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.

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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?

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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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I have the same post-stroke symptoms as you are describing. I had a stroke 4 weeks ago. I have the same tightness of my ribcage, along with the sensation of walking on a golf ball under my left foot. I was wondering if these sensations will subside with time, and how much time?

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I’m having the exact same issue. Any updates?

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@nanna

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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Hello nanna,
I see it has been over 2 years since you left this message here? Did you tightness in you ribs go away, and if so, how long did it take?

REPLY
@nanna

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.

Jump to this post

I suffered a ischemic stroke in the Thalamus on January 13 three hours after ACDF surgery in the hospital bed. I had P. T. For six months before they gave up. No meds Baclefen, Tizanidine, Gabapentin, Valium have helped. Still experiencing contractures on whole right side including my ribs. Don't give up.

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I had this happen recently (I am 6 years post stroke). It was shortly after the addition of a new statin medication (Fenofibrate). I already take Rosuvastatin (night) and Ezetimibe (morning). Within a couple of months of starting the Fenofibrate I started to have tightness in my ribs. It escalated over several months to me having a hard time taking a deep breath, sleeping was painful, moving while laying down was hard, they ached all the time-even just sitting reading a book. On the advice of my pharmacist and family doc I stopped taking this new medication and the feeling went away. They told me that Rosuvastatin can cause these types of issues and Fenofibrate was amplifying the Rosuvastatin dose I was already taking and was the likely culprit.

Speak with your pharmacist to review your medication list, then talk with the rest of your health team. My pharmacist is a key part of my health team.

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