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Doctor insights on: Upper Back Pain Behind Lungs

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I am 19 I have been having bad upper back pain feels like maybe it's the lungs? I have smoked for a couple years. What could it be?

I am 19 I have been having bad upper back pain feels like maybe it's the lungs? I have smoked for a couple years. What could it be?

Likey the back: Pain in the upper back is likely the spine itself rather than the lungs. You can have infections of the lungs that can give you back pain but this is relatively unusual. If the pain persists for more than 6 weeks or if you have fever you should seek medical attention. ...Read more

Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


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How do you distinguish upper back pain from lung pain?

How do you distinguish upper back pain from lung pain?

Physical exam/images: The lungs have no pain fibers. Most "lung pain" is related to the pleura or chest wall. This can be from a variety of causes and needs further investigation. Upper back pain is usually skeletal in nature. A good physical exam should help. ...Read more

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I was coughing and now I am having upper back pain when I breathe, cough and move? Is it my back or my lungs.

I was coughing and now I am having upper back pain when I breathe, cough and move? Is it my back or my lungs.

Productive cough?: If you are having productive sputum (cough) that's not relieved by your otc meds, it's time to see your doctor for a lung exam, (and possible chest xray) to rule out an uri, from walking pneumonia, depending on other factors /symptoms (fever, chills, etc). They may have to start you on antibiotics if warranted. Since your lungs are involved, it can affect your uppoer back if you cough a lot. ...Read more

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I'm 18 years old today I woke up with this upper back pain. Thinking it's my lungs. I've had slot of mucus the few months. I can feel it breathing?

Heart or Lung?: While chest pain is often associated with heart problems, pain in the chest could be caused by musculoskeletal problems, lung conditions, or traumatic rib injuries.
The location, nature, or the intensity of pain could provide valuable information that may assist the doctors to zero in on the underlying cause. Chest xray and sputum (mucus) test may be needed since you have been suffering since mths. ...Read more

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Upper back pain and chest pressure for 2 months. Could this be my lungs? Get worse while laying down and waking up in morning. What else?

Upper back pain and chest pressure for 2 months. Could this be my lungs? Get worse while laying down and waking up in morning. What else?

Chest pressure: Impossible to tell without significantly more detailed history;BUT it is vital to obtain an accurate diagnosis so do promptly be evaluated by your physician or via a Health Tap Concierge consultation. ...Read more

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Do I need to worry about upper back pain being lung cancer if massage relieves the pain, not completely but I've had the pain for quite awhile.?

Do I need to worry about upper back pain being lung cancer if massage relieves the pain, not completely but I've had the pain for quite awhile.?

It is easy to find: Out, if you have lung cancer ask your doctor to examine you, do chest x-ray, if he could find any thing ask if he could do cat scan for your lungs. You will be able to find out. ...Read more

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I'm a 38yr old female I quit smoking two years ago and I have upper back pain on the left. I don't have any other symptoms of lung cancer. ..Is it possible?

I'm a 38yr old female I quit smoking two years ago and I have upper back pain on the left. I don't have any other symptoms of lung cancer. ..Is it possible?

Chest pain: I would never say that the possibility of cancer in a smoker should be dismissed. If the pain doesn't resolve then see your dr. I'm not sure what your smoking history was. If the pain continues you should get it evaluated. If you're coughing up any blood then see a physician soon. ...Read more

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Chances of lung cancer? -shoulder, upper back pain and sometimes a mild pain when I take a deep breath (left side)

Chances of lung cancer? -shoulder, upper back pain and sometimes a mild pain when I take a deep breath (left side)

Average: What you are describing does not raise specific concern for lung cancer and points more to chest wall irritation which can be from muscle strain, sometimes viral infection or exposure to inhaled irritants. Smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer, and anyone over the age of 55 who has been smoking for at least 30 years (varies by amount) benefits from routine lung cancer screening ...Read more

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I'm a smoker for 15 years I'm 30 years old I have upper back pain on my shoulder blades and neck pain can it be lung cancer?

I'm a smoker for 15 years I'm 30 years old I have upper back pain on my shoulder blades and neck pain can it be lung cancer?

Sounds muscular, but: I would still see your PCP to discuss cancer screening possibilities, have a full physical, and discuss smoking cessation options. The sooner you quit, the lower your chances of cancer, and the more likely your lungs will return to pre-smoking health! Good luck ...Read more

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I have upper back pain, chest pain and pain at top of left arm, I smoked for 20 yr, quit 5 weeks ago, could I have lung cancer?

