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Cramps in my side.

I was diagnosed with COPD 3 weeks ago. I already had asthma and had quit smoking one year ago. I was given a portable nebulizer and started doing my treatments 3 times a day. Last week I was doing nothing out of the ordinary just sitting on chair on computer, I had gotten a cramp in my chest on my ribs to my back. Have no clue what I did to get it. Hurts very much, very hard to breathe and my husband thinks I’m nuts! The doctor has no clue and no clue how to get rid of it. I am on 800mg tablets for my back so I have been taking one of those when I get a pain, which is every day! Sometimes 2 or more times a day! I wish this crazy pain would stop! I thought I was the only person getting it!

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Comments

  • PhilJ
    2 years ago

    Interesting, I have copd in Sept. 2015 I had my lower lobe removed from my right lung. Since that surgery I have had cramps on my right side all the way down. if I move my right or left leg a certain way I get cramps some times I feel my whole right chest area is sticking out 3 feet???? I have every sharp pains on my right side. the doctor said I have nerve damage. I had robotic
    surgery. If I had to do it over I would have left it alone. I have side effects from my meds. they removed a 7.3 mass that was on the outside of my lung, for safety reasons they removed my lower lobe.I still haven’t recovered, I still look like I’m 6 months pregnant, while in the hospital I gained 35 lbs that I can’t seem to lose!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Phil and welcome. I’m sorry to hear you’re having such difficulties following your surgical procedure(s). While we cannot provide medical advice over the internet (for your own safety), your experiences does warrant a response. As you can see from this forum, others in our community have spoken about rib cramping. I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on that subject: https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/
    We also have some material that focuses on ‘bloating and COPD’.
    Here is part 1:https://copd.net/living/bloating-part-1/
    And here is part 2: https://copd.net/living/bloating-part-2/ I hope your find them helpful as well.

    If these symptoms that you’ve described persist or even worsen – you may want to ask your doctor(s) about them and see what they suggest.
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Paula
    2 years ago

    Was napping yesterday when it hit both sides at the same time – hard!!! Took almost an hour before it completely relaxed. Couldn’t even get to the microwave to heat up my rice bag.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Venusdelycra – that does sound like a significant episode of pain. Were you able to do anything to get past it, or did you just wait it out.
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • ginabrotherton
    2 years ago

    I also have asthma and now copd I have been getting these cramps for quite some time now at times I can’t move. Or I will vomit . From the pain. Doctors have ran several test n tell me I have different things all the time. I’m so tired of it already.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Ginabrotherton and thanks for expressing your concern about COPD and cramping. Other community members have also referred to this as ‘rib cramping’. I thought, in view of your comment, that you might find it helpful to review the material we have published here on COPD.net about this very topic: https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Breathe Easier
    2 years ago

    Good morning: I was diagnosed with COPD July 3, 2015. I had been feeling very tired and had swelling in my ankles and legs. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a new way of life for me. I was lucky, I have no heart damage, (was a smoker for 30+ years), but I need to have portable oxygen when I am out if I am exerting myself and have oxygen at night. I was fortunate to find a good doctor who has got me to the point of exercising 3 times a week at a Cardio Re-hab facility connected to our main hospital. This has been the best thing I could do. When I exercise I wear oxygen and am now able to do 60 minutes twice a week. The rib pain is very real – I had it a long time before I even knew I had COPD. Just thought I exerted myself doing something like bending over. Now that pain does not happen often, maybe because of exercise, I don’t really know. I just know that right now after quitting smoking, changing my diet and the exercise weekly, I do feel better. I recently had a EKG and the results were good. I will see my heart doctor in 4 months and he will check on my progress. Hopefully I will have no emergencies, but with COPD we never know. I hope Yessy2017 that you feel better too. I am glad to know I am not alone in this.

  • Yessy2017
    2 years ago

    Thanks! I smoked for 17 yrs, I quit because the pain on my rib area & shortness of breath became worse. I had a partial nephrectomy on 11/7 for Kidney Cancer, afterwards my lung became worse. I’m still recovering but I do plan to exercise when I’m well. Hopefully it would work for me as well.

