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muscle spasms under breast in ribs

I have muscle spasm in or around the ribs on both sides (in the front under the breast and sometimes in the back at the same horizontal position), it feels like a ball rolling, in that it switches sides. It occurs even at night during sleep, painful enough to wake me.  I only know that when I relax and stretch (the side where the knot is) using several positions I have to wait till it goes away, in many cases to have it return in other places described above. What does it mean, how do I treat it.  I have high blood pressure and the meds deplete my potassium so I take a prescription supplement for that.  What should I be asking my doctor.
304 Responses
Avatar universal
Did you ever find out what this was.  I have been having similar pain for about 5 months now.  Docs don't know what the problem is.  Please let me know if you found anything out.
Avatar universal
Aloha Ms. Judy I know exactly the pain you speak of, as well as the positions you need to get in to simply make it subside. However, Ive mentioned it to my doctor as well and she knows nothing of what I speak of. Although, Im still trying to find out myself what is the cause of such symptoms. Im just here to share and am elated to know Im not the only one who shares such pain. But am looking into who might be able to point me into the direction of relief. Take Care and God Bless =0)
1 Comments
I have the same with no answers. Increases sadly when wiping in bathroom.
Avatar universal
i too have started getting this, it feelks like a tightened  muscle...it is very un nerving....if you have any more information on what this could be   please let me know....take care   xxx
Avatar universal
Greetings from Maine,
I also have had these symptoms on my left side...it begins with a tingling sensation front lower rib cage and tightens with crawling sensations.  It's like a leg cramp.  I have curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and my theroy is that later in the day as my muscles tire on the left in back near the spine, it creates a fatigued muscle group and the ones in the front simply cramp up.  I have even grabbed the area, squeezing it, massaging it to release.  It is very annoying and unpleasant. It has been a few months now and happens several times an hour.  It happens outside the ribs where there aren't many thick muscles but it's enough to stop me in the middle of what I am doing.  

Any news out there?

Kim
Avatar universal
It's amazing how many of us there are who share these symptoms.  Your post caught my eye because you likened this to a leg cramp and I had just been thinking that perhaps the treatment for a charley horse might be helpful to use.
When I searched charley horse I was surprised to find that doctors have "a slew of tips to keep the spasms at bay: drinking plenty of water, eating enough potassium, and stretching before and after exercise is supposed to help avoid cramps."
"When you get a charley horse, massages, stretching, warm baths, and ice are all generally recommended (although none are scientifically proven to work). Those who want relief in pill form can try vitamin B12 supplements."
I've had this under the left breast pain for 10 days now and although the intensity of the pain varies it hasn't totally gone away at any time.  I'll be trying the suggested muscle cramp remedies to see if they can provide some lasting relief.  
Take care and good luck to you.
Sherrie54

Avatar universal
I've been having the under-breast-rib charley horses for a long time; just bending over will cause them.  I never thought of it in connection with the leg/hip cramps I've had for the last 4 months, but maybe...  I've been tested for everything spinal/nerve, etc. because the the leg/hip cramps are severe and constant and worse than any long-term pain I've ever had.  I wonder if it's as simple as a deficiency?  It's been very debilitating and I've even lost weight just because it's too much trouble to go get something to eat.  I work and I limit my "upright" time to what I have to do, which is when the pain returns.  Recently, the charley horses have been waking me up, and if I stretch in bed, I could get one anyplace, from foot/leg/hip to under the breast.  .It's incredibly painful!  I sure hope I find that it's a potassium-or-something deficiency.
