I am a 24 y.o. white female. I have suffered from chronic rib cage pain since I was 13 y.o. I have had bone scans, breathing tests, x-rays, an echocardiogram done and have seen too many doctors to count. Nothing abnormal was found in any of the tests.
the pain is chronic but inconsistent. It peaks when I exercise or if anything touches them (even my bras hurts). Once a peak occurs it takes days for the pain to subside. Deep breathing also hurts. I have a family history of Marfans syndrome and my uncle had his rib cage broken and reset when he was just a boy because they were so badly formed. I feel like mine are not formed properly either. Some of them stick out further than others and even though I am not underweight the spaces between my ribs are easy to see. None of these abnormalities are extreme but I do wonder if they contribute. I do not want anything suggestions for the pain I just want to know what is wrong. Any information that could lead me in the right direction (or any direction at this point) would be appreciated.
I do not have Marfan's or MVP (also common in relatives of people with Marfan's).
I have not thought to see a thoracic surgeon I will have to find one and see what they can tell me.
thank you for the reply and the encouragement. I have not seen anyone for this in 6 years because I had given up on finding a cause and had accepted that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. I realize that may happen anyway but I deserve to know what is causing it.
Does it feel like a "stitch" in the side, like what you might get after running? The reason I ask is that I would get the same pain when wearing a bra, tight waisted pants, etc. this restricts your ability to expand the rib cage and may lead to what are known as "trigger points" in your diaphragm. When active, they can be extremely painful, yet will subside when allowed to stretch properly. Not to send you on a goose chase, but there are people who specialize in this therapy who can release those points and hopefully teach you to manage them on your own.