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Old 12-25-2008, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
When you cough so much your chest hurts, what did you hurt?

You know, how when you've finally gotten over your cold or sinus infection or whatever, you cough long after any other symptoms are gone, and sometimes right when your cough is finally going away it starts to hurt to cough - it's kind of a bruisy hurt.

What did you do? Did you bruise your ribs, or pull a muscle or something? Where does that pain come from?
Old 12-25-2008, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Left of spleen
Posts: 2,662
Any of those. Plus, the actual airways themselves become thickened and irritated and hurt when you force air over them.

Now, why your chest hurts when you are emotionally heart broken, I have no idea.
Old 12-25-2008, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
I don't think it's an airway thing, this specific thing - it feels like it's in the "shell" of your body, if that makes sense.

I'd like to know about that "heartbroken" pain. It's like a stabby achey pain in your heart area.
Old 12-25-2008, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,615
IANAD, but you have a lot of muscles between and around your ribs. If you're bedridden from a cold, that stresses them, and when you cough that stresses them more. You might want to try inhaling and expanding your chest as much as you can, and holding that expansion for a while.
Old 12-26-2008, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 624
I think it's your pleura.

Last edited by Miss Violaceous; 12-26-2008 at 12:20 AM.
Old 12-26-2008, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,400
I had bronchitis last year; lots of coughing, for weeks. The muscles in the area of my ribs were very sore for a while. Also . . . sometime in the past, I coughed so hard I damaged the cartilage connecting one of my ribs to my spine. It hurt every time I breathed, and took months to heal.
Old 12-26-2008, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,957
If the pain is in the chest wall from the force of coughing, it's usually the intercostal muscles that have been strained or torn.
We do see rib fractures from coughing as well, even in relatively healthy folks. This can cause fairly significant discomfort and is usually associated with a very localized tenderness over the fracture.

If there is a sharp pain with inspiration and the chest itself isn't tender, there might be an inflammation of the lining of the chest and lungs--the pleura--which is associated with the underlying infection and not a mechanical result of coughing.

It's possible to irritate the places where the ribs hook up to the sternum and the back.

All of these are distinct from the pain you get with inflammation of the lung airway channels themselves.
Old 12-26-2008, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
I had the flu. Slept on the couch for three nights. At 2:00 am I crawled into the bed room and told my wife I was most certainly having a heart attack... ER Doc said I had strained my chest muscles by coughing so much. Sent me home.
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