pain, including the red flags you should never ignore.
Sprain, strain, and muscle tension are common soft tissue injuries that may cause pain and other symptoms in your upper and middle back. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
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