  • Yessy2017
    2 years ago

    I have Asthma, had Bronchitis several times & Pnemonia 3 times this yr w/ recurring Pleurisy, but this new constant pain I’ve been feeling is worse. I’ve started feeling this severe sharp, aching, throbbing pain on my left chest, rib area which travels to my flank. The pain gets worse when I sneeze or burp. I try not to cough because it’s the worse pain & my shortness of breath has gotten worse. I’m on Pulmicort & Xoponex & I don’t feel a difference after treatment. When I exert myself a little, I become very SOB quickly. My left lung also partially collapsed, I also had Pleural Effusion twice this month & they drained the fluid. At first, I thought the pain was from this but after reading these comments, I’m going to follow up w/ my pulmonologist this wk for COPD. I’m 34 yrs old

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Breathe Easier and Yessy2017. We appreciate your comments about exercise, pulmonary rehab and rib cramping.
    In view of (both of) your comments, I thought you might find it helpful to read:
    first, our community member’s say about rib cramps: https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/ and
    second, a little bit about pulmonary rehabilitation:https://copd.net/living-with-copd/pulmonary-rehab/
    Wishing you both well,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • lakotalin
    2 years ago

    I quit smoking in 1990, in 2000 I was diagnosed with copd, in 2007 I was diagnosed with lung ca, underwent surgery and had removal of lower lobe rt side. The whole time I was hospitalized-almost 3 weeks,(because the upper lung kept collapsing) i had severe cramping so when I tried to get up, I couldn’t. Id get stuck hanging on to the rails, the pain and cramping was so bad I couldnt move up or down.After two weeks or so and the lung not cooperating they gave me a nerve block 2-3 times in the week,then it subsided. But to this day in 2016 I still get cramps about where the the lung was removed. Just have to wait it out. Breathe deep!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Lakotalin. As you can see, others in our community have also experienced this ‘rib cramping’. I thought you might find it helpful to see what they had to say: https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/
    Regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Jeffrey burchill
    2 years ago

    I have asma,COPD,I experience severe cramping on my upper chest and around to the back,very very painful,I used to be on oxygen,do to the cost,I’ve been put on CPAP,I’m on 3 different inhalers,these cramps are getting worse,and more often,they are at times, crippling

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Jeffrey and we hear you! Other community members have expressed similar sentiments concerning (rib) cramps. In view of your comment, I thought you might find it interesting to read what our members have to say about them:https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/ Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • RobbieD
    2 years ago

    So glad I found this blog.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    2 years ago

    We’re glad you found us, too, RobbieD! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to help in any way we can. Best, Erin, COPD.net Team Member.

  • Crochetnut.75
    2 years ago

    Hi there, I’m a newbie with asthmatic bronchitis lumped as COPD. Quit smoking 12 yrs ago. I have occasional rib cramps but never associated it with COPD. When I get foot or leg cramps, a tsp or 2 of yellow mustard stops it real quick! Will have to see if it works on the ribs too! Great site, will definitely be back often!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Crochetnut and welcome. We appreciate you letting us know what works for your cramps. It’s always interesting and helpful to all those in our community to share experiences. It helps to feeling connected and also may provide ideas to others to try (after checking with their physicians, of course!)
    Best regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • goose
    2 years ago

    This caught my eye because I have had cramps for several years. My newest Dr. recommended I try pickle juice. Please believe me this works at least on me. It’s worth a try you don’t need to drink much maybe a couple shot glasses but when I do I can feel the cramp smooth out within seconds of drinking the stuff. Good luck

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Goose and thanks so much for sharing what works for your cramping. I’m certain others will appreciate your experience as well.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Nancy Goble
    2 years ago

    If you are on inhaled corticosteroids, a common side effect is rib cramping. Chances are you also have low vit.D , low blood pressure, low libido, high cholesterol, weight gain, dry skin and low thyroid. You need to take supplements.I started with Magnesium citrate, which helped with the foot and leg cramps, but not the rib cramping. So, I did some research. Magnesium malate is the way to go.It took about 3 weeks, but it works.I also take 10,000 vit.D3 a good multivitamin, 1,000 vit.C.Turmeric for inflamation and a product called NAC.

