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Respiratory Therapist/Muscle Ache or Infection?


I'm a twenty year old female college student. I was treated for pneumonia on October 3rd with a course of antibiotics and prednisone (to help with the wheeziness and trouble breathing). I felt better after a couple weeks, but this past Saturday (Nov. 3) I woke up with a weird feeling in my back left lung area.  When I had pneumonia, I had a similar feeling in the same area but it didn't hurt as much. It was more of a raspy/fluttery feeling. Now I have that same feeling, but it also hurts when I take a deep breath in. I have a bit of a cold, but aside from that I don't have any other major symptoms. When I lay down, I can tell that my breathing is wheezier and I open my mouth you can hear the high pitched squeaky noise.

I wanted to ask you if you think the painful breathing could be due to a pulled muscle or if I may be coming down with another bug? I don't recall doing anything that would cause me to pull a muscle in that area, but I just woke up with that feeling and it's intensified and is more frequent now. I just want to get someone's opinion so I can decide if I need to go to the doctor sooner if I do develop more additional respiratory like post nasal drip or a cough.

Good evening!

So sorry for the delayed response, I was on vacation and forgot to change my status to "On Vacation," so the questions kept rolling in even while I was away. Anyway, it is not Uncommon to strain a muscle in the chest walls or intercostal muscles during crazy coughing fits, so wondering if maybe that is what happened. It is also not Uncommon for Pneumonia to come back if a full antibiotic course wasn't taken as directed. I would check in with your ordering physician for a follow-up and see what he/she thinks.

Good luck!

Larry, RRT

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators (Respirators) - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness - Prolotherapy (from a patient's perspective) I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

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Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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