Bronchitis and Back Pain

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which lead to the lungs. Symptoms associated with the condition are back pain and a chronic cough. Bronchitis is usually cleared up within a few days, but when the condition becomes serious, it could lead to pneumonia. The back pain from bronchitis is eliminated when the infection and inflammation of the bronchial tubes is treated.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


A common cold can lead to bronchitis in some cases, while breathing in pollution such as cigarette smoke or chemicals also may lead to a case of acute bronchitis. Either cause will lead to the same symptoms, including back pain. GERD also leads to bronchitis when stomach acids back up into the esophagus over a period of time. This constant irritation can also lead to the painful backache that accompanies the condition.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis symptoms can include a sore throat and a cough that may produce a mucous. Patients may also experience chest congestion and shortness of breath, which may result in back pain. Much of the back pain occurs with bronchitis when taking a deep breath.

Chronic Bronchitis

When a patient has the symptoms of acute bronchitis for three or more consecutive months, chronic bronchitis is diagnosed. Tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing, especially in the morning, are some of the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. The tightness in the chest that is felt with chronic bronchitis may radiate to the back and cause chronic back pain.


The doctor will determine if bronchitis is the cause of your symptoms based on an examination. He will use a stethoscope to hear abnormalities in the lungs and bronchial tubes, and also take a chest X-ray to diagnose bronchitis. Blood tests can also determine the virus that may be responsible for bronchitis.


Over-the-counter medications help relieve the back pain due to bronchitis. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat the infection of the bronchial tubes that causes the inflammation. Rest and drinking plenty of fluids is prescribed for bronchitis treatment. Cough medicine should only be used to treat bronchitis when the cough is affecting your rest. A productive cough can bring up the mucous that is causing the infection in the bronchial tubes. Cough medicine suppresses this reaction of the body. Patients with asthma may use an inhaler to open the airways and reduce bronchial inflammation. This treatment can ease difficulty breathing.