Inflamed ribs

By kittenpurr1 Latest Activity June 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm Views 12,694 Replies 17 Likes 4


I have looked into this- just recently…I have been told that you can have really bad flares with Fibromyalgia that can make your ribs become inflamed. I don't ever remember seeing this anywhere. I was at the ER this weekend, and my ribs hurt, all of them, on both sides, and some people informed me that can come with Fibromyalgia. Has anyone else experienced this? I know they have been hurting off and on, for a little over a month and a hals, but this has been the worse. Has anyone else experienced this with their Fibromyalgia?

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Replies (17 replies)

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  • momsie111
    momsie111 June 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm   

    Hi Kiitten. I have never had such severe pain in my Ribs, Breasts and chest muscles as I do now. I was diagnosed with Chosteocondritis 2 weeks or so after my auto accident in Sept. of '07. Sorry to say, anyone with this added pain, in my case just gets worse over time. I can't even wear a bra now because of the pressure of the strap around the ribs. (no matter what size I try or how loose it is). All I can say, is "Hang in there!". You are in my Thoughts and Prayers. momsie

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm   

    Thank you so much. I have heard it could be that, too. Plus Fibromyalgia, and when I went to the doctor about the shingles, I was told it could have been that, but it's not, this is on both sides, and it still hurts. I finished my medication for shingles last week, and I am still feeling this rib pain.

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) June 19, 2011 at 9:09 am   

    I have a history of asthma, pneumonia, plueracy and plueral enfusion that almost collapsed my left lung…I never broke bones, but the intercostal muscles do give me trouble with the issues I have mentioned. I have been feeling discomfort on the left side since I was hurt in Feb…off and on but totally different then I felt before…I think it is very possible that this is a fact..I will let you know if I read anything about it…

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm   

    At times injuries and trama can be the underlying reasons for fibromyalgia. Stress makes is worse, plus …stress can lead to shingles- at times, the ribs will hurt prior to an outbreak. I know my ribs have hurt for sometime now- but Saturday before last I was at the ER, ribs hurt so bad- on both sides. Then, this Saturday, I had an outbreak of shingles again, this is the worse case of shingles, I have ever had, I have had them 3 times since March this year. I am trying to stay stress free, so I can get the shingles vaccine in 6 months, you must be free of shingles for 6 month before you can get the shot. The shot without insurance is in the range of 215.00- but it's worth it. The pharmist will tell you - you have to be 62, to get the shot, but that is not true, if you have a compromised system, talk with your nurse or doctor- the shingles is not a fun journey to be on, they limit your lifestyle, you can't expose yourself to pregnant women, babies that haven't had the chicken pox vaccine, or people with a weak immune system, such as people that get chemo, most diabetics, and so on, and so on. You are contagious during certain times with shingles, it's odd the way all these diseases overlap, and can react off of each other. It's an evil chain of misery.

  • Trudie Ann
    Trudie Ann June 23, 2011 at 4:02 am   

    My doctor said you can get shingles any time after you've had chicken pox, and any adult can get the shot. He said I don't even have to have a prescription. I've found that the age requirement is primarly from insurance companies. Mine requires you to be 60 before they will pay for it. If I wasn't so close to being 60 I would pay for it myself because there is no limit of how many times and how often you can get the shingles. My father-in-law got it on one side and before he was over that he got it on the other side so he was totally miserable and it never completely went away. He suffered with it for approx 3 years. I am thankful mine didn't last but a couple of months. But I am getting the shot soon. I don't want to have to go through it again. I also hate the fact that these diseases overlap and react off of each other causing a miserable chain of effects. I hope you are feeling better. God Bless You; Dear Friend

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm   

    So, knowing all this, and knowing fibro can make you hurt in the ribs, it's strange how the doctor must see the rash, before ever giving an antivirual medication for shingles.

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm   

    Thank you, Trudie. People are not aware of the complocations the shingles can cause.
    Home > Diseases and Conditions > ShinglesShingles
    Herpes zoster
    Last reviewed: May 25, 2010.

