Why Does My Shoulder Hurt When I Breathe? Find Out The Causes And Cures

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Why Does My Shoulder Hurt When I Breathe

A common problem among many patients is shoulder pain when they breathe. In certain cases, this can be a sign of a serious condition like rotator cuff tear or scapular dyskinesis. But in most cases, it’s caused by the common aches and pains of daily living. Here are some tips on how to help relieve shoulder pain from breathing and some simple exercises you can do at home to keep your shoulders healthy.

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt When I Breathe?

A common complaint that patients have is that they get a dull ache in the shoulder when they breathe. This can be caused by a number of things, but it is often due to the muscles around the shoulder joint tightening up when they are breathing.

What Are The Causes Of Shoulder Pain When Breathing?

  1. Tight muscles at the front of your shoulder.
  2. Muscles on the side of your spine pushing down on your ribs and causing pain in the ribcage.
  3. Muscles pulling down on your ribcage and causing pain in the shoulder joint itself.
  4. Constriction of blood vessels in your arm causes them to be more sensitive to any movement, especially when you breathe through your nose.
  5. Tissue that is too tight under your armpit and causes pain when you breathe through your nose, especially when you are lying flat or sitting up straight with no support under your arms (i.e., when you are not using a computer).
  6. Tissue that is too tight under your armpit, causing pain when you breathe through your nose, especially when you are lying flat or sitting up straight with no support under your arms (i.e., when you are not using a computer).
  7. Tissue that is too tight in the front of your shoulder causing pain when you breathe through your nose, especially when you are lying flat or sitting up straight with no support under your arms (i.e., when you are not using a computer).
  8. Muscles pulling down on the top of the shoulder, causing pain on the side of the neck and sometimes down the back of the neck.
  9. Muscles pulling down on the top of your shoulder cause pain in between your shoulder blades and often in front of them as well as in between your shoulder blades and occasionally behind them as well (the “shoulder blade” muscles).
  10. Constriction of blood vessels in your arm causes them to be more sensitive to any movement, especially when you breathe through your nose.

What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms In Patients?

  • Pain in the lower back, mid-back, and/or neck.
  • Pain in the shoulder and/or arm.
  • Pain in the side of your chest or ribcage that feels like you have a heavyweight on your chest or a tight band around your chest.
  • Pain in the front of your shoulder that feels like something is stuck in there (i.e., you can’t get it out).
  • Pain in the front of your shoulder that feels like it is dislocated (i.e., it pops out of its socket when you try to move it).
  • Pain on one side only (usually the right side) at night while sleeping and pain during the day when you are sitting or standing up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer).
  • Pain on one side only while standing up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer).
  • Pain in the elbow.
  • Pain in the wrist and/or hand (i.e., numbness and tingling).
  • Pain in the upper arm (i.e., the upper part of your arm) that feels like something is stuck in there but you can’t get it out (i.e., you can’t move it).

How To Relieve Pain From Breathing?

  1. Try to breathe through your nose. This is the best way to relieve pain from breathing because it is the most natural and easiest way for you to breathe.
  2. If you have problems breathing through your nose, breath through your mouth instead. Do this only if you do not have a problem breathing through your nose already (i.e., if you can breathe easily).
  3. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), put a pillow under your elbow and/or under the back of your head so that it supports your upper arm and shoulder (i.e., use support).
  4. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), lean forward as much as possible without bending forward at the waist or putting any strain on yourself with the weight of your upper body on one side only in front of you, but without putting any strain on your neck.
  5. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), put a pillow under your elbow and/or under the back of your head so that it supports your upper arm and shoulder (i.e., use support).
  6. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), lean forward as much as possible without bending forward at the waist or putting any strain on yourself with the weight of your upper body on one side only in front of you, but without putting any strain on your neck.
  7. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), tilt the chair back away from you as far as possible without putting any strain on yourself but without bending forward at the waist or leaning too far over in front of you, but without putting any strain on your neck or shoulders.
  8. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), put a pillow under your elbow and/or under the back of your head so that it supports your upper arm and shoulder (i.e., use support).
  9. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), tilt the chair back away from you as far as possible without putting any strain on yourself but without bending forward at the waist or leaning too far over in front of you, but without putting any strain on your neck or shoulders.
  10. If you are sitting up straight with arms hanging by your sides (i.e., not using a computer), put a pillow under your elbow and/or under the back of your head so that it supports your upper arm and shoulder (i.e., use support).

Simple Exercises You Can Do At Home To Keep Your Shoulders Healthy

  • Walk up and down the stairs twice a day, even if it is just for 10 seconds each time.
  • Do shoulder shrugs every day.
  • Do belly crunches every day.
  • Do push-ups every day (or at least 3 times a week).
  • Do arm circles (the ones where you circle your arms in front of you and behind you) every day.

Conclusion

In order to relieve shoulder pain when breathing, you need to figure out the cause and then address the issue. These tips can help you identify the causes and get relief from shoulder pain when you are breathing.

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