Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Cold, Flu and Viral Infections Forum

Pulled Muscle Behind Rib? (Page 2)

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January 10th, 2010
My side has been hurting for a week now...due to a bad cold/coughing that started weeks ago. The pain has gotten worse over the last two days. It feels like i'm being stabbed in my side every time i cough. This is the worse pain that I've ever had.
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replied January 29th, 2010
I had a bad bronchitis cough for several weeks, then got a bad pain in my upper left side. I went to an urgent care, where they said it was a pulled rib muscle. I was given an inhaler (pro-air) of albuterol which cured the cough, hooray!! But the rib muscle is very sore still. I take ibuprofen, and went out and bought a rib belt. It is about 4 inches wide and has velcro so it is easily adjusted. This was a lifesaver, as I have a very active job where I lift babies. I try to take it easy, but it's hard. The pharmacist also recommended Biofreeze, which is a gel rub to massage in. that is good too. Hope this helps!!
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replied February 6th, 2010
torn muscle
I have the same problem, torn muscle in my right side middle of my ribcage. I did it three weeks ago and it was starting to get better when i coughed last night and seem to be back to square one, today i can hardly move. I can only take codeine and paracetamol as i am 6 months pregnant, help any suggestions how i can alleviate the pain?
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replied February 16th, 2010
Have same problem others describe - bad cough due to bronchitis resulting in pulled muscles on both sides.

I just read in another forum that applying heat and then applying cold provides some relief and increases blood flow, which will quicken healing. Anyone tried this?

Thanks margbro for suggestion re rib belt.
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replied April 4th, 2010
Its nice to know im not the only feeling like im dying. i have been coughing for 2 weeks now and about a week ago i felt something pop on my left side by my ribcage. i just went to the doctor and she says i pulled a muscle. i work 5 days up to 12 hrs a day and come home to a 14 month old and a 3 yr old NOT MOVING isnt an option for me. i cant believe 2 months of recovery is what i have to look forward too. i am in so much pain (like childbirth when i cough) i cant sleep at night. the doc gave me tramadol and ceritussin w/codeine but not much help. I FEEL LIKE IM DYING. sitting down and not moving is the only way it wont hurt but its just not an option for me....HEEEEEEELP!!!!!!!!
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replied April 29th, 2010
i have the same thing, just got over bronchitis, and feels like a broken rib or pulled muscle on my left side. It hurts terribly, and my wife keeps telling me to go to the doctor. Obviously I dont need to go, so I will just suffer.
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replied May 6th, 2010
It might not be a pulled muscle, you guys.

I was in the same condition as most of you, sort of. I caught laryngitus and a few weeks later it became pneumonia. I thought I too had pulled a muscle coughing until one day when it was the WORST PAIN EVER when I would cough, like knives stabbing into my sides.

