Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2008 cantmovearound, Community Member, asks

Q: inflammation of rib cage

The right side of my rib cage is enlarged this morning, and when I breathe a normal breath I have extreme pain.  What is causing this?

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Answers (4)
Vicki M, Health Guide
5/10/08 11:18pm

Hello Cantmovearound,

Have you been seen by a doctor yet? This sounds like something that needs to be seen by a doctor. There are any number of causes for this and most of them would be serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor or the emergency room. It could be something relatively minor (like a muscle strain) or it could be something more serious. In any case, anything that causes that kind of severe pain should be seen to immediately.

Hope to hear from you soon and that everything is better. Let us know what happened!

In the meantime, here are some links that might be helpful:

Using Tylenol Responsibly

Let’s Talk Pain Meds

Why Yoga Can Help Soothe Many Types of Chronic Pain



Vicki M

KATHRYN, Community Member
9/24/09 3:07pm


k9bigdog, Community Member
10/13/08 6:13pm

Sounds like Costrochrondritis (I hope that's spelled right) I've had it and it HURTS!!


betty, Community Member
2/28/09 8:45pm

I have pain in the rib cage area when I breath and also just to touch the area under and around the area of my bra the riibs are very sore to touch.  I just got over a very bad case of congestion and a very bad cough.  I have had this pain before where it is very sore to touch but never had the pain when I breath and also for this long.  I am also on predisone and I took 6 rounds of antibotics.  I am taking prevacid as I have thought I might have stomach lining problems or possibly an ulcer.   I hurt all around from the front of the rib cage all around through my back where my bra comes together.   betty

melanie, Community Member
5/16/09 11:40pm

I forgot to tell you, I just got over a really bad bronchitis and had 4 other infections. Have you been checked for chronic fatigue syndrome? you might have that in addition to costochondritis. I also went into the hospital with stabbing pain in my stomach. I thought it was inflammation spreading from my costochondritis, but it was actually my stomach in pain from the 2 antibiotics and the naproxen I was taking. The doctor gave me a little pink medicine called sometimes "the pink lady" it helped my stomach lining by numbing it. I put an ice pack on my stomach/rib area and after that I could only feel my tender ribs and the stomach pain went away. I felt pretty silly going into the hospital for something that could be treated in 10 minutes. I went from crying to walking out of there like I never felt it in the first place.

melanie, Community Member
5/16/09 11:32pm

Hello There,


I usually don't comment on these blog sites, but, I wanted to let you know you're not alone. I also have trouble putting on my bra. It all started while I was doing pushups and my body was not conditioned enough to handle it ,then I did some gardening with a shovel, boy, what a mistake. I thought I was having a heart attack and the pain radiated so much that I could not tell the difference. I also felt extreme heaviness in my chest. The doctor took an x-ray and nothing was found the first time, but the second time she found inflammation all around my rib cage. Until the pain subsided a little we both could not tell what it was. After a week or two the pain died down and I have had costochondritis for the past 2 months. Probably taking so long to heal because I can't sit still. It gets frustrating waiting for something like this to heal especially since it's so nice outside this time of year, but everytime I do something too strenuous it comes back. My suggestion for you is to see a doctor to rule out anything else. The meds my doctor gave me are naproxen and pantaloc to coat the stomach lining. Pantaloc is said to slow the absorbtion of antibiotics though, so be careful. Advil or Aleve can be used too. The only exercise you can do safely with costochondritis is walking. Costochondritis is usually worse on one of the sides of your ribs. Basically its inflamed cartilage between your sternum and your actual rib cage. Once healed, no need to worry about it. It's not like healing a bone which a re-fracture can happen.

With my costochondritis, I even find it hard to sit in a hard chair for too long or sleep on my stomach. Heating pads are great too.



Lytz, Community Member
9/ 6/09 8:19pm

Hi, i have them too for almost more than a year i think.  do you experience back pains prior to chest pains?  and i experience shortness of breath whenever i get to eat too much, like my stomach is so full.  then i get so scared probably then i start having palpitations.


I went to the hospital, my chest xrays, blood chem and ecg are all normal.  so i guess there no clinical way to test if we do have costochondritis.

Kaiah, Community Member
11/22/09 7:00pm

     I just found this site after looking for information about the pain I am experiencing in my rib cage all the way through to my back. I too have them for almopst a year and actually went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack last December. I had the same experience you did with Xrays, blood tests, and ECG all being normal. I experience the shortness of breath also. Sometimes ibuprofin helps me with the pain and other times it does nothing. I get palpitations like you mentioned and it starts a cycle where I get nervous and then get more anxious and then feel more pain, etc. Have you found anything to help with the pain or did yours go away?

Karen, Community Member
4/18/12 8:03pm

I have the same problem.  I noticed when  I was on the computer all the time when I first experience the palpitation, extreme headaches, and breathing. Went to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heartattack- all test came back negative.  A month later I got the flu and stayed off the computer for 2 weeks. The pain went away, but new pain developed underneath my arms down to my elbows and around my rib cage. Went to Doctor...he had no clue. Prescribed me some medication for my inflamation and set up an appointment to do more test.  I never went back. I have been working on my own test. I have been cleaning  my colon which has brought my pain from a 10 to a 1.  I also eat anti-inflamatory foods all day (garlic, ginger, tumeric, cayenne peppers) and I drink blood cleansing teas like Red Clover and Golden Seal. Golden Seal works the best.  If I come to a point where I can no longer control the pain, I will let my doctor put me through the tests.

Morgan, Community Member
3/21/10 9:10pm

Hi i went to the doctor for this rib cage pain and also for my chest pain. I got my blood checked and ex-ray and nothing was wrong, then they put me on advil for every four hours. Mine get really soar and feels like its swealling up, ALL the time i can't sit still because of the pain. I find myself getting anxious because of it but that makes it more worse. When i breath it also feels short of breath and it hurts to breath. The doctor then diagnosed me with chostocondritis and i have had this pain for a month and a half almost two and i can't bare the pain. I feel like my ribs are going to explode from the swealling and pressure. I would use a heating pad, they work GREAT, Otherwise wait till it subsides, or if it is taking to long to heal contact a doctor for more tests. Dont panic about it because it is not dangerous but can get very serious.

Vendolynn, Community Member
4/24/10 9:22am

I went to the Hospital for pain in my rib cage, right side that radiated from my back side to the front and down.  I was diagnosed with costocondritis years ago and also have a disc removed about 3 years ago.  I thought it was possibly a herniated disc in the middle of my back now and it turned out to be kidney stones.  I've been having pain again the past week, if I turn it hurts, I can't sleep on that side, the pain never leaves.  I'm not sure if I am having more kidney stones or just the costocondritis.  I was surprised that the kidney pain was so high up because I've always been told it was lower back.

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By cantmovearound, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/25/14, First Published: 04/27/08