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: Cracked Rib .. From a Sneeze ?

 Jmarquez - Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:58 pm

Before i say anything, i did not injure myself in any way possible prior to this accident. I am very fit, work out every day but now i cannot. Okay so this may sound really weird, but i was at work and i had just finished my shift. I grabbed my til so i could start to count my cash and set it on the counter. my co-worker had asked me the time, so i turned around opened the office door and saw the time. instead of walking back to the counter to count my cash, i turned my upper body around to the left (with my lower still facing the clock) and yelled the time BUT at the same time i had to sneeze. So i sneezed, and when i did i felt a snap in my side and a lot of damn pain to follow with it. This is the second time this has happened to me in my entire life.. but the worst out of thee two. It has now been 10 days of pain. no deep breathing, no weight lifting, no bending in certain areas, no sleeping on my left side, no weight on my left side. If im in the car or on the bus going to work, and they just do a simple turn im in pain. I cant even relax and take a deep breaths. Sooo in conclusion, i just want to know.. what the heck happened ? lol. Some are saying i could have cracked my rib.. but from a sneeze ? sounds silly. Yet then again, it was a very very big sneeze & having my body twisted could have done it. When i press on the rib cage the bone hurts and the muscles hurt to. Just wanted to see what your opinions on this would be. If its still the same by the end of the week, i will go see a doctor. In the mean time is there anything i can do ? I can't really "relax". I still workout, just not every day. But then again, i work at the beer store and im constantly carrying heavy cases and slinging them all day. I try to work around the pain.
Thankyou for your time,

J'Mar Marquez
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:49 pm

User avatar Hello -

The short answer to your question: absolutely. A cracked rib, especially during a sneeze in an awkward position is not only possible but more common than you'd guess. However, it also could be a bad muscle pull or even an inflamed bit of cartilage from the same basic cause, that sneeze.

The only concern with this, other than pain (which I realize is no fun in itself), is the restriction of deep breathing. Little is usually done for a fractured rib so long as it isn't free (as a blunt trauma to the chest can cause), but guarded breathing can sometimes cause problems such as pneumonia -- although if you are working through the pain you're probably in little danger of that. Still, it would be wise to do some occasional deep-breathing exercises against the pain, to make certain you don't lost capacity in the affected side.

Other than that, over-the-counter pain meds and whatever else helps increase your comfort level. If it doesn't get better withing a week of the initial injury you might want to bring it to the attention of a doctor, but it's unlikely anything will be done (although a doctor could prescribe something stronger for the pain).

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you.
 Jmarquez - Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:06 am

you are the best wow thankyou very much sir i appreciate you taking the time to do this : )

| 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