Inflammation of the diaphragm is quite rare, but its symptoms make them very uncomfortable. Because of the important role of the diaphragm in breathing, it is particularly difficult to breathe, speak and laugh.

Often, diaphragm inflammation does not occur alone, but as part of another disease.

A typical disease that can lead to inflammation of the diaphragm is pleurisy. This causes symptoms similar to those of the diaphragmatic inflammation.

Typical symptoms of diaphragmitis

  • Uncomfortable feeling of pressure

  • Painful breathing

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  • Increased pain when coughing, laughing, and talking

  • hiccup

  • Shortness of breath (in bad cases)

  • general symptoms such as fever and fatigue


Hiccups can occur as part of or precede diaphragmatic inflammation.

The hiccups can be an indication of the presence of trichinae.
Trichinae are small parasitic worms. Trichinae infestation in humans is very rare today. One can become infected by eating raw or insufficiently heated meat. The worms mainly settle in the muscles.

Since the diaphragm is a large muscle, it can be attacked by the trichinae, which leads to an inflammation of the muscle with the typical symptoms.
People usually recover from the infection on their own.

You can read more information on this topic here: Hiccups - what to do?

Pressure on the costal arch

A feeling of pressure on the costal arch is one of the characteristic symptoms of diaphragmatic inflammation. The feeling of pressure can be perceived as very uncomfortable depending on the extent of the inflammation. Typically speaking, laughing, coughing, or sneezing make the symptoms worse.

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If the inflammation is severe, the feeling of pressure under the costal arch can be perceived as very uncomfortable even when breathing normally. It is advisable to consult a doctor here.

The following article could also be of interest to you: Medicines against worms

to cough

With diaphragmitis, the cough is painful. The inflammation may lead to increased coughing due to the irritation.

Coughing fits also occur in the context of other illnesses. Since the diaphragm is very important for breathing, in severe cases there can be coughing fits and shortness of breath.

Read more on the subject below: Cough is a complex of symptoms


Fever is a general symptom of illness in the body and occurs with many types of inflammation. Fever can also occur as a sign of the inflammatory process in the body as part of diaphragmitis.

You might also be interested in our next article: When should I see a doctor with a fever?

Back pain

Back pain is not necessarily a characteristic of diaphragmatic inflammation. Often, however, back pain occurs with pleurisy, which often occurs together with a diaphragmatic inflammation.

Back pain, however, is a common symptom and can occur independently of pleurisy and diaphragmatic inflammation.

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At this point, read our next article below: Cold and back pain


In pleurisy, also known as pleurisy, the connective tissue layers that cover the lungs are inflamed. Symptoms are similar to those of a diaphragmatic inflammation. Breath-dependent pain, chest pain and coughing occur. The deeper the person inhales, the stronger the pain. Because of this, many sufferers only have shallow breathing. Pleura

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Ignition can spread to the diaphragm. They are often the cause of a rather rare diaphragmatic inflammation. The causes of pleurisy are very diverse, so that the treatments for pleurisy with accompanying diaphragmatic inflammation are different.

Are you more interested in this topic? Read our article on this below: Duration of pleurisy

Diaphragmatic cramp

Diaphragmatic spasm is not one of the typical symptoms of diaphragmatic inflammation. In a diaphragmatic spasm, the diaphragm contracts as a muscle. A diaphragmatic spasm can present itself either through short interruptions with a relaxation of the muscles or through a permanent contraction of the muscle. This severely restricts breathing.

Especially with a permanent contraction of the diaphragm, the other respiratory muscles cannot take over the work of breathing alone for a long period of time, as they tire very quickly. Usually, a diaphragmatic spasm is caused by abnormal irritation of the body Phrenic nerve which supplies the diaphragm.

Read more about this under: Diaphragmatic spasm

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