Patient: Hello,I’ve had a cold and a horrible cough for about two weeks now. My cough is finally starting to get a little better, but as I was coughing, I started getting pain in my left rib area. It felt exactly like a pulled muscle. It went from the rib, and shot into the back of my shoulder blade. It hurt to breathe in deep, and even move at times. The pain started feeling better as I treated it like you would a pulled muscle, but I started having coughing fits again, and it then made me have pain in my back left shoulder blade, between my shoulder blades, and in the right shoulder blade. It’s a dull aching pain, and it hurts when I breathe in deep – or cough. Could this be a sign of an infection, or just from a sprained rib?
Symptoms: Coughing, rib pain, upper back pain, hurts to breathe in deep.
Doctor: HiThank you for the question.A cough is an action the body takes to get rid of substances that are irritating to the air passages, which carry the air a person breathes in from the nose and mouth to the lungs. A cough occurs when cells along the air passages get irritated and trigger a chain of events. The result is that air in the lungs is forced out under high pressure. A bad cough can definitely cause pains in your ribs when you cough. There are muscles between your ribs called your intercostal muscles that are accessory muscles with breathing, and are also involved with coughing. When you breath in your diaphragm contracts and pulls your lungs down drawing air in. Coughing, sneezing and breathing all use muscles in your chest, back and shoulders.It is possible that you have an infection like:BronchitisPneumoniaPharyngitisTalk to a Doctor to get examined and treated. I hope this will help you. Take care.