Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
sudden difficulty deep breathing (right side only) and back pain
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding lung and respiratory issues. such as: Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds - Flu, Chronic Cough, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Fibrosis, Lung Abscess, Nasal Polyps, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Sarcoidosis, Sinusitis, Tuberculosis.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

sudden difficulty deep breathing (right side only) and back pain

Two days earlier this week, I had a stomach bug w/ much vomiting.  Afterwards, neck & chest muscles were sore.  Three days later, I went on a fast-paced walk to lunch with officemates & had difficulty catching my breath (I have asthma).  Later, same afternoon, I think I strained muscles in my back doing repetitive motions.  That evening (Friday), discomfot continued but I ignored it b/c it felt typical of muscle strain & I figured it would be better the next day.  I slept fine, but Saturday morning, my right side & back felt as if they had a "catch" or "stitch"...as if I had slept in an awkward position.  The pain continued to intensify throughout Saturday & I found that I was having difficulty breathing deeply (right side only).  Mid afternoon, I took ibuprofen (helped a bit), later followed by 1/2 zanaflex.  I thought the situation was improving, but by bedtime, I had great discomfort rising & sitting, increasing difficulty breathing deeply.  When I went to bed, I could not lie on either side, back or stomach w/o extreme pain & gasping for breath.  I took the other 1/2 zanaflex, but felt no relief.

Reclining &rising from a lying position is most painful, & when I first get up/walk around, I am short of breath.  Once I get settled into a position (seated or lying on my back), the pain subsides greatly, but I still have shallow breathing.  When all is quite, I hear "snap, crackle, pop" or what sounds like tissue paper rattling coming from my chest.  The symptoms sound like pleurisy to me.

I am extremely afraid of doctors, new to this area, six hrs from home & family.
Related Discussions
251132_tn?1198082422
Your symptoms could all be due to muscle strain caused by a flare of your asthma.  Also vomiting can cause wide pressure swings inside the chest that could explain your symptoms.  However you might have suffered a pneumothorax where the lung collapses.  This could be causing the "snap, crackle and pop" sensation that you have described.

You should be examined by a doctor and have a chest x-ray.
4 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
It could be subcutaneous emphysema.  That is an odd happening where air leaks from the lungs under the skin.  When you press on the skin (neck, upper arms, chest...)  It sounds like celophane or Glad Wrap crinkling.  It goes away on its own, but is awfully uncomfortable and weird.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the information.  I have been to my family doctor (drove 350 miles home to see her), and it turns out that I had strained muscles in my back as well as dislocated a couple of ribs.  I was given shots of solumedrol (sp?), an anti-inflammatory, and torradol (sp?), for pain.  Additionally, I was given prescriptions for flexerill (muscle relaxer) and lortabs (pain).  By the next day, the pain was nearly gone, and I went back in for the doctor to manipulate my ribs back into place.  Then I was put on an IV because I was very dehydrated.  This was a very scary experience, and it is amazing how something that seems so minor (such as virus that makes one vomit for two days) can turn into something quite dangerous.  Honestly, by the time I got home Sunday night, I thought that I had contracted something life-threatening.  The pain was excruciating, but the worst part was not being able to breathe.  This is definitely the worst asthma attack I have had as an adult.  Again, thanks for the advice.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
So glad you are better.  Take good care of your asthma.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
242587_tn?1355427710
David Tinkelman, M.D.Blank
National Jewish Health
Denver, CO
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Asthma Tracker
Asthma Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Blank
Allergy Tracker
Allergy Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank