CPAP chest or lung pain

by Caps
(Terryville CT)

Some mornings when I wake up my lungs actually hurt.

The pain goes away within a few minutes after taking off my cpap full face mask.

But I have to wonder is that normal? Is it dangerous?

I use a ResMed S9 machine which is sooo quiet and has the added humidifer on side, it is an autoset machine too.


Lots of CPAP users complain about lung and chest pain, especially in the first few weeks of treatment for sleep apnea.

In general, when people notice what they think is lung pain from CPAP, it isn't lung pain at all. It's muscle pain from chest muscles getting use to exhaling against the pressure.

This muscle soreness and pain should go away with time.

With your Resmed S9, you should recover faster, because the machine has the Easy-Breathe expiratory pressure relief (EPR) which dynamically adjust the pressure for maximum comfort.

Some CPAP users panic about this pain in the lungs or back, and think they have kidney or heart problems, even heart attack. It's very easy to associate chest pain with a heart problem as the media keep informing us that severe chest pain is a sign that you need to get yourself checked up.

So, to clear some worries that you might have with CPAP lung pain, you should visit your family doctor. He knows your medical history, family history, he will check your blood pressure, listen to your chest, and may even test you with an ECG.

Please be reassured by your doctor that your lung problems is not heart related, or other serious issues. Only having the fear in your mind, or asking "What if?" can make your heart beat faster, which rather compounds the problem rather than solves it!

If you are ok, your CPAP lung pain is in fact the muscle pain, or muscle strain. Remember that the CPAP machine is pushing air into areas of your chest that have not expanded in a long time. The muscle soreness goes away just like it does with exercising other muscles.

However, if it conitunes more than a couple of weeks, do say something to your doctor.

I would also suggest that you think about your sleeping position. Many of us do sleep on our backs with our chin pointing up in the air. You may be turning your face and neck during your sleep, thus leaving your torso behind, and causing the muscle pain.

Experiment with your sleeping position - and ask your spouse to help if necessary.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

Comments for CPAP chest or lung pain

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Nov 29, 2016
by: Anonymous

Your chest muscles have absolutely nothing to do with the pain in your chest from the cpap machine. I have been an avid weight lifter for decades, and after using the machine for several months I'm not only getting severe lung pain, but sinus infections too. Even with thoroughly cleaning the mask and attachments daily. These machines are a total scam. If I don't use it, I sleep like a baby, if I do use it, chest pain, sinus drainage, every morning. I gave mine back to the company that was bilking the insurance company for it, and have never felt better. I will add a caveat, that I lost a lot of weight and walk 5 miles a day. If you're able, do this and you can toss that annoying, worthless piece of junk in the trash. And if you're allowing comments, where are they? Getting paid too much to allow free speech about your product?

Oct 10, 2016
Thought I was crazy!
by: Shannon M.

I am so grateful to have found this site! I recently started my cpap therapy (a couple weeks ago), after a sleep study and being told I had severe OSA, waking up 166 times an hour!

Being I am a 39yr old widowed mother of 4, I was willing to take any step necessary to help prevent me from possibly passing away in my sleep, and my kids being left parentless- so I was all for cpap therapy. However I noticed, I find I wake periodically through the night, from the force of the pressure. I am on a ramp set up...pressure starts at a 4 then eventually works up to a 20.

Upon waking, I restart my machine, as to go back down to the pressure of 4. I wake for the day feeling soreness in my nostril from the nasal pillows, and my chest(right in the center) in pain!

I find it hard to take breaths during my waking hours, and never fully connected the pain to my cpap...until this site! I was thinking it was just another symptom or/condition of something new starting up.

Now the thing that I thought wld be my saving grace, is my source of worry n fear.

I don't know what to do? Keep bearing thru it all and use the cpap? Be wreckless and NOT use cpap? Or petition my doctor and see if I can switch to a bipap machine to see if that helps me any at all...does anyone have any experience in a switch from cpap to bipap? And if so, did it make things a little better? -worried in North Carolina

Jul 23, 2016
Lung-related question
by: Steve C

Can the elevated pressure of CPAP usage lead to shallow breathing in normal atmospheric pressure (i.e. during normal daily life)?

Jul 10, 2016
More chest pain
by: Another unhappy patient

Thanks Guys,your comments did help,I feel less crazy now.Lets hope my comment helps? I also found the 'nose only' mask easier on chest...I even had 8 hrs sleep one night.

However I have bent nose cartilage it is too dry/painful for me.I'm confined to'mouth only'mask.Like others here I too feel intense heart pain playing on a psychiatric condition,my body tenses up and I convince myself... I'll die going back to sleep with it on (bet I 'm not alone there!).I will be alerting my doctors very soon.

Again as others,I'am exhausted with chest pain all day through till next night my setting Aust= 7.I too am a little overweight but I can spend 4 hrs bodysurfing in a rough ocean but barely battle 2 hrs on latest CPAP humidity-cube.

If I could add...I'm thinking of lowering height of cube but ants like crawling into water chamber or maybe introducing slightly warmer water,insulated tubing has been mentioned,I just don't know? Good health to all...

May 30, 2016
Chest pain
by: Tony

Hi I've been using a CPAP machine for about 5 years now.
For the last year or so I have been waking up with a very painful chest.
The pain is right down the middle of my chest and penetrates through to my back. The pain does however disappear after about half an hour or so of waking up. I've been back to the doctor's and hospital etc they have carried out tests X-rays ECG, etc and cannot find anything physically wrong. My own diagnosis is that over the last year I have gained a little bit of extra weight and when I sleep on my side my chest is actually compressed slightly due to my body weight. The CPAP machine is then forcing air into my lungs which are not in the best position to expand freely and easily, therefore the muscles are being forced and consequently feeling sore the next morning.
What I have tried however which is a little bit difficult for me is sleeping on my back and if I manage this successfully the pain is lessened the next morning. I am currently trying to persevere with this sleeping position. The other noticeable issue that has arisen is that since using the CPAP machine I am more prone to chest infections, I really don't know if this is related.
I was just wondering if anybody else experienced similar experiences as me myself.?

May 16, 2016
Chest and back pain after using CPAP machine
by: Anonymous

i have been using the CPAP machine for over 2 months now, the model is Philips REMSTAR Auto AFLEX 561 , iam still experiencing pain in both my chest and back in the morning. Pl advise on what to do?

May 08, 2016
Lung bruning
by: Anonymous

Question, in rear cases bruning lungs from c-Pap lead to what serious problems ?

Apr 08, 2016
Resmed Air Sence 10 Elite
by: Frank P

I have the Resmed AirSence Elite.
Ive had it for 2 weeks.
And have used it for 11days now.
I wake up tired and have had some chest pain that has worried me a little bit.
But now realizing that it could possibly be the pressure is to strong or my chest is trying to adapt to the pressure aswell.
It did worry me alittle because at the same time i have been wear a heart monitor for 3 weeks because the Cardiologist im seeing decided i need to wear one because of the readings he found on my EKG he gave me.
Now because of all this stress...i believe my Doctor that had me go see a Cardiologist from this point has worried me because of finding irregular readings they found on my EKG.
Today i go to the Cardiologist to see what he tells me.
I think im fine now after finding this forum.
I feel a little at ease now.
I do does take several months to adjust to any new cpap machine.
I there are many side effects that come with it that will make anybody think and feel Hopelessness.
Hang in there.
This is a great forum.
We all have the same issues and we can all learn from each other because all we want to do is get better.

Mar 12, 2016
CPAP Chest pain
by: Anonymous

Hi, sorry to hear your having chest pain. As I said a few previous posts back, chest pain with CPAP should at least be reported. Chest pain and hpertension are closely related to sleep apnea under certain circumstances regardless to CPAP therapy.

Although I am from Ireland, I know that recently some californian states have started to insert on death certificates cause of death OSA.

Not suggestions by any stretch that your chest pains are dangerous, but related to OSA, I would definitely have a chat with a doctor and a competent one at that. Good luck and hope you get some answers

Mar 12, 2016
Full face mask vs noise mask
by: Lynn koellermeoer

I have had cpap over 1 yr. Started with full face and had sever pain in to doctor and she gave just nose mask. Since then no chest pain. I requested nose masks all the time. She said she would take care of it. But since then I am still receiving full face mask. Requested it over six months ago

Feb 10, 2016
intense chest pain
by: Anonymous

I have been using Philips cpap machine with humidifier for about 5 months. Recently I have been in terrific chest pain and yesterday I thought I was having a heart attack with sharp pain in middle of chest and feeling of being kicked in back.

The worst pain went off but ached all day. last night I didn't use machine and woke up vastly better this morning. I can't have this pain every day. machine has given me full nights of sleep and I don't get up for p*(* during night any more. any ideas please.

I can't say even though had full nights sleep that I feel refreshed, if anything less so.

Jan 05, 2016
Chest pain
by: AnonymousRick

I also have chest pain with the Cpap machine. I find i have to get out of bed and walk around. I am only taking in short breaths of air and that can be for a while. Some days it is the same. I can only get a little air in at a time and others are not so bad.

