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What Pain in Your Rib Cage Could Mean

Pain in your rib cage is a common type of pain with many causes. Pain is never normal, but it is not always serious. Sometimes, pain in your rib cage requires treatment. Sometimes, it needs emergency treatment, but that is rare.

The type of pain you experience is an important clue for finding the cause. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for weeks or months. Acute pain is sudden. Pain may be sharp, dull, aching or stabbing. There may be other symptoms along with the pain. By describing your rib cage pain to your doctor as specifically as possible, you can help him or her make an accurate diagnosis—and find you the right treatment.

Pain From Structures of the Rib Cage

Pain can stem from various parts of your rib cage, such as:

  • The nerves of the chest wall

  • The muscles and connecting tissue between the ribs (intercostal muscles)

  • The connective tissue between the ribs and the breastbone (costochondral cartilage)

  • The membrane that lines the inside of the chest (pleura)

Common causes of pain from these structures include:

  • Shingles. This is a viral infection that causes acute, sharp, and stabbing nerve pain. Before the pain starts, you may have a fever, headache, chills or nausea. There’s usually a blister-like rash on one side of the rib cage, where the pain appears. The rash usually forms a line across the chest. Sometimes the pain becomes chronic, lasting for months.

  • Sprains and strains of intercostal muscles. These can cause acute rib cage pain that is sharp or dull. There may be an obvious stretching and tearing injury. Sometimes the injury is not obvious, only the pain. The pain may be worse when you cough or take a deep breath. It may be painful to press over the injured area.

  • Costochondritis. This is inflammation of the cartilage that attaches a rib to your breastbone. The cause may be an injury, viral infection, or something unknown. The pain is acute and sharp. Taking a deep breath makes the pain worse. If an infection is the cause, you may have a fever and cough.

  •  Pleurisy. This is inflammation of the lining inside your rib cage and over the surface of your lung. Pain is worse when taking a deep breath. Fluid can build up inside the pleural linings. This can collapse the lung and cause difficulty breathing.

Rib cage pain may start in one area but travel to an area nearby. That’s called referred pain. For instance, rib cage pain may start in your belly (abdomen) and cause referred pain below your rib cage. Structures in your upper abdomen that may refer pain to your rib cage include your:

  • Pancreas. Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) causes acute and sharp pain in the left upper part of the belly that may be felt under the left ribs. The pain is constant. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and fever. Pancreatic cancer causes pain that is dull and chronic. There may be nausea, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), and weight loss.

  • Liver. Liver disease, liver cancer, or liver infection can each cause pain in the right upper abdomen. The pain may be dull and chronic. You may feel the pain under your right ribs. Other symptoms may include nausea, jaundice, fatigue, dark-colored urine, swollen feet and ankles, bruising, and weight loss.

  • Gallbladder. Gallbladder disease or gallstones cause pain in the right upper abdomen. Pain may be sharp and acute and may radiate to the back or under the ribs. Pain may develop after you eat a fatty meal. Other symptoms may include clay-colored stools, jaundice, and fever.

If you have acute pain that is not too severe and you have no other symptoms, you can try rest, ice, and an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you have severe or chronic pain, you should talk to your doctor. Always call your doctor if you have rib cage pain with:

Seek immediate medical care if you have very severe pain with persistent nausea and vomiting. Go to the emergency room if you have rib cage pain with chest pain or difficulty breathing.

3 Reasons You Might Have Rib Cage Pain

Learn the symptoms of each condition and what treatment to expect.

Pain in your chest can be scary — you may even be worried you’re having a heart attack. But the pain you’re experiencing might not actually be coming from one of your organs. The ribs themselves, and the area surrounding them, can also cause discomfort. Here are three conditions that can cause rib cage pain, and the telltale symptoms doctors use to tell them apart.

1. Bruised or fractured rib

Your rib cage provides a crucial function: to protect your heart, lungs and other vital organs. But this may also mean they take the brunt of the damage in the case of trauma, such as a car accident, steep fall, physical assault or even intense coughing. A bruised rib means the bone is not actually cracked, but it still may have sustained damage. Symptoms for bruised and broken ribs are much the same: pain, particularly when breathing or coughing.

Telltale sign: Injured ribs cause pain when breathing, coughing, twisting or bending.

Your doctor may order a chest X-ray to determine if you’ve fractured your rib. If you have, a CT scan will help determine whether your lungs have been injured.

Ribs obviously can’t be put in a cast or immobilized, like other broken bones. Plus, they need to keep moving when you breathe. Even if it hurts, it’s important to breathe deeply, so you can keep your lungs clear. Failing to do so may result in pneumonia. Respiratory complications like pneumonia occur in nearly a third of patients with rib fractures. Your doctor may give you a device to breathe into to help improve your lung function, and pain medications to make breathing easier until your broken or bruised rib heals.

2. Costochondritis

You may not have heard of this condition, but it’s actually a common cause of rib cage pain. All but two of your ribs are attached to your sternum, or breastbone, by cartilage.

“This area where the ribs meet the breastbone, called costosternal joints, can become inflamed,” says Rose Taroyan, MD, a family medicine physician at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Taroyan explains that costochondritis causes pain (it can be either sharp or dull) and tenderness in your chest. It may result from a blow to the chest, heavy lifting or hard exercise, or sustained coughing and sneezing.

Telltale sign: When the area where the rib meets the breastbone is pressed, you’ll feel pain.

Your doctor may order an electrocardiogram to rule out any cardiac issues. Depending on whether you have any other symptoms, your doctor may also order additional tests. If you’re diagnosed with costochondritis, though, it usually goes away on its own in a few days to a few weeks.

“You can do stretching exercises, put a heating pad on the painful area a few times a day, and take pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen,” Taroyan says. “And any activity you do that causes or reliably exacerbates the pain should be reduced and/or stopped, at least temporarily.”

3. Pleurisy

Lining the inside of your chest cavity and the outside of your lungs are two layers of tissue called pleura; the area between these layers is called the pleural space. The layers generally glide against each other smoothly as you inhale and exhale.

With pleurisy, the layers become inflamed due to a viral infection, pneumonia or other medical condition, and rub together roughly, causing pain every time you breathe or cough. Fluid may also collect in the pleural space, causing shortness of breath.

Telltale sign: Doctors can actually hear the membranes rubbing together, called a friction rub, when they listen to your chest with a stethoscope.

Based on your symptoms, your doctor may order imaging or blood tests to help determine the underlying cause of the pleurisy and to see if fluid has built up. If it has, the fluid may need to be drained. If the fluid is a result of a bacterial infection, you’ll be given antibiotics. If it’s from a virus, it may have to run its course, but over-the-counter pain relievers may help to reduce your symptoms.

With any rib cage pain, if you can’t breathe, your skin turns blue or you have severe chest pain, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away.

by Tina Donvito

Are you concerned about rib cage pain? Our expert family medicine physicians can help. If you’re in Southern California, request an appointment or call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).

Pain Under Both Ribs | 8 Possible Causes

Causes of rib pain on both sides

Your rib cage functions to protect some of your most vital organs and so can often be the first body part affected after a traumatic injury. However, trauma is only one of the potential causes of rib pain. Because your rib cage is composed of multiple different components, rib pain can also be due to inflammatory and systemic causes. Rib pain can also be caused by injury to some of the underlying structures beneath the ribs that when inflamed or irritated cause a pain that mimics rib pain. While some causes of rib pain are not serious and may resolve on their own, you should be examined by a healthcare professional who can identify the right diagnosis and the best course of treatment.


Trauma to the rib cage or chest wall can result in multiple injuries that can cause rib pain.

  • Bone fracture: Trauma to the chest wall like the kind that occurs with a severe fall, car accident, or direct blow to the area can cause fracture of either the ribs, sternum (breastbone), or clavicle (collarbone). Any of these fractures can cause pain that feels as if it is coming from the ribs. Rib fractures, in particular, cause pain that is worsened with breathing and coughing.
  • Lung bruise: Trauma to the chest wall can also cause injury to the underlying lung resulting in pain that mimics rib pain. When trauma causes bruising of a lung this is known as a pulmonary contusion.
  • Muscle strain: The muscles that join the ribs together are called intercostal muscles. Intercostal muscles can be strained or pulled when overexerted either during heavy lifting or intense coughing.


Rib pain can be caused by inflammation which is the body’s normal response to injury or infection.

  • Rib joint inflammation: The rib cartilage that joins the rib bones to the sternum or breastbone can become irritated or inflamed in a condition known as costochondritis.
  • Infection of the lung or airway: Pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs that compose the lung. Pneumonia can lead to irritation of the lining of tissue, also called pleura, that surrounds the lung. This tissue lining is situated close to the ribs and irritation or inflammation of the lining, also known as pleuritis, can mimic rib pain. Bronchitis, inflammation of the airway, and upper respiratory infections can also cause rib pain due to prolonged coughing.
  • Pulmonary embolism: A pulmonary embolism (PE) or blood clot in the lung can also lead to irritation of the lining of the lung, also known as pleuritis, which can mimic rib pain.

Systemic and other causes

Some diseases or illnesses are systemic meaning they can affect multiple parts of the body including the ribs and rib cage. Cancer, for example, can spread to many bones in the body and sometimes spreads to the rib cage leading to rib pain. Sometimes rib pain is due to a non-physical cause like stress or anxiety that manifests as the physical symptom of chest pain.

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Acute costochondritis (chest wall syndrome)

Acute costochondritis is the inflammation of the flexible cartilage that connects each rib to the breastbone. Costochondritis is caused by excessive coughing or by straining the upper body, as with weightlifti..

Atypical chest pain

Atypical chest pain describes the situation when someone’s chest pain is unlikely to be related to heart or lung disease. There are many other possible causes that could explain chest pain, like sore chest wall muscles or psychological factors like stress and anxiety.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath

Symptoms that always occur with atypical chest pain: chest pain

Symptoms that never occur with atypical chest pain: fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Normal occurence of chest pain

Sometimes chest pain is not a sign of a heart attack. The following symptoms are usually typical of more benign conditions:

If the pain is brief, like a short shock, and subsides right away, it is most likely from an injury such as a broken rib or pulled muscle in the chest.

Sharp pain in the chest that improves with exercise is probably from acid reflux or a similar condition, and will be eased with antacids.

A small, sharp pain anywhere in the chest that actually feels worse on breathing is probably from a lung inflammation such as pneumonia or asthma.

An actual heart attack involves intense, radiating chest pain that lasts for several minutes; worsens with activity; and is accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pain in the arms, back, or jaw. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

If there is any question as to whether the symptoms are serious or not, a medical provider should be seen as soon as possible.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: chest pain, rib pain

Symptoms that always occur with normal occurrence of chest pain: chest pain

Symptoms that never occur with normal occurrence of chest pain: being severely ill, shortness of breath, fainting, severe chest pain, crushing chest pain, excessive sweating, nausea or vomiting

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Bacterial pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by one of several different bacteria, often Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia is often contracted in hospitals or nursing homes.

Symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, painful and difficult breathing, and cough that brings up mucus. Elderly patients may have low body temperature and confusion.

Pneumonia can be a medical emergency for very young children or those over age 65, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system or a chronic heart or lung condition. Emergency room is only needed for severe cases or for those with immune deficiency.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and chest x-ray.

With bacterial pneumonia, the treatment is antibiotics. Be sure to finish all the medication, even if you start to feel better. Hospitalization may be necessary for higher-risk cases.

Some types of bacterial pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination. Flu shots help, too, by preventing another illness from taking hold. Keep the immune system healthy through good diet and sleep habits, not smoking, and frequent handwashing.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath

Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia: cough

Urgency: In-person visit


Tuberculosis, or TB, is a lung infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In some cases, it can affect other organs such as the brain or kidneys.

The disease spreads when an infected person exhales, speaks, or coughs and someone else inhales the bacteria. Tuberculosis is not transmitted any other way. Some patients carry TB without ever showing symptoms, though the disease may become active if something happens to weaken the immune system.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems; infected with HIV; living or working in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, or nursing homes; and children under age 5.

Symptoms include severe cough that may bring up sputum and/or blood; chest pain; weakness; weight loss; fever; chills, and night sweats.

Diagnosis is made through skin tests, blood tests, sputum tests, and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves a course of specialized antibiotics under close medical supervision, along with rest and supportive care.

There is a vaccine for tuberculosis, but it is not entirely effective and not routinely given in the United States.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, rib pain, dry cough

Urgency: In-person visit

Pulmonary embolism

An embolus is a blood clot that forms in the bloodstream, breaks loose, and is carried by the blood to become lodged elsewhere in the circulatory system. If this clot (embolus) blocks part of the bloodstream in the lungs (pulmonary system,) this condition is called pulmonary embolis..

Hypertensive crisis

Hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high (180/120 mm Hg), to a level that can damage your organs. Hypertensive crisis is categorized as “hypertensive urgency” if the blood pressure is high without damage to organs, and as “hypertensive emergen..

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a chronic condition that involves repeated episodes of panic attacks, as well as worry about future attacks or consequences of attacks, or unhelpful changes in behavior to avoid the attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of sudden-onset fear, discomfort, and/or other symptoms tha..

Pain Under Left Ribcage | FastMed Urgent Care

Rib pain can be extremely painful and dangerous because your ribcage protects several important organs, such as your heart and lungs. Pinpointing where your rib pain originates can help determine what is causing it, and seeking the advice of a medical professional can help treat it quickly.

FastMed Urgent Care is open every day of the year, requires no appointment, and offers on-site labs and x-rays. There was a time when you had only two choices for medical care: planning a doctor’s appointment or biding your time in a crowded hospital waiting room. With FastMed, you will always have the care you need, when you need it.

What’s This Pain Under My Left Ribcage?!

When it comes to rib pain, there are all sorts of causes. But paying attention to where the pain is coming from can help narrow down the origin. For instance, pain under your left ribcage is often associated with an enlarged spleen because your spleen sits directly under the left side of your ribcage.

What causes an enlarged spleen?

  • Infections such as Mononucleosis, syphilis, and malaria
  • Cancers such as Leukemia or lymphoma
  • Infiltrative diseases such as amyloidosis

Besides pain under my left ribcage, what are some other symptoms of an enlarged spleen?

  • Feeling full without eating
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Easy bleeding

Is there anything else that could be causing my rib pain?

Yes. Although common, spleen conditions are not the only causes of pain under your left ribcage. Here are some other conditions associated with rib pain:

  • Gas in the colon
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Broken rib
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Without seeing a medical professional, it can be extremely difficult to understand your rib pain and what is causing it. In addition to providing high-quality, cost-effective medical care, FastMed believes that every patient should be treated with courteous attention and concern. The best part? We are right in your neighborhood! Find a FastMed clinic near you!

Aching rib cage causes | AXA Health

Ribcage pain – whether on the left or right hand side – can occur for many reasons. Most commonly this will not be due to any serious underlying condition but there are some medical reasons that may need to be ruled out:

What are the possible causes of ribcage pain?

1) Trauma or muscular pain

Trauma – if you have had a traumatic injury to the ribs, or even something such as forceful coughing, you may have caused some bruising, or even broken a rib. If you feel that this may be the cause of your pain the best things you can do are to take painkillers as required and use an ice pack to the affected area to help reduce inflammation. Try to practice ‘deep breathing’ also, as this will make sure that your lungs are fully inflating and reduce the risk of developing a chest infection (NHS, 2021).

Straining of the intercostal muscles – These are the muscles that connect the ribs and expand and contract when we breathe; like any other muscle in the body, these can become inflamed and cause us pain. Pain through a muscular strain will tend to occur when taking deep breaths. The treatment options for this type of strain will be similar to that above for a broken or bruised rib.

2) Cardiac Pain

We may feel pain in our ribcage that could indicate a cardiac concern, such as heart failure. If you were suffering from a condition that was affecting the function of the heart you would most likely be experiencing some additional symptoms (BHF, 2021) including: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling feet and legs; this swelling can also spread to higher up in the body
  • Feeling unusually tired and week
  • Coughing or wheezing, sometimes bringing up ‘frothy’ or blood-stained mucus
  • Fast heart rate.

If you are experiencing pain along with any of the symptoms noted above it is important to seek and urgent review through your GP to determine the diagnosis.

If you experience chest pain that is severe, that radiates to your arms, back or jaw, or is accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness or feeling extremely unwell then you must seek an emergency review at your local Accident and Emergency department.

3) Costochondritis

This condition refers to the inflammation of the cartilage which joins your rib cage to your breastbone (sternum). This condition does not lead to any long-term complications and will usually improve on its own within a few weeks, however, unfortunately, some people will have relapses (NHS, 2021).

Symptoms of costochondritis include:

  • Pain when deep breathing, coughing or sneezing
  • Pain that worsens when you put pressure on the chest
  • Pain that is worsened when lying down.

The main treatment for costochondritis is pain killing medications such as anti-inflammatories (NHS, 2021). If these do not manage your pain or you condition is not resolving, then your GP may want to look into other alternative treatments.

4) Gall stones

Gallstones are formed when a substance, usually cholesterol, forms into a small stone within the gall bladder. Gallstones will often cause no problems, and you may have no symptoms at all of them, but if one of the stones becomes lodged in a duct inside the gall bladder this this can trigger a pain called biliary colic (NHS, 2021). 

Pain from gallstones is usually felt in the centre of your abdomen, under the ribs or on your right-hand side. Sometimes the pain will be triggered by eating particularly fatty foods, and you won’t notice relief after being sick, having your bowels open or passing wind.

If you develop complications from gall stones, including biliary colic or inflammation of the gallbladder known as cholecystitis you may experience:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Persistent severe pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fevers.

Gallstones usually only need to be treated if they are causing complications. If you do require treatment then this will usually be surgery to remove the gallbladder using keyhole surgery (NHS, 2021).

5) Diseases of the liver

There are a number of different types of diseases that can affect our livers, including cirrhosis or hepatitis, and most of these will often have no symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses you may expect to see some symptoms, including abdominal pain. Some symptoms you might experience include (British Live Trust, 2021):

  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Itching of the skin
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Pale/clay coloured stools
  • Abdominal pain, often on the right side under the ribs
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent or easy bruising or bleeding
  • Changes in personality.

If you are experiencing abdominal pain with any of the above symptoms, or you are concerned about your liver, the best thing to do is to get in touch with the GP for a physical review and some blood tests.  Lifestyle choices can have a really big impact on our liver health and liver disease is often preventable.

6) Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas (an organ that plays a vital role in hormone production and digestion) which can be both acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis can make someone feel extremely unwell and can be very dangerous so needs prompt medical attention (NHS, 2021). 

One of the main causes of pancreatitis can be gallstones or heavy alcohol use but it can also develop due to other causes including injury and infection. 

The main symptom of acute pancreatitis is severe pain that is felt in the upper abdomen, just below the ribs, but you may experience other symptoms along with this pain including (NIDDK, 2021):

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Diarrhoea.

As above someone with pancreatitis may be extremely unwell, and will often look and feel it as well, so if you believe you may be suffering from this condition it is very important to seek an urgent medical assessment, either through your local Accident and Emergency department or by calling NHS 111.

7) Acid reflux and stomach ulcers

Pain from heartburn and acid reflux can sometimes be felt int he chest area. The pain here is caused by stomach acid travelling up the oesophagus. Along with heartburn, if you are experiencing acid reflux you may also experience:

  • A sour or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • A hoarse voice
  • Recurring coughs or hiccups.

Your symptoms will often worsen after eating, and when lying down and bending down, if your pain is due to acid reflux (NHS, 2021).

If you develop an ulcer in the lining of your stomach, then you will likely also experience the symptoms listed above. If you believe you have a stomach ulcer or struggling with acid reflux it is best to seek an assessment with your GP for investigations into this (NHS, 2021). In some cases, a stomach ulcer can perforate, and bleed, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below then you must seek an urgent medical review:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Sudden intense pain that worsens
  • Passing black or tar like bowel motions.

As you say your pain seems to come on after eating then this may be something your doctor may need to investigate further.

8) Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is the collective name for the diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract; the main two forms being ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease (Crohns and colitis UK, 2021). Pain from these conditions will usually be felt lower down in the abdomen, however sometimes we can get referred pain to other areas of the body, including in the ribs. If you are suffering with an inflammatory bowel disease you will likely have other accompanying symptoms including: 

  • Diarrhoea – this can sometimes be mixed with mucus, blood or pus
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Anaemia
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Inflammation in other areas of the body (Crohns and colitis UK, 2021).

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms noted above along with the rib pain, then you should speak to your GP to discuss your symptoms.

9) Appendicitis

Appendicitis, is when the small part of the intestine known as the appendix becomes infected and inflamed. This needs examination by a GP or emergency doctor as it may need surgery (NHS, 2021). This pain will usually be felt in the lower right hand side of the abdomen but if you are experiencing worsening pain, especially if accompanied by fever, nausea and loose stools then it is important to seek an assessment to rule this out.

With any of these issues it is important to get a diagnosis and treatment through your GP. If symptoms worsen or you experience any of the following, you should go to the accident and emergency department of your hospital:

  • Pain becomes unbearable
  • Vomiting blood or passing blood when you have your bowels open
  • Black stools
  • Crushing pain in chest
  • Worsening symptoms that you cannot manage at home.

While of course no amount of healthy living can absolutely guarantee good health, the fact that you have such a healthy lifestyle makes a serious cause much less likely.

If you’re otherwise entirely well and have no other symptoms, it would be reasonable for you to try some regular over the counter pain killers to see if they help your symptoms; as long as there’s no medical reason you can’t take them (please note that long term use of some anti-inflammatory medications can cause irritation of the stomach lining). Otherwise, after this length of time, see your GP – they can ask more detailed questions on associated symptoms.

Answered by the Health at Hand team.  

Sources and further reading


BHF, 2021. Heart failure. (Accessed: 25 Feb 2021).

British Liver Trust, 2021. Symptoms of liver disease. (Accessed: 25 Feb 2021).

Crohns and Colitis UK, 2021. About Crohns and colitis. (Accessed: 26 Feb 2021).

NHS, 2021. Acute pancreatitis. (Accessed: 25 Feb 2021)

NHS, 2021. Appendicitis. (Accessed 26 Feb 2021).

NHS, 2021. Bruised or broken ribs. (Accessed: 25 Feb 2021).

NHS, 2021. Costochondritis. (Accessed 25 Feb 2021).

NHS 2021. Gallstones. Symptoms. (Accessed: 25 Feb 2021)

NHS, 2021. Heartburn and acid reflux. (Accessed 25 Feb 2021).

NHS, 2021. Stomach ulcer. (Accessed 25 Feb 2021)

NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), 2021. Symptoms and causes of pancreatitis. (Accessed 25 Feb 2021).

Knowing The Signs of Liver Cancer Could Save Your Life

There are lots of sayings that highlight body parts. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…” “I’m all ears…” “He’s just pulling your leg…”

One body part that doesn’t pop up in a lot of sayings is the liver, but in spite of its low literary profile, your liver has a high profile in your body. It’s the largest organ inside your body. (Your skin is the largest organ.)

The liver sits above and to the right of your stomach under the rib cage and below your diaphragm.

The liver has a number of functions. It:

  • Makes bile to help digest fat from the foods you eat.
  • Removes toxins and waste from your blood so they can be eliminated from your body.
  • Activates and regulates important hormones.
  • Stores glycogen (sugar) the body uses for energy.

Based on the work the liver does, you can imagine liver diseases, such as liver cancer, are very serious medical problems.

