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A 59-year-old male asked:

What causes muscle cramps in my ribcage area the only way to make them stop is to cough hard and exhale very slowly?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sandra Pinkham
54 years experience
Many possibilities: Be sure to be screened for lung cancer. Generally muscle cramps are caused by dehydration and deficiencies in potassium and magnesium in the muscles and too much calcium and sodium. Cadmium in cigarette smoke increases calcium in the muscles. If you are interested in smoke cessation see kelly mcgonigal's book the will power instinct.

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Last updated May 11, 2013

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