Exacerbation of rib pain

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in most of my joints, including rib cartilage inflammation. Over the last few weeks, I have been undertaking a monitored exercise programme under the supervision of a specialist rheumatology physiotherapist, so I certainly have not been overdoing it. She didn't seem to know why my rib pain has suddenly got so bad. I also see an osteopath privately who suggested that my ribs are overcompensating for lack of pelvic and lumbar spine movement.

I can't seem to draw breath very deeply. I'm generally quite breathless. I'm more tired than 'normal', partly due to a cough at night. I am taking my usual medication; 60mg codeine and 1g paracetamol up to 4x a day, 400mg celecoxib and I've been taking my emergency tramadol but with very limited relief. I don't want to waste a GP appt but I'm miserable.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thank you.

15 Replies

  • Hello

    If you have problems with your rib cage this will cause restricted movement as the chest needs to move in time with the lungs.

    Have words with your GP so He will be able to keep an eye open regarding condition. Some medications that you take can make you tired Your Celebrex seems a strong dose. Some pain medications can also cause you to be tired

    Good Luck


  • I think I will see my GP, thank you. I know that most of medications can cause fatigue, it just seems extreme. I'm trying to reduce them a bit again.

  • Hi crashdoll..they give codeine to folk with a cough..chest..gave me it when in Hosp with phymioa. Read the info in pack of meds xx

  • You definitely need to get checked out by GP. It probably is just the RA, but it would be a good idea for the doctor to rule out odd complications of inflammatory rheumatic disease like pulmonary fibrosis, that could cause that kind of pain and shortness of breath. Also they may want to check your heart, as sometimes mild heart problems can cause cough and shortness of breath.

  • Thanks, will try to get an GP appt - no mean feat!

  • Go the Gp's please

  • I am hoping to go next week.

  • So sorry sweetheart!!! You may want to get checked for Fibromyalgia. I get that from time to time, it's very painful. Also fatigue is another symptom. Look at your finger nails and at the cuticles there are half moons. People with Fibromyalgia have only a few to none. That may help you self diagnose yourself before you go to the gp. Hope this is helpful. Also hope you are feeling better soon. If I can help or answer anymore questions I'm here for you. xxx Mitzi

  • The half moon bit can't be right! I have definite half moons and fibromyalgia diagnosed.

  • Thank you. Fibromyalgia has been explored and discussed but they felt I don't have it. Thank you though.

  • Hi mitziblue.....hi..you've good with advice..please read my last post chick...please....soz couldn't find you any were xxxlouiseamos:-*

  • Hi,

    I also have intercostal inflammation due to fibromyalgia and broken ribs in the past, and the physio specialist I saw recently also said it was due to my ribs doing the job that my pelvis and spine should do. I am seeing a physio specifically about it later today and she is likely to give me exercises to strengthen those areas, meanwhile I find the homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox (from Nelsons available on Amazon) really helps with all muscle pain. x

  • Thank you. My osteopath explained similar to your physio. I have some mild fusions in the lumbar spine too due to my RA. So, it makes sense.

  • Glad it fitted with what you have been told. I saw the physio and she explained in detail, also has given me exercises that will strengthen the muscles I should be using and after that Pilates will help to further strengthen them and stop me from using the wrong ones! I get a lot of mucus sometimes in the mornings or if I talk a lot (which I sometimes do!) and then choke and have pain in my lungs where the ribcage meets my airway, it is the same inflammation pain as I get elsewhere.

  • My RA is flaring badly despite Humira, Methotrexate and Leflunomide. Many of my joints are hot and swollen. <sigh>

    My GP has given me antibiotics but said I only have to take them if my cough worsens. She agreed that my sternum is inflamed. It usually flares up when the rest of my joints do, so I suppose my disease is quite active.

    I might ask for some steroids to give me a kick start as I'm due to start a new job in a fortnight.

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