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox.

    See also: Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors
    After you get chickenpox, the virus remains inactive (becomes dormant) in certain nerves in the body. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves years later.

    The reason the virus suddenly become active again is not clear. Often only one attack occurs.

    Shingles may develop in any age group, but you are more likely to develop the condition if:

    •You are older than 60

    •You had chickenpox before age 1

    •Your immune system is weakened by medications or disease

    If an adult or child has direct contact with the shingles rash on someone and has not had chickenpox as a child or a chickenpox vaccine, they can develop chickenpox, rather than shingles.

    The first symptom is usually one-sided pain, tingling, or burning. The pain and burning may be severe and is usually present before any rash appears.

    Red patches on the skin, followed by small blisters, form in most people.

    •The blisters break, forming small ulcers that begin to dry and form crusts. The crusts fall off in 2 to 3 weeks. Scarring is rare.

    •The rash usually involves a narrow area from the spine around to the front of the belly area or chest.

    •The rash may involve face, eyes, mouth, and ears.

    Additional symptoms may include:

    •Abdominal pain


    •Difficulty moving some of the muscles in the face

    •Drooping eyelid (ptosis)

    •Fever and chills

    •General ill-feeling

    •Genital lesions


    •Hearing loss

    •Joint pain

    •Loss of eye motion

    •Swollen glands (lymph nodes)

    •Taste problems

    •Vision problems

    You may also have pain, muscle weakness, and a rash involving different parts of your face if shingles affects a nerve in your face. See: Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Signs and tests
    Your doctor can make the diagnosis by looking at your skin and asking questions about your medical history.

    Tests are rarely needed, but may include taking a skin sample to see if the skin is infected with the virus that causes shingles.

    Blood tests may show an increase in white blood cells and antibodies to the chickenpox virus but cannot confirm that the rash is due to shingles.

    Your doctor may prescribe a medicine that fights the virus, called an antiviral. The drug helps reduce pain and complications and shorten the course of the disease. Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir may be used.

    The medications should be started within 24 hours of feeling pain or burning, and preferably before the blisters appear. The drugs are usually given in pill form, in doses many times greater than those recommended for herpes simplex or genital herpes. Some people may need to receive the medicine through a vein (by IV).

    Strong anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be used to reduce swelling and the risk of continued pain. These drugs do not work in all patients.

    Other medicines may include:

    •Antihistamines to reduce itching (taken by mouth or applied to the skin)

    •Pain medicines

    •Zostrix, a cream containing capsaicin (an extract of pepper) that may reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia

    Cool wet compresses can be used to reduce pain. Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion, may help to relieve itching and discomfort.

    Resting in bed until the fever goes down is recommended.

    The skin should be kept clean, and contaminated items should not be reused. Nondisposable items should be washed in boiling water or otherwise disinfected before reuse. The person may need to be isolated while lesions are oozing to prevent infecting other people who have never had chickenpox — especially pregnant women.

    Expectations (prognosis)
    Herpes zoster usually clears in 2 to 3 weeks and rarely recurs. If the virus affects the nerves that control movement (the motor nerves), you may have temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis.

    Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last from months to years. See: Postherpetic neuralgia

    Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last for months or years. This pain is called postherpetic neuralgia. It occurs when the nerves have been damaged after an outbreak of shingles. Pain ranges from mild to very severe pain. It is more likely to occur in people over 60 years.

    Other complications may include:

    •Another attack of shingles

    •Blindness (if shingles occurs in the eye)


    •Infection, including encephalitis or sepsis (blood infection) in persons with weakened immune systems

    •Bacterial skin infections

    •Ramsay Hunt syndrome if shingles affected the nerves in the face

    Calling your health care provider
    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of shingles, particularly if you have a weakened immune system or if your symptoms persist or worsen. Shingles that affects the eye may lead to permanent blindness if you do not receive emergency medical care.

    Avoid touching the rash and blisters of persons with shingles or chickenpox if you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine.

