47 year old female with chronic bronchitis. September 23 I was hospitalized for bronchial pneumonia. Had oxygen, IV anitibiotics, breathing treatments. Released from hospital and returned home. One month later returned to doctor with pain on left side of chest when taking deep breaths or exerting energy. Pain is in one spot, tender to touch. Just below left breast. X-ray showed cloudy spot so had CT scan done. Radiologist says that it is scar tissue. What if anything can be done to relieve soreness and pain? The more active I am the more it hurts it breath.
Pneumonia may cause inflammation or irritation of the pleura, the sac that holds the lungs. This is commonly known as pleurisy. It sounds like this is what you may be experiencing. This can cause you to have chest pain when taking deep breathes or exerting energy. Eventually this inflammation and the pain and soreness it causes, will resolve but it may take some weeks. During this time it is important to treat the pain so that you are able to breath as normal as possible so that other problems do not start. Two things that may help with the pain are:
1) an anti-inflammatory pill, like ibuprofen; and
2) heat, especially moist heat, like a bath or shower.
On the other hand, since the pain did not develop until you were home recovering for a month, the pain and soreness could represent another problem, unrelated to the pneumonia. This is unlikely but you should ask your doctor about it.
Pleurisy may be due to a variety of causes, most commonly a viral infection. However, any of the organisms that can cause pneumonia can also infect the pleura and lead to pleurisy. Pleurisy (another term is pleuritis) is often painful, in contrast to pneumonia which is not painful (unless the pleura are involved). This is because the lining of the lung is filled with nerve fibers that, when inflamed or stretched, cause pain. Since we normally stretch the pleura when we breath, stretching of the inflamed nerve fibers is unavoidable. It is common for patients suffering from pleurisy to take only shallow breaths, because deep breaths cause so much pain.
Be sure to report this to your physician. Futher intervension may be needed to may you comfortable again.
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