When rib pain occurs when coughing, both symptoms are usually linked. As rib pain refers to a pain that can affect both the right and the left rib area. The pain can be stinging or exciting and can sometimes persist after the coughing fit. Coughing is an expulsion of air as part of a coughing sensation over the cough reflex or arbitrary. The most common cause of cough is the common cold.


Rib pain on coughing may be due to various causes. It is possible that rib pain due to a prolonged cough in a protracted cold sickness arise. The rib muscles are involved in inhalation and exhalation in addition to other muscle groups. Excessive stress on the rib muscles can cause muscle soreness in the area of ​​the ribs during an infection, causing pain when coughing. In addition, pains in the rib area during coughing may also be due to pleurisy or pneumonia, or may occur as a result of a rib fracture or rib rupture. Especially with left-sided rib pain, the cause may be in various organs and indicate complaints of spleen, heart, pancreas or large intestine.


A rib fracture is a bony injury to a rib that can arise directly or indirectly. Rib fractures are sometimes diagnosed only after a few days due to the pain. Typically, such a fracture causes pain over the affected side, which significantly worsens when breathing and coughing.


The pleura, called the pleura, is a fine connective tissue that covers the lungs and lines the rib cage around the lungs. The pleura in the area of ​​the ribs is also called pleura. In pleurisy, there is infection between these skins. For example, pleurisy may be the result of pneumonia or bronchitis. When coughing typically produces a stabbing pain in the ribs.

accompanying symptoms

The concomitant symptoms of rib pain on coughing depend on the cause of the symptom. A broken rib causes pain over the affected side, which become stronger during vigorous inhalation and exhalation, sneezing, coughing and movement. Pressure on the broken rib also causes pain. In addition, one can often feel an accumulation of air in the skin over the affected area. Sometimes you even feel the break as a step.
If pleurisy is present, sufferers often suffer from marked chest pain during breathing and coughing. The doctor can hear rattling noises with the stethoscope. The victims usually take a restraint. A pleurisy may also be associated with fever and cause respiratory distress or shoulder pain. If the rib pain during coughing is the result of a cold or flu, symptoms such as sore throat, fever, runny nose or body aches may occur.


Rib pain during cough requires a thorough examination and history. When taking an anamnesis, the doctor first asks for a trauma, accident or similar and details about the symptoms. As part of a physical examination, the lungs and the heart are monitored. Since a common cause of rib pain in coughing is a fracture of one or more ribs, a chest X-ray is often taken to rule out a rib fracture.


Depending on the cause of the rib pain when coughing, these may require different degrees of treatment.
Muscular soreness of the rib muscles during a protracted cold typically only requires treatment of the underlying disease. When a rib fracture different treatment options are considered.
A single broken rib can often be fixed with a bandage that facilitates breathing. This protects those affected from pneumonia. Rarely, if it is a complicated fracture of several ribs, surgery may be necessary. In some cases, only a drug-based pain relief in a rib fracture is sufficient.
If a pleurisy is the cause of rib pain when coughing, it is incredibly important to treat the underlying disease accordingly. For this, among other things, antibiotics, analgesics and antipyretic drugs in question. If a pleural effusion is present at the same time, relief is indicated by means of a thoracic drain to extract the fluid. If the cause of the pain lies in diseases of organs such as spleen, pancreas, heart or intestine, a targeted treatment of the underlying disease in addition to pain medication to the treatment of rib pain during cough.


Depending on the cause of the discomfort, rib pain can be acute or chronic. A rib fracture needs time to heal and therefore the rib pain can last for four to six weeks. If complications occur, the duration of the symptoms may be prolonged. In the case of pleurisy it is decisive how fast and successfully the inflammation is treated. A swift, targeted treatment has a positive effect on the duration and prognosis.


The most common cause of rib pain when coughing is a broken rib, which is usually harmless and heals without complications. If multiple ribs and the pleura are affected, complications such as a pneumothorax, also called an airway, can be triggered. Without therapy, such a disease can be life-threatening. The disease process is determined in a pleurisy of the severity, cause and treatment.
In young sufferers, pleurisy usually has a very good prognosis. Elderly and immunocompromised patients may develop adhesions of the pleura, which may permanently restrict respiration. An early treatment usually influences the prognosis positively. Basically, rib pain during cough due to the simultaneous occurrence of pain during deep inhalation and exhalation can lead to avoidance of deep breathing. This creates the risk of pneumonia, especially in elderly and immunocompromised patients.

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