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Types of Back Injuries That Cause Pain While Breathing

Pain while breathing after back injury

Many times people only consider that a back injury involves pain when trying to bend or walk, but for some, breathing can be painful, as well. This symptom of a hurt spine can signal a serious condition. The reality is that painful breathing experiences after enduring an accident, such as a car accident or work-related injury, that left your musculoskeletal system traumatized need an assessment performed right away.

What kind of back traumas could lead to pain when taking a breath? Quite a few, and it takes time and quality medical care to treat your symptoms effectively.

Signs of a Back Injury

Before diving into the type of injuries that can cause painful spasms when breathing, it’s critical to recognize the common most symptoms of an injured spine first. A large majority of experienced discomfort has links to damaged soft tissues and muscle. This can be felt in a variety of ways, including:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Tightness
  • Inflammation and tenderness to the touch
  • Headaches
  • Chest and trunk pain
  • Breathing pain and difficulty

When these more tender areas supporting the spine get injured, you may even experience sharp and shooting pain sensations when you so much as cough or sneeze. Due to your vertebrae having a direct connection to the ribs, even a deep breath can send jolting twinges into your body.

Back Injuries That Can Cause Painful Breathing Symptoms

Our spines play an important role in keeping us upright and mobile, so when we injure our backs, it is a debilitating experience. Common back injuries that have a history of causing difficulty breathing include:

Sprained and Strained Back Muscles and Ligaments

These injuries are the top causes of excruciating breathing experiences. A sprained or strained muscle or ligament in the back affects your entire body. When you overstretch a back muscle group, or worse, tear a ligament, the whole area swells up and often leads to spasms. This leads to painful breaths, especially if the injury is in the mid to upper part of your spine.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc occurs when the soft cushion between a pair of vertebrae ruptures which then leaks into the outer sac of that disc. The result is inflammation and unnatural pressure being applied to that part of the spine and surrounding nerves. This can result in nerve root pain, which will cause extreme discomfort that can appear throughout your body, including when you are breathing.

Vertebral Fractures

When a patient experiences a vertebra break, the painful side effects that go with it vary widely. If one has a compression fracture or a more serious fragmentation where bone goes into areas of tissue all around the affected area, a host of symptoms will follow, including:

  • Painful inflammation
  • Pressure
  • Trouble standing
  • Inability to twist or bend
  • Sudden pain

All of these symptoms can lead to agony when trying to simply inhale or exhale. The reason is that surrounding nerves are under additional stress and pressure.

Get Your Breathing Issue Checked Out

Whether you injured your back or feel just fine, anytime it hurts to breathe, you should take it very seriously and have your condition assessed right away. Traumatic accidents like car crashes or what appears to be a simple slip and fall can lead to fractures and other dangerous conditions. You could also have a virus or disease presenting these symptoms, as well, so never assume anything and speak with a trusted physician.