Rib and Chest Wall Pain
Q: Hi, I am 35 years old male. I have a pain around lower ribs for the past 4 months. It starts at night. When I drink some hot fluids the pain stops. I went to the doctor and got a chest x-ray which was normal. I am worried; please advice.
There could be many reasons for such a pain. They are:
It could be a muscular spasm, caused due to over stretching (overwork) of muscles of the area. May be you lifted something heavy or slept in an improper posture.
Such a pain would go by taking rest. You also need to apply some muscle relaxant on the affected area. Some anti-inflammatory medication may be taken.
It may be costochondritis. Here the soft tissues connecting the ribs with the sternum get inflamed. The condition is usually preceded by some viral illness. The pain is sharp and is more if we press the affected area.
The illness takes time to heal. Treatment is largely supportive.
- Take rest in correct posture.
- You may tie the area where you feel the pain all around.
- Anti- inflammatory medication may help.
The pain from both, costochondritis and strained muscles, tend to be worse at night. This is because the rib cage is compressed by lying in bed. This puts pressure on the sensitive areas. Other activities that tend to cause worse pain include deep breaths.
It may even be a cracked rib. Sometimes, a hairline fracture occurs without our knowledge. Rest sufficiently and give some time for it to heal.