Pain-free Living Blog with Julie Donnelly

Pain Between Ribs After Bronchitis or Prolonged Coughing Spell

I was telling a friend about the last post that discussed pain between the ribs while breathing in, and she asked me if that is the same explanation for a pain she is experiencing between her ribs. My friend had bronchitis recently and had a severe cough that lasted for several days (“Years” according to her). The answer is similar, but not exactly the same so I decided I’d share it with you and you’ll see the slight difference.

The basic information about the muscles is exactly the same, it’s a repetitive strain injury so I suggest you read the Julstro Protocol if you haven’t read it already. The difference is that this was caused by curling over was you coughed (causing the forward tilt of the pelvis, etc.) and the intercostal muscles violently and rapidly lengthening and then contracting. Eventually the intercostals go into spasm from the rapidity of the movements, and when this happens the now-shorter muscle fibers tie up in knots and you can’t expand your ribcage to take in the next inhalation. It feels like a razor-blade is being poked into your side.

With this situation the fastest and easiest thing to do is to put your fingertip exactly where you are feeling the sharp pain and hold pressure on it. If it’s a spasm, you’ll release the tension and be able to breath a bit easier. It won’t stop the coughing, but at least you won’t have two situations to deal with at the same time.

BTW, if you are coughing like that, be sure to go to your doctor and be checked for pneumonia. Pneumonia is life-threatening and it’s definitely not wise to just take over-the-counter medications and possibly let something that serious go untreated.

Wishing you well,

Posted by Julie Donnelly in Pain Free News and tagged , , , , , .


2 Responses to Pain Between Ribs After Bronchitis or Prolonged Coughing Spell

  1. Deborah Johnson: May 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

    My pain after emergency room visit was diagnosed bronchital asthma dr ordered predniSONE. for 5 days now this pain on my left side deep when I cough or sneeze what is it

  2. Julie Donnelly: July 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Deborah,

    As the blog mentioned, I believe the muscles between your ribs have gone into spasm. These muscles will then pull your ribs together causing pain when you take a sudden deep breath, like when you cough or sneeze. Use your fingertip to press into the muscles right where you are feeling the pain. If it feels sharp, that’s the spasm. Keep your finger on it for a minute or so and then take a deep breath to stretch the fibers. Do this to all of the muscles between your ribs and see if that helps you.

    Wishing you well,

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