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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7453
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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Oh yes, thank you. Ive recently had a sore rib cage. I

Customer Question

oh yes, thank you. Ive recently had a sore rib cage. I usually wouldn't question this if I were feeling ill but I feel fine sick wise. I also workout regularly but havent done any real working out in the last two due to the Holidays... Im wondering if this is something I should worry about. The pain feels like ive been working out hard core when i havent.
JA: How long have you had the pain? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: about 3 days now. when I breath in and out I can feel it in my back more and stretching or touch my ribs is very uncomfortable
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: not that I can think of
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. Im sorry to hear about your symptoms. Can i ask do you have the pain more in the back of the ribcage or the front? Or is it in a band like fashion around the whole region? Also what is your age?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Like a band. Im 29
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information, let me just write down an answer for you and ill get back to you in a few mins. If you get a phone call request, please ignore it as that is an automated site response. Thanks!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.

Well from your description, there are a few possibilities which can cause this sort of pain. The first one is that you could have developed a severe muscle spasm which would explain the situation. This can occur commonly due to either dehydration or due to an electrolyte imbalance. In Most cases using an increased amount of plain water would be extremely useful along with drinking electrolyte rich fluids like gatorade or pedialyte. This is because potassium, calcium and magnesium deficiency can all cause severe muscle spasms and using the electrolyte rich fluids would help in solving this issue. If that does not help then apply heat to the area which will relax the muscles. in addition start using OTc anti inflammatory medications like motrin or aleve. In some severe cases muscle relaxants may be needed like flexeril or tinazidine.

Now the other possible cause for this could be costchondritis which is inflammation of teh cartilages of the ribs which can cause pain in the ribs and also cause radiation of the pain in a whole band like fashion. That again would be treated with the help of the same OTC anti inflammatory agents like motrin or aleve.

Lastly, if the pain worsens over the next 2-3 days and you start noticing a blistering rash in the region then this pain would be due to shingles which classically occurs in a band like fashion but i dont think this is likely in your case given your age but it would be worthwhile to keep an eye out for the rash just in case.

But for now try the above measures and medications, i have a feeling this is likely to be a muscle spasm which should settle with the above interventions.

Do you have any more questions?

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Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.

Would you like to know anything else? Any clarifications or additional questions that you might have, i would be happy to answer them for you. If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating.