Pain in ribs

I suffer from RA for 9 yrs and over the past 3weeks had pain in both sides of my ribs, sometimes more so when deep breathing. It is not my chest, but am wondering if it could be associated with the RA?.Am already taking cocodamol, oramorph, lanzoprazol and hydroxychloroquine, not sure if worth seeing GP, and whether he could do anything. It's more annoying and uncomfortable, you kind of get used to being in pain all the time, let it 'just exist' and am sure nothing could change. Any advice from people-appreciate it in advance. Thanks.

6 Replies

  • Hi Michelle , I suffer greatly from this but mine gets so painful eventually. Mine is costochondritis , inflammation of ribs, I saw Rheumy and got painkillers and I needed steroids.

    I hope your is mild and painkillers will help but mention it to the Rheumy or GP to be sure of what your is X

  • I can empathise with this: my third bout resulted in my RA diagnosis in April after years of other symptoms without a Rh factor in blood tests. I sat up, very frightened, through the nights when it was too painful to lie down and I think it was the high dosage of Co-codamol 30/500 mg and Naproxen that settled it for me after an out-of-hours appointment via the 111 service. I still get intermittent gentle pokes - rather like a double hiccup in the diaphragm but without the noise or snatching of breath - and now painless throughout the day. I'll be raising it when I meet my Rheumy team in a couple of weeks as my own GP dismissed it in a telephone consultation in January without even seeing me. A junior doctor at my GP practice subsequently suggested intercostal inflammation, which is often suffered by athletes and bowlers (I'm 73!) but recent online access to my medical records revealed the diagnosis costochondritis!

    I'd not done anything physical - like moving furniture - but I had sprained my wrist in December in an overhead strap on a bus when the driver slammed on the brakes - propelling me forward and then back with my full weight on the one arm, so in the absence of any other trauma I'm inclined to think that was the trigger.

    I hope you're soon 'sorted' as any interference with breathing should not be dismissed lightly.

  • Yep. I've been getting this on and off for years. Both my GP and rheumatology dept don't seem bothered. Just take painkillers. It's horrible, I agree. I'm pretty sure it's part of RA, so many of us have it. But hey, I'm no doctor, what do I know? 😉

  • I have Costracondalitus as well, as I've had Pulmonary Embolisms it can be a bit frightening as rib pain can feel like lung pain. I take paracetamol as the Costra' doesn't usually last more than a few hours but talk to your consultant if it becomes a problem. In the past I had to go into hospital as it really hurt so they could do a Ddimmer test, then the doctor showed me how to tell the difference between a potential clot or clots and rib pain. I now also treat a heat pad as well and find cold makes it worse. So stay warm and take it easy. xx

  • I have costochondritis too although it has settled down since being on enbrel. At its worst i thought I was having a heart attack and ended up in A&E where I got the diagnosis of inflammation of the rib cage aka Costocondritis. It is very painful. I couldn't take a full breath of air. I agree warmth is a help and painkillers. It is yet another nasty spiteful side effect of RD. It can get anywhere!

    Hope it calms down soon. Given what you are already taking, and you are still in pain, it may be a drug review would be helpful. Definitely worth mentioning to your rheumy nurse or consultant or both!

  • I am having exactly the same symptoms having just posted on a different site. I thought I was going mad but now I know it is not just me :) My ribs under my left breast are so sore.... wearing a bra is a nightmare what painkollers are you taking as I am always confused as to what i can take with the ra medication I am on? Going to the doctor is a waste of time...just so fed up with my body feeling like a ticking time bomb of pain :(

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