Why do my ribs hurt when I cough?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Rib pain, also called intercostal neuralgia, is a severe discomfort that occurs between two contiguous ribs due to irritation, inflammation, or injury to the spinal nerves. There is a pain in the ribs that can be constant and permanent and another that only occurs when a person performs some particular action, such as coughing or sneezing.

Pain in this area can be due to something straightforward, or it can be linked to a more important matter, so you must go to a professional so that they can carry out the corresponding evaluations and can identify the cause of the discomfort. Suppose you are one of those who wonder why my ribs hurt when I cough in the following FastlyHealarticle. In that case, we provide you with a wealth of information that can help considerably to eliminate certain doubts.

Rib pain from coughing

The ribs hurt when a person coughs or sneezes due to something as simple as muscle tension in the area. There are numerous intercostal muscles in the area that help the entire process that requires breathing, so coughing or even deep breathing can cause discomfort when there is tension in this part of the body.

Due to the above, a person who has a constant strong cough may also feel pain in the ribs from the same cough. This is because the firm pressure generated in the muscles of the side can become fatigued, which will later translate into tension and significant discomfort when it is necessary to make movements in which they are involved.

Rib pain when coughing: costochondritis

Cartilage is the part of the body that connects the bones, so it can become inflamed and cause discomfort. The ribs have cartilage and can become inflamed from injury or overuse, known as costochondritis. Although the patient experiences certain discomfort and constant sensitivity in the affected area when coughing, the pain increases markedly.

This condition, in general, can be characterized because the pain is located in the left part of the sternum. Although the pain is constant and dull, when breathing deeply, sneezing, or coughing, the pain increases significantly and can spread to several ribs.

Rib pain from the blow

Injuries in the rib area are not usually that common. However, anyone can suffer them at any time. The ribs can be fractured or injured, or the muscles and tendons of the ribs can be tense, torn, or stretched, either due to blow or strain, causing various discomforts such as pain in the ribs when coughing.

A primary characteristic of rib injuries is that the patient feels that he can only breathe by making small gasps since otherwise, it causes him a lot of discomforts. Despite this, some experts may recommend slow, deep breathing to help improve the disorder, although it is essential to see a professional and follow their instructions.

Why do my ribs hurt when I cough: pleurisy

If you’re wondering why my ribs hurt when I cough, pleurisy can be a widespread response. This disorder is characterized by inflammation of the pleura, that is, the membrane that covers the lungs, which has two layers, so there can also be an accumulation of fluids between the different membranes.

Patients suffering from this alteration experience intense pain when breathing, mainly on one side, and a lot of pain when:

  • Cough.
  • Sneeze.
  • Double.
  • Move.

Generally, these complaints can radiate towards the shoulder. This disorder generates other symptoms, such as shallow breathing and a dry cough, so it is essential to see a doctor and get the correct treatment.

Other causes of rib pain when coughing

Several alterations can be related to discomfort in the ribs when coughing, some more serious than others, making it necessary for a doctor to evaluate the condition and carry out the relevant studies. Other likely causes of rib pain include suffering from:

  • Asthma.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Fibromyalgia .

When to see a doctor urgently for rib pain

Given the pain in the ribs when coughing, there are a series of signs that you should take into account when deciding to visit the doctor:

  • The frequency of short breaths increases.
  • Rib or chest discomfort becomes stronger.
  • The pain goes up to the chest.
  • Abdominal or shoulder discomfort is felt.
  • You have a fever.
  • Coughing produces yellow or green mucosa.
  • Sputum, or phlegm, contains some blood.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do my ribs hurt when I cough , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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