What could back pain with coughing indicate?


Quick Answer

A thoracic aortic aneurysm, influenza and tuberculosis are possible causes of back pain with coughing, say WebMD and Mayo Clinic. Because of the similarity between symptoms of the flu and other, more serious ailments, persistent or severe symptoms are cause for professional medical attention.

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Full Answer

An aortic aneurysm is a swollen area in the aorta, the largest artery of the body, says WebMD. Because the swollen area is stressed, there is a risk of it bursting, causing severe bleeding and death. Back pain and coughing are symptoms associated with aortic aneurysms in the chest area, or thoracic aortic aneurysms. Other symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing, hoarseness and pain when swallowing.

Influenza, or seasonal flu, is a common viral infection that is similar to, but more severe and longer-lasting than, the common cold, says WebMD. Besides back pain and coughing, influenza symptoms include fever, general body and muscle aches, headache and eye pain, fatigue, runny nose and sore throat. Most individuals are not at serious risk from influenza, but children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems are more susceptible to serious complications.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that causes lung complications and spreads through the air, says Mayo Clinic. Coughing with tuberculosis is severe and may involve blood. Back pain can occur when tuberculosis affects the spine rather than the lungs. Other tuberculosis symptoms include chest pain and painful breathing, weight loss, fatigue, fever and chills and decreased appetite.

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