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Having pain in chest and rib area. What could be the possible cause?

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Practicing since : 2005
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I have been suffering recently (several months) from pain which seems to extend from the back round to the chest in the rib area. It is worse at night when lying down than when moving around upright. Mild painkillers in small doses in response to the pain tend to dull the pain to a discomfort level. Sneezing can cause brief but peak levels of pain (so much so that when I am about to sneeze, my body seems to react and block the sneeze because ot knows whats coming!). I am otherwise healthy weight wise, follow a (reasonably) sensible diet and do moderate/intense exercise on an average basis of about 30 mins per day. I spend a lot of time travelling and therefore in different bed types. I am 50 years of age and havent really had any back pain before. Hope you can help. With thanks.
Posted Sat, 6 Oct 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 2 hours later
Your pain can originate from many areas.You need to undergo a physical examination that can differentiate between the causes. Muscular pain is of course the first and commonest cause.You may have slept in the wrong positions etc. Other than that, you need to rule our pleural pain due to pleurisy,pleuritis etc. That would occur due to infection/inflammation of the lung pleura may/may not be associated with cough.
Another possibility is infection/inflammation of the ribs causing costocondritis.
You should see your doctor and get examained. Get a chest xray also.
If all is clear,the muscular pain is most likely.Apply hot fomentation on the back and sleep on a hard to firm mattress without a pillow.
You can apply a muscle relaxant also.If any of the possibilities above are diagnosed, then you will need anti inflammatory drugs .
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