• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Does anyone actually know what these lumps are under the skin - especially the ribs?

snowathlete

Senior Member
Messages
5,374
Location
UK
Something i have noticed more of lately has been lumps under my skin, especially the rib area, but other places too. Just about everywhere i think, but more noticable on the rib cage.

They are sore if you rub your fingers along them, and tend to be small - about the size of peas.
I read other people with ME/CFS have them too.

I wonder if anyone knows what they actually are?

And why do we get them? I mean there has to be some kind of explaination to it. Has anyone had them removed, or studied to see what they are compossed of?
 

justy

Donate Advocate Demonstrate
Messages
5,524
Location
U.K
Hi Snow, i have lumps that are sore to touch over my bottom ribs - sometimes they swell up and get bigger and more painful. I have also noticed smaller, as you say pea sized lumps under the skin that are also sore. They dont correspond with lymph nodes as far as i can tell. I tried discussing the rib one with my doctor but was met with the usual incredulous stare, he didnt even want to discuss it - another female GP said i had a detached rib -it ceratinly wasnt that at all.
I would be interested to hear what others have to say about this.
 

Sparrow

Senior Member
Messages
691
Location
Canada
I have those bumps too! ...Most of mine are on my upper ribs. They definitely get more pronounced and more painful sometimes.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what they are either. Have used up my incredulous doctor stares on other things. ;)
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
Just a thought, this sounds similar to the FM lumps described (and never fully accepted by mainstream) by St Amand (the guaifenesin guy). Just google 'FM lumps st amand' and check it out. Hope this helps.
 

triffid113

Day of the Square Peg
Messages
820
Location
Michigan
Something i have noticed more of lately has been lumps under my skin, especially the rib area, but other places too. Just about everywhere i think, but more noticable on the rib cage.

They are sore if you rub your fingers along them, and tend to be small - about the size of peas.
I read other people with ME/CFS have them too.

I wonder if anyone knows what they actually are?

And why do we get them? I mean there has to be some kind of explaination to it. Has anyone had them removed, or studied to see what they are compossed of?

I do not know about pea sized lumps that hurt. I get a few that do not hurt. I believe they are, or are related to, skin tags. Dr. Eric Braverman says skin tags are caused by insufficient folate.

Triffid113
 

justy

Donate Advocate Demonstrate
Messages
5,524
Location
U.K
This is quite different to skin tags i think - they are largish lumps under the skin. I read up on some of the fibro links posted above, which was very interesting stuff. The thing that confuses me though is that i don't have fibro (i don't think anyway!) but in do have the lumps in all the places described on the websites.
Strange.
Justy
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
Since my viral onset in 2009 I have developed occasional, waxing and waning (waxing with exercise esp. jogging motion), very localized and very superficial pain by my upper left ribs close to the central cartiledge. It was dxed as costochondritis and part of FM (I had and still have some general inflammatory pain), but invisible in (almost all) diagnostics. I am in good shape again and unless I stimulate that region it is very mild and generally dull, but although I don't particularly feel any lumps St Amands theory is that it is calcified regions that hurt and the CA need to be 'drained' via big doses of guaifenesin and avoidance of salicilates. As strange as it sounds and as unaccepted as it is it is the closest non-basket case explanation for FM/chostondritis pain besides "invisible" low-level inflammation. Coincidentaly my viral onset came with a week of bad chest pain (stinging not dull) at exactly the same area that is still hurting dull now and I have asked numerous times whether it could have been scar tissue or calcified tissue form the viral infection which was raging in the chest but have only earned blank stares so far ;) I just haven't had the guts and time to go through with a hardcore guiafenesin protocol although it seems to have a beneficial effect on me generally whenever I take it (e.g. to loosen mucous).
 

snowathlete

Senior Member
Messages
5,374
Location
UK
The thing that confuses me though is that i don't have fibro (i don't think anyway!)

Snap. It was interesting to read, thanks to mellster for suggesting that. It certainly could be, i dont know. I dont have FM - at least, like Justy, not that i know.

Pea sized isnt exactly accurate really, i shoudl add, because some are bigger, and some are more like bands of them.

What exactly is guaifenesin, is it a safe thing to take in these doses? Why is it thought to remove the deposits?
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
Here is a critical writeup of his theory:http://web.mit.edu/london/www/guai.html
Also it talks about phosphate deposits, not calcium deposits though I think I read that those two are connected in his theory (calciumphosphate maybe?]
Regarding guaifenesin, it is considered very safe as it is safe enough to be in children's cough syrup. It loosens mucous and is a mild muscle relaxer. You can get it pure as mucinex (the guai only version) or as herbal pills from stores on the web (google "air-power").
 

Jenny

Senior Member
Messages
1,388
Location
Dorset
I had a subarachnoid (brain) haemorrhage after being on guaifenesin for 8 months, some years ago. It may have had nothing to do with the guai, but there is some evidence that it has blood thinning properties.

I contacted Dr St Amand after I had the haemorrhage, and he said it couldn't be due to the guai, but I do wonder.

It wasn't doing anything for me anyway. (I had been diagnosed with fibro, but didn't have any lumps.)

Jenny
 
Messages
2
Location
Minnesota, USA
Something i have noticed more of lately has been lumps under my skin, especially the rib area, but other places too. Just about everywhere i think, but more noticable on the rib cage.

They are sore if you rub your fingers along them, and tend to be small - about the size of peas.
I read other people with ME/CFS have them too.

I wonder if anyone knows what they actually are?

And why do we get them? I mean there has to be some kind of explaination to it. Has anyone had them removed, or studied to see what they are compossed of?

This IS absolutely strange. I was just feeling my ribs and I felt these lumps... There are So many though. Pea size and tender. So I googled and landed here.

