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Rib injury

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tired girl posted 5/13/2014 10:30 AM

So anyone that read my other post here about medication reaction knows that I have a rib injury. My question is, I am having a lot of very focal back pain with this to the point that it really hurts to breathe. Is this normal? Like unless I have ice on it, I have to take fairly shallow breaths, and even pain pills don't help.

Tred posted 5/13/2014 10:38 AM

Sounds about right. I fractured two ribs playing rugby (over a decade ago) and it was the only time I couldn't play with an injury. It was impossible to take a deep breath. From what I recall (not in the medical profession) your rib cartilage is a natural splint, so there isn't much you can do except the usual rest, ice, and pain meds until it gets better.

lordhasaplan? posted 5/13/2014 10:39 AM

Yes, rib pain is bad. Large inhalations stretch the intercostal muscles and pull on fracture site. This is normal. Do you have an ACE bandage you could use to compress the area? It sometimes helps along with the ice. Please don't cough or sneeze, jeepers that hurts.

whyohwhyohwhy posted 5/13/2014 10:48 AM

I pulled my intercostal muscles once, hurt like hell. I thought I was dying....they did all sorts of tests, and said I was fine, but it did take several weeks to get better.

Also had some sort of muscle spasm in my back years ago, but again, just rest and limited activity and I was back to normal.

tushnurse posted 5/13/2014 10:53 AM

Yes the pain is excruciating.
What are you doing to treat it?

You should be on an anti-inflammatory, and some are better suited for rib pain than others.

You should also consider a muscle relaxant to allow things to return to their proper location.

You should also have some therapy, massage, manipulation to get things back to where they should be. I can understand being very hesitant to doing this seeing that's how it started. I would consider seeing a chiropractor at this point. Some TENS Muscle stim may help more than anything.

tired girl posted 5/13/2014 11:00 AM

I can't take any NSAIDS as I have ulcers.

I am taking a muscle relaxant, helps a little.

They gave me pain pills, they also help a little bit.

The ice seems to be the only thing that really helps. Pain is worse in my back than the front when I try to breathe.

I do have a TENS stim unit here at home. I thought about using that, but wasn't sure if it would make things worse.

Crushed1 posted 5/13/2014 11:36 AM

I fell in my house in the first week of April and am recovering from two fractured ribs. Breathing is very painful because with every breath your ribcage expands which puts pressure on the fractures. Pain meds helped somewhat. I had to sleep on the couch propped up with pillows for the whole month and just returned to sleeping in my bed last week. I'm not sure I'd try the TENS unit yet. Maybe discuss that with your physician first.

Healing takes 6-8 weeks on average. The good news is after the first 4 weeks you should be feeling much better and breathing becomes easier with each passing day. Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

Rebreather posted 5/13/2014 12:22 PM

Are your symptoms getting worse? Is the pain different than it was? If so, I'd call your doc for a chat. You want to be sure nobody missed anything.

That said, I had a rib injury after a car accident and yeah, it hurts like a muthah. I found wearing a compressing sports bra to help. Which was fun, because I had a broken shoulder at the same time and trying to finagle myself and the girls into a compressing anything with no arm movement was an exercise in misery.

I hope you feel better soon, TG!!

tushnurse posted 5/13/2014 12:33 PM

TG - How long ago did you have ulcers, if you were treated for them and have since been on a PPI (nexium, Prilosec, etc) you should be able to take an NSAID short term, ask your Dr.

Yes I would try the TENS unit, and also I would ask you normal Dr about the pain and preferred method of treatment since the diagnosis was made at the UC. Not by your normal Dr.

I had a lady that actually ended up in the hospital for a few days from something similar, and the only thing that really worked was alternating hot and cold, and some PT with massage. They had to bring an Outpatient PT in to help with the movement and massage, as the inpatient PT's don't do that often enough.

purplejacket4 posted 5/13/2014 15:05 PM

Yep it hurts.

Tylenol, pain meds, muscle relaxants, ice, and time.

tired girl posted 5/13/2014 15:35 PM

My ulcers were diagnosed about a month ago. Dr started me on protonix.
Went and saw my reg dr and she is starting me on an anti inflammatory thank god. So hopefully this is a bit better in a few hours.

rachelc posted 5/13/2014 16:47 PM

Well, I will offer a virtual hug (TG), as I can offer no medical advice, and probably nobody can hug you IRL with that kind of injury...
I hope you can find a solution to this soon!!

metamorphisis posted 5/13/2014 17:54 PM

I fell down some stairs and broke a rib. UGH.. TG.. I am sorry. It's going to hurt for awhile. I found the worst was turning in bed or trying to get out of bed . You don't even realize the muscles you use to do simple things until everything hurts. Time, pain relievers and rest were the only things that helped.

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