Ribs

My life is full of surprises, and none of them are good.   Went to bed Saturday and my back was a bit sore.  Nothing unusual in that.  I’ve had a sore area come and go on the right hand side of my back for about a year now and don’t think much about it. Woke up Sunday morning barely able to move.

It’s difficult to investigate your back on your own, but from what I can gather the pain starts from a sore spot on my rib near to my spine (see picture).  The pain mostly radiates down that rib, following it all the way round virtually to the front.  There is residual pain around the rib, up the centre of my spine and slightly to the left of my back but it’s mostly on that one rib on the right at the back.  It hurts to breathe, or twist, or use my right arm for just about anything.  Doesn’t hurt when I cough though, which is odd.

Rib pain in Ehlers-DanlosI’ve looked up Costochondritis (inflammation of the rib cartilage) which is common in Ehlers-Danlos but it doesn’t seem to fit.  Costochondritis usually starts at the front on the left and coughing is acutely painful, none of which applies in this case.

I can only assume the rib in question has slipped out of alignment.  It’s definitely been weak for several months and maybe this weekend was just the time it decided to go.  Who knows?  I’m certainly not seeing anyone about it, because all a Doctor can do is offer me painkillers I can’t take.

I’ve sprayed it with Ibuleve gel and wrapped a bandage round.  Not sure the bandage helps though, as the rib in question is level with my boob so I can’t wrap the bandage around the start of the pain and can only wrap up the bottom if the rib.  Actually, writing that down I have no idea why I’ve bothered because it will obviously be supporting bugger all 😉

Despite the discomfort I slept well last night and when I woke the pain was much improved.  Now I’ve been up and about using my back and arm however it’s increasing by the minute.  At least it proves that rest helps though, which is a good sign.  Looks like I’m going to have a pretty boring week but while it sorts itself out.

The worst part, I’m finding, is that I’m struggling to wipe my bum when I’ve been to the loo – the twisting motion is a serious “ow, ow, OW!” moment.  And I can’t bend to put my shoes on or tie my laces.  I was also supposed to be plucking Bertie’s ear hair and clipping his toe nails this weekend – he hates both and is the only one happy I’m in agony and can’t do it 😉  Cooking is going to be a challenge this week too, I can just tell.

I did absolutely nothing on Saturday to bring this rib slippage/pain on.  I went to bed relatively OK and woke up broken.  WTF?!  Might have something to do with my period which I had this weekend, as hormones adversely affect ligament laxity and everything becomes more stretchy.  Oh well, at least my life is never dull.

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10 thoughts on “Ribs

  1. Guenevere

    I understand so well the feeling of having something go wrong for “no reason.” I woke up Saturday night because my left wrist hurt badly, and the next day it seemed my CMC joint had decided to just lose ground–for no reason. My pinch and grasp declined by like 50%. It’s really easy for me to get stuck in the loop of angrily saying to myself, “THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS” and to also then begin to obsess about what it means (I’ll lose my job, I’ll have to have it fused, etc). It’s really hard to just accept that this is where I’m at today. I hope it continues to improve for you!

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    1. Jak Post author

      I empathise totally with the fear Guenevere. For two days I could do *nothing* and it was really scary. The kitchen bin was full to overflowing but I simply couldn’t pick it up to empty it. Then you start to panic that the injury will take months to heal and how on earth will you manage? I think we’re all incredibly strong people mentally to constantly deal with all this stuff. Jak x

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  2. kneillbc

    That sounds very, unpleasantly familiar… I wish you could do a chiro, or maybe an osteopath. There’s a very funny story about the first time my Mom met an osteopath. I’ll have to write about that one. I guessing that you are certain that it is your back, and not your kidney giving you trouble?
    I wish I could offer a lot- I know recently when I’ve had musculoskeletal problems, Epsom salts help (restores depleted magnesium. If your magnesium is low it can cause muscle cramps, constipation, and difficulty maintaining hydration). I hope you go to bed tonight, and wake up fixed!!
    You could always try my friend Joe’s method- half a bottle of scotch before bed, all the muscles loosen up- he says the only thing you have to be careful of us putting something out again if you run to the toilet during the night…
    Feel better!
    Karen

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    1. Jak Post author

      Thanks Karen. Times like this I so miss painkillers. And alcohol! If only I could just have a couple of Tylenol, a glass of wine and a long soak in the bath I know I’d feel tons better 🙂

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  3. Laural

    Totally can relate. That has happened to me at least 8 times this past year and not in the same rib or same side every time. Some I awoke to feeling out, while others followed me doing a rotational movement while reaching or lifting for example, happened 3x from reaching to back seat from front seat of car. Some were felt immediately while reaching and others delayed. For some of the ribs, doing an overhead and slightly to side arm rotation can pop it in. I cured my self by accident that way once putting a coat on and mentioned it to my Osteopath and she laughed and said it was definitely a dislocated rib and the motion I did is how it is clinically relocated for 4 of the ribs. I have EDS Hypermobility and suspected Mast disorder. I can not take any pain meds or most supplements/drugs for that matter so just being with the pain is mostly my only option. I do use CBD/THC concentrates to help with pain and my Trigeminal Neuralgia and GI disaster. A Osteopath can help relocate it though it can be hard to get in faster than rib going back on its own. For me this take typically 48 hours – 5days before it slides back in. Massage doesn’t seem to help much for my ribs though really helps my other sublaxtions/dislocations elsewhere.

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    1. Jak Post author

      8 times in one year – ouch! 😦 Nice to know I’m not alone in falling apart though Laural. I was in acute pain for 3 days then I woke up and it had just gone! So obviously it’s slipped back to where it’s supposed to be. Bizarre.

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      1. Laural

        As miserable as it is to be out once it slides in the relief thankfully is immediate and usually soreness doesn’t linger much (unlike my other pesky joints).

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  4. Liz137

    I have not been diagnosed with EDS, but extreme hyper mobility runs in my family and I have experienced rib subluxation. An Osteopath was able to help release it the first few times then I figured a way to do it myself. More often than not, undulating movements of the spine (gently wiggle like your spine is a snake) both side to side the back to front while lying face up on the floor or bed. These mini movements gently open up the joints and let things slide back into place. If that doesn’t work, I’ve arched backwards and forwards over a physioball (55cm works for shorter than average folk like me). The same idea behind why it works applies but with more supported opening of the joint. Once the rib slips, that joint is more likely to slip out again, so I hope these self care techniques help. I can also recommend back and core strengthening exercises to minimize slippage. My personal favorites are yoga’s cobra or Sphinx pose for back and boat pose or gentle and static Pilates poses for core (the active Pilates moves have caused dislocations & subluxations in my body).

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    1. Jak Post author

      Thanks so much for that Liz, really helpful and I’ll definitely try the wiggling if and when it slips out again!

      Unfortunately I can’t do pilates or core strengthening because it makes my ME so much worse, so having ME really hinders my EDS treatment. Also osteopathy and any kind of manipulation causes a massive mast cell outbreak, so that’s out for me too. I’m a difficult patient to treat!

      Jak x

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  5. emmahammer

    U should tell your hubby to do his own coiffuring 😆 Sounds like costochondritis or tietzes syndrome. I’m pretty sure it sounds the same as me although u didn’t mention whether or not you could feel any inflammation? I can and so can my mam and carer when they put NSAID creams on. Hope this helps. Xox

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