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Pain Management

Chronic Rib Pain

06/04/2007

Question:

I fell on my left ribs about 2 months ago. that pain went away. I also got over strep throat a few weeks ago and I was coughing a lot. I have consistent pain in my left rib cage around the 2nd or 3rd rib on the inside. It hurts a little when I press on it, but it hurts very intensely when I cough or, especially, sneeze. I had a chest x-ray and everything was normal. They gave me Lidoderm patches and they do nothing.

800mg of Ibuprofen barely helps. It hurts all the time, but is especially painful after sneezing or coughing and that extreme pain lasts a long time after. what`s wrong with me?

Answer:

You may have a condition called pleurisy. It often follows an infection. It is usually treated with non-steroidal medications such as ibuprofen but if response has been suboptimal, a different medication of the same or a different class may be used.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University