  • RobbieD
    2 years ago

    Very good info. Thanks for your post.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Nancy – and thanks for sharing your experiences with COPD. We’re glad to have you as part of our online community. You may also want to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/copddotnet/ We are all about all things COPD.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • M mullins
    2 years ago

    I am in the hospital now complications from Copd found blood clot in my lung on blood thinners to try to break it up now trying to find out how it got there good luck to everyone with this desiese

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi M Mullins and thanks for letting us know about your COPD. Sorry to hear you’re in the hospital now. Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing. You are always welcome here!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Cissie
    2 years ago

    OH MY GOSH. I HAVE TRIED TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY TERRIBLE CRAMPS IN MY SIDES FOR OVER 3 YEARS. I HAVE TOLD 3 DIFFERENT DOCTORS INCLUDING MY LUNG DOC.. HE SAYS ITS FROM COUGHING.. ANOTHER DOC SAID IT MIGHT BE MY FIBROSIS
    I WENT TO A WALK IN CLINIC TO ASK FOR A CHEST XRAY TO SEE IF THAT WOULD FIND ANYTHING.. NO.. OF COURSE NOT…
    BUT IT DOES EXSIST.. AND TAKES MY BREATH AWAY WITH THE SHARP PAINS. I ALSO FIND HEAT HELPS.

  • starz
    2 years ago

    Try Magnesium supplement. Good for leg cramps too. Soak in Epson salts in tub for about 20 minutes. Your body will absorb magnesium.I would take the supplement.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Cissie – you are not alone. Many of our community members have expressed similar sentiments when it comes to rib cramping and COPD. I thought you might find it helpful to take a look at what our members are discussing on our Facebook page. You can find the topic and discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/copddotnet/posts/1717697355154949?comment_id=1881701885385425&ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment&notif_id=1481632987079216 Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Paula
    2 years ago

    I have a problem with low potassium which causes leg cramping so I just presumed that’s what was causing the cramping in the “core” muscles of rib, back, and diaphragm. Doctors would just look at me with a blank start and say, “Those hurt.” No kidding!!! Potassium supplements didn’t affect these particular muscle spasms so I set out to find a way to help or stop them. I have found that heat helps mine tremendously. I have a large block of material that is sewn into a square then half filled with plain uncooked rice. I heat it in the microwave for about a minute and a half and then put it over the area that is spasming. The heat helps a lot as does the weight. No amount of pain medicine or muscle relaxants stopped them. It never occurred to me that they were due to COPD! Just found this site and will be a frequent viewer as I can garner all the information and suggestions on how to deal with this disease.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Starz and thanks so much for sharing your experience with potassium and magnesium. We have a few articles on COPD.net related to magnesium that I thought you might find interesting. Here is one of them: https://copd.net/treatment/natural-remedies-overview/supplements/
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • starz
    2 years ago

    Try Magnesium. I thought it was potassium I needed to take, but the magnesium was what worked.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Venusdelycra – we’re so glad you found our website as well and also that you plan to be a frequent viewer. You are more than welcome to participate as often and for as long as you like. In view of your comments about ‘rib cramping’, I thought you might find it helpful to know that our community members have a lot to share about this aspect of COPD. You can access our Facebook page and the topic here: https://www.facebook.com/copddotnet/posts/1717697355154949?comment_id=1880047965550817&ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment&notif_id=1481415064122263
    We look forward to your continued input. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Minblack and rest assured, you are not alone. First, congratulations on stopping smoking. I’m sure you’re aware it is the single most important thing you can do for yourself with COPD (and asthma). Second, if you haven’t already, you may want to register on our asthma website: asthma.net/register
    And lastly, other community members have had similar experiences with rib cramping. I thought you might find this article to be both interesting and helpful: https://copd.net/living/community-feedback-rib-cramping/
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • gm454
    2 years ago

    Hi Minback. I have had similar type cramping also charlie horse in the legs etc. I found my cause to be one of three. 1. De-hydration, cramping is a sign of deydration, drink a 8 oz glass of water before going to bed and see if this eliminates the problem. 2. Shortage of Calcium/mag – I used supplements to combat this. 3. Shortage of Potassium – I used supplements to combat this. The water gets rid of it most of the time.

    Be careful with the supplements, if you are on cardiac medicines they can cause a problem

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