The Basics of Liver Cancer

About 39,000 Americans are diagnosed with primary liver cancer each year. The term “primary” means the cancer started in the liver. Metastatic liver cancer starts somewhere else (for example the colon, lung or breast) and spreads to the liver. This type of cancer is more common than cancers that begin in the liver.

You’re at Higher Risk For Liver Cancer if You:

  • Have (or have had) hepatitis B or C.
  • Heavily use alcohol.
  • Have cirrhosis – chronic scarring and damage to the liver.
  • Have hemochromatosis – an iron storage disease.
  • Are obese or have diabetes.

Symptoms of Liver Cancer

Early liver cancer may not cause symptoms. But after the cancer has grown, the National Institutes of Health says common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen on the right side.
  • Pain near the right shoulder blade or in the back.
  • A lump on your right side just below the rib cage or a heavy feeling in the upper abdomen.
  • Swollen abdomen (bloating).
  • Loss of appetite and feelings of fullness after eating a small meal.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unusual weakness or fatigue.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), pale stools and dark urine.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Unexplained fever.

These symptoms may be caused by liver cancer or other health problems. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Diagnosing Primary Liver Cancer

Your health care professional may use one of several tests or procedures to determine if the problem is liver cancer.

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Liver function tests or serum tumor marker tests
  • CT (CAT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound exam
  • Biopsy

If liver cancer is diagnosed, there are a number of treatment options. They range from simply keeping an eye on an especially small lesion that may not become a problem, to various therapies or surgery. In more extreme cases a liver transplant may be the best treatment.

Whatever treatment is adopted, the patient will be treated by a team of experts in fighting the disease. Team members will carefully explain to the patient and family the entire process and what to expect during and after treatment.

If you’re at risk for liver cancer, visit with your health care professional about steps you can take to reduce your risk, such as managing weight and/or diabetes. Remember, the earlier we can diagnose liver cancer, the better the chance for a good outcome. The good news is, controlling weight and diabetes will help you take a major step toward reducing your risks for a number of diseases — and it will improve your chances for living well a long time.

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

Costochondritis — Symptoms, Causes, Tests, and Treatment for Costochondritis — from WebMD

What Is Costochondritis?

Costochondritis is inflammation of the areas where your upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to your breastbone. These areas are called costochondral junctions. The condition causes chest pain, but it’s typically harmless and usually goes away without any treatment. But any chest pain in adults should be taken seriously, so you should be examined and tested for heart disease.

A rare condition called Tietze syndrome is often referred to as costochondritis, but the two are distinct conditions. You can tell the difference by the following:

  • Tietze syndrome usually comes on all of a sudden, with chest pain spreading to your arms or shoulder and lasting several weeks.

  • Tietze syndrome causes swelling at the painful area (where your ribs and breastbone meet).​​​​​​​

Costochondritis Causes

Doctors don’t know exactly why costochondritis happens, but they do know that some things can lead to it: 

  • Repeated minor trauma to your chest wall
  • Overuse of your arms
  • Arthritis. Costochondritis can sometimes be a sign of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or other conditions that affect your cartilage.
  • Tumors. These can move from joints and other parts of your body and settle in your chest.
  • Respiratory infections caused by viruses 
  • Bacterial infections, especially in people who use IV drugs or have had surgery near their upper chest 
  • Fungal infections (in rare cases)

Costochondritis Symptoms

Chest pain linked to costochondritis usually comes on after exercise, minor trauma, or an upper respiratory infection.

  • Sharp pain in the front of  your chest, near where your breastbone and ribs meet, typically on the left side. It may spread to your back or belly.
  • Pain when you take a deep breath or cough. It gets better when you stop moving or your breathing is quieter.
  • Tenderness when you press on your rib joints. If you don’t have this tenderness, you probably don’t have costochondritis.
  •  If costochondritis happens because of an infection after surgery, you’ll have redness, swelling, or pus discharge at the site of the surgery.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following:

Go to a hospital’s emergency room if you have a hard time breathing or any of the following. They’re not usually caused by costochondritis:

  • High fever that doesn’t get better with fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Signs of infection at the tender spot, such as pus, redness, increased pain, and swelling
  • Persistent chest pain of any type when you also have nausea, sweating, or pain in your left arm. These may be signs of a heart attack. If you’re not sure what’s causing your chest pain, go to the emergency room.

Costochondritis Risk Factors

Costochondritis is a common cause of chest pain in children and adolescents. It accounts for 10% to 30% of all chest pain in children. Annually, doctors see about 650,000 cases of chest pain in people ages 10 to 21. The peak age for the condition is ages 12-14.

Kids who often carry heavy book bags over one shoulder can be more likely to develop costochondritis.

In adults, costochondritis affects women more than men (70% vs. 30%).  

Costochondritis Diagnosis

There is no specific test for diagnosing costochondritis. To rule out a more serious cause of your chest pain related to your heart or lungs, your doctor will probably start with tests like an echocardiogram (ECG), chest X-rays, and blood test for heart damage, among others.  

If those tests come back normal, they’ll likely see if you have tenderness in any of your rib joints, usually over the fourth to sixth ribs.

If you’ve had sternum (breastbone) surgery or are at risk for heart disease, they may recommend getting a test to see if infection is the cause of your chest pain. Doctors will:

  • Look for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pus, and drainage at the site of surgery
  • Recommend a more sophisticated imaging study of the chest called a gallium scan, which will show an increase in the radioactive material gallium 
  • Check your white blood cell count to see if it is high, a sign of infection
  • Recommend a chest X-ray if pneumonia might be a cause of your chest pain

Costochondritis Treatment and Home Remedies

Home Remedies for Costochondritis

These home remedies may provide relief from costochondritis:

  • Over-the-counter  pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen as needed
  • Using local heat or ice to relieve pain
  • Avoiding unnecessary exercise or activities that make the symptoms worse; avoiding contact sports until there is improvement in symptoms, and then returning to normal activities only as tolerated
  • Doing stretching exercises

Medications for Costochondritis

Your doctor may suggest the following:

  • Prescription-strength NSAIDs.
  • A local anesthetic and steroid injection in the area that is tender if normal activities become very painful and the pain doesn’t get better with medicine.
  • Narcotics like hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Norco, Vicodin) or oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet, Tylox) can help with extreme pain, but, as with any narcotics, there’s danger of becoming addicted to them.
  • Steroids. Your doctor can give you a corticosteroid shot directly into a painful joint, but that’s considered something of a last resort.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants or cyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline can help ease pain, but they also can have side effects, like weight gain and drowsiness. 
  • Antiseizure drugs, usually gabapentin (Neurontin), are typically used to treat epilepsy, but they also may help with costochondritis.
  • Infectious (bacterial or fungal) costochondritis should be treated with IV antibiotics. Afterward, antibiotics by mouth or by IV should be continued for another 2 to 3 weeks. You should see a doctor during recovery, and then once a year. 

Surgery for Costochondritis

You may need surgery to remove the sore cartilage if other treatments don’t help. Your doctor can refer you to a surgeon.

Costochondritis Prevention

Because inflammatory costochondritis has no definite cause, there is no good way to prevent it.

Costochondritis Outlook

Noninfectious costochondritis will go away on its own, with or without anti-inflammatory treatment. Most people will recover fully.

Infectious costochondritis responds well to IV antibiotics and surgery, but recovery may take a long time.

Why the left side hurts under the ribs

Dull, sharp, aching or stabbing pain on the left side in the lower abdomen usually worries and alarms a person. Indeed, many vital organs are located in this area, and unpleasant sensations can indicate a variety of diseases and conditions, including potentially life-threatening ones, requiring immediate hospitalization.

Pain in the left side under the ribs is a sign of diseases, traumatic injury, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, soft tissue damage, as well as some viral infections. Features of the clinic, diagnostic program and treatment tactics depend on the cause of the pain.

Most common causes of left side pain

The causes of painful sensations and discomfort in the left side are numerous and far from always, these are serious pathologies or diseases. Below, we will tell you about the most common causes of pain:

    1. Increased gassing. When the food that we ate and digested in the stomach enters the small intestine, bacteria are taken over to break it down.During operation, they emit carbon dioxide and other gases. If there is too much gas in the intestines, the pressure rises. The sections of the intestine expand, press on the nerve endings located around it. This causes bloating and pain.
    2. Constipation. Lack of stool can cause discomfort and sometimes pain in the intestines. This is usually due to a lack of fiber or fluid.
    3. Excessive physical activity. Surely everyone is familiar with the feeling of “colitis in the left side”, especially after running or increased activity.This is due to increased blood flow, which increases the size of the spleen, which in turn presses on the outer sheath, which contains nerve endings.
    4. Muscle pain. Maybe they did active crunches in training and overdid it. Maybe we sat in a draft. Or maybe you have poor posture, stress, or an autoimmune disease. Myalgia, that is, muscle pain, has dozens of causes.
    5. Mechanical damage, injury or trauma.
    6. Monthly. During or in front of your period, your lower abdomen may hurt.Including in the left part of it, sometimes giving it to the back.
    7. Endometriosis or ovarian cyst. These diseases can be recognized by pulling pains in the pelvic region – both on the left and on the right. The sensations are similar to menstrual cramps, but can appear at any time. With such violations, menstruation lengthens and becomes more painful.
    8. Ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is said to be when a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, but to the fallopian tube, cervix, ovary, or other place in the abdominal cavity.Sooner or later, the growing embryo tears apart the organ to which it has attached. This can lead to severe and fatal bleeding and peritonitis.
    9. Inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. There are many possible causes of inflammation. Also, inflammatory bowel disease can lead to: nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fever.
    10. Various kidney diseases. The presence of stones or inflammatory processes can give off pain impulses to the left side of the lower back, periodically weakening or intensifying.
  1. Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs and pleurisy is inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Most often, these diseases are caused by bacteria or viruses. It is not difficult to recognize lung lesions: acute chest pain occurs with deep breathing or coughing. Additional symptoms: fever, weakness, chills, difficulty breathing.
  2. Appendicitis. First of all, in the presence of appendicitis, you will feel acute pain in the right side, which can also be felt in the left hypochondrium.
  3. Heart disease. Sharp or dull and aching pains can radiate to the left hypochondrium and cause discomfort. These symptoms can be indicators of a serious illness.
  4. Cancer development. Unfortunately, malignant neoplasms in the pancreas or intestines show little or no symptoms in the early stages and can only be noticed for minor discomfort.

Why the right side hurts under the ribs

Pain in the right hypochondrium often signals the presence of pathologies in the work of internal organs and we strongly recommend contacting a specialist in order to identify the disease in the early stages.

There are many reasons for pain in the right side, from mechanical damage to internal organs to severe inflammation and cancer. Unfortunately, many who are faced with this problem begin to self-medicate, although only a specialist can establish the exact cause of the discomfort after undergoing a comprehensive diagnosis. Due to the close location of the digestive, respiratory and urinary systems, choosing the drug yourself, you are likely to harm your body.

Most common causes of pain in the right side

Below are the most common causes of pain in the right side, but this information should make you understand that there are a huge number of them and you will not be able to diagnose yourself. And as mentioned earlier, you should not postpone the visit to a specialist.

  1. Inflammation of the appendix (process of the colon). The most obvious symptom is the appearance of pain in the navel area, which spreads to the right side.Further, the temperature rises, the appetite disappears.
  2. Gallstone disease (the formation of stones in the gastric bladder). This disease is characterized by throbbing and intensifying pain, which can also radiate to the back, chest and even to the right shoulder.
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Gases collecting in the intestines stretch its walls and cause pain in different parts of the abdomen, including the right side.
  4. Inflammatory bowel disease.The most common are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. If your intestines are inflamed, you will feel pain, cramps, and swelling in your abdomen. Other symptoms are bloody diarrhea, weight loss, and weakness.
  5. Constipation. If you cannot go to the toilet, you feel discomfort and heaviness in the abdomen, this is constipation.
  6. Duodenal ulcer. An ulcer is a deep defect in the mucous membrane. In most cases, it occurs when the bacterium Helicobacter pylori enters the duodenum.In addition to pain in the right side, bloating, a feeling of heaviness, heartburn, belching, and nausea may appear.
  7. Monthly. A pulling pain can be felt in the right side from below before and during menstruation. This is usually not dangerous, but very unpleasant.
  8. Ovarian cyst. A twisting or ruptured cyst causes pelvic pain, ranging from dull and moderate to acute and sudden. Specific symptoms are painful sensations during sex, irregular and heavy periods, frequent urination.
  9. Diseases of the urinary organs.Inflammatory processes and other pathologies can cause burning pain in the right side during urination.
  10. Liver diseases. There are no pain receptors in the liver itself. Therefore, pain can appear only in advanced cases, when the organ greatly increases in size, and its capsule is stretched.
  11. Lung pathology. Painful sensations when coughing arising in the right side indicate possible problems with the lungs, ranging from inflammatory processes to cancer.
  12. Injury of ribs or muscles in the right hypochondrium. In addition to sprains and bruises, you may have soft tissue inflammation.

Pain in the region of the ribs, pain in the ribs on the left and right

Pain between or under the ribs is cause for concern, since the rib cage contains vital organs. This article is relevant for everyone who has rib pain: in it you can learn about the most common causes of this clinical manifestation.

Reasons for rib pain

Pain on the left or right under the ribs can have a different character – as well as the reasons that cause it. It can be strong and almost imperceptible, aching or harsh, arising at certain times or incessant. In almost every case, the cause of pain can be a disease that develops in the chest area.

Chest injury

It is customary to refer to rib cage injuries as fractures or bruises of the ribs.Fractures are characterized by tears in the bones and cartilage joints of one or more ribs. Depending on the injury, pain symptoms can be constant aching or be acute, intense.

For bruises, mild pain is characteristic, which is accompanied by edema and the appearance of a hematoma in the area of ​​injury. As a rule, pain symptoms disappear after seven to ten days. Fractures require mandatory diagnosis in order to exclude the possibility of injury to the soft tissues of the lung or other internal organs.Depending on the side of the injury, pain can be localized to the right or left under the ribs or between them. Its intensity and duration depends on how severe the injury was.

Intercostal neuralgia

Pain between the ribs along the nerves can occur due to the following diseases:

Seizures in the form of shooting pain, similar to an electric shock, occur due to pinching or irritation of the nerve roots, and their appearance can be provoked by the following factors:

  • hypothermia;
  • penetration of infection;
  • physical activity;
  • back injury.

The pain becomes worse with strong inhalation / exhalation or attempts to change the position of the body.

Costal chondrite

Rib chondritis (or, as it is also called, Tietze’s syndrome) is a disease in which there is a thickening of the cartilaginous tissue of the ribs, leading to their soreness. Pain sensations are not localized in one place and can spread to the entire sternum. They can be quite strong and appear brighter with sudden movements, deep breathing in / out, or coughing.Pain may be accompanied by:

  • local edema;
  • by an increase in temperature in the area of ​​the pathological process.

It appears suddenly and in its manifestations is comparable to an angina attack.

Angina pectoris

Angina pectoris is characterized by constant pressing pain behind the sternum and sometimes between the ribs. It is localized in the chest region and can spread to the left side of the neck, left arm and left side of the chest and may be accompanied by:

  • cardiac arrhythmias;
  • a sense of fear.

Other reasons

In addition, pain symptoms in the ribs can occur with the following diseases:

  • malignant neoplasms (in particular – rib osteosarcoma) – are characterized by dull pain at the onset of the disease, which, as it develops, becomes more and more pronounced;
  • fibromyalgia – pain occurs when trying to raise the arms or turn the trunk;
  • pleurisy – pain symptoms are manifested when coughing and deep breaths / exits;
  • Shingles – characterized by intense pain under the ribs in the right or left side, accompanied by itching or burning.

Another reason is the hypertonicity of the pectoral muscles, which occurs as a result of intense physical exertion. The pain in this case increases and is localized in the intercostal space.

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Diagnosis of rib pain

If you suffer from pain in the ribs, contact the CELT Pain Clinic.We employ doctors of various specialties who will direct the entire arsenal of diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of our multidisciplinary clinic to solve your problems. Since there are many reasons causing pain symptoms in the ribs, it is very important to correctly diagnose. This is the only way to correctly diagnose and prescribe treatment.

If pain occurs, please contact one of our specialists:

Diagnostics in our Pain Clinic, in addition to being examined by a doctor and taking anamnesis, may include:

Rib pain treatment

Treatment of rib pain is primarily aimed at eliminating the original cause that caused it.In case of severe pain, symptomatic therapy is used. It provides for the use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. If we are talking about diseases for which thermal procedures are indicated, ointments with a warming effect are used, if pain occurs due to muscle spasms – antispasmodics.

Passage of physiotherapy procedures, massage and manual therapy allows you to relieve painful sensations in the ribs with osteochondrosis and hypertonicity of the pectoral muscles.After the pain subsides, the patient may be prescribed physiotherapy exercises.

In case of chest injuries, the specialists of the CELT Pain Clinic will recommend a state of rest, in which not only the injured area should be, but also the patient as a whole. Thus, healing will be much faster. Can use a chest bandage, excluding sudden movements and deep breaths in and out.

Turning to the CELT Pain Clinic, you can count on professional treatment that will definitely be successful!

90,000 Treatment of pain under the ribs – OSTEOMED network of clinics

Pain in the ribs or under the ribs often leads people to seek help from doctors of various specialties, since it mimics angina pectoris, pleural pain, and the consequences of trauma.But often the pain in the ribs is a consequence of problems with the spine.

Doctors of the Osteomed Clinic in St. Petersburg very often observe in their practice patients with pain in the ribs or intercostal neuralgia. Simultaneously with the pain syndrome, other manifestations are determined in patients, which require detailed consideration and exclusion of other pathologies. To do this, you need to make an appointment with an experienced specialist and undergo a full examination.

Causes of rib pain

Among the causes of pain in the ribs or under the ribs, the following can be noted:

  • Traumatic injury to the chest – rib fractures, bruises, hematomas.In this case, the pain intensifies when bending, turning, and you can easily determine its source by feeling. Fractures are especially common in older people with advanced osteoporosis, where even a slight movement, such as coughing, can break the ribs.
  • Diseases of the respiratory system – pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis, as well as a strong cough can also give pain in the ribs associated with overstrain of the muscles of the diaphragm and chest.
  • Cardialgia – pain in the heart – often radiates throughout the chest, accompanies heart defects, hypertension, heart attacks, coronary heart disease, etc.d.
  • Oncological diseases of the mediastinal organs and the chest itself;
  • Tuberculosis of the lungs, spine, musculoskeletal tissues of the chest;
  • Osteochondrosis in the cervical and thoracic spine;
  • Polyneuritis, myositis, arthritis, etc.

Diagnostics of the pathological condition

With osteochondrosis, the pain in the ribs is of a periodic nature, sometimes worsens – usually in the evening and at night, and after a night’s rest it subsides.Since the thoracic part of the spine is its most inactive part, the pain is not as pronounced as with degenerative changes in other areas. It can intensify with breathing, coughing, sighing, but nevertheless the blur of its manifestations makes patients suspect that they have completely different diseases.

Therefore, it is very important to conduct a thorough differential diagnosis with other pathologies using various types of research:

  • X-ray of the chest and lungs, heart, spine – in several projections;
  • Computed tomography or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of the organs of the mediastinum and the entire chest, including the structures of the spine;
  • Electrocardiography;
  • Electromyography;
  • Echocardiography;
  • Examination of the vital capacity of the lungs, listening to breathing, sputum analysis and other methods for detecting pathology of the respiratory system;
  • Doppler ultrasonography of the mediastinal vessels;
  • General and biochemical analyzes, etc.d.

Step by step in a clinic, it is necessary to exclude the most life-threatening conditions, while alleviating the patient’s condition with symptomatic means.

Treatment of pain under the ribs

As a rule, with severe pain syndrome, the doctor uses various pain relievers – they can be taken in pill form or parenterally administered. Unbearable pain, which can also occur with intercostal neuralgia, is stopped by novocaine blockade in the compression zone of the nerve roots.

Each identified pathology has its own specific treatment. In vertebrology, chest pain caused by thoracic or cervicothoracic osteochondrosis has its own characteristics of therapy:

  • Drug treatment – these are analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, mild diuretics, drugs to improve peripheral circulation, chondroprotectors, vitamin-mineral complexes;
  • Manual therapy, remedial gymnastics, physiotherapy act directly on the causative factor of pathology, helping to release musculo-articular blocks, strengthen and develop muscles around the spine, improve blood supply and trophism of the thoracic spine;
  • Among other types of treatment – the appointment of rest in the acute period, a diet with a predominance of proteins, dairy products, vegetables, fruits with the exception of grapes, sorrel, coffee, carbonated drinks, sweets, fatty foods.In addition, patients can use acupuncture, stone therapy and other methods in complex treatment.

Pain under the ribs on the left

Pain under the ribs on the left is a common occurrence and is most often regarded as a sign of heart problems. In fact, pain in the left hypochondrium can signal diseases of various organs and systems of the body.

Causes of pain under the ribs on the left

Pain in the left hypochondrium is a dangerous symptom that signals serious diseases of the following organs and systems:

  • Heart (myocardial infarction).
  • Spleen (enlargement or rupture).
  • Stomach (gastritis, peptic ulcer, dispersion, cancer).
  • Pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • Lungs (inflammation, pneumonia, lung cancer).
  • Right kidney (urolithiasis, pyelonephritis).
  • Problems with the left side of the diaphragm.
  • Diseases of the nervous system.
  • Diseases of the endocrine system.
  • Injured or fractured ribs.
  • Vertebral osteochondrosis.

The list of possible diseases with pain under the ribs on the left is large, therefore, in order to accurately determine the affected organ, you need to pay attention to where the pain is concentrated.

Pain on the left under the ribs in front

Pain in the left hypochondrium in front is a signal of heart disease, most often myocardial infarction. In this case, the pain arises on the left side and gives more to the front, the patient feels propping up unpleasant sensations.

In addition, the pain on the left under the ribs can be given to the anterior part with stomach and duodenal ulcers. With an ulcer, the pain is acute and migrates to the right hypochondrium.

If the pain in the left hypochondrium increases from the front when inhaling, coughing or sneezing, then this may be the cause of damage to the left side of the diaphragm – a subphrenic abscess. Pain often migrates under the scapula or to the supraclavicular region of the left side.

Pain on the left under the ribs on the side

Pain on the left under the ribs on the side may be the first symptom of diseases of the nervous system or shingles.

In disorders of the nervous system, paroxysmal pain on the side under the left ribs is accompanied by such unpleasant symptoms as migraines and convulsions.

Shingles affects the nerve endings in the intercostal region, so it does not appear immediately. Initially, the aching pain on the side in the left hypochondrium turns into acute, and only over time, herpetic eruptions appear on the skin.

Pain behind the left under the ribs

Pain in the left hypochondrium, which gives back, occurs with kidney disease (in this case, the left kidney) and vertebral osteochondrosis.

The kidneys can hurt in different ways:

  • Severe, unbearable pain is a sign of renal colic.
  • Constant, but not severe “severe” pain – with inflammation and enlargement of the organ.

Vertebral osteochondrosis can also provoke both not too strong aching pains after sleeping or being in one position for a long time, and strong piercing pains that weaken after a person freezes in one position.

Pain under the ribs lower left

Almost always, the pain under the left ribs below (especially – under the lower rib) has an aching character and is triggered by an enlargement of the spleen.

The spleen is an organ that, by increasing, responding to all kinds of diseases.

