Oesophageal Patients Association
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Painful rib, back ache

Morning, I recently had a chest infection that lasted over 5 weeks and pulled a muscle in my rib from the coughing but after 3 weeks its still hurting, the top half of my back, has started to ache now too and I'm feeling really tired again. I'm due an endoscopy for my Barretts soon. Does anyone know how long it takes for ribs to heal and if the new symptom of back ache could be connected to Barretts Oesophagus?

2 Replies

Have you had surgery like an oesophagectomy? Sometimes they do cut a piece of rib and that does take a long time to settle down. The rule of thumb is 6 weeks, but nerves take much longer, and the stretching / expansion of ribs sometimes means that you cannot really take a deep breath without a reaction for months.

Coughing does take an awful lot of energy and effort at times and it would not be surprising if you had pulled something. You might like to think about seeing a physiotherapist.

Chest infections can take a long time to get over. My wife had one recently that lasted for a couple of months, and that was also really very wearing.

Sometimes pain gets 'referred' , ie transferred, to other parts of the body from where the problem is occurring. We are not medically qualified but it does not sound like a Barrett's problem. Going for these endoscopies can cause the best of us a bit of anxiety because you are always wondering whether it has developed / changed or not.


Thank you, no I have not had any surgery recently. You're right, you do worry when an endocopy is due about changes. I've been under quite a bit of stress recently too, so probably just my body reacting to that. Best wishes.


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