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Left Abdominal Pain Under Ribs

Left Abdominal Pain Under Ribs
Pain in the left side of the abdomen right under the ribs, is a common sensation one feels after an injury, which may also indicate some underlying medical disorder. Let us take a look at what may cause this problem, in the following section.
Ujwal Deshmukh
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Orthopedic surgeon with a patient in treatment
Rib pain is a result of certain ailments and/or injuries, and the degree of pain differs according to the intensity of the problem itself. However, whether mild or severe, left abdominal pain under the ribs needs to be treated promptly by a proper medical consultation. Factors that may cause this condition are as follows:
Injury to the Rib Cage
For some people, lower and upper left abdominal pain under the ribs is a frequently occurring problem. The main reason behind this can be because of a severe injury or fracture to the rib cage. Injury weakens the rib region and therefore the person might encounter short sessions of pain.
Spleen Problems
Left abdominal pain under the ribs is often linked to spleen problems. The spleen is described as a soft and spongy organ located in the upper left side of the abdomen, below the rib cage and behind the stomach region. The main function of the spleen is to destroy old red blood cells, where it is an important part of the lymphatic system of the body. Certain diseases result in the enlargement of the spleen, where pain in the left abdomen is one of the symptoms of such an occurrence.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by muscular pain due to damage done to the soft muscular tissues. There are several muscular groups that run between the ribs, which are called intercostal muscles. Damage to these muscle groups due to fibromyalgia can result in rib pain.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that increases the chances of fractures in a person. It is characterized by thinning bone structures in the body, reduced bone mineral density, disruptions in the bone microarchitecture, etc. The ribs being bony structures, can get affected due to osteoporosis which can be a potential cause of left abdominal pain under the ribs.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is found to be one of the most common causes of left abdominal pain. GERD is characterized by the occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux, which is caused either due to the spontaneous opening of the lower esophageal sphincter for long/short periods, or improper closing of the same. This further results in the rise of the stomach contents up to the esophagus. The symptoms of such a reflux are a burning sensation in the chest region (what is referred to as heartburn), pain in the lower abdominal region, and acidic indigestion.
Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are a type of ulcer occurring in the mucosal lining of the stomach, and is generally caused due to pepsin and hydrochloric acid present in the stomach juices. A stomach ulcer, being an acid-related disorder, shows symptoms such as heartburn. Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in the stomach, which continues for about 30 minutes, and sometimes even up to 2 hours. Pain in the lower left and right abdomen after eating is a common symptom.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Cramps and bloating causes IBS. An individual suffering from this problem either experiences constipation or diarrhea, and has an issue with bowel movements. All this has an effect on the abdomen, resulting in pain under the rib cage.
Splenic Flexure Syndrome
In simple terms, this is an issue of gas in the colon. Out of all the problems mentioned here, this one is the most temporary one, and can even go away within minutes. The gas trapped in the colon triggers an irritating pain the left abdomen and lower chest areas.
Costochondritis (Chest Wall Pain)
There are cartilages that bind the ribs with the bones in the breast. This problem causes an inflammation in these cartilages, where the cause may be either due to an injury, trauma, or a viral attack. It results in pain in the lower chest and upper abdominal region.
Treatment Options
For some people, a change in diet can be the solution, while for others, pain killers and other stomach-ache antibiotics prove to be effective. However, do not attempt to consume antibiotics without a doctor's advice. Let the doctor diagnose the actual cause and problem, identify the reason, and prescribe appropriate medications thereafter.
Abdominal pain is generally mild in the beginning, with the possibility of intensifying over the course of a few hours or days. If you experience such a pain in the lower abdominal region, and it does not go away soon enough, see to it that you get it diagnosed promptly, to prevent it from getting worse or leading to other health issues.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.