  • Infectious diseases provoke an enlargement of the spleen – infectious mononucleosis, accompanied by fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes.
  • Hemoblastic diseases: lymphomas, leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
  • Septic diseases: purulent abscesses, bacterial endocarditis
  • Chronic diseases of high severity: tuberculosis, lupus erythematosus, malaria.
  • Pain under the lower left rib, which is associated with an enlargement of the spleen, is a very dangerous symptom, since in difficult cases the inflamed organ can develop even with the slightest movement.

    Symptoms of pain on the left under the ribs

    In order to understand what disease can portend pain on the left under the ribs, it is not enough to determine its localization.An important point in the diagnosis is the nature of the painful sensations. Pain can be:

    • Sharp.
    • Dull whining.
    • Sharp.
    • Stitching.

    Depending on the nature of the pain and the accompanying symptoms, it is possible to determine which organ needs a thorough medical examination and subsequent treatment.

    Dull aching pain on the left under the ribs

    If you feel a aching pain on the left under the ribs, which is also located in the middle of the abdomen, this signals gastritis or gastric ulcer. The accompanying symptoms in these diseases are:

    • Vomiting, relieving.
    • Decreased appetite.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Sour and bitter belching.

    Often gastritis with decreased secretion of gastric juice provoke the emergence of such a terrible disease as cancer.

    Dull aching pain in the left hypochondrium is also a sign of stomach cancer. But it should be remembered that pain can also be sharp.Stomach cancer is characterized by:

    • Unreasonable weight loss.
    • Anemia or signs of intoxication (yellowness of the face and whites of the eyes).
    • Increasing weakness and impaired human performance.
    • Depression.
    • Strong desire to change the diet, for example, aversion to meat.

    A dull aching pain at the bottom of the left rib indicates an enlargement of the spleen – splenomegaly.

    Often, aching pain on the left pesters people suffering from diseases of the pancreas.It is in the left hypochondrium that the “tail” of the organ is located, so the attack begins there. After the pain takes on a girdle character. Associated syndromes of pancreatic diseases:

    • High temperature.
    • Vomiting.
    • Nausea.

    Sharp pain on the left under the ribs

    Sharp pains in the left hypochondrium are characteristic of stomach and duodenal ulcers. They can give to the lower back and back. Sharp pains are so excruciating that the patient is forced to be in a squatting position, hugging or pressing his stomach against a hard object.In addition, ulcers suffer from:

    • Hungry pains.
    • Heartburn.
    • Vomiting.
    • Constipation.
    • Weakness, irritability and headaches.

    Sharp pain may increase under the ribs on the left after physical exertion or nervous strain.

    Stitching pain under the ribs on the left

    Stitching pain in the left hypochondrium, which intensifies when coughing or inhaling, is a serious symptom of lung disease (left-sided pneumonia, inflammation of the left lung, tuberculosis, lung cancer) or the left side of the diaphragm.

    Concomitant symptoms for lung disease are:

    • High temperature.
    • Fever (for pneumonia and subphrenic abscess).
    • Constipation.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Pale blue color of the nasolabial triangle (for pneumonia).
    • General intoxication of the body (with damage to the diaphragm).

    Acute pain on the left under the ribs

    Sharp, as it is also called “dagger” pain under the ribs on the left speaks of peptic ulcer of the duodenum and stomach.In addition to a severe attack of pain, which forces the patient to take a lying position with the legs pressed to the stomach, these diseases are characterized by:

    • Migratory pain.
    • Nausea.
    • Vomiting.

    Also, acute “dagger” paroxysmal pain, which subsides a little if a person freezes in one position, is characteristic of heart disease. In addition, acute pain occurs with vegetative-vascular dystonia.

    Do not forget that pain in the left hypochondrium may be associated with elementary damage to the rib bones (crack or fracture).In this case, the pain can be of different nature, but most often it increases with movement, deep breathing and coughing.

    Diagnosis of pain under the ribs on the left

    Whatever the pain under the ribs on the left, only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis. The initial examination and diagnosis is carried out by a family doctor (therapist), who, if necessary, will refer the patient for a follow-up examination to another specialist.

    Depending on the root cause of the pain, treatment is carried out:

    • Surgeon.
    • Gastroenterologist.
    • Cardiologist.
    • Neuropathologist.
    • Endocrinologist.
    • Traumatologist.
    • Infectionist.

    Diagnosis of pain in the left hypochondrium takes place in several stages:

    • Anamnesis (patient survey), during which the doctor finds out about the patient’s chronic and previous inflammatory diseases.
    • Palpation (manual examination).
    • Examination of the skin, tongue and eyes.
    • Further hospitalization and laboratory examination.

    Treatment of pain under the ribs on the left

    The left hypochondrium is protection for the internal organs (heart, lungs, spleen, pancreas), diseases of which often do not tolerate delay in visiting a doctor, as they can lead to immediate death. Therefore, you need to understand that the main principle of treating pain under the ribs on the left is a timely visit to a specialist.

    If you have pain under the ribs on the left, you can reduce the intensity of the pain yourself with the help of medications:

    • no-shpa (two tablets, no more than three times a day).
    • nitroglycerin (1 tablet under the tongue or three drops per piece of refined sugar).
    • subcutaneously: 1 ml of 0.1% solution of atropine and 1 ml of promedol; 5 ml baralgin and 2 ml no-shpa.

    Remember to call your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain accompanied by symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.Often, with a list of diseases, the first symptom of which was acute pain in the left hypochondrium, emergency surgery is indicated (with an enlarged spleen, stomach ulcer, pancreatitis).

    If the diagnosis has already been made by a specialist, then, in addition to the prescribed drug treatment, you can resort to traditional medicine recipes:

    • for enlargement and pain of the spleen – rosehip decoction or one gram of uterine milk per day.
    • for stomach and duodenal ulcers – Schisandra seeds powder (1 gram) 20 minutes before meals three times a day; fresh unsalted water from boiled potatoes – one glass before meals three times a day.
    • for heart diseases are effective: hawthorn tincture (1 tablespoon per one glass of boiling water, leave for 2 hours and take three tablespoons before meals), infusion of birch buds, motherwort and chicory (brew and take pharmaceutical herbs according to the recipe).

    Prevention of pain on the left under the ribs

    In order for the pain on the left under the ribs not to lead to disastrous consequences, it is necessary to follow several simple rules that should become the norm:

    • Undergo a full medical examination once a year in order to know about your chronic or possible illnesses.
    • Always be aware of how your illness is progressing and adhere to the recommendations of your doctor.
    • At the first attacks of pain and accompanying symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.

    Pain on the left under the ribs is a dangerous symptom, since it is quite difficult to determine unequivocally what exactly bothers you: heart or stomach; therefore, to avoid serious problems, see your doctor at the first minor pain in the left rib area, carefully monitor your condition and be healthy!

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    90,000 reasons to see a doctor, treatment

    To determine the possible cause of the pain syndrome and the further course of action, it is important to understand exactly where it hurts and the nature of the pain.Anatomically, three areas are distinguished in the upper abdomen: on the right and left under the ribs, as well as the area between them – epigastric (or epigastric) 1 .

    Several types of pain can be distinguished by manifestations, for example:

    Aching, cramping, rare

    This type of pain is characterized by periods of undulating growth and subsidence. An attack of such pain is called colic. Pain may decrease after taking antispasmodic drugs 1 .

    Provoking factors:

    Errors in diet, abundant food and alcohol 1 .

    Constant, monotonous, without wavelike decay and rise

    Often excruciating, increasing day by day. The severity increases with sudden movements, coughing, does not decrease with the use of heat, the use of antispasmodics 1 .

    Pay attention:

    The cause of such pain may be a serious pathology that requires immediate medical attention, especially if the pain is acute and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, bleeding 1 .

    Pain in the upper abdomen with diseases of the stomach and duodenum

    With these diseases, pain directly depends on the time of eating. Pain syndrome occurs due to movement disorders of the stomach and duodenum, which leads to increased tone, increased pressure in the stomach or stretching. If the duodenum is affected, then pains appear a few hours after eating, with a stomach ulcer it can hurt at night – the so-called hunger pains.Sometimes pain is accompanied by dyspeptic symptoms – nausea, belching, vomiting, stool disturbance, loss of appetite 1-3 .

