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Is it better to be active while in pain even if I have to take a pill?

I seem to hurt all the time in my ribs and back, and sometimes in my chest, mainly when I am having trouble breathing. Does everyone have that problem? I hate taking pain pills. They say I must move around and walk but it makes me hurt even worse. Is it better to walk and do things even if I have to take a pill?


Community Answers
  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Sharon-Tommy, that is definitely a dilemma. First, it’s very important that you’re certain the pain is from COPD. Anytime a person has pain in their ribs, back, and chest it’s best to see your doctor and confirm the source of the pain. Once you’ve established that, the next step is to decide if it’s worth it to you to take a pain killer so that you can be more active. I know it’s horrible that you have to make that choice, but it is very important to keep your muscle strength up as much as possible.

    There’s no question that exercise is important but it makes it much harder to accomplish if you’re in pain. You could try starting small with some movements that are limited and hopefully won’t cause too much pain. For instance, you could try doing arm and leg lifts right from a chair in your house. As time goes by, you could try adding light weights to build more muscle strength.

    Do you have a track anywhere near you? If you happen to have one made of a synthetic material, that may help you walk. The polyurethane/rubber is very easy to walk on and absorbs shock, causing you less pain as you walk.

    I wish you the best and hope you find a way to get in some exercise without causing yourself more pain.

    Warm Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

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