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Doctor insights on: Coughing So Hard Ribs Hurt

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Why is it whenever I cough or breath hard, the left side of my ribs hurt. Why?

Why is it whenever I cough or breath hard, the left side of my ribs hurt. Why?

Chest pain: Pain with breathing is pleurisy. Many different causes and sometimes no clear reason why it is occurring. Forceful coughing can lead to pleuritic pain which can be unilateral or bilateral. Infections and musculoskeletal injuries can cause and mimic (respectively) pleuritic pain. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


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Whenever I cough or breathe hard, the left side of my ribs hurt. What could be wrong?

Whenever I cough or breathe hard, the left side of my ribs hurt. What could be wrong?

Musculoskeletal....: The discomfort you describe is likely musculoskeletal pain. The chest wall has bones, muscles, cartilage all of which is subject to muscle strain/sprain, cartilage inflammation and even rib bruise or fracture from excessive coughing. Once the cough is controlled, the musculoskeletal disorder (s) will also be controlled. So, see your doctor for diagnosis/treatment of the cough. ...Read more

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When I cough my ribs hurt what could this be?

When I cough my ribs hurt what could this be?

Musculoskeletal...: This is usually a musculoskeletal pain due to the coughing. Possibilities include muscle strain, inflamed cartilage or even a rib bruise or fracture. All of these will gradually resolve once the coughing completely stops. If your pain does not resolve or if it worsens once you stop coughing, then see your doctor. ...Read more

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Why do my ribs hurt when I cough?

Why do my ribs hurt when I cough?

Muscle strain?: The chest wall is comprised of ribs and muscles. The muscles of the chest can be strained just like any other muscles leading to tears and discomfort. Try antiinflammatory medication and if it persists see your doctor for an evaluation. ...Read more

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I have been coughing for days @ times to the point when I can't breath. Now I cough & my ribs hurt terribly. Should I be concerned? -M. Forsyth

I have been coughing for days @ times to the point when I can't breath. Now I cough & my ribs hurt terribly. Should I be concerned? -M. Forsyth

Yes: Yes, if it were me, I would be concerned. The differential diagnosis includes pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma - all are treated differently. Other less likely possibilities include allergy, foreign body, and then there is a host of rare causes. ...Read more

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Had terrible cough few weeks ago. Coughed so badly I threw up. Worst cough ever. Now left side of ribs hurt x 1 week. Ice helps a bit. Muscular?

Had terrible cough few weeks ago. Coughed so badly I threw up. Worst cough ever. Now left side of ribs hurt x 1 week. Ice helps a bit. Muscular?

Possibly rib fx: Can be musucular but people with vigorous coughing can fracture ribs. Most broken ribs heal on their own within six weeks. Usually therapy is conservative with oral NSAIDs for pain. If very painful and do not have relief of pain can develop pneumonia and should seek physician's help. ...Read more

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My shoulder, chest, and ribs hurt when I breath, cough, and laugh, what's wrong?

My shoulder, chest, and ribs hurt when I breath, cough, and laugh, what's wrong?

Could be: A biomechanical problem like slipped rib syndrome, chostochondritis or other problems like pleurisy which is inflammation of lung lining. See a good osteopathic physician or a physiatrist. ...Read more

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What should I do/ I fell about a week ago. My ribs hurt and I thought I had broke them. It let up about day ago. Today while sneezing I felt something feel like tearing in my back. It went from my ribs down to my hip. Now if I cough or sneeze it I am in

What should I do/ I fell about a week ago. My ribs hurt and I thought I had broke them. It let up about day ago. Today while sneezing I felt something feel like tearing in my back. It went from my ribs down to my hip. Now if I cough or sneeze it I am in

You: You need to be seen to be sure you don't have an injury to your lung, such as a pneumothorax. You will need a prescription pain reliever for your pain. I'm sure you have tried advil or tylenol, (acetaminophen) but it sounds like you are having extreme pain. Please be seen so that you can be treated appropriately. I am sorry that this happened to you. ...Read more

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Right side of neck and ribs Hurt when cough sneeze lay on the right side and whemn I take deep or semi deedeep breath and its getting worse?

Right side of neck and ribs Hurt when cough sneeze lay on the right side and whemn I take deep or semi deedeep breath and its getting worse?

Injury?: If there's no chance that you've injured yourself (?), meaning a muscular or skeletal contusion or fracture, the next most likely cause is pleurisy. If you have fever, it is more serious as that would suggest parenchymal lung involvement. If you have no fever, NSAIDs like Advil or Aleve (naproxen) are a good treatment. It will take time to resolve but should get better. If not, get checked for rare causes. ...Read more

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Take questran (cholestyramine) for loose bm. Tingle/brief pains daytime left side upper back. Not at night or when lay down. Today. Top ribs hurt when cough. Related?

