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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Female, 26, Sharp apin upon awakening

 spudsgirl83 - Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:26 pm

For the last couple weeks when I wake up I experience a very sharp pain in my mid to lower rib area. This only occurs if i have been laying flat for more than an hour or so. The pain subsides after I have been up for about 30 mins or if i extend my arms above my head. The pain intensifies when i try to take a deep breath. I get the feeling that I cant breathe and have to consciously breathe until i can take the deep breath. I'm sure I should see a doctor about the issue however I have no insurance at the present time and my community does not have a free clinic. I am just looking for something that might be causing this pain and possibly something that will allow me to get a full nights sleep with out pain and be able to breathe when i wake up. Thank you in advance.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:21 am

User avatar Hello -- This really sounds musculoskeletal in nature, perhaps some inflammation of the cartilege between the ribs or where they attach to the sternum. Quite often lying on them or just lying flat can cause the stiffness to manifest as pain on getting up from the lying position, especially if the inflammation is, as is most common, in the front. You of course could have something else going on, perhaps a nerve impingement, but it really sounds first and foremost like costochrondritis, that inflammation of the rib cartilege. This can be quite painful, especially on changing position, and then resolves after being upright a while. It can cause pain and restricted sensation on breathing, also.

The best solution to this will be to be examined by a medical doctor. Short of that all we can do is speculate, at a distance, based on the description you've supplied, and in that regard it very much sounds like what I've mentioned above. If this is the case it often responds very well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Advil or Aleve, and you might try this if you haven't already. Hopefully you will get insurance soon or find a medical practice that will work with you on price and payment (which is becoming more commonplace as more people find themselves without health insurance). Good luck to you with this and please follow up with us here as needed.

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