Barrel shaped chest occurs when the lungs become overfilled (hyperinflated) with air — like a balloon — as they work harder. This keeps the rib cage open or expanded for a long time. This happens most often because of a chronic lung condition, but other diseases and conditions may cause it as well.


The main symptom of barrel chest is a rounded and enlarged appearance of the chest. If you have a barrel chest, you also may have signs and symptoms of other health conditions, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • gasping
  • lung mucous or phlegm
  • bronchitis
  • shortness of breath
  • sore or stiff chest
  • rib tenderness
  • back soreness
  • difficult moving or exercising
  • posture changes like hunching over
  • low oxygen levels
  • high carbon dioxide levels


Barrel chest is usually caused by lung conditions. When the lungs overfill with air, they push out the ribs, chest, bones in the upper back. Over time, barrel chest develops.

Barrel chest can sometimes happen to people with conditions that affect the joints in the rib cage and other bones of the chest and back. Some hospital treatments for conditions that affect the lungs may also lead to a barrel chest.

Here are common conditions that may cause barrel chest:

Ø  Asthma


Ø  Emphysema

Ø  Cystic fibrosis

Ø  Arthritis

Arthritis in the rib, back, and chest wall joints can lead to a barrel chest. This is more common in older adults but can happen in children in rare cases. It happens when the ribs and back get so stiff or inflamed they get stuck in an inhale or open position.

Different kinds of arthritis can cause barrel chest, including:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoarthritis
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • costochondritis, which is arthritis in the ribs

Ø  Genetic conditions

Other rare genetic conditions can affect the rib cage and bones in the back, triggering a barrel chest. These inherited conditions include:

  • pectus carinatum
  • scoliosis
  • Dyggve-Melchior-Clausen syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • sialidosis

DIAGNOSES: X-ray of chest and back.


Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms

Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the management of barrel shaped chest are:

Aspidosperma, calcarea ars, calcarea carb, arsenic alb, aralia racemosa, kali iod ,etc