Questran (cholestyramine): Possible. Questran (cholestyramine) causes allergies, GI effects gas, bloating, stomach pain; tingling/pain in left back may be allergy or colonic irritation as colon is high in back (almost mid scapula). Timing of the pain to Questran (cholestyramine) dosing? Same for the rib pain (referred irritation of colon).Alternatively could be viral/bacteria infection (pneumonia-mycoplasma), cold, since you are coughing. F/U w/doc today ...Read more

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Have had barking cough for 3 weeks, no fever, ribs hurt bad from coughing, thick mucous I can't cough up. Now lost voice and was in fire 30 days ago.

Have had barking cough for 3 weeks, no fever, ribs hurt bad from coughing, thick mucous I can't cough up. Now lost voice and was in fire 30 days ago.

Go to pulmonary dr: You may be experiencing sequela from inhalation injury from the fire 30 days ago. Irritation of the the lungs and airways can incite an inflammatory response with bronchospam and an outpouring of inflammatory exudate and edema. I hope you feel better soon. ...Read more

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I have a dry non-productive cough that will not go away, and my ribs hurt horribly from the never ending hacking. Is there any I have been taking cough suppressants like mucinex, and cold medicine like nyquil. Trying to sleep is horrible, all I do is gu

I have a dry non-productive cough that will not go away, and my ribs hurt horribly from the never ending hacking. Is there any I have been taking cough suppressants like mucinex, and cold medicine like nyquil. Trying to sleep is horrible, all I do is gu

Hello.: Hello. You might talk to your doctor about tessalon perrles or use of codiene. Both can be very helpful with continual coughing. Make sure that you hydrate really well. At least 8 8 ounces glasses of water per day. ...Read more

Dr. Joseph Oh Dr. Oh
2 doctors agreed:
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2w w/cold symptoms but cough has lingered & my ribs hurt. Tingly sensation on chest. Scared of pertussis vaccinated last year & mom to 6mo vacc baby.

Dr. Joseph Oh Dr. Oh
2 doctors agreed:
2w w/cold symptoms but cough has lingered & my ribs hurt. Tingly sensation on chest. Scared of pertussis vaccinated last year & mom to 6mo vacc baby.

Prob not pertussis: Both of u being vaccinated recently make pertussis less likely. Good idea 2 b careful of any illnesses around ur baby though. All family members should b vaccinated against flu and pertussis. With ur symptoms, I would see a doctor to see if u have pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. ...Read more

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Symptoms include upper rib pain after cough. Should I do something about this or just let it pass?

Symptoms include upper rib pain after cough. Should I do something about this or just let it pass?

Depends: Do you have fever? Do you cough up discolored phlegm? Has this been going on > 1 week? Are you short of breath? Do you have 1 swollen leg? Recent surgery or fracture? Diabetes? Prolonged travel? If the answer to any of these is "yes", you should see your doctor. ...Read more

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Sharp rt rib pain @bedtime, painless in am, no cough, had laparoscopy for endometriosis 10 days ago, could pain be from anesthesia?

Sharp rt rib pain @bedtime, painless in am, no cough, had laparoscopy for endometriosis 10 days ago, could pain be from anesthesia?

WHERE THE INCISIONS: YOU HAD LAPROSCOPY GOR ENDOMETRIOSIS,
where are your incisions, if you have an incision close to your ribs that could explain the pain.
otherwise my advise talk to your surgeon, they might have an explanation.
otherwise apply heat pad and take ibuprofen. ...Read more

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I've had a cough for a week. The mucus when productive is yellow, I'm wheezing and for the past few days have intense right side rib pain when I cough?

I've had a cough for a week. The mucus when productive is yellow, I'm wheezing and for the past few days have intense right side rib pain when I cough?

Get seen: You may well have bronchitis. Is there also fever? Can rule out pneumonia. Frequent coughing for a week could actually cause a rib fracture. You need to be evaluated by your physician. ...Read more

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What can cause pain under left rib pain in stomache through to back, already have a hiatus hernia and type 2 diabetes, chronic cough with choking?

What can cause pain under left rib pain in stomache through to back, already have a hiatus hernia and type 2 diabetes, chronic cough with choking?

? pulled muscle: You could have pain from a pulled peri coastal muscle from coughing. The pain could be from esophagitis from reflux. If it does not respond with tincture of time with antacids and nonsteroidals, you should see your physician. ...Read more

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Shoulder blade pain, breastbone pain, lower back pain, rib pain, seems to wrap around my body, started severe 5 days ago. Slight cough and sore?

Shoulder blade pain, breastbone pain, lower back pain, rib pain, seems to wrap around my body, started severe 5 days ago. Slight cough and sore?

Go to the Doctor: I believe the question as asked is the perfect definition of when one needs to be seen by their family doctor. Something is wrong. Your body is telling you to get some help. You need to be seen and examined by the doctor you trust most. ...Read more

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Any advice? I have been coughing and my ribs hurt, what's going on?

Any advice? I have been coughing and my ribs hurt, what's going on?

Cough: When you cough you often irritate the muscles between the ribs and this causes the pain. ...Read more

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I have been sick n had bad coughing fit last nite now on the right side my ribs hurt?

I have been sick n had bad coughing fit last nite now on the right side my ribs hurt?

