Muscles spasms in ribs and nearby muscles

Just wondering if anyone else has terrible muscle spasms around their shoulders and ribs. I have started having spasms that radiate from my shoulder to my chest and upper back and through my ribs. These are bad enough that after they go away it leaves my muscles sore for a few days.

Currently on Otezla and 5 mg prednisone a day.

Doc said the PsA could affect the tissue between my ribs, but these spasms are terrible and very painful.

I sometimes with severe flare up’s experience tightening in my ribcage so bad that it effects my heart, which will go into a race, and my lungs, hard to breath.

hi @tamac
have you looked up “costochondritis”? that may be what you’re experiencing. Most of us have had it a time or two and it is really worrisome the first time around. What fresh hell is this??

This is something that I have been experiencing for a number of years. Not so much in the shoulders but the ribcage. Sometimes these are set off by a twisting motion. (reaching into the backseat from the drivers seat in my car.)
Other times it just happens for no apparent reason.

Yes, recently. I just got through a flare. It was a thing for me. It feels like the muscle or tissue around the ribs is sore from trauma or something. I have felt pressure around my chest as well. It’s not my heart either as most doctors jump to. It is from psa or fibro. My muscle issues rove. Mostly the back and neck. Here recently my ribs. I have experienced muscle spasms in hands and fore arms as well.

I’m sure that is part of what is going on, I was just curious about the muscle spasms. From the replies, it seems they are common.

Until you brought it up, I wouldn’t have known it was a common thing. Thanks

Its common with PsA but it is also a MORE common “birthday” symptom that just about everyone over the age of 50 gets from time to time. (and the start earlier for folks who “work” and especially those who run) That pain is controlled by the C-5 nerve root which actually causes more pain than lower back issues.

Believe it or not the most common cause these days is found in folks who spend a fair amount of time on computers. (I’m one of those 12 hours on a slow day) A simple change to a verticle mouse and learnin to use it with either hand eliminated about half those pains for me… (oh and in the spirit of full disclosure 2 shoulder replacements.)

I had terrible rib spasms in the front right upper area of my ribs, under my breast. I was on lipitor so my doctor took me off it. They stopped after about a month but not completely. I still have them occasionaly, especially if I get upset or shiver.

Well, C4,5,6,7 are fused, I hope I don’t have problem there. Probably the birthday problem,

Tell me about your fusion, the subject may have come up in someone’s appointment went today and agisn tomorrow in a quality time with a radiologist.

I have a couple of issues. It’s October in Kentucky, which means half of us have hairballs. Every time I cough, my chest and/or my back hurt. I get pleurisy at the drop of a hat so I’ll head for some antibiotics in the next day or two.

I’ve been banging on the computer for 28.5 years. I have C5-C6, C6-C7 issues and right now, a couple of very tender spots just about at the top of my thoracic spine, even though I had a thoracic epidural injection on October 10. Had a big ol’ muscle spasm in that area today. Thankfully, I got to it with some massage and a dose of baby aspirin before it got any tighter.

Recent MRI showed all kinds of stuff: some bulging disks, trouble with the foramen in many places, etc. etc. etc. from neck to lumbar region.

I keep wondering if it’s time to go see the neurosurgeon and talk about fusion. I won’t be wasting time or anything else to get information rather than running it around in my head with nothing to go on other than thinking now?

C4, 5, 6, 7 are fused due to a car wreck in 2004. C6, and 7 had to be refused two years ago due to the failure of the cadaver bone from 2005 operation. That surgery prompted the investigation into PSA because they used my hip bone and my hip pain kept getting worse and spread to both hips.

Lived with lots of arm and shoulder pain for 3 years before new neurosurgeon figured out the fusion at C6 and 7 had failed. He was worried I woud be left with permanent nerve damage but after 6 months to a year, the pain from that went away, but was left with new shoulder and arm pain that was later diagnosed as part of the PsA.

Oh yuck… sounds like you were “Double Koebnered” first from the car accidentt and then from the surgery (the “koebnered is my term” I’m in much the same position as @sixcatlawyer. They are making similar noises about fusion for me. My Rheumy says the shoulder replacement (I’ve had bot replaced - no choice in that they both quit working) coupled with Birthday events is what kicked off the spasms, numbness, etc the spine guy says a fusion will help, the Rheumy says it will only start a series of cascading events in the spine that can’t possibly turn out well. near as I can tell that has been pretty much the experience of most folks here. I really haven’t seen anyone who thought the fusion was success (as an elective procedure (@tamac although yours was clearly a necessity)

In any event I found a great fellowship shoulder guy who believes pretty much the same. He ordered an arthogram (both CT and MRI versions) today to thoroughly examine the shoulder for anything the surgery missed. If that doesn’t find anything the next step will be to open up the shoulder and take multiple tissue samples for culture. apparently infection can find a few spots and live for years in them causing all manner of pain and effects without ever moving elsewhere. as I very nearly ended up singing with the angels from infection last December following the replacement.

Its actually going to be an exciting day (for me) as although a local interventional radiologist is doing the arthogram, they do very few so its going to be directed via telemedicine from Seattle Swedish by the shoulder guy there.

FWIW @Tamac if you aren’t familiar with Koebner Effect, you might read up on it. It won’t change anything BUT it can explain a lot of what has happened to you over the last 13 years. That can be reassuring and helpful if nothing else. Hang in their Buddy Your road is going to straighten out too.

