Sore ribs from coughing: Hi everyone... - Asthma UK communi...

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Sore ribs from coughing

EmAl95 profile image

Hi everyone 👋

My asthma cough has been out of control lately and it's been so painful! My ribs feel like I've been working out (which I definitely haven't 😂). Has anyone had this before and found anything that relieves the pain? I've been taking paracetamol and have a hot water bottle on my chest but nothing's working.

Thank you in advance ☺️

10 Replies

Oh gosh! So often! I had a whopper of a dose of bronchitis 2 years ago and ended up with a cracked rib. I found that if I was going to cough, if I held a cushion to my ribs and slightly stoop over then it didn’t hurt as much.

EmAl95 profile image
EmAl95 in reply to Dogruff

Thank you, the cushion does help a little! How did you know you'd cracked a rib? When I cough I can sometimes feel something in my rib pop in and out of place, but I would have thought if I'd cracked a rib it would have been excruciating and really apparent?

Dogruff profile image
Dogruff in reply to EmAl95

I heard a snap and then severe pain. Next day the area started bruising. Didn’t go to doctor or anything because nothing is done unless there is a suspicion of it perforating something. There was some swelling but nothing abnormal looking. Too about 2 weeks for the worst of the pain to go which I felt with most movement. Unfortunately was low on sick leave as I had 2 long stints off in the months prior and I was only back in work 2 weeks from the last one so I continued working with it. Luckily I was on a phased return and my colleagues worked it so that I done most of the office based appointments rather than visits. It was mostly educated guessing but I’ve had plenty of muscle strain and some broken bones before and noticed the small differences.

I have cracked a rib coughing. Admittedly it was in the same place as a previously broken rib so it was weaker.

Muscular strain round the ribs is definitely a common issue in asthma.

I'm sorry to say it's just time and rest, the same as any other strain or bruise. Give in to being poorly for a bit and it will get better.

My chiropractor knows if I've had a chest infection with coughing as my ribs, breastbone & upper back are tender. Repeated coughing can be traumatic for the rib cage (bones, muscles & conections).I also take VitD3 as bones need to be as strong as possible. But despite that I really hurt myself about two years ago when I had a bad phlegmy cough along with vomiting - I was prescribed codeine and couldn't lie down for over a year (had to sleep in a recliner). My chiropractor couldn't do her usual magic so it was a matter of taking painkillers until it settled, but it took forever. I continued with breathing exercises as I didn't want any complications from shallow breathing.

I can't take NSAIDs so codeine was the only thing that gave me any relief, but I used it as sparingly as possible, usually so I could sleep. Even heat didn't help.

I already had a Thumper Massager but couldn't use that for a couple of months until I could tolerate it on the gentle setting. My chiropractor suspected a broken rib but doctor wasn't interested in x-ray as there's no treatment. But he did get my kidneys scanned as a precaution.

I've now increased my VitD3 intake - don't want to go there again.

EmAl95 profile image
EmAl95 in reply to Poobah

Oh gosh that sounds awful! I take a multivitamin but might get some D3 as well

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to EmAl95

I was taking 2000iu pd but when I had my vitD levels checked they were only just in the normal range. The range is pretty huge so I now take 4000iu during the winter as it's unlikely that we get the right amount of sun in the UK during winter.

Hi emA195 i acutally cracked a rib took a while for me to go the hospital in fact took 3 months till my daughter caught me crying in pain as i thought it was just a strained muscle keep a check on it if it persisted call your doctor .xxx stay safe

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