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Reduce Lung Pain After Exercise

by
author image Peter Mitchell
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.
Reduce Lung Pain After Exercise
Lungs sit just under the ribs and in front of the heart. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The interior lining of the lungs contains very few pain receptors. However, the surrounding tissue and outer lining can feel pain. That's why lung pain after exercise may be related to issues elsewhere in your chest cavity, including your heart. If you have any existing lung conditions or experience very sharp and persistent lung pain after exercise, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Strain From Exercise

The sheer physical exertion of a serious aerobic workout can put pressure on the muscles and lining around the lungs. Also, high impact activities that require sudden and deep inhalations, such as weight lifting, can aggravate the lungs and chest. In many cases treatment simply requires an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. However, if you experience a tightening sensation, prolonged pain or numbness in your left side, see a doctor immediately as this may be a heart related issue.

Asthma & EIB

Asthma can cause lung pain after exercise. Asthmatics may experience shortness of breath or struggle to inhale fully. Allergies or infections may trigger asthma in adulthood, even if you have displayed no previous symptoms. A similar condition to asthma is exercise induced brochospasm, or EIB. However, EIB can trigger lung pain without the wheezing associated with asthma, according to the Netwellness website. Both asthma and EIB might be brought under control with asthma medications such as a salbutamol inhaler.

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Chest Infections and Coughs

Temporary chest infections that affect the lungs may trigger pain that increases as you inhale. If you have been coughing or wheezing for several days or weeks before exercise, then your lungs may be inflamed and sensitive. Very deep coughs strain the muscles around the lungs causing pain when breathing. The added pressure on the lungs from aerobic exercise could irritate your chest, even if you feel you have recently recovered from your fever or infection.

Pleurisy

Pleurisy affects the "pleura" lining around the lungs. When this lining becomes inflamed, inhaling can irritate the area and trigger sharp pains in the chest and lungs. So pain may be more pronounced after and during exercise. If you have had any recent respiratory problems such as pneumonia or any other chest infection you could be at greater risk of pleurisy. In some cases, lupus or another autoimmune condition could result in pleurisy.

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References

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