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Pulled rib muscle whilst coughing - any advice?

(13 Posts)
echops Thu 24-Dec-09 22:23:57

I think I've pulled a rib muscle whilst coughing. The pain was initially around my right shoulder but is now under my right breast (rib is very tender to touch). Has anyone done anything similar and, if so, how did you treat it / how long did it take to heal? Any advice welcome!

CoteDAzur Thu 24-Dec-09 22:48:29

There is nothing to do, I'm afraid. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a large dose of paracetamol. Sorry.

MarineIguana Thu 24-Dec-09 22:59:02

Yes I have done this and it's agony. Mine took about a week to go away - it got worse for a day or two, then gradually better. I was pregnant and so couldn't take any useful painkillers - ouch! - but if you can, have something really strong like co-codamol or go to the GP (as soon as you can that is!) for something on prescription. Meanwhile, warm baths help too.

MarineIguana Thu 24-Dec-09 23:01:08

Oops just noticed this is in pregnancy, sorry. Just the warm baths then I fear, or basic paracetamol (though I didn't want to take any painkillers so didn't).

Linnet Thu 24-Dec-09 23:01:50

I pulled an intercostal(?) muscle last Christmas whilst coughing. I hate to say this but it took months to get better. After a couple of weeks it wasn't as bad as it had been but it was at least March before I realised that it didn't hurt anymore. the Dr said to just take paracetamol etc.

sotough Sun 26-Dec-10 09:08:47

oh nooo this is not encouraging. i have done the same thing - husband says it's an intercostal muscle - and it's incredibly painful. it started out feeling tender and then very very rapidly became extremely sore, to the point i am hobbling around like an old lady and feel like crying.
i'm 37 weeks pregnant and feeling absolutely shit with an awful cold that just doesn't seem to be getting better. I have no idea how i will cope if baby decides to make an early appearance.

Parker23 Sun 26-Dec-10 21:29:42

I'm the same sotough!

Had a cough last week, pulled a muscle on my ribs and I've been in agony every since! The doctor gave me some low dose Co-Codamol as I'm 39 weeks pg. It has helped a lot and has taken the edge off the pain but moving is still very uncomfortable! Plus I feel bad having it too regularly so I'm not taking it much. I guess we just have to sit it out!

I was thinking the same as you! What if it's like this when the baby comes. Well, I suspect we won't care at that point and everything will be hurting! Plus we'll get better pain relief during labour so it may not be that bad. However, I'm really worried about having it after the birth! What if birth makes it ten times worse and I can't lift the baby etc? I'm sure I'll be a bit achy all over but I just wish it would go away before D day! I feel like I'm already having to cope with constant discomfort and pain before contractions even start! Phew!sad

sotough Sun 26-Dec-10 21:55:08

ah parker i'm glad i've found someone to share my misery with! i actually cannot believe how bad it's been today - i have been in tears several times and because i still have a cough every time i have to cough it is extra agony. i've broken the rules on not having Benylin while pregnant just to try to tackle the cough and will probably go to out of hours doctor tomorrow. my best friend is a GP and says she did this while pregnant and she was also in agony. she says she was prescribed high dose cocodamol - perhaps cos she's a GP she was able to argue more effectively for stronger pain relief! apparently it's because our abdominal muscles are so weak when heavily pregnant, that they don't take the strain when you cough and that results in the pulled muscle. i cannot even contemplate the idea of going through labour when already in this level of pain - if it happens then i will be going straight for the epidural. i'm already thinking this baby is going to come early shock

MmeLindt Sun 26-Dec-10 22:00:59

Have not done this, but did bruise my ribs this summer and think I may have pulled an intercostal muscle. It was so painful, worse than childbirth.

Things that helped (aside from ibuprofen, which is no use during pregnancy):

- coughing over shoulder - turn as if looking over shoulder when coughing. I was advised to do this by physiotherapist. It really helps.

- Nurofen heat patches - there are no drugs involved, it is just the brand name. Check that they are ok to use in pregnancy, but they really helped.

- Arnica

It took quite a while to heal, but then I had fallen off my bike so had quite a few sore bits.

Parker23 Mon 27-Dec-10 09:34:31

I totally agree with the heat thing! Hot water bottles and hot baths have been helpful. But I don't think we should use Arnica in pregnancy. I looked it up and it's not recommended. Like everything else!! Sigh!

I've managed to cut down to just using the Co-Codamol at night but it's still uncomfortable all day! It's also virtually impossible not to use those muscles. Even if you avoid driving etc! Oh well, I suppose all we can do is sit it out and rest! I've been drinking tons of hot lemon and honey too. It does help with the cough a bit. Good luck! I'll be thinking of you and will check in for a good moan later!wink

sotough Mon 27-Dec-10 10:20:51

morning. i rang out of hours GP services this morning and have got an appointment early this afternoon. i'm still in a lot of pain, and my cough is worse than ever, which doesn't exactly help. i just want to be well - i'm so sick of feeling crap. nine months of pregnancy symptoms and now this! gah!

Parker23 Mon 27-Dec-10 15:41:30

I'm right with you sotough! If it helps I can feel my ribs are a bit better already? I've rested them a bit and I take Co-Codamol at night so I can sleep but the extreme pain has eased a bit. Still uncomfortable but not unbearable! Remember, no driving or hoovering if you can help it!

Hey MmeLindt I tried that coughing over the shoulder thing today! It works! Only thing is I was in the sales so it looked like I'd just turned around to cough in someones face! I covered my mouth of course but still got a look!wink

sotough Mon 27-Dec-10 17:02:56

been to see out of hours GP and got some codeine to take along with paracetamol. had a rest for a couple of hours and now up and about. still feeling terrible but feel like i've made some progress. what a saga!

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