Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles

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Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles

Causes of Chest Pain

Trauma, twisting movements, and excessive coughing can all strain the rib muscles, which can cause a pain similar to diaphragm pain. The chest wall muscles and tissue can become irritated, inflamed and uncomfortable to stretch and move.

Poor posture and muscle tension of the shoulders, the neck and low back can all cause chest wall, thoracic pain.

All about Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles

Georgia explains how Pilates can help with Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles.

Symptoms of Chest Pain

The most common chest wall symptom is pain. The type of pain will depend on the nature of the cause. Pain can range from a constant ache to a sharp, stabbing or burning. The pain can be worse on certain movements such as deep breathing, coughing or twisting. It may be associated with numbness, tingling or a 'radiating' pain, from front to back for example.

Chest Pain Treatment

Fractured and bruised ribs heal well usually on their own within approximately 6 weeks, but be sure to avoid strenuous exercise. Instead ice the area, stretch and mobilise gently, and be sure to do breathing exercises.

Take deep breaths! Try to breath in slowly and deeply aiming to fill the base of the lungs up and then slowly exhale. This will help to expand the ribs and soft tissue alongside improve the functioning of your lungs.

Chronic Chest Pain

Improving your overall posture can assist chronic aches and pain around the front of the chest.

Sit up tall and watch the PBG information class on Chest Wall & Breathing Pain then try the QuickFix exercise class to learn how to safely work on improving your balance for everyday life.

Free Class: Quick Fix for Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles

Free Quick Fix video on Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles
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Chest Pain & Breathing Muscles

Physio Tip!

If you experience pain on coughing try hugging a pillow to your chest tightly as you cough. This can help to brace and support the chest wall and abdominal muscles.

Need more help?


Contact your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have an injury caused by a serious accident, such as a car accident
  • Have shortness of breath that's getting worse
  • Have chest pain that's getting worse
  • Have pain in your tummy or shoulder
  • Are coughing up blood.
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Disclaimer: All information presented on this page is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. The information contained herein is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Oliver Templeton-Ward
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
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