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Pain killers not helpful for the chest injury - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: General Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 37 Questions
User :   Hi, a week a go a fell in the office, tried to break my fall and ended up with my desk chair thrusting into to chest/ribs. was winded and the pain was awful. Since then the pain has been horrible, difficult to do anything, incuding sleeping. Have been taking paracetamol & codeine as well as IBUprofen but the pain is still very strong. Coughing and even walking is painful and causes me to be to out of breath. This happened a week today and the pain feels worse and not better. It is worth seeing a doctor for stronger painkillers. I'm presuming I've somehow damaged a rib, which I Know it can only heal by itself hence why I've not seen anyone about it.
Doctor :   Hi, give me a couple of mins to read your query.
Doctor :   we need to assess the level and severity of injury.
Doctor :   since your saying coughing and walking is causing pain , this needs an examination.
Doctor :   an X ray of chest may be needed
Doctor :   to check if there is any fracture or discontinuity.
Doctor :   depending on this, the treatment will be given.
User :   Was trying to avoid a wasted appointment. Am I best seeing a GP and requesting an emergency appointment or going to my local A&E. If there is any fracture is there anything which can be done to treat medically?
Doctor :   if it is a minimal discontinuity, we could wait, but if it is significant, it needs further evaluation
Doctor :   you could see a Gp for now
Doctor :   for an examination and an X ray as well
Doctor :   can i know your age?
User :   ok - I don't think its anything major, its just managing the pain. Don't want to go to the doctors only find out they won't give me anything stronger. I'm 42. It's very painful to lay down so sleeping has been a problem. Walking even for 5 minutes and I'm out of breath and have to walk very slowly. coughing and sneezing practically has me on my knees in pain. sitting up/down is a killer
Doctor :   there is two possibilities
Doctor :   1. soft tissue injury
Doctor :   2.rib fracture
Doctor :   the x rays are essential to diagnose the condition , but treatment is conservative management only
Doctor :   you could continue the pain killers as it takes a couple of weeks to heal
Doctor :   avoid any strenous physical activity
Doctor :   Both the pain and the discomfort is expected to improve in couple of weeks.\
User :   ok thanks - all as I suspected. I suppose as I'm only one week into this the pain levels are still to be expected. But if I went to the doctor am I likely to be given stronger painkillers to help me manage the pain or will they just say continue taking what I already am?
Doctor :   You will need physical examination.
Doctor :   The present medication that you are on are OTC pain killers.
User :   OTC?
Doctor :   Other medications such as NSAID's and Opioid analgesics
User :   Sorry - over the counter. Yes they are
Doctor :   are much stronger than the ones you are on.
Doctor :   OTC - over the counter.
Doctor :   If you feel that the pain is not better with your current medications,
Doctor :   you can ask your GP to prescribe you the NSAID's / opioid analgesics.
User :   OK - thanks for your advice. I will make an appointment, if for nothing else than stronger pain killers (hopefully) as these ones don't touch the pain and I'm getting very tired now with having very little sleep for a week.
Doctor :   Apart from these, you may try hot water bagging
Doctor :   and local antiinflammatory creams/sprays such as volini cream
Doctor :   which can be applied over the affected region.
Doctor :   Hope I have answered your query?
Doctor :   Do you have any other query?
User :   That's a good idea. I've been using a cushion pushed to my chest each time I sit down/stand up and when I cough - which has helped. Yes you have answered my query. Thanks for your recommendation.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me.
Doctor :   Wish you speedy recovery.
Doctor :   Bye for now.
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