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Pulled muscle in rib cage

(27 Posts)
missjemima Sun 09-Nov-14 15:47:35

I'm in agony! Pulled intercostal muscle. Have been on the phone to OOO doctor and they said ibuprofen gel or capsules and a hot bath and hot water bottle - has anyone had similar? Pain comes in spasms as well as when breathing, walking, coughing... Help!

cmc1976 Sun 09-Nov-14 15:55:38

Oh the pain! It's sheer agony. I first did it when I was 36 weeks pregnant and had codeine from the docs as I can't take ibuprofen. Did it again about a month ago and this time had co codamol. They helped a bit but I think you just have to wait for it to heal. Hope you feel better soon!

missjemima Sun 09-Nov-14 16:09:19

Thanks cmc - I've had co-codamol and that seems to have helped, can't imagine this whilst pregnant! I can hardly move as it is! Hoping it will heal quickly, all fingers crossed smile

sunflower49 Sun 09-Nov-14 16:13:23

I've got this at the moment, or at least I think I have. GP seems to think so. It's awful. I've been prescribed bed for 5-6 weeks!Really annoying as I'm quite active.

missjemima Sun 09-Nov-14 16:48:18

OMG Sunflower! 5-6 weeks?! I was just about to join a gym, that's definitely off the schedule. It hurts just to breathe... Really could have done without this, guess I'll try and see the doc tomorrow and get an idea of how bad it is. Hope you're feeling better soon x

sunflower49 Sun 09-Nov-14 16:58:57

I recently began a thread asking questions about bodybuilding!I've JUST started doing it at the gym I go to as opposed to my usual just running/cardio. I was enjoying it a lot as well angry .

I ignored the GP and went to the gym, didn't overdo it, and the next day OMG!! I could NOT get out of bed, SO painful!

Seriously though who I mean WHO! CAN sit on their arse for 5-6 weeks.

I'm taking it easier though and it has improved.

Hope you get there soon, too!

Smurfingreat Sun 09-Nov-14 17:10:24

I've done it as well, incredibly painful, my doctor said that it's worse than breaking your ribs.

It does take a while to heal, never heard of bed rest for it, but I would avoid the gym for a few weeks. It actually took a few months for mine to heal, but apparently I'd torn a fair few of them and was doing a fairly physical job at the time with no option of time off note to self, don't ride a bike down a hill with a cup of tea in one hand again

The spasms frightened the life out of me, I thought I was having a heart attack. Agree with other posters, rest and plenty of drugs. Hope you feel better soon. flowers

Adarajames Sun 09-Nov-14 17:59:51

I have similar pain but from chronic costichtodotid so been suffering with it for years. I find heat helps, ibuprofen gel is better than tablets, and also find strapping my ribs well helps reduce the pain. Hope you recover swiftly

missjemima Sun 09-Nov-14 18:24:49

Yes, agree re spasms - they make me yelp with pain. Will pick up some gel tomorrow - thanks for the tip. Biggest problem is I have a chesty cough (which is how I pulled it in the first place) so I'm doing that thing where you try so badly not to cough then eventually it gets the better of you and you end up with a coughing fit.... Then spasms. Ugh.

Adarajames Sun 09-Nov-14 19:00:24

Inhaling steam - hot water in bowl, towel overhead lark, can help reduce the cough reflex, as does sipping warm water. Had chesty cough for months every winter when growing up so know these can help. If you have essential oils then a single drop of thyme in the water you're seaming with (not the drinking water!!) also helps reduce cough reflex

Adarajames Sun 09-Nov-14 19:00:38

Steaming, not seaming!

missjemima Sun 09-Nov-14 19:34:42

Thanks Adara, have never heard of using Thyme in this way, that's really interesting. Will also put that on the list. I'll be trying everything I can to get this sorted quickly!

Adarajames Sun 09-Nov-14 20:32:47

Just stick to a single drop, and keep your eyes closed otherwise it can sting a bit! The herbs marsh mallow along with liquorice , thyme and elderflower make quite a pleasant tea sipped through the day. I'm currently trying to stop a cold arriving with lots of this tea

NoMarymary Sun 09-Nov-14 21:57:44

It's really painful and I was in agony too. Couldn't breathe at all and ended up with a ct scan of my chest. Scan showed (not a blood clot which was what it was looking for) but all the tiny air sacs collapsed because I literally could not take a deep breath in.

So you must take regular deep breaths because you will end up with pneumonia. If you have a chest cough now and parts of the lung collapse you will be in big trouble!

You can take co codomol and ibuprofen together for better effect just don't exceed the daily dose of each. Volterol gel. A hot bath. Hot water bottle on the chest area. If this doesn't sort it then codeine. I was in hospital around 30 hours because they suspected a pulmonary embolism.

missjemima Mon 10-Nov-14 16:03:35

Well, slept through my doc appointment but after a lengthy chat on the phone he has confirmed all that's been suggested here.... Even your advice to take big deep breaths Nomary! Am on the ibuprofen today and my hot water bottle and feeling much better. I can see I'm going to get frustrated by not being able to do much - need to learn that it's ok to relax and recuperate smile

IHeartKingThistle Mon 10-Nov-14 16:09:24

It is awful. I did it last year - sorry to say it took 8 weeks to the day for the pain to go.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 10-Nov-14 16:10:11

It is awful. I did it last year - I'm sorry to say it took exactly 8 weeks for the pain to go.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 10-Nov-14 16:10:21


Adarajames Mon 10-Nov-14 19:23:40

I can send you some of my witchy tea if you'd like to give it a go, just message me if you do smilebrew

missjemima Tue 11-Nov-14 10:21:04

Thanks Adara, have sent you a PM. Today I'm back in agony, yesterday was a massive improvement and I had high hopes of a quick recovery... Oh well. If I'm sorted by Christmas that would be ace.

NoMarymary Tue 11-Nov-14 10:45:33

Can take a few weeks to go completely although the real agony not so long. The reason is .....

There are muscles between the ribs and you have pulled and strained these muscles. Generally if you have pulled and strained muscles the rule is to rest them to help recovery, but as you can't stop breathing you can't rest them! Catch 22!

missjemima Tue 11-Nov-14 10:55:52

It's amazing isn't it how much you use these muscles which you wouldn't give a second thought to. Sneezing, coughing, breathing, laughing, picking up things, bending, yawning.... The body is an amazing thing (when it's fully functioning!)

IHeartKingThistle Tue 11-Nov-14 11:47:17

What I found really weird when I had it was that I must have been subconciously taking really shallow breaths, because every so often my body would involuntarily take in a massive deep shuddery breath. It was weird but also kind of reassuring to know that my body was keeping things ticking over!

Just do NOT get the hiccups.

Adarajames Wed 12-Nov-14 01:25:07

I do that Iheart, try to remember to breath deeper when ribs are hurting, but often forget

TanteRose Wed 12-Nov-14 02:16:01

are you sure its definitely a pulled muscle?

only those symptoms sound like pleurisy - a friend of mine had it recently and it was just like you described

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