    However, it should always be remembered that gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer can proceed with erased symptoms, when the pain is mild, and sometimes even absent. 4

    With gastritis, pain also occurs in the upper abdomen. Sometimes discomfort spreads to the left or right hypochondrium, the area near the navel.The dependence of pain on food intake for gastritis may not be so obvious: it can also hurt on an empty stomach. Pain syndrome with gastritis burning, dull, bursting, pulling, cutting, aching. It appears 2-3 times a day and lasts from half an hour and more than 1.5 .

    The appearance of discomfort and even more pain in the upper abdomen is a reason to see a doctor. He will collect anamnesis, conduct an examination and, if necessary, prescribe laboratory and functional studies. For an accurate diagnosis, a general, biochemical blood test, ultrasound, chest and / or abdominal x-ray may be needed 1 .

    If the pain is associated with food, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, belching, heartburn, the doctor may prescribe a gastroscopic examination 1 .

    the appearance of discomfort and even more pain in the upper abdomen is a reason to see a doctor

    Despite the fact that in most cases the pain in the upper abdomen indicates diseases of the digestive system, you should first visit a therapist, and if necessary, a specialist of a narrower profile – a gastroenterologist. In addition, you may need to consult a cardiologist, surgeon, infectious disease specialist.

    Symptoms that may indicate the development of dangerous diseases requiring emergency medical care include 1 :


    Pain that persists 6 hours or more


    Continuously increasing pain syndrome


    Decrease in blood pressure, increase in heart rate


    Dizziness, weakness, apathy


    Appearance of blood in vomit


    Constant vomiting

    No-shpa ® forte acts selectively on smooth muscle spasm as the main cause of abdominal pain 7 , gently relaxing tense muscles 6

    Even before the diagnosis is made, self-administration of medications is possible.For pain of mild and moderate intensity, the most common cause of which is a spasm of the smooth muscles of the digestive system, it is possible to take antispasmodic drugs. They do not mask pain, but act directly on its cause, without “smearing” the symptomatic picture of acute conditions. This is important for correct diagnosis 1 .

    Rib cancer: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

    The ribs in the body of each person are arcuate bones that connect with the spinal column and sternum to protect the located internal organs of a person from negative external influences.

    Oncology of the rib is a rare and severe malignancy that most often affects children and males, and women are rarely exposed to such a disease. The danger of rib cancer is that due to the location of these bones, the resulting metastases quickly spread to the heart and lungs.

    The latent course is that in the early stages of a person’s ribs do not hurt with cancer, which seriously reduces the chances of early detection of the disease and successful future treatment.A malignant formation can occur in any rib, which becomes a difficult test for the patient, since even with successful treatment there is no guarantee that a relapse will not occur.

    Causes of rib cancer

    The main causes of rib cancer are:

    • gene mutations that disrupt metabolic processes in bone tissue and contribute to the fact that cancer can form on the chest on the rib;
    • radioactive radiation accumulated in bone tissue during the treatment of any other disease with the help of radiation therapy;
    • consumption of food products with a high content of carcinogens that have a negative effect on cell DNA;
    • autoimmune processes occurring in the body and have a negative impact on metabolic processes in bone tissue;
    • Frequent and prolonged intoxication with harmful substances that accumulate in the bones;
    • Lung cancer with metastases in the ribs.

    A disease can arise under the influence of several causes at once or, in some cases, gradually develop in the human body for absolutely no reason.

    Signs, symptoms and manifestations of rib cancer

    Rib cancer is a malignant tissue lesion in the body with atypical and infiltrative growth of tumor cells. The main manifestation of this disease is painful sensations in the chest. At first, rib pain in cancer does not bother the person or is insignificant.Over time, it becomes more intense and uncomfortable.

    Cancer of the rib bone can be Ewing’s sarcoma or osteosarcoma, in which long-term pain is not relieved by taking analgesics. Often, the painful sensations of breast cancer on the rib are felt when inhaling and intensify at night.

    A visible neoplasm is rarely seen, because the growth of the tumor deep into the sternum is mainly noted. In some cases, the doctor may feel a loose seal.As the tumor progresses, the vascular network protrudes, the skin stretches, swells and turns red. Some types of sarcomas, when pressed, begin to hurt a lot, while others develop completely painlessly. For example, rib pain in lung cancer may appear.

    Symptoms and manifestations of rib cancer:

    • increase in body temperature;
    • increase in anemia;
    • feeling of general weakness;
    • the appearance of neurological disorders in the form of paranoia or excessive agitation;
    • Difficulty breathing with lung involvement;
    • ribs hurt with cancer.

    Timely detection and correct and effective treatment give people a favorable chance of recovery.

    Stages of rib cancer

    The stages of rib oncology are established on the basis of the histological examination and the obtained instrumental examination data:

    • Stage I – low-grade types of tumors without metastases;
    • Stage II – high-grade tumors without the formation of metastases in cancer;
    • Stage III – without metastases with the presence of cancer foci in the rib bone;
    • Stage IV – tumors with metastases in different organs or in regional lymph nodes.

    When should I see a doctor?

    A sensation of pain in the rib with cancer is an indication of possible serious health problems. In case of weakness, increased fatigue and sudden weight loss for no apparent reason, it is recommended to contact a therapist, who, after passing all the necessary tests and suspicion of rib cancer, will send to an oncologist, a radiologist and a chemotherapy specialist.

    Qualified specialists of the Sofia Oncology Clinic in Moscow provide the necessary assistance and receive patients in departments located near the Mayakovskaya, Belorusskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Tverskaya and Chekhovskaya metro stations.

    Diagnosis of rib cancer

    The most informative method for determining oncology at the Sofia Cancer Center in Moscow is MRI, as well as radionuclide methods. These are PET / CT, scintigraphy and SPECT.

    Early diagnosis with MRI promotes early detection of cancer. The use of radionuclides is based on the property of their accumulation in areas of the body with ongoing metabolism. During the study, a substance with a weak isotope is injected into a vein, which, when emitted, allows the study of cellular metabolism.The results obtained allow choosing the correct treatment strategy and monitoring its effectiveness.

    Radionuclide diagnostics are presented in the following types of examination:

    • PET / CT – the results of the spread of radionuclides are superimposed on CT images to increase the accuracy of disease detection;
    • SPECT – it is used to create three-dimensional projections of areas of possible cancer localization;
    • scintigraphy is used to create three-dimensional images and records the slightest malfunction of organs.

    Competent diagnosis will differentiate this disease from lung cancer with metastases in the ribs.

    Developing a plan for the treatment of cancer of the ribs

    The examination plan for the disease is noted after X-ray, which gives an idea of ​​the process in the human body. The patient’s treatment tactics and the prepared plan are determined by the doctor in accordance with the data obtained from the examination.

    Rib cancer treatment

    At the Sofia Cancer Center in Moscow, for the treatment of rib cancer, the following are carried out:

    • chemotherapy;
    • surgical treatment;
    • radiation therapy;
    • fractional radiation therapy.

    Rib cancer prognosis and prevention

    With this disease, there are different prognoses of rib cancer. Patients with aggressive cancer and metastases rarely live up to 5 years. In stage 4 cancer, they can live for several months. The prognosis worsens with a large tumor size or the inability to perform an operation. A pathological rib fracture may also occur in oncology.

    Health status and age also play an important role. For example, children, unlike adults, tolerate treatment more easily and recover much faster.

    Prevention of rib cancer consists in conducting periodic medical examinations of people at high risk. A serious approach to the treatment of precancerous pathologies, including benign bone neoplasms, is also required.

    How to make an appointment with a specialist?

    Our specialists carry out prompt diagnostics of any oncological diseases. Doctors determine not only the type of cancer, but also its degree. Thanks to the use of modern equipment and the latest medical technologies, we can be sure of the accuracy of the results obtained.This is influenced by the high professionalism, as well as the experience of the doctors of the clinic.

    To make an appointment, you can call +7 (495) 995-00-33, order a call back or fill out the request form.