ribcage issues

Jan W

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
7
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
09/2020
Country
US
State
PA
City
Jermyn
Hey...wondering how many of you are dealing with ribcage spasticity? I have a PLS diagnosis and I deal with a lot of spasticity.....most of it in my legs but more and more struggling with my ribcage as well. I am taking baclofen (20 mg) which works pretty good at night but is too sedating for me during the day. I find my ribcage stiffness to be more problematic because it is difficult to move (stretch) those muscles. I am looking for solutions.....I see a PT who helps me but I obviously can't see her everyday. Thoughts? Anyone else dealing with this? Thanks!
 

ShiftKicker

Moderator
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
3,718
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
06/2015
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Vancouver
Yep. I've had intercostal spasticity and cramping right from the beginning- which also refers to one shoulder for some reason. I'm sorry you're experiencing this too.

What helps for me:

Breath stacking- This is something that's mentioned elsewhere on this forum and can help with loosening up diaphragm and ribcage.
Stretching the back as much as possible- this seems to keep the ribs as loose as possible for me. Again, breathing exercises also stretch the back.
Heat- heating pad, hot baths.
Regular massage- I've found a regular gentle massage helps keep things more aligned.
When sitting, having appropriate support- I have a lift chair and this provides good ergonomic positioning and helps with rib cramping/restriction.

I found Baclofen compromised my breathing, swallowing and overall strength- and weirdly enough, caused more spasticity in certain situations. The brain fog sure is something! I take Tizanidine for spasticity now, which is more helpful for me. I am sure others will chime in with what they use. CBD can definitely help, but it seems to be really individual.

I am not sure if you've had a sleep study yet, but if you can, I recommend. It may be that you are having to labour to breathe more than you should at night and this is causing issues during the day due to muscle fatigue. A bipap might be in order.
 

KimT

Extremely helpful member
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
4,143
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
08/2015
Country
US
State
South
City
The Beach
I had bad ribcage pain for about three months. Valium made it stop. Exercising in the pool, when the water is very warm also helps as does CBD oil.

Baclofen made me weak and off balance.
 

old dog

Distinguished member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
263
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
08/2011
Country
US
State
OR
City
Scio
I have trouble with cramping in the rib cage, particularly at night when getting ready for bed. I take a 10 mg baclofen morning and evening and take a 2 mg tizanidine after I get in bed. I do 15 modified squats every night before bed to stretch my back and core muscles. I'm short, so I grip my grab bar and drop my tush as low as I can, then use my legs and arms to stand up straight. The little bit of exercise plus medication usually relieves the rib cage cramping.

I also take a collagen powder supplement. I used to have someone lift my feet into bed at night to prevent leg cramps that seemed to occur when I struggled too much trying to get my feet and lower legs into bed. The collagen powder hasn't prevented all cramping, but I've been able to get myself into bed for the past two years.

Hope you find a routine that works for you.
 

Trippy

Active member
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Messages
69
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
01/2014
Country
US
State
NY
City
Cny
Yes, I have intercostal spasticity too and get an occasional heavy duty cramp in the gut when I lean forward to stretch my legs. My entire body is riddled with spasticity, from my face to my feet..it’s very uncomfortable. I also had breathing issues with baclofen and use 8 mg Tizanidine before bed along with 90 mg CBD gummy, and I vaporize cannabis which puts me to sleep. No medicine during the day because it’s too sedating. I always lean far back when using my walker to stretch lower back and abdomen, and do the modified squats like old dog to put some pressure on leg muscles. I wish I could still use the pool but much too spastic now to do that safely. I think massage would probably be helpful for me but it’s too much of a hassle to get to an appointment and then try to get on a narrow table, even with assistance. I hope you find something that helps.
 

lisa g

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
346
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
04/2019
Country
US
State
FL
City
FORT PIERCE
I get that cramping across my stomach at times when bending over once in a while. PT gave me stretching exercises to help. I've also increased my magnesium glycinate to 440mg's a day and drink diet tonic with quinine. At night I use either THC tincture or an edible gummy to help with sleep and cramping. So far so good

I am still mobile so I find doing my stretching exercises in the morning and at night helps. I also try to walk daily 2 miles to stretch out my legs.
 

Reingrey

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
4
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
12/2020
Country
CA
State
ON
City
Meaford
@lisa g and @Trippy What do these abdominal cramps feel like? For years I've had very occasional and brief extreme pain in my abdomen, usually when I'm changing position or laying down. My previous GP thought it was a minor hernia, where something is getting pinched and then released, but because it doesn't happen that often and doesn't last (maybe 60 to 90 seconds?), he said don't worry about it. But now I'm wondering if it might be PLS related? It kind of reminds me of a bad calf cramp but in my abdomen.
 

lisa g

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
346
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
04/2019
Country
US
State
FL
City
FORT PIERCE
Reingrey- the only way I can explain what I feel is I compare it to a Charlie horse feeling across my ribcage. Stretching exercises given to me in PT seem to help.
 

TippiLeigh

Active member
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Messages
79
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
07/2020
Country
US
State
CA
City
XXXX
I don't have any good advice for you, but I have this issue too, so thank you for asking! I'm still in the fairly early stages of this journey and I never know what is PLS related and what isn't. My rib cage issue isn't too painful at this point, but I get random spasms and I never knew what it was. To me it is almost like that involuntary tightening of your trunk area when you drop on one of those free fall rides at an amusement park. It usually doesn't last too long with me, but it always takes me by surprise and it's uncomfortable. I like using heating pads for everything. And I try and do at least about 20 minutes of Yin yoga, which is basically stretching and holding a position.
 
Top