Effective Ways to Manage Upper Back Pain Caused by Pneumonia

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Upper back pain can be indicative of many conditions, one of which is pneumonia. Pain reliever medications and supplements may not be enough to treat this, and sometimes putting up with upper back pain as you go through the process of healing from pneumonia can be unbearable. Understanding how pneumonia causes back pain is essential for its treatment and proper management.

So what are the effective ways to properly manage upper back pain caused by pneumonia? As you go along with the necessary treatments for this kind of respiratory infection, seeking the help of a pain specialist can help effectively ease the pain. Controlling upper back pain is more than just an uncomfortable part of the healing process from pneumonia, it also slows down your recovery from a respiratory infection. 

Upper Back Pain When I Cough: How Pneumonia Causes Upper Back Pain

Pain indicates that something needs healing or due response in the body. Similarly, when an individual has pneumonia and other lung diseases such as small cell lung cancer, one of the accompanying pneumonia symptoms of the disease is upper back pain. Upper back pain, chest pain, or even chest infection isn’t always felt when you have pneumonia, but this depends on the location of pneumonia.

Technically, the inside of the lungs has no pain receptors. It’s the outer linings of the lungs which are sensitive to pain because of the number of pain-sensing nerve receptors in it. Additionally, this outer lining is attached to an individual’s chest wall in the front and the back of the lungs.

So it would be plausible that when there’s sharp upper back pain or simply upper back pain, the pneumonia may be located near that sensitive lining, particularly in the back of the lungs. If the pneumonia is located in the front area of the outer lining, then most likely, a sharp chest pain would be felt. 

The cause of this kind of pain is called pleurisy. Pleurisy is the irritation that occurs in the outer lining of the lungs when pneumonia causes inflammation. In some cases, pleurisy worsens, and it can even occur along with pleural effusion, which is the buildup of fluid caused by pneumonia.

Consequently, coughing may have also aggravated this irritation or caused additional pressure to your back, which amplifies the upper back pain from pneumonia. In a similar way, upper back pain is also a lung cancer symptom because of the pressure it puts on the bones of the spine once it grows into a significant size.

The treatment for upper back pain goes beyond simply disease control of the root cause of pain. The trauma caused by the forceful pressure inflicted in the body requires a proper healing process for the upper back pain experienced.

How Upper Back Pain From Pneumonia is Holistically Treated

Whether it’s walking pneumonia (i.e, bacterial pneumonia), or even COVID pneumonia (i.e, viral pneumonia), proper treatment is essential to avoid further complications of this respiratory illness. 

The difference between bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia is how common it is, as well as its severity. In contrast with viral pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia is usually more common and a more severe lung infection that requires antibiotics. Bacterial pneumonia normally doesn’t resolve on its own compared to viral pneumonia, so antibiotics are usually recommended.

One mistake that many make when treating upper back pain is to take cough suppressant medications, which can actually have more detrimental effects when you have pneumonia because it only blocks the airways even more. Others simply choose to adjust their breathing, which can also be damaging to the lungs.

Aside from receiving proper treatment and disease control to recover from pneumonia, upper back pain is also treated to facilitate faster healing from this respiratory illness. In some cases, a healthcare provider would recommend over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medication or pain reliever medication, but sometimes these prove to be insufficient in eliminating pain.

To effectively facilitate proper healing from pneumonia, it’s essential to seek proper treatment from pain specialists for the required remediation of upper back pain from pneumonia. Take note of your current pneumonia symptoms and medication, and have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. You can also do further research or talk to experts from organizations such as the American Lung Association.

Treatments to Ease Upper Back Pain From Pneumonia at Gramercy Pain Center

Proper and accurate diagnosis of the condition, as well as disease control, is essential for an effective pain management treatment. Pneumonia isn’t the only lung condition causing upper back pain, it may also be a symptom that’s indicative of a disease much worse than pneumonia, bronchitis, or any other bacterial infection – pulmonary embolism. 

Pulmonary embolism is a condition wherein there’s a blood clot in the lungs, and this condition also has back pain as a common symptom. The appropriate disease control for this respiratory illness could be much different than a simple viral infection or pneumonia symptoms.

