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Ribs and chest so painful
6 Replies
Shellster - March 11

Hi, Does anyone find that every rib and the front of their chest hurts so bad..? My neck also cracks everytime I move and my head and cheekbones are agony....does this sound familiar?


Fantod - March 11

Shellster -
The chest pain that you are experiencing is probably a "perk" of fibromyalgia (FMS) called
"costochondritis." Most of us have had the pleasure of its company at one time or another.

Costochondritis is the most common cause of chest pain originating in the chest wall.

Symptoms include:

?Pain and tenderness in the locations where your ribs attach to your breastbone (costosternal joints)
?Often sharp pain, though also dull and gnawing pain
?Location often on left side of breastbone, but possible on either side of chest
Other costochondritis symptoms may include:

?Pain when taking deep breaths
?Pain when coughing
?Difficulty breathing
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment to see your doctor if self-care measures aren't helping your pain or if your pain is worsening.

Costochondritis pain is often mistaken for heart attack pain. The pain of a heart attack is often more widespread, while costochondritis pain is focused on a small area. Heart attack pain usually feels as if it's coming from under your breastbone, while costochondritis pain seems to come from the breastbone itself. Heart attack pain may worsen with physical activity or stress, while the pain of costochondritis remains constant.

There is no rhyme or reason to this issue. Most of us just use a heating pad or some sports rub and soldier on. Stick on heat pads are really good too. The ones especially for menstrual pain made by Playtex are not bulky compared to some of the other ones available.

If the pain is just horrible, ask your doctor for a script for the Flector pain patch. This is NON narcotic and only works where it is applied. I use them for back pain pretty often. They work very well. Don't let them talk you into Lidocaine patches. They don't work - the solution on the patch doesn't go in deep enough. And, the darn things don't stay where you put them. They creep and don't stay stuck where they are needed.

Your neck and facial issues may be related to TMJ which is also another facet of FMS. TMJ causes facial, neck, shoulder and arm pain. It can also cause balance and nausea issues. The head actually functions like a gyroscope. When it is out of whack, everything else that is attached follows.

TMJ is nothing to be ignored. You need to see a dentist that specilizes in it for an evaluation. The typical fix is a custom bite splint that will protect your teeth from grinding, clenching and will relax your jaw when you sleep. You can do an amazing amount of damage to your teeth with bruxism. Almost every tooth in my head is crowned as a result of TMJ. Ignoring this will only compound your pain issues.

In the interim, moist heat and/or a sports rub should help. I like Myoflex rub (no smell) which is available at any drugstore. Take a hand towel and soak the middle of it with hot water leaving the ends dry so you can wring it out. Pop it in the microwave if you want to warm it up some more. That helps a lot but it is not a long term fix.

You can read about these issues under "Associated Conditions" in the blue boxes on the lefthand side of this page. Feel better and enjoy your weekend.


mdak - March 11

fantod- Thanks for sharing this info. I know when my FM if flaring up. I wake up with my chest and ribs painful. I hate it. I live with the heating pad. lol I fallen asleep and got burned not long ago. I think I need a new pad.


Shellster - March 18

Fantod-Thanks so much for your comprehensive reply it's really, really helpul.....another quickie then do you ever have painful shins? Thks Again....Shellster


Shellster - March 18

Mdack-ooohh sounds painful I hope you are ok...Shellster


Fantod - March 18

Shellster- Yes, my shins get sore. They started up again yesterday. I could use a 55 gallon drum of Myoflex about now. I plan on just standing in Enjoy your weekend.


Shellster - March 21

Fantod, thks again for your replies....need to try that standing in the Myoflex



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