543028 tn?1282432426
hmm ... how about asking ur docs for a contrast medium abdominal cat scan ? or even a colonoscopy (the hepatic flexure is right where u describe the pain)
i have some huge ovarian cysts and my first symptom was indigestion for 2 years
and high blood pressure then pain under my right rib ... i urge u to ask because without looking at the whole area u may not get a diagnosis ... i feel empathy for all those with
"unexplained symptoms" my sister had OVCA for three years before she finally got a diagnosis and treatment and now she has it for the third time and numerous post op complications her best advice was to be persistent as u know ur bodies and know its not right good luck ya'll
sharon
Avatar universal
I have the charlie horses in various places around my body, legs, feet, hands, under the ribs, under the breasts, etc.  The pain can be excruciating.  It can literally bend me over, make me cry, and scream out in pain.  It happens in the shower, walking, using the bathroom, sitting in a chair, sleeping, etc.  There is no particular time that this occurs.  I can be doing nothing at all but laying on the sofa watching TV.  If I get them in my legs, I have to walk them out.  There's been times where I could hardly finish my shower or using the toilet because the pain was so bad that everytime I tried to finish doing what I needed to do, the pain would come back.  Try sitting on the toilet for half an hour so you can finally clean yourself.  The doctors are useless.  I've had every test there is and they cannot find any issues.  However, I can tell you that if I take calcium supplements 2,000 mg daily - two 500 mg pills once in the evening and once in the morning per day that they are greatly reduced.  I can always tell if I didn't take my calcium because I will start getting the charlie horses worse.  I'm also on high blood pressure medication.  There is one more thing I want to mention.  After I started taking high blood pressure mediation, the charlie horses got worse.  They started when I was a teenager.  Up until I started taking blood pressure medication, Yoga seemed to help me a great deal.  Unfortunately, Yoga doesn't seem to help me now.  
Avatar universal
If I bend or twist slightly, my whole side and under my breast tighten so much, I am rigid, cant move for at least 20-30 seconds, I find it hard to take a breath and it is very frightening.  I am scared to twist incase it starts up.  I have to hold my breath until the pain starts to subside.  I am on blood pressure medication. I am a bit nervous to go to the doctor incase its something serious.
Avatar universal
This is all very interesting.  I have had the same pains under my right breast for quie some time now.  I first noticed when I was working out trying to do abdominal crunches. It is very painful and the only way I can get it to go away is to rub it out.  It almost feels like a charlie horse.  I too take blood pressue medications, maybe it is a connection.  You tell your doctor and he just looks at you like it is all in your head.  
Avatar universal
i feel much better reading all your entries !  i have all the same symptoms, and "leg cramp" type pains under my left breast all the time.  wakes me up in the middle of the night also.  and, the next day, if feels achy.   i TOO am on high blood pressure medicine.  had all the tests done, nothing shows up, dr thinks i have head issues.  
Avatar universal
OMG...any time I bend over....the pain under my right breast is unreal.  I can't breathe...yes, feels like a charley horse and happens sometimes at night when I turn over in bed.  I don't take high blood pressure meds, and actually I have low blood pressure.  I also take tons of potassium citrate for my kidneys.   Thanks for posting all this info.  It was very helpful.  Since no one has had any results seeing a physician, I guess I won't be seeking a Dr.'s help any time soon.  Please, please if anyone has taken anything that has helped, please post it.
Avatar universal
How true I've read all the recent comments and agree with all.  For the past several weeks I've worked with a physcial therapist to strengthen the muscles from my mid-back to under my breast it's been slow but it appears to be working. He gave me a couple of simple exercises.  You may want to consult a licensed physical therapist in your area.  
Avatar universal
There just has to be something to this.  For a year now I too have been having the same problem.   It is under my left breast bone mostly happens in the bathroom or turning around seated in the passenger seat to get my purse on the floor board.  It is VERY scary it starts under my armpit, then under my rib (breastbone) radiates to my left shoulder blade. I used capsation and it helps .I also put it under my breast.  Be careful it is like hot pepper but better than scary pain. I also walk around rubbing it at home but out some where it looks strange. Also I have pain constantly in my left shoulder blade especially upon waking I have to work it out any ideas what it could be or what to do? It is like sharp pain that last for hours after I awake.
Avatar universal
I have those pains too.  They are muscle cramps.  A massage by a professional masseuse will help.  To get your cramps to go away within 30 minutes, take a quinine sulfate tablet. (260mg tablet).  Works every time.  They use to be over the counter but now you need to get a prescription.  I don't think they interfer with other meds.  Ask your doctor.
Avatar universal
I too have this problem. At first I could feel it when I would try to shave my legs. The other day I was shoveling the snow and had what I call an attack. It feels like a charlie horse under my left breast. It almost feels like it is going to burst. I shoveled the next day and again it happened. Now I feel a sensation in that spot. The cramp will happen when I move a certain way. I also have high blood pressure.
Avatar universal
My mum has the same sort of thing, that has been going on for 4 years. But when the spasm comes the only thing to stop it is to stand up. It occurs whenever she sits funny or moves to fast, bends or Stretches. But not like excersise stretches, just when she yawns etc. Her stomach turns into a rock when it happens, and it is rather scary. Sometimes it happens, stops, happens again and continues for 10 mins. Doctors keep saying pulled muscle, but when she eats it also occurs so that couldn't be right. Any suggestions would really help me?! Couldn't be anything horrid like cancer etc, could it?
Avatar universal
Greeting from Ms. I am having muscle spams in both sides under my ribs. It hurts so bad. What ever you find out please let me know.
Avatar universal
Oh my goshen's.... I am so glad (not really, because this stuff is not fun for anyone who experiences it)... I have been having these cramp/spasms under my breast for several years now... they come, usually when I bend over...first time was in the shower to pick up the soap...thought I would keel over... feels like a big snake rolling under my ribcage, leaving a large knot...it subsides when I stretch upward, basically giving it some room... (I am very shortwaisted so there's not too much room there, as it is)  when it leaves I am left with the soreness...I have learned to be really careful how I bend and/or stretch..also,  I have high blood pressure...was diagnosed with 3 herniated and 1 ruptured disc in 2004...which leaves me with really weak back so it may have something to do with this...I just started going to a new Dr., whom I really like and I am going to ask him if he can tell me more... besides medications for HBP, I take a "natural" supplement from "The Vitamin Shoppe" called Boron+ Bone support, it has helped tremendously to eliminate the bad, bad, cramps & charley horses in my legs, which I have had for years and years... they are almost gone...and the chest pain is limited...maybe you'll should try it, it is inexpensive...worth taking a chance
Avatar universal
I have had this same problem with muscle cramps/rigid muscles under my ribs/breasts for almost a year now.  It can occur at any time.  Nothing seems to trigger it to my knowledge.  It hurts like hell.  I screamed so loud once a neighbor came to check on me.  I've searched and searched and talked to doctors and found nothing.  What the heck is going on?  Look how many of us have this problem and found this site.  How many can't find it?  I've been searching online for over six months and this is the first time this came up in my search.  In the past I have found nothing of any value to help me.  It is so frustrating.  If males were having this problem it would probably be resolved by now.  Surely there is a medical professional who can take up our cause.
Avatar universal
I get the same thing. But i noticed I usual get this after I've done something strenuous . Like I just got done scraping wall paper and the next day it started.  I just panic!! It is so horrible . I talked to my doc. about it and got no where. I am not on any blood pressure meds. You never no when it will strike. I walk around like a stiff robot because one false move and thats it. So now I will go to bed with a heating pad and hope I survive the night.  Thanks to all of you for letting me know that I am not alone. Lets keep talking in case someone out there can help us.
Avatar universal
One more thing . All of u who posted these comments . What are your ages ? because a few people I know who gets these spasms are middle aged. I thinking it has something to do with that. I'm 48 and tthey started about 3 yrs. ago.
Avatar universal
Im 35 and have had these spasms in my ribs, shoulders, and neck for about a year. I cant make any connections to why. I already take 1000 mg of calcium faithfully every day and B12. Im going to add potassium and see what happens. I already drink plenty of water. When I typed in "spasms in ribs" on google I found this site. I couldnt believe anything came up and then to find all of you going through the same thing. Wow! Maybe we can help each other.
Avatar universal
I have been getting the same muscle cramp for almost 14 years.  The pain is under my right rib cage.  It comes at any time of the day.  I get it maybe once or twice a month.  I just had an episode in work and I am still in pain.  I thought it might be my gall bladder, but am not sure.
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