Rib tightness after a stroke

Posted by nanna @nanna, Oct 22, 2019

I had sensory stroke a month ago and am experiencing numbness on left side….I especially bothered by a very tight rib cage that makes it hard to breath. Has anyone else had this experience and were you able to find help.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases group.

Hello, @nanna – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing this numbness on the left side after your stroke a month ago. I can imagine that if your ribs are feeling tight, it would seem hard to breathe.

You might be interested to read this Mayo Clinic article on rehab post-stroke https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/in-depth/stroke-rehabilitation/art-20045172

I'd like to bring in @brightwings @johnbishop @ajweb93 @jenniferhunter @shamilton @captainmidnight @IndianaScott to see if they have any input for you on this rib tightness and if they can make any suggestions about finding help.

Have your neurologist or any physical therapist you've seen for your stroke and its effects weighed in on the numbness and rib cage status? If so, what were their thoughts?


Thank you for contacting me, yes, bring in anyone that might be able to help. My neurologist says that it's my nerves going crazy I guess since they are connected to the part of my brain that is dead. He at first put me on some meds for anti siezure…it had some bad effects on me so then he wrote me a prescription for lyrica but I am afraid to try it now. I think that exercise tightens it up even more. Sometimes the tightening moves from top of ribs to right above my left leg. I can take that better than when it feels like I have a boa constrictor around my rib cage. I can take the tightening on my leg and feet and arm but the ribs and hand are the worse. The physical therapist just gave me a stretch. Both Nerologist and P.T. said it is not my muscles but that is hard for me to believe. Diazapam helps some but you can't get that easily and you can't take it in the day time without being drowsy. I've heard that it could take up to 6 months to a year and if I don't get feeling back in 2 years I won't get it back.

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