Avatar universal

Middle, right-side back pain when inhaling deeply

Please ignore the "Topic" category since I could not find a match.

In July 2008 I had a small case of pneumonia in my lower left lung.  This was cleared up by August 2008 however I had some pain in the middle of my back on the right side.  My doctor indicated that this was pleurisy.  The pain from the pleurisy was virtually gone by the end of September.  I had been taking Aleve every day to help reduce inflamation.

However, in early October the pain made a comeback and through today it remains.  I can feel it mainly when taking deep breaths.  The pain is mild and it is not constant.  I dont feel pain when sitting watching TV or using the computer or eating. I also feel pain if I intentionally tense the muscles on my right side.

Chest X-rays (two of them) have shown that everything is normal.  I continued taking Aleve and waiting another 6 weeks (resting, working, no exercise) but the feeling is the same.  I think the issue is muscular because stretching helps alleviate the pain and I noticed that after taking a hot shower the pain is virtually gone.

I would like to get some opinions from the doctors on this forum.  If it is muscular then why does the area still feel sore/pain after the recent 6 weeks I have been resting?  Is it possible that pleurisy can last for 5-6 months and come and go?  Any other ideas?

I have stopped taking Aleve since I feel it is not helping my back and to give my stomach a break.  My doctor is suggesting either physical therapy or a CT scan.  In place of the PT I have been stretching multiple times a day and massaging the area.  I am hesitant on getting the CT scan unless absolutely necessary due to radiation concerns.

I'm 39 years old and was extremely healthy prior to this, no smoking/drinking, eating right, and working out 3 times a week running about 10 miles/week.

I appreciate your professional responses.
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
This was a few years ago for me but I remember that the pain I had eventually went away over time, specifically about 3 to 4 months after the pneumonia/fever was gone.  During this time I was still active, walking and stretching mainly (no intense cardio).

Your description is a bit different than mine.  I felt it when taking deep breaths, this is why I thought is was a muscle/tissue problem.  I am not a doctor so I can't offer any opinion based on your message.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I know this was a long time ago, but I found your post when searching for "unexplained back pain after pneumonia". What was your resolution? Your description sounds exactly like mine, except that my pain is constant. No change with movement, deep breaths, or activity. I am desperate for an answer. I'm wondering if chest x-ray might have missed pleurisy or pleural effusion. The tech only took 2 x-rays, one with me facing machine, and one at my side. Wondering if she had taken one with me laying down on painful side (right), something would have showed. I am so frustrated. It has been 6 weeks since pneumonia, and I think I should be feeling much better! If any doctor reads this: I had pneumonia 6 weeks ago, had extreme back pain at time of diagnosis in my mid-right back closer to spine. 1 week course of levaquin. Back pain returned in same spot at 4 weeks post diagnosis. Lungs feel "funny" but I'm not coughing, and pain is not worsened while breathing. Severity of pain waxes and wanes. Chest x-ray at  5 weeks was clear, but as I mentioned, only 2 pictures were taken. Is it possible that I have liquid in the pleural space of my right lung that has become infected? If so, could that happen without a fever? Thank you for any input.
Helpful - 0
684200 tn?1227462774
I know that you were asking for an expert's opinion, but I may have an answer for you.  I get those sometimes and they seem to come from nowhere.  I can't think of anything I did to cause these attacks.  
I do go to a chiropractor on a regular basis to prevent degienerative disc problems and chronic fibromyalgia pain in my shoulders.  He has been a miracle worker.  The pain is not gone but my range of motion is almost 100% better.  
One day I had one of those pains on the left side of my mid-back that ran to just under my arm.  He told me that I had a rib out of place, adjusted it and I was good to go.  It still happens every so often and he adjusts it and I'm fine.
Just a suggestion.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Back & Neck Community

Top Pain Answerers
Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches