How to minimize lung pain after exercise

Fact Checked

The interior lining of the lungs contains a few pain receptors. On the other hand, the surrounding tissue and exterior lining can feel pain. This is the reason why lung pain after exercise might be linked to other issues in the chest cavity including the heart. In case the individual has any current lung conditions or experience piercing and insistent lung pain after a workout, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Strain during and after exercise

The sheer physical exertion of a strenuous aerobic workout can add pressure on the muscles and lining on the lungs. Even high impact activities that require abrupt and deep inhalations such as weight lifting can worsen the lungs and chest.

In most cases, the treatment involves an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. On the other hand, if the individual experiences a tightening sensation or prolonged numbness in the left side, the doctor should be consulted since this might be a heart-related issue that requires attention.

Lung pain
If the individual has been coughing or wheezing for several days or weeks before exercise, the lungs might be inflamed and sensitive.

Chest infections and cough

Temporary chest infections that involve the lungs might trigger pain that increases as the individual inhales. If the individual has been coughing or wheezing for several days or weeks before exercise, the lungs might be inflamed and sensitive. Take note that deep coughing can strain on the muscles around the lungs, resulting to pain while breathing. The additional pressure on the lungs from aerobic exercise can irritate the chest, even if the individual feels that he/she has recovered from the fever or infection.

Asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB)

It is important to note that asthma can trigger lung pain after exercise. Individuals who have asthma might end up with shortness of breath or find it difficult to inhale fully. Infections or allergies can instigate asthma in adulthood even if the individual displayed previous symptoms.

A similar condition to asthma is exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). This condition can instigate lung pain without the wheezing linked with asthma. Remember that both asthma and EIB can be controlled using asthma medications such as a salbutamol inhaler.


Pleurisy is a condition that affects the pleura lining covering the lungs. Once this lining becomes swollen, breathing in can irritate the area and trigger piercing pain in the chest area and lungs. This is why the pain is more pronounced after and during exercise. If the individual had any recent respiratory issues such as pneumonia or other chest infection, he/she might be at higher risk for pleurisy. In some cases, lupus or other autoimmune conditions can lead to pleurisy.

Depending on the cause of the lung pain, the suitable form of treatment is started once a clear diagnosis is given by the individual. Timely treatment of the underlying cause of lung pain can help manage the symptoms.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete this captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.