Fibromyalgia and breath problem

Fibromyalgia Can Cause Breathing Problems

Fibromyalgia affects thousands of people every day. They might have problems with doing any sort of daily activity due to the pain that comes with fibromyalgia.

Going for a walk on a nice day might be out of the question on those days when the pain is worse. If gardening is their forte, it might have to take a backseat.

There might be a lot of pain related to fibromyalgia, but when something like having trouble breathing comes into the mix, it might be terrifying. Anytime someone has trouble breathing, it makes anyone worry about what it could be.

There are a host of issues that can lead to having shortness of breath or trouble breathing. Some of these are more serious than others. It is those serious ones that come to the forefront of our minds when breathing becomes an issue.

What exactly does it mean when someone who has fibromyalgia starts having some problems breathing? Is it something to worry about and maybe even call an ambulance about? How can they be treated?

Is It Serious?

This is one of the first things people wonder. Is this something to worry about and call a doctor about? Or, is it something temporary that can be resolved?

Thankfully, this is a symptom of fibromyalgia that isn’t serious. Having trouble breathing doesn’t mean that you’ll have any sort of serious issue.

In fact, this is usually something that goes away after a little while and is generally seen as more of a nuisance than anything else.

The only time you should be worried is if you have a panic attack. Unfortunately, these are a common occurrence in those who have fibromyalgia.

Anxiety is one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, so you might experience a few panic attacks in your life.

If you do have a panic attack, you need to find a way to slow down your breathing. It could be focusing on an object or a few objects that are around you. This will help ground you in the moment and can help slow down your breathing.

Panic attacks can be terrifying, but aren’t life-threatening as long as you can slow your breathing down.

If there is someone else around you, go to them and have them help you calm down as well. Make sure they are aware of how to help ground you and keep you in the moment.

What Causes Breathing Problems?

There are a few theories as to what could be the cause of the breathing problems. In one study, around 50 percent of women with fibromyalgia were reported to have shortness of breath.

However, there were also many women who didn’t have any shortness of breath, even with this disease.

It seems to be something that comes and goes, meaning you won’t have this all the time. There are many things attributed to this issue, all of which make sense.

Chest Pain

This is a frequent symptom of fibromyalgia. Of course, when you mix this with shortness of breath, many people might initially think they are having a heart attack.

However, it is simply pain that might make your lungs feel constricted. This chest pain has nothing to do with ailments of the heart, though if you do have a heart condition, you should be extra cautious.

The chest pain is something that will come and go and will often be associated with the shortness of breath. Once you have it once, you’ll know what it feels like so the next time you have it, it isn’t scary.


This is something else that is associated with fibromyalgia. This is also often attributed to shortness of breath.

Panic attacks, as said above, tend to be associated with anxiety. Therefore, these might be something that comes from fibromyalgia in the form of shortness of breath.

Lack of Blood Flow to the Brain

This one is something that has been recorded as inconclusive, but was a theory that went around. This would be where the blood flow that usually went to the brain, which will tell your body to breathe and bring oxygen to complete all of the tasks your body does, somehow is restricted.

It wouldn’t completely stop it, but it would be restricted enough to speed up your breath to get more oxygen.

There isn’t any evidence that connects fibromyalgia to this, however. So, this one will remain a theory until more evidence can be found.

Fibromyalgia and breath problem

How to Treat It

There are quite a few things that you can do to help return your breathing to normal. These are generally various exercises and techniques that you can do.

These will help you not only bring your breathing back to a normal rate, but might also prevent these from occurring in the future.

Breathing Exercises

This one is fairly obvious. If you are having some problems with breathing regularly, then you should probably look at doing some breathing exercises.

Generally, you want to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This way, your entire breathing system is worked.

To do this, you will want to lay on your back. This can be on a couch, bed, or the floor if you prefer. Make sure you are comfortable and put your hand on your stomach so you can track your breaths.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth until you feel your breath coming back.

Laying down will help stretch out your chest, making it feel less constricted and giving your lungs the room they need.

Relaxation Techniques

This includes something like yoga, as that is a great relaxation technique. This can also aid in reducing your pain, as you are doing it while also being relaxed. Some of the movements you might do in yoga can help reduce all sorts of pain you might have.

These relaxation techniques are also good for reducing the tension in your body. Stress stays in the body very easily, so using something like yoga can help this tension be released, making your body feel more relaxed.


Fibromyalgia is already something that is painful and can make daily life difficult. Therefore, when a symptom like having trouble breathing comes up, it might be hard to accept that as something that happens.

If you can find ways to help bring your breath back to where it should be, then it might help alleviate some of the worry you might have.

Breathing problems can sometimes be because of a serious condition, but with fibromyalgia, they might very well be a part of your life. However, there are ways to help treat this and make your life more manageable.