COPD & Emphysema Support Group

COPD is a progressive disease characterized by airflow obstruction or limitation. Emphysema is characterized by loss of elasticity of the lung tissue, destruction of structures supporting the alveoli and of capillaries feeding the alveoli. Both have symptoms that include shortness of breath, among other respiratory troubles. If you are a COPD or Emphysema sufferer, join the group and find support.

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Chest wall pain

Hi I am new to this group and as of right now I have not been dx with COPD but I know it's coming and very soon. My question is this...

I have a pain in my back that started after my first time having Pneumonia and it's gut wrenching. I now have this same pain in my chest that is right below my rib cage. Sometimes it's in my rib cage other times right below. It feels like someone is twisting my muscle as tight as can be and it puts me on my knees. I have read here about this pain and was wondering if any of you have it and what it feels like??

I have had an MRI and cat scan, nothing was found. I am a stage 4 throat cancer survior so when I have a pain the doctors look every where. Can some one please tell me about this chest wall pain??




I've already answered firefly9 in a personal message, but if anyone else has this problem, I can tell you that I have this. I get it on the right side, in the ribs, under the armpit. It's in the same spot where I had pneumonia and pleurisy 10 years ago. It's definitely connected with how good or bad my breathing is. My pulmo has me take Robaxin, a mild muscle relaxant, along with Mucinex DM. This doesn't take it away entirely, but it does make things tolerable.

To me, the pain kind of feels like I've been stuck in the ribs with a dull sword.

I'm also a strong believer in massage therapy. I get a deep tissue massage, along with chest percussion, every 3 weeks. It really helps, and of course, it's such a nice perk that I can give myself. Worth every penny!

Good luck, firefly9!

PS - I love your roaring kitty avatar. So cute!

Hello firefly, welcome to the group and DS, firstly can I say I love yer avatar - cute.

I was really sorry to read of your previous difficulties but great to hear you are a Survivor!.

The chest pain you describe I've not encountered personally, but what springs to mind is that you may still have a lung infection. Not knowing the last time you have your lungs checked or listened to, it may be a good idea to see your doc, soonest really, as if it is a lung infection you need to get it dealt with asap.

Do hope you get well looked after at home and through the doc.

Let us know how you go - Good Wishes -
Keep Well

I have had 1 petscan, 2 cat scans and 3 MRI's. I have seen the lung doctor, Neurosurgeon, Interist and my pain doctor. Nothing showed up on the tests and the doctors can't find a thing wrong except a few swollen lympnodes between my lungs so believe me I am not letting this just sit thereI am trying everything I can think of to get rid of it. Even my pain meds don't touch it so I am on a quest to figure it out for myself.

I do go back for breathing test in a few months but this pain is so bad I have almost gone to the ER a few times. I know my body and it is screaming at me to figure this out.

Thanks to all of you...hugs,V

Hello Firefly9, and welcome to the group. I'm not sure what I can add, except to say I am sympathetic to your problem. I think the good things are that you are a survivor, and that your doctors are taking you seriously. Often times, they don't. I will try to check around with my pulmo..and on line.
Please let us know what you find out. And until then, I'll be thinking of you. Becky

This may not help much if at all but Ive been doing some searchs on the subject as i have alot of pain in my chest front and back comes and goes .

Question: Is having pain in the lung typical of COPD?

Barry Make, MD -- Chronic lung pain is not commonly associated with COPD. However, pain can come from the wall of the chest and not directly from the lungs - this in fact can be seen in COPD. Pain in the chest can come from coughing very hard and straining the muscles of the chest. Pain in the chest can be due to a rib fracture from coughing hard. Pain in the back of the chest can come from osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. Check with your doctor to find out the cause of your pain.

I also have these horrible pains sometimes they come and go but feel like muscle spasms under ribs i have to stand up and reach high then sometimes they ease up or go away dr no nothing about why but i think it happens more on bad breathing days just guessing still trying to figure it out. our bodys love to play with

Sassyme, to answer your question.....I'm not exactly sure of the therapeutic action , but I suspect that the Mucinex DM and the Robaxin have a synergistic relationship. By keeping the mucus thin, and my coughing to a minimum, that helps the Robaxin relax the muscles. My doctor was emphatic that they should be used together, otherwise, I wouldn't get much relief from the Robaxin alone.

Yes, reflexology is also great. It's been a while since I've had my "feet done." but it really helps balance all our physical systems, kind of like acupuncture. I need to call my reflexologist. She's wonderful.

On other thing, ladies.......I have found that not wearing a bra really helps. (Yes! permission to go bra-less! yah-hoo!) I only wear one when I'm exercising or doing something physically strenuous. Otherwise, I've invested in some nice soft undershirts. Now I'm one of those who "failed the pencil test" decades ago, so I really should wear one. But this really helps the chest wall pain. The only time it's really a challenging is in very hot weather, the skin on the undersides might get irritated.

