(480) 409-7703 Contact

BlogPain Experts of Arizona


If you experience any incident of lower back pain while you’re breathing, this could signify an underlying condition that needs attention.

When the pain is sharp and sudden, back pain while breathing could also point to a medical emergency like a pulmonary embolism or a heart attack.

From inflammation and chest infections through to spinal curvature and even lung cancer, there are many causes of lower back pain while breathing. You should educate yourself about this type of lower back pain. The more you know, the better the chances of catching serious health issues before it’s too late.

To help you do just that, we’ll look now at just 5 of the leading causes of this form of lower back pain.


  1. Lung Cancer
  2. Obesity
  3. Pleurisy
  4. Pneumonia
  5. Strained Muscle

1) Lung Cancer

Often, there are no symptoms during the early stages of lung cancer according to the American Cancer Society.

That said, chest pain that worsens when you cough or breathe deeply is one of the primary common symptoms. When lung cancer starts spreading through the body to other organs, this can trigger pain in the back and hips. In the event of a tumor that starts pressing on the spinal nerves, you could expect issues with breathing and resultant lower back pain.

You should also watch out for other symptoms if you experience any of the above. If partnered with a chronic cough, if you start coughing up blood, or start wheezing and becoming short of breath, you should speak with your healthcare provider urgently. Treatment for lung cancer hinges on a range of factors from the type of lung cancer and its location, size, and stage through to your overall state of health. Typical treatment modalities include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

2) Obesity

The next common cause of lower back pain is less grave than cancer but a potentially serious health risk nevertheless: obesity. If you’re carrying surplus weight, you’ll be putting undue pressure on your back and joints along with other body parts, too. Many people who are clinically obese find problems breathing at the best of times. It can be uncomfy or even downright painful to breathe fully and deeply.

The obvious solution is to lose weight by adopting a calorie-controlled diet. A huge circus surrounds the diet industry but the underlying premise could not be simpler: consume less calories than you require and you’ll lose weight. Exercise should be considered as a second prong to accompany eating healthy whole foods low in fat. As with any health concerns, speak with your doctor to establish a suitable plan of attack.

3) Pleurisy

Pleurisy is when the pleura becomes inflamed. The pleura are the pair of thin membranes that line and protect your lung cavities and your chest. The inflammation caused by pleurisy can make it tough to breath properly. You might also experience a sharp pain radiating outward to your back and shoulders.

Other common symptoms of pleurisy include coughing, a fever, and shortness of breath. Pleurisy can also be caused by infections or injuries. Cancer, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis can all increase your chances of developing pleurisy. Treatment depends upon the root cause. Antibiotics would be used to treat bacterial infections while steroid medications are used to minimize the inflammation and soothe the subsequent pain.

4) Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection causing the little air sacs in your lungs to fill up with fluid. Symptoms vary and they also vary in severity. They include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up phlegm or sputum
  • Fever or chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

If bacteria are causing pneumonia, your doctor will typically prescribe a course of antibiotics. When pneumonia is viral, you might require supportive treatment and possibly even hospitalization.

5) Strained Muscle

You get strained muscles from injury or from repetitive use. Strained back muscles normally trigger sharp pains on the injured side of the body. You might also notice:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Problems bending over
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Sudden pain when breathing and moving

Most strained muscles respond well to rest and they should recover without further intervention. It always pays to get a considered medical opinion when you’re experiencing any form of lower back pain, though.


So far, so good. When should you take action and seek medical advice in the event of lower back pain while breathing? If your lower back pain is persistent or severe, seek medical advice.

Whenever back pain starts worsening, it’s time to see a doctor or a back pain specialist . Seek immediate medical attention for any back pain accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or loss of consciousness
  • Pain in one arm or both arms
  • Severe coughing and/or or coughing up blood
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Weakness and numbness


We hope today’s brief study of lower back pain while breathing has given you some food for thought.

Feel free to get in touch any time if you have any queries or feedback. You can make an appointment in person, by phone, or online. Call us right now at (480) 409-7703.

The Pain Experts of Arizona was founded to bring the highest level of care in a state-of-the-art setting that emphasizes the belief of treating our patients with the same respect, compassion, and dedication we would treat our own friends and family.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment and let us help you get back on your way to an active life without the limitations of chronic pain. From our Phoenix office, The Pain Experts of Arizona, serves pain management patients in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.