Am over weight and in poor condition because on a blood clot in my leg and can't walk far or legs swells up. Am soon going to have that fixed. Thinners not working.

Was in the Hospital with out the CPAP and they kept waking me up to take n some air.Have to say the cheat area is very tight when this happens.Thank you for listening.

Dec 28, 2015
Chest pain
by: Anonymous

I started using the cpap due to central apnea. The first month I was extremely tired. Then my left side of my chest started hurting. It got to where even having it on a few minutes mad my chest hurt. My fingers tingle and lips feel tingly.

After several weeks I went to Dr. He lowered pressure and gave me some powder inhaler. He made a comment about hiw I better use that machine. Some insurance companies will take them. My reply was "let them. It isn't helping me" (bcbs wouldn't take iy away. Come on)

I go back in the morning and I am actually a little afraid of hiw he Will respond when I tell him it just hurts to much. We do breath out as Well as In.

If there is no blockage and I'm just holding it in while sleeping how good can that be? Like filling a balloon. Even awake it hurts though. Just so much painful when asleep. I rip it off after I've been asleep a few minutes.

I am ready for him to try a different avenue. Surely this isnt the only way. He is a pulmonolgist, this can't be the only answer. It is not working for me. I am also concerned that it didn't hurt, and then slowly got to where I can't wear it at all. :(

Dec 22, 2015
Angina & CPAP.

Hi had severe heart attack 2013 suffered some diastolic heart failure. Purchased resmed s10.Now must admit fantastic machine with good relief on exhaling BUT there is no doubt that these machines can exacerbate angina symptoms (beleive me on that !)

I don't understand the physiology behind this phenomenon but in my case it unequivocally emphatically brings on angina.

I did read in a study somewhere that certain heart patients are at risk but that most with heart failure will benefit although again there are no study long enough that are cogent,at least in the literature according to the medical profession.Therefore it's down to gut.

If CPAP (APAP may be a more complaint alternative) continually causes arousal from sleep due to chest pain . Caution is order of the day.

Regardless to many explanations here ,the cardiopulmonary multiplex of physiology ie. Chest pain during usage should be addressed for an answer and not ignored or to blindly persist without a qualified sensible acceptable answer would be IMHO foolish to say the least . Cpap and angina sufferer

Dec 17, 2015
So glad to have found this site
by: Sid

I started my treatment 1 week ago and finding that I am more tired then ever. I had a hard time to function a couple of days and the tightness in my chest is hard to deal with...

I wish the inhalotherapeute that saw me would of advised me of that side effect...that way I would not of panicked ..will continue to use but if I wake up after 5 hours I take the mask off that way the pressure on my chest is not as bad.

Dec 13, 2015
Muscular pain in chest
by: Anny

Thank you for the space to put one's mind at rest. I am on a Philips REMstar. My upper chest is really painful. I had so far one night of good sleep for five hours.
Hopefully I will get used to my CPAP.

Nov 14, 2015
cpap pain
by: Anonymous

I too have horrible pain in my chest and heart area from wearing the CPAP . I use the nasal pillows or I did.

I have low to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. I have angina so I saw the cardiologist to have my heart checked and it was fine. I have reflux and it gets much worse with the CPAP, I also have fibromyalgia and have for 23 years. I am now 66 ys/o.

The pulmonologist has lowered the pressure 3 times and it still just kills my chest to the point it is painful to breath during the day. I have kept at this for almost 2 yrs. When it is to the point my head gets stuffed up terribly and my chest hurts , i just have to quit wearing it.

I am giving up on it. Now however I who have always had very low blood pressure , now I am getting high blood pressure for unknown reasons. I have TMJ and have had a hard time finding an oral device to help.

Husband says I no longer snore which was the main reason for being tested to begin with. I am just at a loss,

Sep 30, 2015
Back Pain
by: Anonymous

I have been using a cpap machine for two years and have been having back pains every night. I wake at 4am pretty well every night and find it difficult to get back to sleep.

I find that lying on an incline helps relieve the pain.When I wake, it is just as well to get up and carry on with your day. When I get out of bed, the pain goes away.

Sep 16, 2015
Heart Pains
by: Anonymous

Well, THANK YOU ALL FOR WRITING IN HERE. This site has put my mind to rest.

I have severe central sleep Apnea and regular Apnea as well. I started to use the kind of hard face mask where it just covers my nose after using a nasal pillow mask that just kept falling off.

The first night I put that hard face mask on at 2 AM I woke up with what I thought was a heart attack or that my heart was under significant stress from the CPAP machine!

