Lung Pain after quitting smoking and running...???

  1. Question for you...

    My son just called . He is going to Navy Boot Camp in two weeks. He thought this would be a good time to quit smoking, as the physical demands on him will be great. He has been preparing himself over the past few months by working out, swimming, and running.

    He said he quit smoking 6 days ago (using the patch). He has run twicw since he quit, but said now his lungs have searing pain when running, and due to the pain, he is not able to run half the distance he was before, while he was yet smoking. ?????????????????? Any cause for this? Any suggestions? Ideas as to why this might be happening?

    His concern is being able to perform as well as he was BEFORE he quit, as he doesn't want to mess up his performance in Boot Camp. He said he would quit AFTER the rigors of Boot Camp, if necccesary, if this pain hinders him from running as he was able to before he quit...

    So... anybody know why he would be having lung pain after quitting ? He needs to know how to proceed... wants to stay smoke free, but not if it's going to hinder his performance in Boot Camp and cause him to fail... he said he'd rather wait then until he's out of Boot Camp and quit then.

    Any input on this is greatly appreciated !

    Thanx !
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    About jnette, ASN, EMT-I

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 21,359; Likes: 7,204
    Home Health Patient Education Resource Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Hemodialysis, Home Health


  3. by   wonderbee
    Hmmm. After 30 some odd years of smoking, I quit a couple of years ago. What I remember was coughing a lot but lung pain... no. I'm just not sure what that's about. I seem to remember hearing somewhere that actual lung pain is pretty rare. Usually the pain comes from the surrounding structures. Can you get a chest x-ray ordered for him? What do his lungs sound like? He may be coughing out all the junk from smoking. A few more days and it all may be a thing of the past. Returning to smoking in order to gain lung function makes no sense at all. Could the pain be chest pain from the patch?
    Last edit by wonderbee on Jul 19, '04
  4. by   Altra
    This is purely anecdotal, but I have heard this complaint before. My dad, brother and dh all complained of increased coughing & chest pain AFTER quitting - seemed to subside after about 3 weeks.

    Kudos to your son for resolving to quit!
  5. by   leslie :-D

    when i've quit before, i did much it chest pain (anterior wall) or lung pain (posterior bases)? i remember get lung pain but it was from coughing so much that i actually pulled muscles....

    i did a quick google search and although rare, the only s.e.s related to patches are headache and joint pain.

    and nothing came up re: etiologies w/adam. ask him if he's coughing alot.

  6. by   jnette
    OK... thanx, guys. Haven't been able to listen to his lungs as he lives over an hour and a half away... and is working, too.

    Sooooooooooooo... when I call him tonight I'll ask him more specifics. He did say it didn't hurt anytime except when he was running... don't know about the cough situatiuon, but will ask.

    Any other thoughts, keep 'em coming. I told him I was coming to you all for input , so spit 'em out ! :chuckle
  7. by   rollingstone
    Could this be a "side stitch." Sometimes you get a cramp from running. Has he seen his physician lately?
  8. by   Truly_Blessed
    I don't have any advice...just wanted to say the same thig happened to me when I quit smoking about a year ago. I thought it was natural for my chest to hurt since I had been polluting my lungs with all of that crap for so long. I feel fine took about 2 months for the pain to stop. I feel great now.

    **the pain only occured when I did something that was physically demenading.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    it happened to me after quitting smoking for nearly 7 years and i was in my 20s when I did. If it persists, he should see a doctor, obviously. I congratulate him, jnette! Well-made decision!
  10. by   jnette
    OK... thanx you guys !!! (((HUGS)))

    It's NOT a "sidestich".. he knows what those are. It's more like TrulyBlessed and Deb have said above. Any REASON why his chest/lungs would hurt, though? Is it loosening up all that crud in there and working its way out? Did it happen to you when you were running? He says it doesn't do that when he works out.. just running.

    Will it take a full two months to quit? This is why he's asking. Because if he can't perform up to par (as he was BEFORE he quit) in BC, then he wants to continue smoking (as dumb as he KNOWS that sounds) just until he gets through BC and can perform at his best level like he was before he quit.. (without the pain). Then, once BC is over, he'll go back on the patch and quit for good... he has big plans for his future, and none of them agree with smoking, so he KNOWs he'll be quitting.

    Again.. will the pain stop in a couple days, weeks, or months? What do I tell him? (yes, I know we all need to quit the sooner the better, but you understand the specifics of his concern here, so bear that in mind with your answers...)
  11. by   Agnus
    Sounds like he has made up his mind. Too bad. Starting smoking again for any reason is not sound thinking. Bottom line: his poor body is not in as great a shape as he would like to think and smoking is only going to agrivate the situation more.

    I was military for 12 years. Does he really think after boot camp that will be the end of running? Reallly now boot camp is easy that is the mimimum requirements they have for physical fitness.

    I ran a lot more after boot camp than I ever did in boot camp.
  12. by   sharann
    Tell him nice try but smoking will NOT make him perform better. The lungs are healing and theres alot going on there. If he doesn't want to quit that is different. BC is probably much easier without the tar in his lungs. Tell him to see the doc if he is worried, and if the doctor recommends he start smoking to up his endurance(now how silly does this sound?), then he should go for it.
  13. by   jnette
    Quote from sharann
    Tell him nice try but smoking will NOT make him perform better. The lungs are healing and theres alot going on there. If he doesn't want to quit that is different. BC is probably much easier without the tar in his lungs. Tell him to see the doc if he is worried, and if the doctor recommends he start smoking to up his endurance(now how silly does this sound?), then he should go for it.
    Sharann... htanx, but that's SO not the point here. He is SERIOUS about quitting, and now wishes he HAD several months ago. It's not about whether or not to QUIT... it's WHEN to quit in order to function at the level he WAS a week ago when he did not have the pain he has now when he runs.

    In BC he will be running daily and it is highly competitive, he doesn't want to be running LESS well than he was a week ago, and that's the ONLY reason why he's thinking of delaying until he gets through BC... UNLESS he were to hear that this will pass in a week or two.

    Of course ANYthing is better without the tar in our lungs.. he fully understands that at well, but the pain he might feel for the next however long will be a detriment in his upcoming performance, and one he cannot afford right now.... this is why he's asking what to expect and for how long.
  14. by   jnette
    ooops.. sorry Agnus.. just saw yours as well. Gee, I didn't mean for this to turn into a debate.. heh.
    He has every intention of quitting, would prefer to quit now... HAS quit already for a week. Thoought it WOULD improve his peformance until the pain hindered his running ability... he's hoping/wondering if this is jsut temporary, and for how long. If it [passes in a week or two, he says that's fine. But if it screws up hwat he needs to do in BC to then qualify for diver training (which he needs to do while in BC) then he'd rather wait 'til he qualifies, gets that over with, and THEN go on and quit. He KNOWS he'll be doing a LOT more physical stuff after BC... but it's this qualifying right now that concerns him.. getting over this one hurdle in BC. He wants to eventually go on and get into aviation with the ultimate goal of Fighter Pilot, and knows full well that smoking is OUT of the question. So that is settled... I'm simply asking how long the "lung cleaning process/pain might last. He' s only smoked for about 5 years.. about a half a pack a day. SO just asking, guys.. not arguing the wisdom of quitting.