Health Issues That Cause Back Pain and Breathing Difficulties

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Health Issues That Cause Back Pain and Breathing Difficulties

Do you suffer with health problems that cause both back pain and breathing problems? There are certainly instances where back pain is accompanied by a shortness of breath, and it’s not uncommon at all.

However, there are also cases where an illness or disease causes both back pain and breathing difficulties.

Below are some examples of associated back pain and breathing problems.


An individual having a problem with the structure of the spine faces a higher risk of experiencing breathing problems, such as with scoliosis. Although it is completely normal for the spine to curve, scoliosis causes the spine to develop an abnormal curvature. The sideways curvature of scoliosis can significantly affect the chest and ribcage.

As a result, the lungs are also affected, thereby causing difficulties with breathing. This abnormal curvature of the spine may occur in the thoracic or lumbar area, or both.


The term “kyphosis” refers to a type of curve that is usually seen in the chest area of the spine, although there are some cases of kyphosis that affect the lumbar and cervical parts of the spine.

A kyphosis is a “C” curve in which its opening points to the front. The spine normally curves this way, however, if the curve exceeds more than 40 degrees, then the person is more likely to develop or have a spinal deformity.

Unfortunately, this curve puts pressure on the spinal cord causing compression to the nerves. This in turn makes it difficult for the person to breathe.

Lung Cancer

Research reveals that there are approximately 25% percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer who have reported back pain as one of its symptoms.

If back pain occurs without physical activity and worsens when lying in bed, and breathing is difficult, it’s time to visit the doctor to find out why. These symptoms can be a sign of lung cancer.

A malignancy causes irritation to the nerves along the linings of the chest wall and lungs. This occurrence is what triggers a sharp nerve pain. If it reaches the metastasis stage, the cancer will not only harm the lungs, it will also affect the spine, making breathing even more painful and difficult. This occurrence affects more than 30% of lung cancer sufferers.


Pneumonia is a condition caused by an infection deep within the lungs. Back pain, which is one of its lesser known symptoms, is often observed among people afflicted with bacterial pneumonia. If you have pneumonia, the pain is usually felt in the middle part of the back.

This is also accompanied with chest pain, fever, a persistent cough and breathing difficulties. Breathing only aggravates chest and back pain. The deeper the breath, the more pain in the back is felt. However, it is important to note that not all kinds of pneumonia cause back pain.

Since difficulties in breathing may lead to loss of consciousness, doctors will address this issue before any back pain problems, which is totally understandable.

For any back pain and associated breathing issues, please contact your doctor immediately. Neither one is pleasant to experience, and may be an indication of a more serious problem.

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