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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Who else has Rib Pain?


#1

I forget now, but I remember someone had once mentioned having rib pain associated with their PsA.

After having been experiencing some for a while, it finally clicked that maybe, possibly mine might be related to my PsA, but I was curious if any one else had experienced it and what it felt like.

Mine is a bit different from my usual joint pain in that it’s of the very sharp variety (I do get this with my joints as well, it’s just not as common as the dull throbbing aches, or fine as long as I don’t move it and have it propped up right variety). I don’t know how to really explain it other than with sharp, static-y, and bright. Kind of reminds me of the type of pain from either a fresh paper cut getting air, or infected cracked knuckles. It is a very raw pain, if that makes any sense and is not usually dull at all, or achy. And to the touch some spots feel as if they have a very bad very tender bruise.

I’ve currently got three tender spots - left front a bit below my sternum (about where they curve and get shorter - the spot, at least for me, that sticks out the furthest in front) and one one either side a few inches below my armpit (about where my bra strap hits - though I’m sure it’s not the bra because I’m all about comfort there so it’s not tight at all).

I plan to bring it up at my next appt (December, sigh) along with my current recurring neck/shoulder stiffness/pain issues (could it be PsA related and not just that I’m sleeping in weird positions?).

I’m just falling a part these days :wink:


#2

@SubliminalFlicker look for posts on costochondritis. That’s probably what’s going on. I’ve had it in my sternum and on my right side. It’s like you can’t take a deep breath without the feeling of being stabbed with a steak :knife: I think this is, again, a sign of not having your disease well-managed. Perhaps one of the other mods can add some more insights. It sure is painful!


#3

@janeatiu I’ll look up costochondritis - though it doesn’t seem to be aggravated by deep breathing - more really my posture (or lack of good posture) when sitting (I should work on that, and hopefully my upcoming workstation setup change will help tremendously). Though the knife stabby does feel familiar, especially the steak knife with those serrated blades - it’s the tearing feeling really, rather than a clean cut.

I do agree though that it’s a sign of it not being well-managed. I’m really hoping for good things with the Cosentyx (but trying not to get too hopeful).

Off to do some looking about for costochondritis! Research ahoy.


#4

@SubliminalFlicker don’t forget to do a search on the site to hear others’ experiences, too. :mag:


#5

This was one of my first PSA symptoms years ago! I assumed for months that I pulled a muscle in my side (serrates muscles) from lifting improperly. Exercises and ice (the normal course of treatment for this injury) never helped. I learned later that the rib cage is full of tiny joints and soft tissues (intercostals) that can become inflamed. My ribs hurt when inhaling deeply like a sharp side-ache, and later I had tenderness, especially in the sternum area. It eventually resolved but took a very, very long time. My symptoms do not match costochondritis perfectly, but you are not alone with rib discomfort. Hang in there. I echo the comments above about asking your doctor. It’s a really uncomfortable and slow healing area-- good luck!


#6

ALSO! Any chest/rib pain is serious until you know EXACTLY where it’s coming from. If in doubt see a physician!


#7

Thanks! Good to know in not the only one.

Also, no worries I know chest pain vs. ribs and this is very clearly ribs. It just feels so weird.


#8

Hi Sublimal Flicker. Yes to rib pain. Though mine has always been tenderness, the kind that makes bear hugs less than welcome, I wouldn’t normally notice it without applying pressure. I’d imagine that sharper pain implies poor disease control. In addition to the steak knife, are your ribs tender if you press on them?
Good luck with Cosentyx.


#9

Yes they are tender to pressure, not everywhere but in a few spots it’s almost like they’re bruised (but aren’t).


#10

I have that now. Doctors have said chostocondritis or pleurisy. I also have vocal cord dysfunction and on the days I have difficulty breathing my ribs will hurt so badly. One thing that helps a little is a heating pads on my back and ice packs on me ribs.


#11

Hi Subliminal Flicker and Jillian! I have just recently been able to get my phone to cooperate (Sybil it’s working onsite now too! Yipee!) to respond. My rib pain is what lead to my diagnosis and was my primary complaint for over a year until starting Humira. I totally get the bruised feel, sharp pains that can literally floor you and only comfort is a specific half leaning on a couch that makes you feel like your wasting life away. Then there is the pressure points on the sterum that when pushed can resonate pain wrapping all around. Coughing or deep breathing can trigger hyperventalating and almost panic. I can say that Humira has been life changing in that area for me and at worst I only get achy soreness, some swelling and the bruised feeling (less painfully now) maybe once a month. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone… I totally get it and understand how hard it is to explain the way it feels. Now my main issue is my feet and every couple weeks my hands. My feet now have permanent damage so thats that but thankfully I have been able to save my spine so far so if I can stress anything keep on working on the right meds it can be life changing when the right one is found and prevention is key! Good luck!


#12

I have had rib pain for years now, not the usual costochondrosis locations however, over at the side. In fact it gave me a lot of concern in the past until I read up about Enthesitis which is inflammation where tendon and ligaments attach muscle to bone. There are loads of muscles over your ribs and they attach all over the rib bones and apparently these attachment points can become inflamed and be quite uncomfortable, especially when its an area that moves a lot such as your ribs.

Its a pain but i’ve learnt to live with it now I have an idea what it is :slight_smile:


#13

I think mine is similar, not really the costochondrosis symptoms, but very tender, mostly the front where the ribs curve and the sides though I’ve gotten some pain in my back ribs lately.


#14

Sounds very much like mine! My feet are also a common complaint. I’m glad the Humira is working for you - I didn’t have much luck with it unfortunately, but hopefully the one I’m on now will actually work.


#15

I randomly get rib pain, too. It’s so infrequent–maybe 3 times a year, that I’ve never thought to mention it to my doctor. I have no clue what triggers it. It’s sharp and hard, and ruins my appetite because filling my stomach just puts more pressure on it. When I was in my third trimester of my last pregnancy (25 years ago) I had horrible pain around my ribs, but that felt like my flesh was slowly being ripped from my ribs. It was constant and intense. I wonder if that was some sort of PsA pain?


#16

Yeah, j0nn, isn’t that the truth. When you know what it is, it’s all a lot less scary and it makes it a bit easier to live with!


#17

I know this is an old thread, but finding it really lifted a lot of worry off my shoulders. My ribs have been hurting terribly lately and knowing it’s not unusual for PsA eased my mind quite a bit. Thank you to everyone who contributes on here!