What is pleurisy?
Pleurisy, also called as pleuritis, is the inflammation of the pleural membranes lining your lungs. These double-membraned pleura are important because they protect and lubricate your lungs as you breathe in and out. The small amount of fluid in the pleural cavity helps the two membranes to rub against each other without any friction.
What are the symptoms of pleurisy?
Pleurisy causes a severe sharp, stabbing chest pain that is associated with breathing. The pain tends to be more severe as you breathe in because the expansion of your lungs during inspiration causes the pleural membranes to rub with friction and increase the pain.
Sometimes, the pain can be referred to your shoulder or neck. In addition to the pain, you may also experience fever with chills, headaches, muscle aches and other body pains. You should get treatment for the underlying cause that might have caused the pleurisy, or else, this may go on to complicate things and make matters much worse. The pain might become so severe that it may be hard to live with, but the following 5 tips may help you to live with pleurisy:
1. Drink plenty of water
Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to wash out all the toxins from your body and to hydrate your body and brain cells. Drinking will also help thin lung secretions so that your body will be able to get them out of the body easily.
2. Using hot packs and lying on the side of the pain
Lying down on the side of your chest pain will help you reduce the pain because this will limit your breathing movement, and therefore, reduce the pain. You can also relieve your pain by placing a hot water bottle or a towel soaked in hot water on your chest. Standing under a hot shower for at least 20 minutes will help loosen the congestion in your chest and help you breathe. An ice pack will also help, especially if you are down with a fever. However, this is only a temporary method to reduce the pain.
If these methods do not work, take some over-the-counter medicine to relieve the pain.
3. Avoid smoking
Smoking will only cause further damage to your lungs and slows down the healing process. Therefore, avoid smoking to get better soon.
4. Healthy, balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will improve your immune functions. Eat a diet with organic raw fruits and vegetables. You can also add ginger to your diet. Ginger is considered to be an effective antimicrobial agent, and will, therefore, help to get rid of the infection faster.
5. Yoga breathing techniques
Yoga breathing techniques will also help you, but these exercises usually involve deep breathing that may aggravate your pain. Speak with your doctor and yoga teacher before you begin these kinds of exercises. Although painful, yoga exercises will help you recover rapidly.