    A herpes zoster vaccine is available. It is different than the chickenpox vaccine. Older adults who receive the herpes zoster vaccine are less likely to have complications from shingles. Adults older than 60 should receive the herpes zoster vaccine as part of routine medical care.

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm   
    Edited June 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm by kittenpurr1

    I just came across this, so I thought I would share.
    Infections such as those that affect the upper respiratory tract or those that develop on the costosternal joint itself, may also be responsible for the inflammation of the cartilage. The pain that might be felt occurring from the costosternal joint, may actually be one that has occurred somewhere else in the body. Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that may cause the rib cartilage inflammation as one of its manifestations.
    So, I guess that answers my question.

  • 1cookie :)
    1cookie :) June 19, 2011 at 9:12 am   

    I was wondering where you saw the information about the costosternal joint and cartilage issues with fibro? Thanks..

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm   

    Anita, ha- I am trying to remember, where I did find this, I did a lot or research on my ribs, and came across that. I can tell you since I have the shingles, again, my ribs are hurting more now, and it's somewhat a different ache. Still, it hurts like you have been beat with a base ball bat. At first, I noticed my ribs would hurt, and then it would come and go, this has went on for months now, so I finally went to the ER, b/c it hurt so bad. I figured a new place for arthritis- all I got from the ER were they were inflamed, take aspirin, or some anti-inflammortory OTC, which I can't take some of because of sodium content. Please overlook my spelling, I have had several nights of no sleep- if I find it again, I will let you know. But pain in the ribs can come from alot of differnent sources, they have to rule out heart issues, lung problems, etc. take a lot of blood work, so I was really dissatisified with the ER that night. If they had ask questions, I could have prevent a lot of test from being a repeat, of recent test. It's just away for them to make money. They did a chest XRay- and my insurance doesn't like repeat x-rays. I had on my bracelet, plus I could talk, I would have told them to check for the current last x ray. Now, I am sure this will be another big bill. This is just me, but my advice for anyone that has rib pain to be checked out, it could be a life saving thing to do. Just go to someone you trust. In my case, it seems everything happens on the weekend, or after hours. I think this is revenge from my body. Plus, lots of stress. good luck, Anita.

  • jayabee52
    jayabee52 August 15, 2011 at 1:30 am   

    This rib pain sounds like something that I have intermittently. It feels like I was the guest of honor at a Army barracks "blanket party" my dad told me about.

    (Blanket Party: The draftee who screwed up had a blanket thrown over his head and guysbin his barracks put a bar of soap in a sock just wail on him —- no marks are left on the guy but he's sore for quite some time after)

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm   

    Inflamed Rib CartilageApr 27, 2011 … The condition of inflamed rib cartilage is also referred to as 'costochondritis' in … Infections such as those that affect the upper respiratory tract or those that develop on the costosternal joint itself, may also be … joint, may actually be one that has occurred somewhere else in the body. … - CachedRib Pain | COPD Discussions - COPD ConnectJun 13, 2011 … Infections such as those that affect the upper respiratory tract or those that … joint itself, may also be responsible for the inflammation of the cartilage. … The pain that might be felt occurring from the costosternal joint, may actually be one that has occurred somewhere else in the body. … - CachedRib Pain | COPD Discussions - COPD ConnectInfections such as those that affect the upper respiratory tract or those … - Cached

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm   

    For you, Anita.

  • Ciddux
    Ciddux June 19, 2011 at 6:39 am   

    I get a lot of pain in my ribs. it's never all at once its usually one side at a time located half way down them. it hurts so much that I can't breathe properly. but I have putting it down to fms without seeking medical advice since it comes and goes all the time just as my other pains do. This is interesting information you have here though. thanks for sharing :)

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm   

    You are most welcome.

  • Trudie Ann
    Trudie Ann June 18, 2011 at 3:16 am   

    Thanks for the info. Yes I have a problem with the ribs on my left side. They were broken in a car wreck a long time ago, but they still hurt sometimes when my fibro is acting up.

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 June 18, 2011 at 5:44 am   

    Take cre of those ribs, especially since you will be very busy soon.