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Inflammation and pain relief tips needed!

Afternoon all!

Does anyone else have an issue with inflammation and pain where the ribs meet the spine and sternum? It's been driving me nuts for the past few months!

Any hints on pain relief would be very welcome. I can't take NSAID's in any form, paracetamol doesn't seem to metabolise very well for me, codeine and tramadol make me itch uncontrollably and I also react to changes in the heat so hot and cold doesn't work for me either :(

6 Replies

I'm so sorry about your pain and your reactions to everything that might help it. I get this pain all the time and I understand how horrible painful it is. NSAIDs never seem to be enough to cut the pain so you aren't missing anything there. I'm currently taking prednisone and meloxicam for maintance but if I over do it or lay on one side for too long I can feel swollen inflammation pockets in the rib cage area. The only thing that knocks the pain down for me is Percocet. I'm sorry I can't be of much help but you definetly aren't alone in this. Maybe you could try some different pain killers until you find one that agrees with you.


I can totally empathise, I don't have any answers re pain releif as I have the same problems as you do but I understand the pain. I daren't cough sneeze or bend over.


HI Jojo-lianne. I can totally sympathize with this pain!

NSAID really upset my GI tract, but I can tolerate diclofenac suppositories. Have you tried these? It's not particularly nice or easy but if they work, they work.

I take codeine, paracetamol (which doesn't touch some pains), diclofenac sups and amitriptyline. The amitriptyline helps lessen pain overall for me, but it does take a few weeks to be effective. I also have real problems with losing weight on it which isn't good. Have you tried a hot water bottle? I've not tried it for my rib pain before but it really helps with some of my other enthesitis pain. I get itchy with the heat too, but i persevere as its the lesser of two evils for me.

I also get hives from codeine and take antihistamines (chlorophenamine) to deal with this. One pill to help and one pill to deal with the one that's supposed to be helping etc. etc.

I hope at least one of my suggestions might bring you some relief! :)


Hi JoJo. I don't know if it will help you, but it helps me. I take a shower and let water hit the area (if possible. that spot is tricky) Once relaxed, I do some stretching exercises very slowly, holding the stretch as long as possible. This helps lengthen the ligaments there and afterwards it "helps". Nothing much takes it away but it does help me. There should be some good ones online, I'd think. Just go slow and don't do a lot until you are used to it and know how it will effect you. I hope that helps.


Here we go. I found this:

Breathing Exercises

One of the most important exercises you can do, even while you’re not working out, is a breathing exercise. Not only do breathing exercises help relieve tension and relax you, but they also stretch your rib cage, which in turn benefits surrounding muscles, tissues and bones, as well as the rest of your body. Each time you inhale, you stretch out your rib cage, so it’s important to inhale deeply whenever you think about it. And when you want to focus on breathing exercises, breath deeply several times in a row, but hold your breath for about one or two seconds before exhaling. Make sure that every time you inhale, you’re taking in enough air to force your abdomen to move out slightly.

Arm Stretches

From a standing position, perform arm stretches by extending your arms straight up into the air. Keep your posture erect, reach as high as you can and hold for about 20 seconds. Also stretch to the sides, either with one arm at a time or both arms. Avoid leaning forward during stretches.

JoJo, I left out the other 2 that seemed a bit to difficult with someone with fibromyalgia, but the link is here:


I have lower back pain I have spine blocks which last about 6 weeks so I go swimming the water takes the weight of your body or does your hospital have a hydro pool I found that helped as well, take care hope your feeling better soon


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