How to Manage Upper Back Pain Bronchitis

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Upper back pain doesn’t always necessarily mean that an individual has a respiratory condition. Upper back pain is a common symptom experienced by patients who have respiratory infection conditions, including acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis, chest infection, pneumonia, and even lung cancer, accompanied by other indicative symptoms. Upon diagnosis, it may be good to know how to manage pain during the treatment.

So how can upper back pain associated with bronchitis be managed? Bronchitis is the underlying condition that’s causing upper back pain, so the first step involves treating that respiratory condition. But as you go along with the treatment and you’re still experiencing pain, there are many minimally invasive and surgical treatment options that you can choose for upper back pain relief.

What Upper Back Pain With Bronchitis Means

Upper back pain may be indicative of so many other medical conditions, including bronchitis. This usually happens because of the blockages in the airway that may be causing upper back pain. In addition, if the air sacs in the lungs are also working poorly then you may also feel back pain symptoms.

Other than upper back pain, the symptoms that may come along with it are chest pain, clear mucus, as well a productive or unproductive cough. Treatment of bronchitis may help eliminate the symptoms of upper back pain. Medications for disease control such as a cough suppressant may help reduce coughing and the pressure it causes in the area.

However, there are other treatment options that patients may choose from for pain relief as they go along with the treatment or management of the condition.

Pain is often a signal sent by your body to signify that something is wrong with it. It’s similar to alert sensors to indicate that something needs to be fixed. If the condition becomes chronic and upper back pain is unresolved over a long period of time, the condition may escalate into other problems in the neck and shoulder.

Differential Diagnosis of Upper Back Pain and Bronchitis

Differential diagnosis entails the process of looking into the root cause of experiencing the symptoms of a condition. Understanding why upper back pain occurs as a common symptom when you have bronchitis, or why it remains even after the condition has been resolved is important to understand how to ease or manage the upper back pain that’s associated with bronchitis.

The American Lung Association defines bronchitis as the inflammation in your bronchial tubes, which are the airways in your lungs. Most cases of bronchitis are caused by a viral infection similar to the causes of the common cold or flu (i.e, influenza virus). In some cases, it’s caused by bacterial infection. Further, bronchitis may either be:

  • Viral bronchitis or infectious bronchitis (depending on the source of bronchitis)
  • Acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis (depending on the length and severity of symptoms)

Sometimes you may only have this disease alone, while there are instances when this is a symptom of a larger disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Unresolved acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis can cause difficulty breathing and severe chronic cough that may resemble whooping cough. Chest pain often occurs with chronic and acute bronchitis because of the pressure exerted when coughing. 

Additionally, a runny nose may also be a common symptom of bronchitis, which can eventually lead to a sore throat and the clogging of the chest wall with mucus. Thus, causing a feeling of chest tightness. In some cases, a chest cold may even be accompanied by symptoms of chest pain. 

Coughing Up Clear Mucus With Upper Back Pain and Chest Pain

A productive cough is a kind of whooping cough that contains mucus. This is one of the main bronchitis symptoms, which can lead to upper back pain due to the pressure inflicted by coughing, as well as the blockage of the airway that occurs because of the phlegm.

Productive Cough and Severe Upper Back Pain or Upper Back Pain With Unproductive Cough

During a cough, the muscles in the upper back part of the body have a tendency to contract forcefully. In this event, additional pressure on the ribs, as well as the joint that connects it to the spine, may be inflicted, which can cause a jolt of pain.

Bronchitis may initially start with a non-productive cough and then progress into a productive cough wherein a lot of mucus is coughed up. Chronic cough may cause upper back pain. Consequently, an unproductive cough may also cause upper back pain because of the similar pressure that it inflicts during a productive cough.

Custom Pain Management Plans for Upper Back Pain From Bronchitis at Gramercy Pain Center

Upper back pain may cause patients to experience difficulty breathing or performing daily activities. Aside from that, prolonged suffering from pain may also negatively impact one’s quality of life. You may experience back pain when you have the following respiratory conditions:

  • Asthma symptoms or asthma attack
  • Acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis
  • Bacterial pneumonia symptoms
  • Lung cancer

Other than the mentioned respiratory conditions, back pain may also be a sign of heart attack or pulmonary embolism (i.e, blood clot in the lung), which is why you shouldn’t ignore or dismiss this symptom.

Pain management treatments for upper back pain caused by respiratory infection are personalized depending on each patient’s need and condition. With a wide range of pain management solutions offered at Gramercy Pain Center, you can achieve pain relief more effectively.

The available treatments for excellent and urgent care of upper back pain from bronchitis are:

  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Implanter Nerve Stimulators
  • Cortisone Injections

1) Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is usually the treatment recommended to reduce chronic back pain that can’t be eliminated using pain medication or physical therapy. This non-surgical pain treatment involves targeting multiple nerves in a single treatment session.

If you’re concerned about the pain before the treatment takes an actual effect, a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area or source of pain. After that, fluoroscopy is used to guide the needle as it’s punctured directly into the medial branch nerves or lateral branch nerves. 

The location of the pain point is confirmed using microelectrode sent through a hollow needle, then the radiofrequency waves follow. During the treatment, the nerve tissue in the affected area is heated and destroyed to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Radiofrequency ablation may only be recommended after a thorough review of your medical history. A healthcare provider must first identify the direct benefits of having this treatment.

2) DRG Spinal Cord Stimulation

Upper back pain may still be experienced even after the treatment of bronchitis. Patients who suffer from this chronic pain condition may choose to have dorsal root ganglion (DRG) spinal cord stimulation therapy. Chronic pain can be relieved with this kind of therapy, which uses small electrical pulses to alter pain signals before they reach the brain.

The DRG neurostimulator system has 2 components; the pulse generator and generator leads, both of which are surgically implanted underneath the skin. The pulse generator is usually implanted in the buttocks or abdomen while the generator leads are placed near the target area.

Meanwhile, the DRG stimulator is placed permanently. So similar to radiofrequency ablation, a thorough review of the condition of the patient, as well the potential effectiveness of the treatment is required before undergoing the procedure.

3) Cortisone Injections

Cortisone shots are injections that are effective to relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. In addition, Mayo Clinic established that these injections usually contain a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. You can simply have your cortisone injections at your doctor’s office but because of the possible side effects, the number of injection treatments that you can get in a single year is limited.

Alternative Treatment Options for Upper Back Pain From Bronchitis

The treatment options mentioned above may only be applicable for patients whose upper back pain from bronchitis have become chronic. Similarly, they can also be applicable when pain is still present despite the full treatment of bronchitis.

But for patients who are looking for more natural approaches to relieve upper back pain from bronchitis, Gramercy Pain Center may also offer simple treatment solutions to ease upper back pain such as the following:

  • Chiropractic Care
  • Acupuncture
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Yoga

Relieve Your Upper Back Pain From Bronchitis at Gramercy Pain Center

Pain in your back could be an indication of a medical issue that needs to be addressed immediately, such as a chest infection. However, there are instances when pain is still experienced even after the respiratory infection has been addressed. These cases can occur when you have upper back pain associated with acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.

If you’re looking for pain management techniques and urgent care that may be suited for upper back pain relief, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider. A pain doctor and a spine specialist at Gramercy Pain Center are here to help you determine the cause and treatment options for your back pain. 

Schedule your initial consultation today and see what Gramercy Pain Center can do for you.

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