Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Rib Pain
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Rib Pain

Several weeks ago I strained the right side of my ribs during circuit training at the gym.  At the time I felt it pull, but there was no pain until about 24 hours later.  Since that time I have had pain right under the breast area between two ribs.  The pain will radiate to a spot on my back near the shoulder blade.  When I drink something cold too fast the area in the front will actually burn.  Had an x-ray taken the other day which came back fine.  Doctor told me to take Bextra 10mg. once a day for 10 days and come back and see him.  I can not find the areas in question by pushing from the outside but can feel them when inhaling too deeply or certain movements.  I have no trouble actually breathing but am concerned that this is something more than just a strain.  The pain actually feels like a gas bubble trapped between the ribs as the pain can be sharp - almost like I am being pinched from the underneath side of the skin.  If it were on the other side I would swear I was having a heart attack.  Does this sound like I have strained the muscles between the ribs or could there be something else going on?  The burning sensation when drinking something cold leads me to believe the nerve may also be involved.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Also I may note that I had about a month long battle in the previous month with my lungs actually hurting/burning when breathing.  Doctor had me on an antibiotic and it took about a week after treatment for that to subside.  Thank you.
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What you describe suggests three unrelated problems, rather than one.  The first related to the strain during circuit training sounds like a musculoskeletal problem.  This could be due to stretched or actually torn intercostal ligaments, which are between the ribs.  The pain from this type of injury can radiate widely, such as back to your shoulder blade.  I am surprised that you cannot find a pressure point that elicits the pain.

You said, "Also I may note that I had about a month long battle in the previous month with my lungs actually hurting/burning when breathing."  This suggests that at that time there was a non-musculoskeletal problem.  This could have been an infection of the pleura called pleurisy.  This may still be contributing to your symptoms.

The burning sensation when you drink something cold sounds more like a variety of heartburn.  Another name for this is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  This is the back flow of stomach contents, including digestive juices, into the esophagus or food tube.

You should avoid any exercise that places a burden on your chest muscles, for a couple of weeks.  Then if your symptoms have not resolved, see your doctor again to have the chest x-ray repeated.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have posted to this site once before regarding another issue and never did get any response.  I realize that the doctor's are very busy and I truly appreciate the time and energy they put into keeping this website going, but I'd really like to know why some individuals get a response and others never do?
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Avatar_n_tn
Having posted alot on here--but in neurosurgery/neurology forum, I have foudn that the ones the do not get answered right away are ones that take alittle more time too research the information and provide much more contacts, suggestions which definitely makes for better answers.  And answers too postings after the original question are never answered--though I have been asked additional information for a doctor on the forum--I still had too post too a new thread.  Hope this helps.  Lori  Oh--I also have rib pain--and it too is from multiple conditions--not all have been totally diagnosed as of yet.
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447134_tn?1205269469
A related discussion, My son's rib pain was started.
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