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can you fracture a rib from coughing?

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Well, title says it all. I've had a bad chesty cough for a while now, and it recently got worse (although does seem better past few days) and a few days ago I was coughing really hard and a spot on my back started hurting. My parents said I probably just cramped or strained the muscle a bit, but it really feels like more. It hurts when I breathe, when I move, and even more when I cough. It's a sharp pain and doesnt really feel like a muscle ache.


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Please see a doctor. Though it is possible to break ribs from coughing the pain could come from torn or strained muscles.

yes you can, but please see your docyor xxx

Yes, you can crack a rib and you can also dislocate a rib, I've done it coughing.  I could feel it pop in and out in my back.  When the doctor told me I had dislocated it, that was the first I'd heard you could do that.  My friend cracked hers, so that was what I thought I had done.  See a doctor.....

Yep...I just did this Christmas Eve!

I have pneumonia and my ribs were already sore. I coughed and heard a pop and was in a lot of pain. Called the doctor and they said I probably cracked a rib.

Nothing you can do for it though except for pain meds.

If you think it's dislocated I would get it checked out.

It could also be a bad lung infection. Sometimes phlegm can settle in your lung, and the pain feels like a broken rib, and it hurts to move your arm/breathe/sleep. Get antibiotics immediately! I caught H1N1 in late Sept, and even though the cough and mucus cleared after 2 weeks it wasn't until mid-Oct that I felt the lung infection. I thought for sure it was a broken rib so my doctor ordered xrays and put me on a strong antibiotic right away. I felt much better within 24 hours =)

Regardless of the diagnostic, I hope you feel much better soon!

well, went to the doctor and was told it's just a cramped muscle. I got a muscle relaxant injection and painkillers. It's been about 3 hours since I took them and I'm only just started to feel a slight effect.

6 Replies