The dr diagnosed me with something called "pleurisy" which is a swelling of the lining between the ribs and lungs. The two sides rub together and cause immense pain. Treatment is just painkillers, but I hope that helps someone else here that may have been misdiagnosed.
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replied May 20th, 2010
I Feel Your Pain!
Thank you all for sharing your stories! I'm in the same boat. I had a cold and did my share of coughing. Truthfully, I didn't think the coughing was bad enough to pull a muscle, but boy was I wrong! I can pin point the spot which is just under my ribs on the left side from the side moving toward the front of my body. Hurts to take a deep breath, hard to stand up straight, etc. etc. Doc gave me anti-inflammatory and vicodin. Helps a little but I suspect this just needs time. Geez, I'm so impatient!! Get well soon everyone!
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replied June 9th, 2010
Pulled rib muscle
Thanks to all who have posted on this site. I had an ear infection about three weeks ago. Got some antibiotics and the infection cleared but I started a dry cough.
The coughing got so bad I started having sharp pains in my left side. Went to the Dr today and when he prodded on my rib, I about died.
He diagnosed bronchitis and said I pulled my #9 intercostal muscle
He prescribed Hydrocodone and told me to take NSAIDS for the pain.
Feeling a little better now. Hope everyone posting here recovers fully.
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replied July 5th, 2010
I have the same pain - only I have not had a cough recently. I assume this muscle can be pulled in other ways than just coughing?
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replied August 15th, 2010
Lower Abdominal pain when coughing
I am very the same problem ive been violently coughing for a week but its not in my chest, its in my lower abdomen, everytime i cough it hurts like hell! Can i have a pulled muscle down there?
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replied November 8th, 2010
I'm sorry to see that I'm not the only one who's had this problem. I've been sick for the past 2 or 3 weeks with bronchitis and have managed to cough so hard I see stars sometimes. I woke up 2 days ago with a pain in my right ribs. Now, it's in my ribs and the right side of my back. If I cough, sneeze, laugh it hurts so bad I almost cry...I even hiccuped a few minutes ago and almost passed out! I even said to my sister that I thought I pulled a muscle coughing and she said that sounded stupid - that I probably had pneumonia. I don't think it's pneumonia - I would be able to feel the fluid in my lungs and I'd probably be running a fever. It's good to know (I guess...?) that I can pull a muscle or break a rib from coughing. I might be in pain, but at least I'm RIGHT! lol! Sisters.....geez!
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replied April 7th, 2012
upper left rib pain from coughing
I get bronchitis all the time and I manage to either fracture a rib or pull muscle off of them. Either way; it is the most excruciating pain imaginable when you have a cough/sneezes on top of it. I have severe upper left rib pain right now from coughing from a virus. I like to surf the web to see if others suffer the same thing as I do and if I can find some new way to treat it. I use Tramadol, tylenol and heat but it takes a long time to heal. Yes, sissy -- you would have a temp with pneumonia.
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replied December 4th, 2010
To Cough or Not to Cough - a question of pain
I'm so glad to hear that I may not be suffering from something more serious than a minor fracture or torn muscle. After reading through some of your stories I feel much better and sorry that all of you have/are going through this pain.
Cough has lasted well over a month and now pain in lower right ribs is very palpable/intense. Heating pads help a lot, pain meds as well as anti-inflamatories and of course, coughing meds to keep that to a minimum.
Wish the best to all of you recooperating. Merry Christmas everyone and good health to us all!
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replied December 8th, 2010
Hi All,

The joys of coughs and colds and aftermarth!
I caught a bad cold at the end of October. Sore throat stuffy nose, hacking cough that was so bad at night it made me vomit.
During all this I cut down allot on smoking by around half. Wk 4 cough still slightly but started to have pain on left side at bottom of ribs (located as you would put your hand on your hip). Gp says is the muscle between the ribs and can take up to 6 weeks. Also have now quit smoking for a week and spitting brown flecks in mucus just once first thing in morning but every morning for past week. Stop smoking group at GP have said is the tar clearing and can feel that I have mucus still in my throat in the day a bit and chest is tight at times almost like a tight tickle and a bit sore.
Yes am falling apart! I am def sticking with the non smoking as already after 1 week my breath/blow test is now that of a non smoker and have wanted to give up for a long time anyway!
Feeling better on the whole than I was few weeks back .
Ibruphen helps with rib pain!! I was advised to keep moving and swim if I can (gently) by my osteopath as if is muscular then will cease up and take longer to heal if sat still all the time. Maybe not ready for swimming but the pain defiently improves during the day when im moving about and is worse in the morning on waking up!

