Muscle Spasms Rib area

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/11/2009 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, so glad to find this site.  I have been suffering for several years with muscle spasms (like charley horses) in my rib/stomach and sometimes back/sides.  It is breathtaking and only lasts (usually) a few minutes.  Stretching, coughing several times and holding my breath helps me bear it.  I can feel the muscles knot up and it is painful.  I have been to Dr. regarding this (poo pooed) and wondered if it might be caused by my cholesterol medication.  It seemed to start several years ago when I was prescribed this medication.  Dr. ran test and found I had muscle deterioration and has tried several diff cholesteraol meds (even lowering dosage) but still these spasms persist (sporadically).  It seems worse when I am tired (loss of sleep). 
I am 63.  I don't really know what causes these spasms, but they come about unexpectedly.  Sometimes, I am awakened by these spasms.   I am not really bothered in my legs/feet (very rarely). Perhaps it's stress, but whatever causes it, it is terribly painful.  I am grateful this doesn't happen every day.  I have tried alka seltzers (sometimes helps), and am now trying to add more salt to my diet (and I even took a  potassium tablet this morning).  It is better now. 
Thanks for all the comments on this site.  It helps just to know there are others (I wonder if anyone else takes the cholesterol meds) who experience this. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 10/11/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Gerd doesn't usually cause muscle spasms, and cholesterol meds seem to cause pain, not spasm, in the legs and other muscles.  You could have spinal pain radiating.
I have had problems with cholesterol meds, now take bile sequestrants, which aren't enough, and after reviewing the literature, I also take Crestor 5 mg once a week.  There are some good studies showing that most patients can take the lowest dose that often.  I had a worse reaction to Lipitor.
I also get various muscle spasms, also paresthesias (numbness and tingling) in my rib area in my back.  On a thoracic MRI a syrinx was found in my spinal column.  I see a neurologist about that to see if there's a connection.  I had sciatic pain which ran into my hip, but then started again in my feet.  That was cured, at least for the last year, with a spinal injection at L5S1.
I get stomach refluxing from food allergies/intolerances.  This often ends up in tachycardia.  Your breath holding sounds like a form of Valsalva maneuver, which is what I use to stop the tach.  Maybe it's not related, but you could try keeping a food journal to see if you can find a trigger.  My worst trigger is garlic.  My symptoms start usually a half hour to an hour after eating.  Eating right before bed is bad news too.

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