Rib pain

Texasmom

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Has anyone experienced extreme rib pain? My husband has had severe pain in his right ribs. He says it hurts to breathe. Also says that it feels like a Charley horse in his ribs. He has had an x ray and it came back no broken rib or pneumonia. If you have experienced this, any recommendations on how to deal with it?
 
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Nikki J

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Is this a new issue? Sudden onset of pain that hurts to breathe could signal a non ALS emergency issue especially if it hurts to breathe in.
 

Texasmom

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Is this a new issue? Sudden onset of pain that hurts to breathe could signal a non ALS emergency issue especially if it hurts to breathe in.
Yes it is a new issue. He had an X-ray but it came back no broken rib and no pneumonia.
 

KarenNWendyn

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What Nikki says. If he is fairly sedentary, get it checked out to rule out blood clots.

If it turns out to be muscle cramps, he might benefit from Magnesium Oxide 400 mg a day or magnesium lotion. Some have benefited from THC cream.
 

lgelb

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I would look closely at his positioning in bed, wheelchair, recliner, shower chair -- it is very easy for the torso to "fall in on" a rib and cause soft tissue pain if there is not enough lateral support including shoulders, chest, arms and hips. If not already, I would also do some passive ROM that includes individually lifting each arm in turn up to shoulder height or as high as it goes, while of course supporting the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints.

Best,
Laurie
 

Texasmom

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Thank you for the advice. He is already taking high doses of magnesium and we do passive ROM exercises twice a day. If it doesn’t get any better than I’ll have him checked for a blood clot. He has also just started a low grade fever. Lungs were clear on the X-ray, so I’m hoping the blood work they did this morning will pick up an infection, if that is beginning.
 

KarenNWendyn

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Keep an eye on that fever because there could still be something going on in the lungs.
 

Nikki J

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Fever can be a sign of a pulmonary embolism ( blood clot in the lung) which has happened to several of our members and is an emergency. When was the xray and who ordered it? was the reading by a radiologist or did you get a preliminary opinion from the doctor you saw before it got sent to radiology?
 

Texasmom

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The X-ray was this morning and was ordered by our local GP. It was read by a radiologist so we didn’t have the results until late this afternoon. The pain has subsided with the use of pain medication. Fever is remaining steady though. If it is a blood clot, would the pain ease up or stay sharp?
 

KarenNWendyn

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If it is a blood clot, would the pain ease up or stay sharp?
Either is possible. Pain medicine can also mask the pain.
Pneumonia and bronchitis and also fluid in the lungs can also cause fever and pain with breathing. Some cases of pneumonia can be missed on an initial chest X-ray, and bronchitis often doesn’t show up.

Persistent fever is most suggestive of an infection until proven otherwise.
 

Texasmom

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Wow what a week we’ve had. Two days after this post, my PALS coughed up blood. Off to the ER we go. CT scan showed a very large pulmonary embolism in the main pulmonary artery. Also showed pneumonia in the right lung. We live in a small town of about 3500 people so he would need to be transferred to a larger hospital for treatment. We were blessed that the Dr on call had previously been the medical director for a hospice. After much discussion, my PALS decided this was his answer to prayers. He decided to stay in our local hospital with comfort care until he passed. He has always tried to take care of me, and he still continues to do so. We have been married almost 40 years. The Dr and the entire hospital staff have been beyond amazing and wonderful. They have given us anything we need. The community has rallied around us with meals, hugs, and tears. My PALS is still hanging in but the end is near. The pneumonia has filled both lungs. With ALS, this is the best way for him to go. He was about to lose his speech, and had already lost his limbs. He feels like God granted him a huge gift with the ability to tell everyone goodbye. This week has been hard but we have been blessed beyond measure. It has been amazing to see how many people have been touched by his life. My family will continue to fight for all ALS patients and the disease they fight daily. No one should should be without hope. Such a horrible disease. Thank you all for this forum. It has answered many of my questions. I have searched many topics from the day I found it. This has been a short 15 month journey.
 

Nikki J

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Wishing you strength and peace and him a peaceful passing. I am glad you have support
 

KarenNWendyn

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I would have made the same decision under the circumstances. I’m glad he is going out with love.
 

blitzc

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Prayers for comfort to both you and your PALS.
 

Jrzygrl

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Prayers for a peaceful transition for your PALS. Wishing you peace. ❤
 
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