I was diagnosed with CFS in my early teens, Fibro in my early twenties, and finally with a more accurate test- Lyme Disease. My Doctor who is an expert in CFS/ FM is convinced that The root cause these syndromes is Lyme gone undiagnosed. In my case, I was undiagnosed for decades.

My Doctor never voided out the CFS and FM syndromes because of our Lyme discovery however. I'm lucky to know the causal... Because many who suffer from these syndromes may never know theirs.

Anyway... I'm on my second attempt at treating this disease. I will surely bring these lumps up at my next Doctor appointment. I can't seem to find any good info on what they actually are. My Doctor is one in a million , she'd know!!! If I remember to report back my findings... I surely will.

❤️
 
Messages
2
Location
Minnesota, USA
This IS absolutely strange. I was just feeling my ribs and I felt these lumps... There are So many though. Pea size and tender. So I googled and landed here.

I was diagnosed with CFS in my early teens, Fibro in my early twenties, and finally with a more accurate test- Lyme Disease. My Doctor who is an expert in CFS/ FM is convinced that The root cause these syndromes is Lyme gone undiagnosed. In my case, I was undiagnosed for decades.

My Doctor never voided out the CFS and FM syndromes because of our Lyme discovery however. I'm lucky to know the causal... Because many who suffer from these syndromes may never know theirs.

Anyway... I'm on my second attempt at treating this disease. I will surely bring these lumps up at my next Doctor appointment. I can't seem to find any good info on what they actually are. My Doctor is one in a million , she'd know!!! If I remember to report back my findings... I surely will.

❤️

I have to also say this... Standard Lyme tests more often than not come back negative... The doctors don't tell us about the accuracy of these Lyme tests! They should really know this... Because they cannot rule it out. If you have Lyme disease you are pretty damn lucky to get a positive on your lab work up. It shouldn't be a simple yes or no considering the accuracy is as low as 35%

I had my blood work sent to a lab in California (I'm from Minnesota) that is more advanced in finding Lyme. It's worth looking into if you are feeling hopeless. It's a better answer than the ever frustrating CFS/ME label. At least you could prove that something is indeed causing your misery.

I wish everyone who fights this enigma of a disease/syndrome peace of mind and paths to recovery.
 

snowathlete

Senior Member
Messages
5,374
Location
UK
This IS absolutely strange. I was just feeling my ribs and I felt these lumps... There are So many though. Pea size and tender. So I googled and landed here.

I was diagnosed with CFS in my early teens, Fibro in my early twenties, and finally with a more accurate test- Lyme Disease. My Doctor who is an expert in CFS/ FM is convinced that The root cause these syndromes is Lyme gone undiagnosed. In my case, I was undiagnosed for decades.

My Doctor never voided out the CFS and FM syndromes because of our Lyme discovery however. I'm lucky to know the causal... Because many who suffer from these syndromes may never know theirs.

Anyway... I'm on my second attempt at treating this disease. I will surely bring these lumps up at my next Doctor appointment. I can't seem to find any good info on what they actually are. My Doctor is one in a million , she'd know!!! If I remember to report back my findings... I surely will.

❤️

Wouldn't be surprised if Lyme have similar, or even the same, lumps. I don't think it's Lyme in my case, as I had 10 months of antibiotics for suspected Lyme and all I got was more ill (induced ulcerative colitis) and lumps still there, though I have gotten used to them I guess and notice them less than I did. I'd really like to know what causes them.
 

msf

Senior Member
Messages
3,650
When I have ´flares´ I have pain in the side of the ribcage, which would seem to correspond roughly with the lymph node areas.
 

justy

Donate Advocate Demonstrate
Messages
5,524
Location
U.K
They really sound a lot like lymph nodes - are you sure they are in the wrong place?

This seems to have more detail than most descriptions:

http://training.seer.cancer.gov/lymphoma/anatomy/chains/
looks like they could be intercostal lymph nodes - I wonder why they are enlarged in that area in so many of us? I have lumps around pea size, between the ribs on left hand side - they come and go and are very tender to palpate.
 

msf

Senior Member
Messages
3,650
Yes, I have been trying to work that out too. I also seem to have swollen neck lymph nodes during flares. I did try to work out what the lymph nodes that were hurting were supposed to be draining, but it´s quite hard to do without medical training. I thought at one point that they might be draining the gut, which would make sense in the context of my illness, but that´s really just a guess.
 

Cheesus

Senior Member
Messages
1,292
Location
UK
@msf @justy @snowathlete

Yup, I definitely think these are lymph nodes. Palpitating these lymph nodes was part of the diagnostic process i underwent before starting the Perrin Technique. There is a particularly large cluster a little way underneath the left armpit which he has eponymously dubbed "the Perrin Point". The significance of it being on the left is that the right only drains right side of the chest before draining through the subclavian vein, whereas the left hand side drains the entire body including the right leg and all the way up.

Dr Perrin's book gives clear diagrams of this system that can be varified by looking at lymph maps online. There is a lot of misinformation about the lymphatic system online, however, as some people recommend brushing lymph towards lymph nodes. This is a terrible idea. All superficial lymph drains into the subclavian vein beneath the clavicles and all lymph must be brushed towards these points. Again, check out his book for further info.
 
Messages
1
I'd like to know what these are, too. I have the same lumpy, bumpy things, but mine certainly aren't small. They're like rolls. Dr says it's fat and nothing to worry about, but they keep growing. I noticed them under the left rib area like 3 years ago and since then, they've grown huge - and continue to grow. I'm worried, but the Dr sure isn't. I've got a host of other issues, too, that he's basically ignoring, but I'm worried because more and more odd things are happening to my body. I stumbled across this post when I googled my lumpy, bumpy rib issue. Can anyone suggest anything? I've had multiple tests, but everything comes back normal.