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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: pulled muscle from coughing?

 jillyjack - Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:08 pm

I am just getting over whooping cough - i have been sick for about two months. About three weeks ago I started having pain just under my right breast and in the same spot in my back when i took a breath. I assumed it was from such bad coughing. Now the pain in my back is constant and it hurts to breathe in only in the front. I went to see my chiropractor to see if maybe i popped a rib out from coughing. She fixed me up but i still have the pain. Some say myabe i fractured a rib, others say i pulled a muscle - what do you think? And waht is the treatment? heat, ice, wrap? Thanks[/u]
 Dr. A. Saif - Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:58 pm

User avatar Dear Jilly Jack,

The kind of pain that you are describing could be due to a number of causes, although it is difficult to make a diagnosis on-line, let me see if I can help. It is unusual to fracture a rib during coughing, if you are otherwise healthy (i.e. not suffering from osteoporosis etc) but I guess it is possible. Muscular problems are more likely, and as you say can give similar symptoms, and the treatment is pretty much the same as you suggest with ice, pain killers and rest. Costochondritis again can give similar pains and may be associated with a viral illness.

Another cause of this knid of pain is pain from withing your chest, in the lining of the thoracic cavity, called the pleura. This can be inflamed, particularly if you had a chest infection (other causes exist). One way to distinguish this type of pain and the musculoskeletal pains described in the previous paragraph is by local pressure. If pressing the area where you have the pain on inspiration causes pain then the problem is likely to be musculoskeletal otherwise, the pain is possibly pleuritic. The latter would, i would suggest need a consultation with a physician...


 jillyjack - Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:17 am

thanks - what is chostochondritis? I jsut had an xray of my rib and nothing was out of the ordinary. i am now going to see an ortho dr.
 Dr. A. Saif - Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:52 am

User avatar Dear Jilly Jack,

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the ribs, in particular the cartilaginous part of the rib it is said. The exact cause is not known, but it is possibly related to viral infections. Try this site for more info



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