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Pregnant. Having pain in rib cage, developed sore throat and headache. Safe remedy?

Mar 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5970 Questions
I have really bad pain in my left rib cage I am 24 weeks pregnant and it's my third back to back. It has never hurt this bad and I can feel baby kicking low. The pain feels like my ribs are bruised but if I touch at very bottom of my ribs that is where it hurts to touch. I've also developed a sore throat and terrible headache
Posted Mon, 29 Apr 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 23 minutes later
Thanks for your query.

Thanks for your query.

Rib pain is most common in the third trimester due to the growing uterus pressing on the ribs and the pressure from the baby.
One reason is that in pregnancy the bones and ligaments become loose, which is the effect of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, and this causes pain.
Inflammation of the ribs is called costochondritis. This can be relieved by analgesics like Tylenol, which I suppose are best avoided in the first trimester, unless the pain is unbearable. Local anti inflammatory gels like Volini or hot compresses are best. This could be another reason for the pain.
Another cause of rib pain during pregnancy is the increased weight of the breasts. As the breasts become larger, so do they place more weight on your rib cage as well as your spine. Tight bra and breast support will help.
Test yourself for calcium and Vitamin D deficiency, and take supplements if required, as these could be potential causes.
Acid reflux and heartburn could be a reason. Eat a bland, non spicy diet and eat meals at regular intervals. Eat small frequent meals and do not sleep for atleast 2 hours after eating. You can ask your obstetrician for antacids.
Make yourself as comfortable as possible by wearing loose fitting clothes
Support yourself with cushions when lying down
Sit up straight and don’t hunch over – create more room, while supporting your back
Avoid sitting down for too long – get up and take regular stretch breaks or short walks
Heat packs or cold packs – whatever works best for you
A nice hot shower (be sensible with this one – not too hot!)
Exercises that help you stretch out and support your body, like swimming, will help.
Gentle massage from a partner or professional can help to alleviate discomfort temporarily as well as finding and eliminating knots and tense areas in your muscle.

If your discomfort continues or you notice other concerning symptoms then be sure to get yourself checked out with an obstetrician , or an Orthopedic Surgeon.

Take care, and feel free to ask further questions.
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