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Doctor insights on: My Ribs Hurt When I Cough

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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

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,513 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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I have a sharp pain under my right breast almost in my ribs. It hurts when i cough or breath in. Iv had a cough for over ten weeks now?

I have a sharp pain under my right breast almost in my ribs. It hurts when i cough or breath in.  Iv had a cough for over ten weeks now?

Intercostal paIn: Excessive coughing often leads to an irritation of the muscles between the ribs or the nerve innervating each rib. Both would give you sharp pain when coughing or , in severe cases, even breathing. This is called intercostal neuralgia. Treatment is either therapy with rib mobilization, or intercostal nerve block. ...Read more

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Woke up this morning with a non productive cough and just below my ribs on both sides hurt when I cough. Is that anything to be concerned about?

Woke up this morning with a non productive cough and just below my ribs on both sides hurt when I cough. Is that anything to be concerned about?

Mgt: If the pain only occurs with a cough, most likely the pain is caused by muscular-skeletal pain. I would suggest a heating pad and Motrin. If it continues, or is associated with respiratory difficulty, a follow up appt is indicated. ...Read more

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What is wrong with me when I have a cough and my ribs and upper back hurt when i cough/laugh/walk/play sports?

What is wrong with me when I have a cough and my ribs and upper back hurt when i cough/laugh/walk/play sports?

Rib pain...: Sometimes people develop rib fractures without even knowing. Herniated discs in the spine can also occur from strenuous activity. See your physician. An imaging study such as x-ray or MRI may be helpful. ...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 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

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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