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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.

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,564 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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