Strange ache under ribs and around back...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by lisadot, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    I've not been able to sleep for days. I've had this odd sensation/ache, whatever you want to call it for about 6 months off an on on the right side of my body. It's not really painful per se, more just annoying and nagging and won't let me relax.

    I've had my physical therapist check, and she says my liver is fine, as has all the doc's exams. The physical therapist thinks maybe it's due to the gallbladder surgery two years ago. I can feel discomfort if I press on my ribs more on the surface, but not UNDER my ribs. I sometimes have muscle spasms in the area under my ribs, which makes me think it's more about muscles.It also goes around to my back. It also feels sort of weird and achy down on the inside of my pelvis. My neck and shoulders hurt of course, and I've got some tendinitis in my right arm right where it joins the shoulder.

    My pelvic ultrasound showed my cysts had resolved, so that can't be it. My gallbladder and area was covered in adhesions when I had the surgery, and my mother had colon surgery in her 30s and in her 60s had MAJOR adhesions choking off her intestines so badly she needed emergency surgery.

    I'd gone through all the liver (blood - autoimmune diseases and hep tests and ultrasound)tests before, and they were normal despite the brief period they were elevated mildly and the gastrodoc thought it was due to all the meds I was taking. I went of 90% of the meds, but was forced to restart the hormones due to my ovaries acting up. Taking 1/2 a tramadol gives me further insomnia. I'm due to have a repeat blood test to make sure the liver function tests are still normal, but I'm EXTREMELY paranoid,and scared out of my mind. It's almost like I can't tell what the problem is, so I go to the *worst* place possible. I know that doesn't help...My intestines seem almost hyperactive at times, but I go to the bathroom regularly and pretty normally (sorry to be graphic here).

    I have an EXTREMELY stressful job and household. It seems like it's always been that way...Not fun. I know this doesn't help the pain nor the fibro. I hate feeling so worn out.

    Anyhow, I'm just wondering if anyone else has had anything similar?
  2. ABLUV

    ABLUV New Member

    about Costochondritis? That's inflamation in the rib cage. The pain can range from nagging ache to horrible pain. It comes from inflammation in the tissues between the ribs. Soaking in a tub w/epsom salts can help. Sometimes ice paks are helpful. Alieve or other anti-inflamatory meds are very helpful. Or moist heat. Also, Theragisic creme is helpful for Costochondritis.
  3. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    I've heard of costochondritis, but somehow this seems a bit different. Before when I had that, it was near the sternum or in my breast/chest wall, this goes to the back of the ribcage. Have you had it all the way around, and not just in the sternum area?
    [This Message was Edited on 09/01/2008]
  4. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member


    Do you sleep on your right side? I seem to have a lot of achiness on my left side, which is the side I like to sleep on. It can get very bad and wake me up, and sometimes I've had to move very carefully to get off it because it feels like it could go into an even more painful spasm... And I have a dull achiness and tenderness on my left-side ribs all the time.

    I have a bit of scoliosis, too, and sometimes wonder if this is what is causing the rib pain rather than the sleeping. But anyway, the ribs in my back are not affected. If I had FM rather than CFS maybe they would...

    For the stress, have you ever tried Rescue Remedy? It can really help. You can get it at a healht food store. What does NOT help is thinking of all the worst things it could be... Think about what is real right now... Also try holding your index finger.. it can help calm you when you're stressed. I posted something in the tips for managing daily life thread about this.

    Good luck!
  5. tom9437

    tom9437 New Member

    Hi Lisa, you describe my pains to a T. i even had my gallblader
    out 18 months ago its a horrible pain its like a tooth ache /ready to cramp wont let you relax muscle spasm into back. I also have I.B.S. now waiting liver results then got to have the camera from lower region [sorry ] in case of Inflammatory Bowl Disease, dont know if anyone else can add to this get well mate Tom from uk.
  6. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Hi Sunspot,
    Yes, I do tend to sleep on my right side. It's almost like I am now the princess and the pea (HA!) and now it bothers me to lay on that side. I have switched to the other side, but it's not the same in terms of sleeping, nor does it really change the weird feeling. Almost like I'm lying on a balled up blanket or whatever is creating a sort of discomfort.

    I've not tried the Rescue Remedy you wrote about. I'm open to some herbal things, especially if there's enough scientific papers that they work. I'll look into it, thanks.
  7. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for answering my post. I
    m so sorry to know you've had ongoing pain since your surgery. Who wants to have one surgery to try to fix a problem and then that doesn't help at all?! I can't help but wonder if it's adhesions - scar tissue - building up in you as well. It seems docs don't talk about it much, but many people suffer after surgery due to adhesions. They don't show up in xrays or scans. How weird is that?

    I hope your tests go well - especially the colonoscopy. I'm glad I see my physical therapist again this evening. Hopefully she's going to find muscles in a bunch and that's going to explain my problem.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2008]
  8. fallenstar1962

    fallenstar1962 New Member

    Wow I too have just seen the doctor for this problem. BUT that being said mine is on the left side. My doc sent me for chest x-rays and nothing yet. I did call his nurse who told me the x-ray came back "normal".

    I have no idea what it is and mine hurts with any pressure.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Soft hugs
    ~Fallen~
  9. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    I had the same thing some time ago. It was shingles but I didnt have the rash. I never do.

    Marti
  10. ABLUV

    ABLUV New Member

    Shingles??! My mom told me that there was a rash of it going around the clinic where she did her cardiac rehab. This is definitely something worth checking out.

    Oh, by the way, yes I do get pain in my ribs in the back from Costochondritis. When I first got it my entire rib cage was inflamed and my husband said I moaned all night in my sleep. I think my ribs are permananently damaged. The doc didn't tell me that but my ribs have never been the same since I first got costo over 15 years ago. At times they just ache so bad I have to lie down. Sometimes I have to put ice or heat on them to make them feel better.
    Alieve also helps (I said all that earlier didn't I? Did I mention I have memory problems too? :)
  11. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    Just came across info on Costochondritis after reading this thread before ...

    Symptoms of Costochondritis
    If you have fibromyalgia, be on the lookout for these costochondritis symptoms:

    sharp, stabbing pain in the front of the chest
    ribs that are sore to the touch
    pain on the left or right side of the chest
    upper chest pains
    burning pain in the ribs
    pain that radiates up the back of the neck and shoulders
    pain in your chest when you sneeze or cough
    pain that increases with activity, exertion, or deep breathing
    pain that decreases with rest, movement, or slow breathing


    Costochondritis is also associated with other, secondary symptoms. These include:

    rapid heart rate
    irregular heart rate
    shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


    Sounds like it can change locations a lot. Interesting.

    How are you feeling Lisa? Any better?
  12. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Hi, thanks for asking. Well...on the bright side I received my chemistry panel back today, and my labs are all normal. Except my cholesterol, but I think it's a stress issue. I'm relieved to know my liver functions are normal. I won't stop taking the milk thistle, and I have no clue if that's really what helped or not. I don't think it harms, and maybe helps.

    I happen to be a research nurse, and do clinical trials with fibromyalgia and other neuro conditions, so I'm always looking for the *scientific* evidence. How ironic is that?

    Anyhow, I still have the discomfort and my physical therapist still thinks I'm nuts LOL! She feels my liver and says it's fine, and she can tell my chest muscles are tight in spots. The ache is in the ribs, at the edge and they go under the rib cage into the chest, but also feels UNDER the ribs. At the same time it feels not deep as in abdominal organs. My back hurts as well. Is there a place that doesn't hurt? Perhaps my eyelashes...Sheesh!

    I've got to say, ALL my fibro patients have the weirdest complaints. They make me feel a bit relieved, but their cases are a lot of work to follow. My job is really, really detailed.

    I see the rheumy next Monday, and after I return from a business trip. I can't wait to see him. He can tell me if it's muscles or costochondritis, or just a nervous system malfunction. I wonder if he really does know, or will just make his best educated guess... I think it's maybe a combo...It just doesn't feel the same as when it was right between the ribs and at the sternum. Or when my bra killed me and I could of sworn I'd been forced to do 1000 pushups my chest muscles hurt so much.

    Funny how this pain moves around...not in a ha ha way. :'(

  13. Nechama39

    Nechama39 New Member

    I experience the same and times when I have had to take vicodin or anyother drug in that class, the pain is off the chart! I too have had my gallbladder removed. I was in the hospital last year for infection and was suffering a great deal of pain, the doctor ordered morphine to be pushed through my I.V. and within 5 minutes the pain was so bad, I was holding my side, holding my breath and it took all I had to keep from screaming. He ordered then Toradol and then it quit. When I could speak finally, I told him about the pain on that side. I told him about the spasm there at the rib, I told him I had to also be careful about bending over, squating down, doing certain excersies because it would trigger a spasm as you have described. He said he had never heard such a complaint. Don't know what it is, but it most certainly is not comfortable at all. Do you have the same triggers?
  14. jaba520

    jaba520 New Member

    Before this thread I never knew it had a name, but what you described is my ribs to a T.

    I am in shock, I was diagnosed with FM 4 months ago and my doc doesnt really care, I figured my ribs hurt because I have scolisis and wore aback brace for 10 years. My lower back has always hurt near my tailbone and hips. I got worried at the beginning of the year when my bones hurt from my tailbone up my spine around my ribs and up to my collar bone and shoulders.

    I call this a flare day when all that hurts at once, everyday my tailbone area hurts.

    Anyway my ? is this do I have FM or this other thing or is this other thing a symptom of my FM?

    Oh and saying my doc doesnt care means he more concerned with my diagnosis as type 2 diabetic than helping me with the FM.

    thanks AMY
  15. tom9437

    tom9437 New Member

    Hi its been month now and its still sore as hell i have more small lumps i can feel under the skin and i feel them on the right going 2wards my waist line but they are sore to touch and the pain under the ribs and into the back are crazy i keep thinking its the big C. in the bowl sorry spell] But can i ask if any one pain in the right side stings and i mean sting .Hope ur all having good days bless Tom.
  16. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Hi Tom,
    I'm sorry you are still having such pain. When I went to my Rheumatologist last month he told me it was just the fibro flaring up in the ribs, and said many people complained as I did. It was a relief! He prescribed Lidoderm patches that I wear for 12 hrs and then take off for 12 hrs. They seemed to help, and it's been over a week since I've felt my ribcage area both me. How bizarre!

    Anyhow, I have been wondering if you have access to a knowledgeable physical therapist (PT)? Someone who works with fibro patients as a specialty. I often think they are better at feeling around and knowing if it's just knotty muscles or something potentially worse. All those nasty trigger points can really hurt. If you are able to go, I highly suggest it. My PT is excellent and is always right.
  17. babyk902

    babyk902 New Member

    lisa maybe you have costochondritis. i have this problem right now actually, in the lower area of my right ribcage.. it especially hurts when you cough/breath depending on how inflamed it is.. it is really not harmful but more uncomfortable.. and what you can really only do is take ibuprofen several times a day or even fish oil to reduce the inflammation, and then it should go away eventually.
  18. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    But it kills me to spell it each time LOL! Anyhow, yes, I've had it in all areas, but it was different this last bout, as I felt it UNDER and around the ribcage edge, and not so much sternally or between the ribs.
  19. tom9437

    tom9437 New Member

    Hi i am glad you are out of pain.Tom.