Rib cage sooo painful!

Well the latest wonderful symptom I seem to be getting is an immensely painful rib cage. Especially at the back. I know the pain can't be coming from my lungs because I don't have a cough/rattles etc and also one day the left is worse than the right side, then another day it can be the other way round or both as bad as each other! It's got so bad that lying in bed is awful and I can't get comfortable, and im giving in and going on the sofa in the early hours of each day. My husband put his arm around me last night and I lay there in agony waiting for him to fall asleep so I could give him his arm back without making him feel like I was giving him the brush off. This crap disease!!! My husband gives me a cuddle to make me feel better and unbeknown to him, it makes me far worse!

Is there anything I can do about my ribs? Does anyone else get this?

12 Replies

  • Sounds like costochondritis (inflammation and tenderness round your ribs) to me - I get that a lot. Never sure if it's related to lupus or fibromyalgia. I've been doing some NHS physio/PIlates and that seems to be the only thing that helps. Just simple arm opening and stretching to open out your chest. Might be worth asking for a physio referral or trying Pilates classes.

    Hope it eases off xx

  • Thanks for the advice I'll look into it x

  • Yes I get this a lot too. It is very uncomfortable and quite frankly just horrible! It makes everyday things even harder to do. As of yet I have not found anything that helps with the pain or to make it get better quicker unfortunately :-(

    I know what you mean about the cuddle thing as well. My partner does it in bed to comfort me but it is sooo uncomfortable that I have to move after a matter of minutes :-(

    Take care xxx

  • Hi, if it is an inflammation, which it sounds like, maybe your doctor can help with a course of steroids, or increase your usual dose. Also some prescription type anti inflammatory drugs. This sounds very painful and I am sure needs some help from your doc. Once pain is under control, I would do some regular excersize to help keep it at bay. I hope you feel better soon. Jane xxx

  • Thanks everyone!

  • It does sound like chostochondritis, I was thinking all sorts when I had it for the first time.. not at all nice


  • Hey!`i find lying on a hot water bottle really helps,alternating sides!i rub arnica gel all over either side too,i now have two extra quilts ontop of our matress as this rib cage thing is a real problem for me,i feel for you ,hope you get some releif soon?brave;)

  • I too have problems with ribcage inflammation (on-and-off) though not currently. Like Brave, I also use Arnica - one of the things I always carry in my handbag. I use tincture (not tried gel) and it works for me if applied at a very early stage (to nip a flare in the bud) before it 'blows' - which can be very quick as you probably know - by which time it's too late for me and Arnica makes symptoms worse. This is my experience and may well be different to others. If you are on medication, check with a Herbalist or Chemist before using Arnica, as it increases circulation and may interfere with some medications. Don't put a bandage on top of Arnica - Arnica wants to 'breathe'. I often use Aloe Vera Gel (applied often) which seems to cool the inflammation down ..so less swelling and less pain and (as far as I know) doesn't interfere with any medication. Hope you find something which helps you.

  • Thank you I have arnica and aloe Vera gel in the house I will give it a go! I'm not on any meds at all as I'm not diagnosed yet :0(

  • I have had this pain for a month now. Spent the first few days in

    hospital as it presented as gallstone symptoms. Been on slow

    release morphine with oramorph as backup. Glad to say I got up

    This morning and managed to move more freely. I'm on lots of

    Meds including diclofenac and plaquenile (sorry about the spelling)

    So wondered what caused these flare ups. Take care x

  • I have similar pain and my Renal const sending me for a full CT body scan, unfortunately got a chest infection now and similar pain in lower back has worsened, when l mentioned it to practitioner nurse, worried it might be more kidney issues she just said the antibiotics for chest infection would clear anything up. Two days on and pain is now unbearable and pain killers having no effect, just lay in bed with electric blanket on :(

  • I've been having this pain for the past for days now. It is now March 18th' 2014. I was talking to a few doctors about this. One it could be from an infection but to me it feels much worse then that. So I asked another doctor. This one said it could be I cracked my rib cage from coughing. An although I don't remember any coughing I was sneezing really hard for days now because of a cold I have. So maybe it is cracked ribs. So yeah I would get an xray and rest if you can. I might go get an xray but the only thing you can do for cracked ribs is wait it out to heal on its own and rest.

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