Medical Specialty >> Orthopedics

Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

Back to Orthopedics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Strange muscular/rib/back pain

 elley0531 - Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:49 am


About a week and a half ago I started to have digestive issues, it made a tensing, cramping, sensation on my sides, mostly the right side. Shortly afterwards (few days) I started to develop back pain. The pain would shift from low back, to mid back, to upper back. The pain would sometimes be a dull ache, a throbbing, and sometimes a burning sensation along areas of my spine. Tha pain is not unbearable but rather annoying and still there although my digestive issues have since subsided.

Eventually other bones started to seem affacted, starting about 3 days ago. I got a fairly bad stiff neck which has subsided somewhat, but after getting it I can hear click/grinding noise when I turn my head...but it doesn't hurt to turn.

The next day I noticed that when I pressed gently on my ribs, especially the lower ones, they too make a noise, slight click/crackly sound. It doesn't hurt to do this although the areas are tender to the touch (possibly from me pressing on them) does NOT hurt to breathe though, even deeply.

I bought a back brace which is helping with the back pain, but I am concerned about all the bones affected and why my ribs would make noise. Does this sound like a serious problem or something that will heal on its own? If I need to see a doctor what type of doctor is qualified? Orthopedics? Please help, I'm getting more concerned everyday.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:03 pm

User avatar Dear elley0531,

The symptoms you have described are very suggestive of viral infection and muscle pain and spasm.

Muscle spasm is a body reaction to injury in tissues
Causes of muscle injury include:
Muscle fatigue
Heavy exercise
Metabolic abnormalities like low Magnesium level and Hypocalcemia

The correct diagnosis is easier when other symptoms exist.
In your condition, Viral infection and an associated muscle pain and spasm are more likely to be the cause. The GI problems that came first are probably a form of gastroenteritis which is mostly of viral origin.

Self care and avoiding the precipitating cause will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain. Home treatment includes the use of analgesics, cold or hot therapy. Rest for maximum two days is also beneficial.

I advise you to follow up with your doctor. Complete history and physical examination, are essential for correct diagnosis.

Best regards,

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us