It scared me to the point where I had to sit up for about 30-60 minutes and do a relaxation breath without the mask on to get my heart to calm down. My heart felt like it was dehydrated, fluttering, and beating irregularly.

I called the doctor and he said "Try it two more days to see if the symptoms will go away". The next two nights were JUST THE SAME!

I am not off this machine and thank God that I did not have a full heart attack from it. Hard to treat this condition when I cannot have surgery based on having anesthesia is too dangerous for me with the severity of sleep Apnea I have.

BE CAREFUL. Remember that you don't know what is happening when you are sleeping. Be sure to start with very little pressure if you want to try to get your body to adapt to this, but it is so highly unnatural to have just pressure of in breath that the body WILL and DOES react!

My nose was so congested that it was hard to even breath and my whole body felt dehydrated as well.

I am going to just get pillows that make you sleep on your side, use lots of fans, and try a couple of different pillows to see if that will help.

At least sleeping on my side will help me not to have my tongue in the way of breathing.

I also heard that sleeping with a tennis ball sewn into your nightwear at the shoulders helps to keep you from sleeping on your back--makes sense.

Any suggestions on a good pillow to keep you from sleeping on your back.

I have read and re-read articles on line about different pillows and am unsure which one to buy if any. Seems like the focus in more on stopping snoring rather than on stopping Apnea.

Sep 07, 2015
chest cramps and kidney pain
by: Anonymous

Been using machine a month.wake up in night with chest cramps and severe dryness in throat and mouth.Also wake up real early ie 330 4 am = less sleep during the night! means I'm only getting at most 5 hrs so I'm tired by mid day.

Aug 30, 2015
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this article. I just started using a chap and my chest hurts all day, but it's only been a week, and I was all scared.

Aug 05, 2015
chest pain
by: Anonymous

went on a sleep study three nights ago didn't feel to bad in the early morning but later about 11:00 was getting extreme pain across upper chest and upper back, went to the hospital had a complete check over they didn't find any thing.

I wasn't able to get to the Dr who did the sleep test I feel I should of been informed of the possibility of this happening,I was in such extreme pain like I never had in my life, I still am experiencing chest pain three days later,when I go back to the Dr he's going to hear me.I wish I had checked out this forum sooner.

Mar 03, 2015
cheat pain
by: bill king

Been using cpap for 3 yrs and have just now or a few (3) weeks been experiencing chest pain..I wonder if it is air temp and humidity. Not adjusted right.

Dec 23, 2014
Adjust level
by: Anonymous

I am new to CPAP doing an eval and one of the things that seems to make a difference is the pressure that it puts out. My unit usese nose pillows.

If the pressure is too low it is only a little effective and I wake up and straggle to inhale sufficient volume or breath through my mouth.

If the pressure is too high exhaling is difficult and my diaphragm hurts the next day. I am finding that adjusting my pressure level by small increments seems to be bringing me to a level that works but minimizes soreness the next day. I started at 9, went to 11, am now at 10.4 and think this may be it.

Also, having a humidifier set to 80% seems to work well. 100% works nicely at first but water starts building up in the tube. Without the air temperature set just right and the humidifier it's pretty miserable.

Sep 29, 2014
Chest Pain
by: David

I have been using my Resmed S9 for a few days now and I have noticed that I have a constant fluttering feeling in my chest and throat area. Is this normal??? Or is this muscle strain?? I have only gotten like 2-4 hours of sleep a night then I end up taking the mask off during my sleep for some reason. Can you offer some advice or ideas???

Sep 24, 2014
Lung pain when waking
by: Anonymous

I experience Lung pain after waking up too sometimes and I know it's because I breath very shallow and snore. I get the other symptoms to of nausea and restless leg syndrome, all symptoms of sleep apnea. I am going to get a referral from my doctor for a sleep study where they can monitor your heart and sleep rhythms. You should talk to your doctor...Hope this helps.

Jul 11, 2014
ask questions!!!
by: Anonymous

My brother died within a month after beginning this machine. Within 10 days had heart damage (not MI) documented via standard lab data, verified by cath. Ten days later suffered stroke, given tPA, died within an hr from that treatment which caused massive hemorrhage.

Please think twice, there ARE risks to some. Remember, doctors are human, too often over-prescribe and over-treat. Good intentions can still kill.

Feb 17, 2014
cpap pain
by: still sleepy

I have severe OSA and have been on cpap for over 2 years. I still wake up with chest pain from it,and it really doesn't feel like muscle pain, it feels more like pleurisy.

I think cpap therapy needs to be rethought. After all, we do not continuously breathe in, we have a rhythm of inhale / exhale.

Jan 14, 2014
I have the same problem, getting better after two weeks
by: Anonymous


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