Can RA effect your ribs??

Hiya all am waiting to start biologics in next couple of weeks and am having a huge flare ... So painful in my ankles, feet , knees and somtimes hips ....had loads of tests to ensure all ok for biologics so just waiting now , couldn't make work today and yesterday just too painful :(( ...I have also been getting a lot of pain on my right side , comes and go actually not so much pain but just really tender so my GP sent me for a scan to make sure all ok re liver etc ....when the lady was doing it with the jelly and the thingy (u know wot I'm mean)'it was agony all round my ribs , she said nothing obvious to liver, kidneys, pancreas etc etc which is great so why so much pain it really hurt. Is it,possible to get inflammation in ribs they are little joints I guess and as I'm having my worse flare ever is it possible , has anyone else experienced this ? Thanku Claire x

14 Replies

  • Hi Claire,I get this to,so I'll be really interested to read the answers you get x

  • Hi Claire, sorry you are in so much pain, yes I have had this a while ago and when I went to see my GP she told me it was RA she said yes you can get it in your ribs as you rightly said, they are joints.

    Hope you get some relief soon.

    Gentle hugs, Wendy xx

  • Hi Claire I get costochronditis and the pain can range from the center of my rib cage which is the main location to the sides sometimes. thought I was having a heart attack the first time. Don't know if you have pain in the center of your chest as well as sides but that is what causes my rib pain.It can be referred pain in my case.

  • Hi Claire, sorry to read you are having an awful time just now, and yes you can get RA in your ribs or rather the joints. I spoke with my rheum.nurse about this and basically RA can affect any joint. Fingers crossed the biological work quickly


  • I've got it in my ribs! eek!

  • I was diagnosed in March for RA in February I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I had suffered for over a year with painful ribs and after complaining to my GP about it so many times, I just gave up in the end. I have since been told its RA. Makes me wonder how long have I had RA, my feet have been painful for a few years as have my elbows hands ( I could go on listing all the various joints ) but as always got told by the doc just your age or just wear and tear. That's my little rant for the day. So Claire you would be right in thinking it is RA in you ribs . Hugs to all you ladies xxx

  • Hi just to let you all know ive sent Claire a link about this,apparently its not the ribs the pain comes from in regard to RA,its the joints around it,mainly the torso joint.although the pain feels like its coming from the rib cage e its actually coming from the nearby joint.its supposed to be very painful so I wanted to all let you know if the pain is RA related,its the inflammation around the nearby joint.hoping my lovely Claire gets better soon lots of love xxx

  • Yes, this ribcage pain is something I've had too - was told that it was RA related by my rheumy.

    Hope your flare eases soon:-)

    Cece x

  • So sorry you are in so much pain and really hope that the biologic helps you once you get going on it.

    As others have said, RA inflammation can definitely affect the ribs and I know from experience how painful it can be. I have had significant one sided pain around my ribs for the past year or so and I didn't think it was RA because, for me, everything RA is completely symmetrical and affects both sides - down to the tiniest joint. One doctor suggested to me that because the pain followed the path of a nerve it could actually be nerve pain coming from my spine and when I had an MRI scan of that bit of my spine recently, lo and behold, it showed several bulging discs which, although didn't appear on the scan to be trapping a nerve, seems to be too much of a coincidence to me. Also, having started on Amitriptyline (?spelling) for potential nerve pain and found that it helped hugely, I am sure that is what the problem has been. So I just wondered whether it might be something similar for you if your RA is normally "both sided". Just a thought.

    I really do hope the new drug helps you and that the rib pain eases soon.


  • Sorry you are having a hard time while you wait to start your biologics. I'm kind if waiting too although I don't know if its for biologics yet or not. I have tenderness down my left side that I wasn't really aware of until a hospital doc was examining me on Sunday night. He prodded the left side of my ribs and I yelped and then same thing on this side of my back. I asked him what this meant and he shrugged and said "yes this is just RA in your ribs I'm sure" as if this was something I would know about and expect?

    So I too was very interested to read your post because I had been assuming that if I had no visible swelling in other joints and my bloods are okay then it couldn't be attacking other parts. But maybe I was wrong?

    Ps and unlike Tilly's my RA is not always strictly symmetrical X

  • Costochondritis is also known as rib cage arthritis. It is an inflammation of the junctions where the rib cage meets the cartilage which holds the breastbone in place. It usually goes away without treatment, but while you are suffering from it, it can be very painful. More often than not, it is confused with Tietze syndrome which is also characterized by abrupt chest pain and localized swelling of the rib cage. Furthermore, the cause of rib cage arthritis is not known and can be a result of an infection or surgery in the affected area.

  • Well I had 2 back surgeries on my lower back same place L1 S5 , never helped, but over time I got the pain in my ribs both sides mostly right. I just thought it was My disc hit's a nerve But than wife noticed a lump right in the center of my chest right where the ribs join in the middle. So I went to my GP measured it and it was 2cm But he said I thinks it's RA . I always thought the pain I was getting was like a Charlie Horse, But what a shooting pain like your getting stabbed or punched in the ribs. I find sitting is the worst. So if anyone has come up with something for the pain please pass it on. Need to try some Anti-Inflammatory meds and try it.

  • Hi...I'm having same pain in ribs on left side hurts to breath...left wrist swollen. ..yuck

  • My friend was in town for our yearly visit he hugged me and I about flipped out, the pain was so bad... he jumped back alarmed that he hurt me. Upon leaving I said "Hugs!" But, much more gentle" and he obliged. This like WOW all over me! RA and OA lucky me all started when I hit 50ish from their till 55 and I imagine it's not just stopped either - yea right. But I have had one or the other since I gave birth 30 years ago; the OA raised it's ugly head when I reached 40 now I don't think that had surfaced before then, I believe after childbirth it was the RA pretty bad for a few years and then my body got back all that is was depleted from the event of childbirth, people have no idea what they are in for...but the RA came back out when I hit 50's really terribly bad. I wish I had my ad's pain Center becuase pain doesn't phase him, he knows it's there but that is about the extent of it, it doesn't stop him. I have to arrange my life around mine my pain receptors are overly active just screaming for me!

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