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Back pain with COPD

Is back and spine pain a part of COPD? Mostly if I sleep on one side I get shape pains in my shoulder blade and middle upper spine while taking a deep breath. Anyone else have these symptoms?

Thank you all very kindly for your time and thoughts.



    1. There really isn't much I can do on bad days. I use oxygen a lot but find that my oxygen level can be 96 and I am still panting for breath, just walking across the room. The back pain gets worse after exercise of any kind. Such as walking!

    2. Hi Shirley, and thanks for your post(s) here.
      Several members in our community have mentioned they are experiencing back pain in conjunction with this condition (COPD), so you are not alone! In fact, we have a few comments (posted by community members), which I thought might be of interest to you. For your convenience, here is a link to that information:
      As well, it is not uncommon for some patients (with COPD), to have good readings via the pulse oximeter and yet, still remain short of breath. I thought you might also be interested in this article, which explains that feeling: I do hope you find the material is helpful for you in a practical way.
      If there is anything we can do to assist you, please let me or any other moderator know.
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator

  2. chrisdean, I experience the approximate symptoms which kloker detailed. The only good thing about spending years having my condition misdiagnosed, as per over 80% of us, is that I have learnt a ton about my condition from the research which I required to prove it to doctors. Research articles describe raised transpulmonary pressure which forces downward, into the abdominal cavity. This raises intra-abdominal pressure, possibly causing abdominal compartment syndrome. The pressure forces outward, compromising abdominal muscles and placing pressure on the lower spine. As per kloker's mention, of the range of motion being much reduced, the pressure on the lower spine and loss of full abdominal muscle support reduces the ability of many muscle groups, around the body, to function properly. I really struggle to raise my arms above my head. The back pain is just all part of the fun.

    1. For me, there are two things to consider with this question. One is that with the onset of serious COPD my range of motion is much decreased. Second is that cramps, spasms, and other muscle issues are closely related to oxygenation in those tissues. Stretching, exercise, and getting enough oxygen are keys to dealing with these problems for me. Sometimes it's simple and sometimes not so much. My newly limited range of motion affects my sleeping position, too, which feeds the problem. I need to find new ways to get the stretching and exercise I need that will be enough to have balance, and it's a battler, every day, but I need to stay in it to win. Some days it's easy and other days it seems impossible. But, if I pull a muscle or otherwise somehow injure myself, it's usually from trying to do something I shouldn't have, or getting too rambunctious in the attempt, or making one little mistake. Then I pay dearly for it. Like my currently broken toe, which I continue to whack on things almost daily, or not drinking enough water daily, which is my tendency, because I hate all those constant trips to the bathroom. It's hard to strike a balance that works well enough to prevent the cramps. Enough that I have yet to succeed. It's a different world I live in now, and I am having some difficulties with the adjustment!

      1. Hey Chris!

        Kind of a chicken and the egg situation for myself and i couldn't give you a straight answer. I have found that if i strain my back through over exercising or strain a muscle in that part of my body I generally have a flair up and difficulty breathing. At least for me there is a correlation both ways.

        Laying flat on the ground with my legs elevated and diaphragmatic breathing usually sorts me out. Sometimes with a heating pad or pillow under the strains

        Hope it helps

        1. thank you, I had to look up diaframatic breathing to do the exercises. I'm going to do these. I'm new to COPD.Net I was desperate to find something to do to help. I appreciate your post.

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