Chest Pain Only When Running? Complete Guide To Pleurisy From Running
If you are experiencing chest pain only when running, there can be many causes, from Intercostal Muscle Cramping to Heart Burn and Pleurisy. In this article we discuss the causes and effects it can have on your running and how long you may need to recover.
Chest Pain Only When Running? Here’s What It Could Mean
Experiencing chest pain only when running is frightening, it could be a signal that several issues need to be looked at. Chest pain when exercising can happen to anyone, not just recreational athletes or elite runners.
There are many possible causes of chest pain, which can be from harmless to the more serious life threatening issue. Because of this, it is important to know the signs and symptoms that indicate a potentially more severe concern.
If you are a beginner and experience chest pain only when running. You may be running at an intensity rate that your body isn’t accustomed too yet. If this is the case, you need to back off the intensity immediately and take a more realistic approach to you training. A simple test of talking while running, can give you a good indication of the level you are working at.
If you are a more experience runner, you may be experiencing your intercostal muscles cramping. These muscles are located around your rib cage and is usually localized to a small area. This pain can often be felt when pushing a finger into the point of where you experience the pain. Usually the pain is caused by dehydration or lack of electrolytes. The good news is apart from the inconvenience, it is not a serious threat to your health. A simple change of your breathing from symmetrical to asymmetrical (or vice versa) pattern can often relieve the pressure.
Heart burn is another common cause of chest pain when running. Running places a lot of pressure on your digestive system. So it is common that tension increases as you run. This is caused by the esophageal sphincter (muscle that keeps contents inside your stomach from lifting into your throat). Try to stay away from foods that take a longer time to digest. Foods that are fried food or caffeinated drinks can often cause Heart Burn. So try a mixture of different foods and drinks before you start to run to see what works best for you.
Pleurisy From Running – What You Should Do?
While you may not experience any of the symptoms or causes above, Pleurisy is another issue related to chest pain. Running outside in the elements put undo stress that can cause inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs. This ends up causing sharp chest pain that you feel when breathing.
Pleurisy from running can often keep you off the pavement for a period of weeks. Because it is an inflammation of the tissue that line the lungs and chest, your doctor may recommend avoiding running while you have pleurisy. Usually after treatment though you should be able to resume light running.
If you think you have developed Pleurisy from running you may experience some symptoms below:
-Pain worsens when breathing or coughing
-Symptoms of infection (cough or fever)
Pleurisy is most common in those runners with asthma or chronic airway’s disease but also runners that train and compete outside. Training outside can often increase the risk of viral and bacterial infections. If you are worried that you may have it, stop running and contact your doctor.
Can You Run With Pleurisy?
If you have been diagnosed, you may be questioning whether you can run with Pleurisy or not. The best thing you can do is rest. Your doctor will often recommend you to rest at home if its mild while it resolves itself. If you have a more severe case you may need a codeine based syrup to lessen coughing and help you sleep better.
If it is caused by bronchitis or another viral infection, you can often go without treatment. The recovery time can often take up to two weeks in most cases.
So in summary it is not wise to run with Pleurisy until it is fully resolved. Doing so may elevate the symptoms or make things worse. Putting yourself out of running for a much longer period.
Returning To Exercise After Pleurisy
Often returning to exercise after Pleurisy depends on the severity of the condition and how early you are diagnosed. There is no straight answer to how long it takes to recover, unless you find out what’s causing it.
When you start returning to exercise, it is important to keep the running inside for some time (if its winter). Then start to slowly introduce light running again. Your symptoms may go away and come back several times during the recovery. So you mustn’t begin any high intensity efforts for a week or so during this time.
Sternum Pain After Running
The repetitive movement of running can also cause Sternum pain (breastbone) after running. If the pain in your chest after running sounds like its musculoskeletal, you will need to take some time off from running.
The pain can often take several weeks to improve, and it’s a good idea to look for any potential triggers.
Sternum pain after running can often be relieved by taking some topical pain relief and rubbing it into the area of soreness. You can also take some pain relief tablets such as ibuprofen. If you still experience musculoskeletal pain, book in for an appointment with your doctor or physiotherapist.