Upper back pain isn’t just caused by a lung condition, it can also be caused by heart disease. However, upper back pain is more than just a pain signal sent by the body to signify the need for urgent care of the condition causing it, in this case, pneumonia. Instead, persistent upper back pain can actually restrict the normal function of the body to properly cough and have deep breath to encourage healing from pneumonia. 

This is why pain management treatments for upper back pain from pneumonia are essential. At Gramercy Pain Center, our team of pain specialists can help you achieve faster and more effective pain relief from the common symptoms of pneumonia through the following available treatments:

  • Cortisone shots
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy
  • Implanted nerve stimulators

1) Cortisone Shots

Cortisone injections are quick and effective pain relief remedies that can also reduce inflammation. In this case, it can remediate the inflammation caused by pneumonia, which irritates the outer lining of the lungs, causing severe, sharp pain. However, it’s important to ask a pain specialist or healthcare provider whether you’re eligible for this treatment by having a thorough discussion of your current medications and treatment plan for pneumonia.

2) Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency ablation is also an effective way to eliminate chronic upper back pain that can’t be resolved using pain medication, physical therapy, or even improvements in your health condition. This is a holistic treatment that targets all the pain signals in the body within a single treatment session.

The procedure of the treatment involves using a microelectrode, which is sent through a hollow needle, to confirm the location of the pain points. Once it’s confirmed, the radiofrequency waves would follow, and then the nerve tissue in the affected area of pain is ablated and destroyed.

A local anesthetic is usually applied during the treatment session to numb the area where the hollow needle will be placed. This is only applicable after a healthcare provider or pain specialist has deemed you eligible for the treatment after an in-depth review of your medical history and current medications.

3) Implanted Nerve Stimulators

Spinal cord stimulation therapy, such as dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation therapy is also an option in relieving chronic pain from pneumonia. DRG stimulation therapy uses electrical pulses to alter pain signals before they can even reach the brain. This treatment involves 2 implants: the pulse generator and the generator leads, which are implanted in the abdomen or buttocks area and the target area respectively.

The effect of this treatment is permanent, so it requires an even more thorough interview of the candidates for the treatment, as well as a review of their medical history to ensure that this treatment is safe and it wouldn’t produce any adverse reaction to the treatment for pneumonia.

Risk of Not Treating Upper Back Pain From Pneumonia

Back pain is common in a patient with pneumonia, but it doesn’t have to be regarded as normal and undeserving of proper medical attention. If you’re experiencing the following, it’s important to address upper back pain from pneumonia immediately:

When you are experiencing upper back pain from pneumonia, your breathing may be controlled and you may not be doing the appropriate practices to speed up your recovery from pneumonia. For instance, you may reduce your coughing or avoid taking a deep breath, which will result in an even worse experience of difficulty breathing.

Coughing and deep breaths are significant when you have pneumonia. Coughing is important to clear the airways of the lungs while taking a deep breath is essential to ensure that your lower lungs don’t collapse from the lack of oxygen. A collapsed lung would only worsen the condition of this respiratory illness.

So in a way, untreated upper back pain symptom from pneumonia is more than just a simple complication of the lung infection; they can actually aggravate or worsen pneumonia. Additionally, you can also develop other complications such as:

  • New blood clot formation in the lungs
  • Lung fluid formation
  • Abscess formation
  • Formation of new air leak

Treatments to Ease Your Upper Back Pain With Pneumonia at Gramercy Pain Center

Most people think that once the condition is identified and proper treatment of it is on the way, then the pain problem associated with it and the common symptoms would eventually resolve on its own. However, it’s best to also treat the symptoms with the required care that it needs for the proper functioning of the body that’s necessary for a faster recovery period from a condition, such as pneumonia. 

To get the best care for upper back pain as you heal from this respiratory infection and other infectious diseases, consult with a pain specialist. For the best pain management techniques and personalized pain treatment plans, our pain doctors and spine specialists at Gramercy Pain Center can help you identify pain from its root and help you receive the necessary care and pain remedy that complements your treatment plan for pneumonia.

Consult with Dr. Varma or Dr. Valimahomed for upper back pain and even chest pain to start your journey to faster pain recovery today.

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