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Rib cage tightness: Not sure what it might be

Digestive Health | Last Active: May 5 11:19am | Replies (95)

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@bea4me

I have severe ribcage tightness when I lay down in bed at night & sometimes with certain bending movements. Feels like a huge cramp. Doctor I saw today says it could be from the hard coughing I do daily as a result of Stage 4 esophageal cancer surgery 4 yrs ago. It also could be due to a nerve problem in my spine in my mid back. He'll do an intercostal nerve block and hope that fixes the problem.

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Replies to "I have severe ribcage tightness when I lay down in bed at night & sometimes with..."

I have experienced tightness in my chest that is definitely from muscular cramping and not cardiac related. I also get cramps and spasms and Charlie Horses all over, in addition.

I am sure that hard coughing can strain those muscles enough for them to go into a spasm.

Generally, my cramping will reduce (a bit anyway), if I hydrate optimally. Really drink those 8 glasses of water...and every single day.

And then, I have watched my electrolytes. I drink Vitamin Water, which is a natural version of Gatorade.

I assume that reduces my cramping experiences, but I can't say directly.

But hydration? Yes. I tend to forget to hydrate enough. And when I remember, the cramping lessens.

I would imagine some specific stretching might help. I guess it depends if the muscle is already too overstrained to work it more.

But, it certainly might be a good question to ask the doctor.

And I wonder about heating pads. They say that dry heat can drain the muscle? So, it might be bad. I use heating pads and they definitely help. So, that would seem to be another reasonable question for the doctor.

By heating pad, I mean I use it generally, during the day...before there is any sign of cramping, not just when the cramps hit. I try to use it as a preventive measure.

I will say that when I get profound cramping in my chest...my first thought is not, "oh, this is nothing by a muscle cramp." I immediately go to the fear that it is cardiac (because I have skipped heart beats generally anyway). So, nothing about getting cramping in the chest is at all pleasant. Always very scary, even if I tend to think it is muscular. First 30 seconds are the worst. After that, with no other pains, I come to realize it is most likely cramping...and then I calm down.

I am thinking of applying to a fantasy universe where none of this happens.