British Lung Foundation

pain in the ribs, muscle, lungs ?

Hi, Everybody this is my first post although I have done a bit of watching. I was diagnosed with severe emphesema 3 years ago. Sinse then breathing has got worse. This xmas / new year I have had a cold and coughed so much it hurts realy bad. I called paramedics in and they said I may have broke my ribs. x ray results soon. Hurts a lot when I cough like a knife sicking in me ...... may have torn a muscle......anyone out there had anything similar.

7 Replies

Hi Minniethecat48

Think ya hit nail on head with ribs but ya right could be ribs or muscle pain .. i know myself can have pain takes ya breath away

Is horried but quite commen ... Its when pain stays when your breathing in out could be heart but defo agree is horrid

Hope ya start feeling better soon


Hiya I had this excruciating pain and my GP said tie something tight around the pain area so it does not hurt so much when coughing. I also used hot water bottle and strong pain killers. It helped me cope until the pain reduced considerably. I also used one of those wheat wraps which you can put in the microwave which helps take away the pain. I got that from e-bay. Hope this helps


Yes I get it and it's not nice at all! I take regular pain relief but it still happens sometimes.

I've cracked a rib in the past but now it's muscular, unfortunately they are not muscles we can rest.

Hope you get some relief soon x


Thanks everybody ... Docs today and xray results.


Hi MINNIE the cat48. Yes I have had this is the past after coughing incessantly during the night trying to clear mucus. Having learned breathing techniques and using a Flutter Device I no longer suffer long bouts of coughing. While on a Pulmonary Rehab course last year I was told that the cause of my pain was the tearing of the muscle that holds the ribs together. Inside the ribs is a muscle rather like a Bats wings that hold the ribs in place and it was this that I had torn due to the severe and prolonged coughing. Its excruciating when you cough after tearing these muscles. Takes few days to repair themselves. Try everything you can NOT to cough but use the Flutter or Autogenic Drainage breathing to clear the mucus.

Also use Mucadyne from your GP and drink lots of water which thins the mucus. Best of luck.


I know this post was put on a while ago but I have just joined today and wanted to share my experience with you. I have been suffering from pain in my ribs. cramps it turns out it was the medication been off it 2 weeks not had any since doctor says it is side effect of medication.


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