Interesting topic. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this.

So much good info ... I do love this group . Lonnielou I think your on to something thats what it feels like muscle spams that wont stop like your lungs are spassing out . And it happens on my bad days and sometimes if i try to push myself to fast or to far . I stopped walking the spasms got so bad .
Sue I take mucinex as soon as I feel the spasms comeing on and sometimes it does help them stop . Ive never heard of robaxin is it over the counter ?
Oh and one more thing they are waking me up in the night and im wondering if dry air from the heat is the problem .

Well, I feel like a can of worms has been opened. I rarely cough. I rarely cough up
phelm. Last March I had a sinus infection/cold
that went into my lungs. I coughed so hard that I broke a rib. It was explained to me that the ribs are free floating to a certain
extent; and with COPD/emphysema the lungs can
get or do get hyperinflated and there is not enough room in the rib cage for the lungs.
The doctor told me this is why I broke the
rib. I had pleurisy years ago (many many years ago) and have no memory of exactly what
it is or what causes it; and/or IF it has any relationship to COPD? I do remember the pain.
It was bad. When I had to quit working (even
part time) they said I had a something on my
ex-ray and a lung infection. I truly believed
that I had thrown my back out. The back pain
was tremendous. I put off seeing a doctor; because whenever I hurt somewhere, I have found that IF I just keep moving; things eventually loosen up and heal. Not this time.
It was not my back. It was not a muscle pull.
They said it was my lungs. So, all of these
posts are confusing me. Also, I get very sharp
pains when I reach suddenly to the side or up
high; or I twist suddenly to the side or up.
It feels like a rib is catching, or something
is wrong with my lungs. It is a very deep
stabbing pain that takes my breath away.
Again, I have just "assumed" that my lungs
are too big for my chest and I am pulling
something (like rib cartlidge or interticial
tissue, or something)? I know I sound stupid;
but I do ignore a lot of body symptoms and pain
UNLESS they do not go away for a long time.
Sassyme: What is pleurisy?
Anyone: Is there a relationship between pleurisy and COPD?
Why do I rarely cough? Why do I rarely have
Why does my back hurt when you say the lungs
do not hurt/ or not in the back?
What am I hurting when I reach suddenly?

Thanks for any help and answers. I appreciate
it. No, I have no money for massages, or
reflexology or anything. Medicare only; and
I am struggling to pay my 20% of all my medical bills. Thanks again.

Robaxin is a prescrition. I get the generic Methocarbamol, and it's cheep. I take one 500 mg tablet 2-3 times a day. I take 2 Mucinex DM morning and evening.

Only side effect I've noticed is that sometimes I'll have very vivid dreams. Not nightmares, just interesting, so I don't mind.

I would call my back and chest pain spasms. Because it comes and goes but the last one I had a few days ago in the chest was so bad that I can still feel it. I am so sorry if I have confused anyone but I am seriuosly confused myself lol.

I have SO many medical probelms that I have learned the hard way to watch everything and research as much as possible. Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and all the info, I am truly learning a lot here!!

Hugs again,

And here I thought I was the only one that got a pain like this! Mine, too, is under my rib cage on the right hand side right under my boob. It is worse when I turn or twist and actually, it gets like a cramp and I end up rubbing it like crazy to relieve it - sorta feels like a charley horse of the rib cage! It has been occurring some what on the ride side, too, but nothing like the left.

I am wondering if it has something to do with weight, for I am definitely overweight -perhaps putting too much strain on a muscle - pulling it at times.

It sure does hurt, though! And, I am sorry to report I have nothing to advise, other than, like I said, what works for me.

Hope it gets better soon for you!

Hi guys I am new to this forum too. What I was looking for was a diagnosis to the pain I have been suffering for two years now. I have been thinking it was intestinal, so after a doctor told me to take antacids and opiate pain killers some months ago, which I was not impressed with and never did I just continued to put up with until now.

I was told ten years ago I had COPD when I went for X-rays regarding a cracked rip. Didn't want to hear that so have never done anything about it. Of course my breathing has deteriorated over time, but what is really bothering me is the pain.

Tonight I decided to see if the pain could be related to COPD/lung trouble and found your site and what seems to be similar symptoms on this thread.

I have crippling pain especially when I get hungry it feels like my stomach is being twisted like one of you said, also ribs grinding to where I can't stand up straight. I'm pleased to find someone else with this unfortunate problem, but as yet no one seems to have an answer. Like I said I was thinking it was intestinal and have for months been eliminating various food groups thinking it was some kind of food allergy without any real improvement.