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Diagnosed with chest infection. On antibiotics. Why is my back and chest painful?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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was diagnosed with chest infection on antibiotics have now developed severe pain in my mid back and fron lower chest evertime I move or cough
Posted Fri, 25 May 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.
Coughing, sneezing and breathing all use muscles in your chest, back and shoulders. These muscles include, but are not limited to, your diaphragm (runs along the bottom of your rib cage ~ a major breathing muscle), your intercostal muscles (muscles in between your ribs), and multiple other muscles called as a group - accessory muscles - in your chest and back. Prolonged use of any muscle group in the body can cause muscle strain and spasm, the breathing muscles are no different. 
With prolonged forceful coughing, the intercostal muscles can get strained. They become inflammed and spasm, often spreading the inflammation and spasm to muscles around them. What starts as a twinge in your chest, becomes a horrendous, searing, pain radiating around your chest and even into your back. This makes breathing, coughing, and sneezing extremly painful. Even moving from a sitting position to a standing position can become extremely painful.
 Over the counter (OTC) anti inflammatories are the treatment of choice (Motrin/Advi) In a non asthmatic, cough suppressants can also be used. Asthmatics have to be very careful with cough suppression as their cough is important to prevent mucous plugs from forming. So, having said all that, I would say Tylenol and anti inflammatories drugs should make you all right and call your doctor to see if cough suppression is okay. 
Bottom line is your intercostal muscles won't heal until they get rested, and they won't rest until your cough goes away.
I hope to have answered your query however you can revert to me for any other query.
Thanks and best of luck.
I hope you feel better soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with chest infection. On antibiotics. Why is my back and chest painful? 17 hours later
I was diagnosed with whooping cough 6 weeks ago and wasn't sure if it had returned. Don't know if i mentioned that anyway the pain has lessened todayand not coughing as much., but no energy will take it easy for a few days as I am now retired. Thank you for your advice. I haven't used a web site like this before but I was desperate. Thanks again XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 52 minutes later
You seem to be on recovery phase and shall be all right soon.
Thanks and best of luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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