Multiple causes: Your symptoms could be due to anything, simple muscular to heart disease.
Try simple conservative treatment with over the counter pain relievers for a couple of weeks before going to the doctor. ...Read more

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I've been waking up with upper back pain mostly between left shoulder blade and spine. Hurts when I breath and can feel it in my left lung/ chest.?

I've been waking up with upper back pain mostly between left shoulder blade and spine. Hurts when I breath and can feel it in my left lung/ chest.?

Thoracic Spine: Thoracic spine areas will allow nerves to exit out of the spine and wrap around into the chest wall and abdomen. So herniated discs there can cause pain into these areas as well. I would consider seeing a pain specialist for treatment options like epidural steroid injection or even facet joint treatments. ...Read more

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My mom is a smoker. She has had a non productive cough for about a year now. Today was complaining about upper back pain. Can it be her lung? Cancer?

My mom is a smoker. She has had a non productive cough for about a year now. Today was complaining about upper back pain. Can it be her lung? Cancer?

May need some Tests: Persistent cough can be due to smoking (bronchitis) or other lung diseases. Since it has persisted for one year, you should get a medical check up to find the cause. A simple chest X-ray may reveal any obvious problems but a CT scan of the chest is even more detailed and more reliable test to find a cause like Cancer (which is unlikely) in the lung or in the back bones. ...Read more

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What specific tests can I ask doctor to refer me to to make sure right back, lung, asophagus are ok? I have constant right upper back pain. Have to constantly pop my back, doctor just gives pain med.

Right back pain: There are many causes of right back pain, most of which can be determined by a history and physical exam. Tests which might be useful to help find a cause include a chest x-ray, blood tests, including liver tests, an ultrasound of the gallbladder, and/or a urinalysis. It should be clear to your doctor if any of these tests are necessary. If your pain persists, go back to your doctor. Good luck. ...Read more

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Mid upper back pain. Present after being obese for several yrs and dieted and lost weight. Could this still be cancer. Mri clear. But what about lung?

Mid upper back pain. Present after being obese for several yrs and dieted and lost weight. Could this still be cancer. Mri clear. But what about lung?

Back pain: There are many reasons for back pain : cardiac, arthritis, herniated disk, strain, pleuritic, kidney stone among many others. See physician for evaluation. ...Read more

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Could upper back pain that has lasted over a year be lung cancer? Ct was clear. Only hurts with activity or sitting not rest

Could upper back pain that has lasted over a year be lung cancer? Ct was clear. Only hurts with activity or sitting not rest

Prob not: If the cat scan was clear, and you don't have cancer. You should be in fall iphone physical therapy program. I will get an emerierr the thoracic and cervical spine. Be evaluated by an orthopedic spinal specialist. ...Read more

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I am having upper back pain that comes and go, and blood when I blow my nose. I do not have a cough. I am 25 and I don't smokecould I have lung cancer?

Almost certainly not: I don't think you have lung cancer at all. Back pain can be due to many things (including posture, very large breasts, etc) and blood when you blow your nose is probably due to a polyp. Obviously you should have it checked out if it's a lot. But at your age and with no smoking history, lung cancer would be very low on my list. As for bruising and weakness, you should probably have a blood test. ...Read more

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Bad upper back pain with dry, chesty cough and chest discomfort. Hurts when standing and at rest. Advil works a bit, but not much lately. Could the upper back pain be from a lung infection?

Bad upper back pain with dry, chesty cough and chest discomfort. Hurts when standing and at rest. Advil works a bit, but not much lately. Could the upper back pain be from a lung infection?

Yes: Sounds bad -Can you go to a center for chest Xray? You may have Bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza or more. Pain all the time is concerning. Need to see a doctor to get a diagnosis. This could be life threatening. Don't wait Need to see a doctor today. ...Read more

Dr. Praveen Mambalam
474 Doctors shared insights

Thoracic (Upper Back) Strain (Definition)

Discomfort or pain in the back at the level of the rib cage to the neck. Although upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain, the causes are often the same and include muscle strain or irritation (most common), injury to the spine leading to slipped disc or degeneration, or the pinching of a nerve in the back. ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,741 Doctors shared insights

Back Pain (Definition)

Pain in the back is a symptom that can be due to a number of causes including musculoskeletal or neurological problems or due to problems ...Read more