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Dr  Jones
Dr Jones, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3907
Experience:  MD-Post graduation.10 years in handling and helping patients.Expert in emergencies and diagnosis.
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Cramps in the Rib Cage Area

Resolved Question:

Why do I get cramps, or charlie horses in my rib cage area?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

How long have you had these symptoms?
Any other associated symptoms?
Any chances of a pulled muscle etc?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have had this for the past couple of years, and no this has not been

related to pulled muscles. These have woke me up, occurred while driving, anytime really. They feel bruised afterwards for a few days.

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your answers -

Your symptoms are suggestive of inter-coastal muscle cramps. Like other muscles in body these muscles can also have cramps. Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They often occur after exercise, during physical activity or at night, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. It is a very common muscle problem.

Muscle cramps can be caused by electrolyte imbalance which leads to involuntary stimulation of muscle fibers and nerves. Sometimes this malfunction is due to a health problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back (these are comparatively rare causes).

Other common causes are -

· Straining or overusing a muscle

· Dehydration

· A lack of minerals in your diet or the depletion of minerals in your body

· Not enough blood getting to your muscles

At the first sign of a muscle spasm, stop your activity and try stretching and massaging the affected muscle. Heat will relax the muscle at first, although ice may be helpful after the first spasm and when the pain has improved. If the muscle is still sore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help with pain. In more severe cases, your health care provider can prescribe anti-spasm medications.

The most common cause of muscle cramps is dehydration. Often, drinking water or sports drinks will ease the cramping. However, drinking water alone at times is not sufficient. Salt tablets or sports drinks that can replenish loss minerals can be helpful.

Please ask if you want me to explain anything.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your response, however I have a question. If there is not enough blood to the muscle, what can be done about that?

Thank you, K.Owens

Expert:  Dr Jones replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for the repeat question. Though reduced blood supply is one of the cause for muscle cramps, it is very less like cause in cases of inter-coastal muscle spasm. It is more commonly seen in limb muscle cramps. I don't think you should be worried about this cause. Please ask if you any further question or if you want me to explain anything.

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