Apparently, it is possible to break a rib by coughing too much

I’ve had a really bad cold since my birthday when I hiked Tiger Mountain.  5 weeks later, I’m still coughing.  A week ago, I noticed some pain at a specific point in my ribs, like a side-stitch when you run too hard.  Saturday, I went to the doctor for more cough suppressants.  And last night, I called the 24hr nurse hotline for more suggestions on how to stop coughing, because it was really, really hurting my side.  They recommended going back to the doctor the next day, which I did, but it was following ER discharge instructions.

I was lying down in bed trying to sleep and just ignore the urge to cough, but one cough caught me off guard.  I wasn’t able to sit up right in bed fast enough, and as I started coughing, I felt the pop in my side.  Not a very pleasant experience to say the least.

I had x-rays done at the ER and they showed a small fracture.  The doctor said that it isn’t unusual for people in really good health to have strong enough lungs and chest muscles to fracture a rib from coughing.  At least now I have some great drugs to help me deal with the urge to cough, and deal with the ache of a broken rib. 

I’m out of karate and other physical activity for the next 6 weeks.  ::sobs::  But a part of me is looking forward to being lazy and getting rid of this cold once and for all.

Comments (18)

  1. JobsBlog says:

    🙁 Feel better soon!


  2. saraford says:

    Thanks. I just work up from my afternoon drug nap, so i’m feeling pretty good right now.

    Hey, and thanks again for the ride home from the doctor’s. =)

  3. See there are benifits to being unfit.

    Get well soon.


  4. Luis Lobo Borobia says:

    Yeah, the same happened to my mother, she broke a rib because of coughing. Its incredible to believe until it happens dont you think?

  5. Don Glover says:

    Did a similar thing. Pulled a muscle while coughing last year when I got pneumonia after a tournanment.

    One very IMPORTANT thing to remember. Don’t try and go back to soon. You need to let the rib heal and get over the cough.

    I have done the go back to soon, can’t get enough air, pass out during jumping jacks routine. No fun.

  6. Susan says:

    Take care = Let Kyle wait on you now; you might not get that kind of TLC later!

  7. saraford says:

    Wow, i can’t imagine passing out doing jumping jacks. June 1st is my date to slowly start getting back into an exercise routine. And not a moment before. I might walk the dog, provided his pulling on the leash doesn’t hurt.

    As long as i don’t cough, i feel fine (a little achy, but fine). But it’s kinda hard not to cough with bronchitis.

    Ah, I so love the feeling of pain killing drugs that i’m not allergic to. =)

  8. Will Pearson says:

    Get well soon my friend, and if you need an MVP to lobby on your behalf for time off, just ask :-D.

  9. Don Glover says:

    It was a rather unusual situation. It was a ‘bad mood’ sensei day coupled with a kids decided to goof off day. Sensei decided we would just keep at the warmups till we got it right. We were about 30 minutes into class and on our 5th round of double count jumping jacks and I just could not breath anymore.

    My mistake was not admitting it (that I just was not going to get the air in) to myself and trying to push through it.

  10. Don Glover says:

    So, it must just about time go back… are you psyched?

  11. saraford says:

    I went back on Tuesday night – i would have gone back last week, but as luck would have it, i caught a tiny cold (i say tiny, because it was over in 3 days).

    It felt really, really good to go back, but i couldn’t believe how sore i was the next morning. and it was probably one of the easiest classes i’ve ever gone to!


  12. Don Glover says:

    I know that feeling. I am at that age where it takes 3 weeks to get into shape and 3 days to get out of shape.

  13. beth says:

    hi there, i think ive done this too! ive got a doctors apointment next week, but i dont know wether this is too late? what would you recomend? go to hospital?

    it really quite hurts!

    i would never have come to this conclusion if it wasnt for someone telling me it was possible, but now i dont know wether im being a hypocondriac or sensible…

  14. saraford says:

    Just for the record, you should seek proper medical advice (aka not me).  If you think you need to go to the hospital, go right now!  

  15. john says:

    thanks for the info.and i hope you get well soon.=)