Tried to give as much info as poss , hope this helps someone else too!
As above hope everyone feels better for Christmas!!
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replied December 8th, 2010
Cough and pulled muscle
I too have pain after coughing for weeks. Mine is under my right breast. However, my appears different. Although I can feel where it hurts, when I cough it is much less painful if I put pressure on the area while coughing. I assume it is a pulled muscle. See if that helps any of you.
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replied December 9th, 2010
coughing pain pulled muscle
62-yr-old retired ff/paramedic, same Hx as above letters, I thought the "pop" was a rib/muscle/alien, and I was gasping for air while totally freaked to cough again. Then, I wondered: "Hernia?...from chronic cough? So, upon palpating, discovered local point tenderness at bottom end of last left rib, googled it, sure glad to read all similar. Would like to suggest immediate use of cough suppressant. ( Man, that is some MAJOR Pain!) GL to all, and thanks.
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replied December 14th, 2010
Pulled muscle coughing, now a 'popping' feeling when breathing
I have the same issue as everyone has described. I've had a horrible cold, mostly with heavy chest congestion for two weeks. The doctor suggested Mucinex (an expectorant) and lots of fluids to help loosen the phlegm. Somewhere during the second week, I pulled a muscle behind my rib. Days later, I had an even more painful pop in the same area. The doctor put me on codine to dull the pain. It didn't help one bit, but 600-800mg of ibuprofen a day helped a bit. Now, the cough is subsiding, but I've got this creepy popping sound going on in that same area. Everything I've read says the muscles just needs to heal. It had better go away. It's disturbing.
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replied December 19th, 2010
Bronchitis/Broken Rib
Amazing to read about so many with very similar issues. I've got a bit of a twist on my issue and the Dr's STILL haven't figured out what's going on! Very frustrating to say the least!

4 Years ago I got a cold which escalated to bronchitis. I went in to be checked and was given antibiotics to treat the bronchitis which didn't seem to help any. Went back again after finishing the course, as I had got progressively worse and was put on something totally different which also did not help. I had been coughing for 3 months, really badly, nothing was working. The docs said I had developed Pneumonia even though they gave me antibiotics for bronchitis. The symptoms were all those typical of a cold, no heavy breathing, but a dry hacking cough.

I had to sleep sitting up for those 3 months and to move, reach over my head, etc... was just incredibly painful.

My fiance came over to visit me from out of state one weekend while I was still fighting the bronchitis, I was working in my home office, suddenly coughed and while doing so was forced to grab my left side from the pain. I didn't hear anything crack but I couldn't move - I was bent over in agony!

We went to see a Chiropractor to see if I'd pulled a muscle or if something had spasmed due to the coughing and he couldn't do anything to help me. That night the pain got worse and I was rushed to emergency.

One quick exam and they said I had broken my left rib right beneath the breast and that there was nothing they could do but to let it heal on it's own.

I left it for a long long time hoping it would heal but it continues to hurt like crazy. Since the incident I got married, have had a baby and still have been in agony.

I am a fitness instructor and whenever I do any sort of crunch type movements or crunching, toe touches, knee ups, etc... I have to stop because I feel something jabbing my lungs and I either run to the bathroom and throw up or I get really light headed and feel as though I'm going to pass out.

I've been for 2 more different opinions and x-rays last year (2009) and this year - same result - no broken rib, it seems to have healed according to the Docs.

Doctors cannot fathom what's causing the pain and why I can't do most movements I was once able to do. I'm hoping to find an answer soon though and would love to know if anyone else has experienced anything like this.

It's truly frustrating being restricted to certain movements and not knowing what's causing the pain.
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replied February 1st, 2011
Well I had the flu, followed by the awful cough. One UK comedian has had it and he was right you feel with the cough that you are going to pop an organ. Cough now going after three weeks, but went to see the GP who said I had pulled two muscles one below my heart and one to the right of my rib cage. The one to the right of my rib cage still hurts especially when I try to lie down at night. I hope it heals soon as I have not been able to go to the gym for six weeks.
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replied March 2nd, 2011
I have the same thing. I had the coughing really bad and thought I'd pulled a muscle. After 3 weeks of total pain, I went to the doctor and he said either fractured ribs or separated cartilage. But since I don't have insurance we decided no x-rays because the treatment would be the same. He prescribed Tramadol 50mg, which doesn't even touch the pain. I have found that standing in the shower with the water as hot as I can stand on the area feels really good. I went last night and bought a heating pad. It seems to help.
Thanks for all the people that have posted on this because I still think (sorry doc) it's a pulled muscle.
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