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Interesting. Thanks for the info.

T. Andrew McCluskey, MA, CH, CI


NGH Certified Consulting Hypnotist

NGH Certified Hypnosis Training Instructor

“Everything is going to be alright, maybe not today, but soon.”

Since I got skin psoriasis aged 13 and then learnt about the Keobner effect and for me its amazing reverse effect I’ve been fascinated by it. You’re the first person @tntlamb who’s mentioned it for psa. I shall now double my efforts.

@Poo_therapy is a great starting point. there also (although its been a while several discussions here about the effect and some personal stories. The interesting thing to me is that most of the research (and its good stuff) is coming out of Israel and the UK. They have also found connections between not only physical trauma but psychological trauma with not only PsA but a whole host of chronic pain diseases including FMS. The basic premise is that an interrupt to the immune system is the source of a number of physical autoimmune diseases but also what used to be considered pure mental disorders. (depression bipolar etc)

I’m a “believer” in much of this research which is too often over looked likely because of the source. A prime example was as early as the late 50’s the Aussies had great Data showing stomach ulcers were actually the result of an other koebner effect. In this case it was Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. It was ignored for close 40 years subjecting patients to bizarre diets (warm cream etc) and brutal surgeries (stomach removal) when a simple course of antibiotics would cure most ulcers.

My shoulder replacements for example are not the result directly of Psa but rather some injury earlier in life (motorcycle accident, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes etc) and the PsA kicking into gear following a case of endocarditis.

I was surprised when I figured out I had PsA. I have just a little P in my hair and it has never been an issue. Though my mom has P very bad. I know that the car wreck I was in in 2004 and the result cervical problems and surgery and stress from pain brought on the PsA…

I am a student of psychology and hypnosis. I have recently begun studying psychoneuroimmunology and am learning a great deal about how stress and other such psychological factors im[pact our immune system. I feel that all the pain and stress I suffered from the surgeries was also a big factor in the prostate cancer I had. I had no genetic disposition to prostate cancer and it was an aggressive form and not the slow-growing type that older men experience.

I agree that we need to pay more attention to studies and research performed outside of the USA. To many political and money factors impact research here.

Well for me the following are fairly indisputable facts

  1. My skin psoriasis aged 13 was certainly brought about by a fairly severe strep throat. Obviously I was genetically disposed to it anyway though.
  2. Learning to cope with stress certainly helped improve it along with the various light therapies of the day. Mostly the creams and lotions did little other than make me more comfortable.
  3. Failing to adequately cope with stress made it worse.
  4. However around 16 or so I noticed, following a ridiculous notion that I had to simply shave my legs of hair, it suddenly got better on my legs. My legs were horribly covered in psoriasis and I bled like a stuck pig in this shaving episode. The bathroom looked like a murder scene, seriously. But a few days later the skin on my legs was significantly better. That’s the Reverse Keobner’s syndrome by the way. Most psoriasis organisations were aware of it too then.
  5. Following that discovery I then noticed my skin psoriasis went in a sort of 7 year cycles.
  6. Aged 37 I seriously fractured my left shoulder but I wouldn’t let them operate on it. It healed fine but took about a year and with physio I got all function back. I had to pull the legal card on the orthpopaedic surgeon though to stop him operating. That was an instinctive decision incidentally. All skin psoriasis fled within a week. Simply just disappeared altogether. It only returned aged 53 in a really minor way when I developed PsA. It remains almost insignificant now 2 years later.
  7. Aged 53 I first had a bunion correction operation and a tiny plate was inserted in my foot. 8 weeks later in an effort to exercise I then went swimming and did far too much at the first go and could barely move the next day.
  8. As soon as I was allowed to walk following the bunion operation, I suffered horrendous pain in the tendons of my operated on foot, swiftly followed by one hand swelling up after the swimming nonsense.
  9. Within a just a few weeks after that, I was diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis which is quite categorically now PsA despite a year later developing a positive RF.

My conclusions are and have been from the start of the PsA that this is Keobner’s syndrome. I really do believe I wouldn’t have developed PsA except for the trauma of the bunion operation which interesting occured after a year of horrible stress due to the death of my mother with seriously awful probate issues dealing with my stepfather’s estate and having to fight it on behalf of my mother’s estate. I remain fascinated about what if I got the tiny plate in my foot removed, would the PsA then go away? Would I avail of Reverse Keobner’s Syndrome again then, since my body seems to relish it as a syndrome anyway? For me my interest is in the Reverse Keobner’s syndrome though as of course that makes it all just go away.

I think researchers have obviously touched on all this since but I do think they keep dropping the ball on it and instead get more excited by chemically manipulating things rather than anything else. The chemical manipulation obviously works but my personal thoughts are if they attacked it from the Reverse Keobner’s syndrome end, it might be far more successful and obviously less dangerous. However I’m a mere lawyer so what do I know. I do know however that with dealing with stress effectively we do lessen illnesses and I’m certain what we think and how we think makes things better or worse. But that’s a real individual thing - a method of coping or dealing that works for me might not work for the next person.

Dear tamac,
Sorry to hear of your discomfort. I have had a terrible problem with that myself. I take tizanidine 3 times each day and that helps a lot. Besides the spasms, though, aching ribs goes with the normal fare for PsA. That is an ongoing issue for me. Enbrel, prednisone, methotrexate and meloxicam are my daily aides. Hope you get feeling better. It is certainly a battle, but it can get better.