Musculoskeletal....: The discomfort you describe is likely musculoskeletal pain. The chest wall has bones, muscles, cartilage all of which is subject to muscle strain/sprain, cartilage inflammation and even rib bruise or fracture from excessive coughing. Once the cough is controlled, the musculoskeletal disorder (s) will also be controlled. So, see your doctor for diagnosis/treatment of the cough. ...Read more

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If your coughing to the point that your ribs hurt can that be pneumonia?

If your coughing to the point that your ribs hurt can that be pneumonia?

Pneumonia: There is that potential, but you need not have pneumonia to be coughing sufficiently severely to strain the muscles between the ribs, producing pain. See your doctor and get evaluated. ...Read more

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The right side of my ribs hurt after coughing and are tender to the touch. Why and /what is this?

The right side of my ribs hurt after coughing and are tender to the touch. Why and /what is this?

Musculoskeletal: Coughing can cause rib or cartilage injuries, as well as muscle strains. This is usually self- limiting. It is unusual to have anything as extreme as a rib fracture or cartilage dislocation, but it is possible. If this persists for more than a few days, you should see your family physician. ...Read more

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I've had a bad cold coughing for 3 weeks now been to doctor said virus no meds still sick should I do something ribs hurt from coughing?

I've had a bad cold coughing for 3 weeks now been to doctor said virus no meds still sick should I do something ribs hurt from coughing?

Try: A coolist humidifier in your ro and long acting Mucinex (guaifenesin) dm. If not improving itigjt be your asthma and another visit to your doctor might be in order. Can you check peak flows? Can your doctor do in office spirometer readings! Then you would know if it was asta. A cough from a virus can hang around for a long time though. ...Read more

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I just got over plurisey still dealing with the muscle pain from it and I started coughing today and heard a pop and now my ribs hurt again why?

I just got over plurisey still dealing with the muscle pain from it and I started coughing today and heard a pop and now my ribs hurt again why?

Pleuritic pain: The pain can come from several sources- muscles are between each rib and can be strained (spasm); you can affect the rib position where it meets the breast bone (or sternum) (dislocation); the connective tissue or cartilage can be inflamed where it meets with the rib; or you could have a rib fracture from the force of coughing. If the pain is intense, it might be a good idea to get a chest xray. ...Read more

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I have a lung infection on meds, prednisone, flovent, ventolin, biaxin (clarithromycin) and nasonex. I have had violent coughs for 3 days my entire back and ribs hurt.

I have a lung infection on meds, prednisone, flovent, ventolin, biaxin (clarithromycin) and nasonex. I have had violent coughs for 3 days my entire back and ribs hurt.

See doctor: I realize that you are already under the care of a doctor and that you may even be treated for whooping cough. If your lung function is in reasonable shape, you should ask your doctor to prescribe you a cough suppressant for a few days. If you have not had a chest x-ray or spiral chest ct, perhaps your doctor may order one since you are not getting better. Any mold or cockroach problem at home? ...Read more

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Hard to breath and ribs hurt?

Hard to breath and ribs hurt?

Pleurisy?: There is one kind of cold that best fits with that description. It is called pleurisy, where the cold virus gets down into the lining of your lung, makes it raw, so that every time you take a deep breath, you get a sharp pain, and so you tend to take shallow breaths, and may feel short of breath. This has been called the "devil's grip." it is benign and will go away in a few days. ...Read more

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I coughed due to cold/flu symptoms. I coughed real hard now right side of rib area hurts when cough. What should do?

I coughed due to cold/flu symptoms. I coughed real hard now right side of rib area hurts when cough. What should do?

Cough: Forceful coughing can cause discomfort in muscles in chest/back/abdomen. Usually over the counter analgesics such as acetominophen/ nsaids will help. Ultimately the cough has to go away before the discomfort will go away. ...Read more

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Hv a very bad deep cough during wint. Mos esp. Every yr. My ribs and chest hurt. Hard to sleep. In physical dr never says anything is wrong. Am I ok?

Hv a very bad deep cough during wint. Mos esp. Every yr. My ribs and chest hurt. Hard to sleep. In physical dr never says anything is wrong. Am I ok?

Cold weather + lungs: Cold weather may irritate your lungs, specifically the upper airways called bronchi. It is a variant of asthma. In some people, as cold air rushes in on taking a breath, the irritation causes the bronchi to constrict, resulting in cough and even wheezing. Physical exam (done at room temperature and at rest) is often normal. These reactive airways may improve with a trial of bronchodilators. ...Read more

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Fx rib yrs ago NOW every time I get cough etc it flares, hurts, hard to deep breathe for wks! Is that a muscle or cartilage? I do have MG & osteoporosis

Fx rib yrs ago NOW every time I get cough etc it flares, hurts, hard to deep breathe for wks! Is that a muscle or cartilage? I do have MG & osteoporosis

Possible fibrous --: -union. Or non union of the fracture. Or can be costochrondritis (sp). This is where the bone of the ribs connects to the cartilage of the rib cage that is attached to the sternum. To be sure, you can start with your PCP & get referred if needed. ...Read more