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Pain Under Rib Cage

Pain Under Rib Cage

Determining the exact cause(s) of rib cage pain can be difficult at times. Consulting a doctor is the best way to find out the exact reason behind such type of pain. Information presented in the article gives an idea as to which could be the possible causes behind rib cage pain.
Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2018
Pain under rib cage is commonly referred to as a side stitch. The occurrence of side stitch is most common during exercise. It is also known as 'Exercise Related Transient Abdominal Pain' (EATP). Such pain is one of the common forms of abdominal pain. It can be the result of problems like gallstones, appendicitis, fractured rib cage, etc. These and many such causes of are described in this article.
Causes of Pain Under Rib Cage and Their Symptoms
There are many different causes of such pain; let us find more about them.

In this condition, swelling of the appendix - a sac attached to the large intestine - takes place.
  • The main symptom of appendicitis is the pain that occurs on right side of lower abdomen.
  • Slight fever, nausea and vomiting are the other symptoms (apart from pain) of this problem.
  • Pain which occurs in the lower abdomen actually originates in the navel region.Such kind of pain may not be severe, at least initially.

The digestive juices after hardening get deposited in the gallbladder. These hardened deposits are known as gallstones. In case of gallstones, one shouldn't eat anything before receiving proper medical treatment.
  • Pain under right rib cage that spreads to the upper back is a primary symptom of this medical condition.
  • This form of back pain can also spread to the right shoulder or portion of chest which is on the right side.
  • Nausea, stomach gas problems and vomiting are other symptoms of gallstones.
Side Stitch

In this condition, one experiences a stabbing/sharp pain under the rib cage (specifically its lower edge). It is generally experienced at the time of exercising and especially after jogging/running.
  • The pain commonly occurs while performing an exercise.
  • The side stitch might occur due to contraction of spleen or liver.
  • Diaphragmatic Ischemia, parietal peritoneal irritation and thoracic spine imbalances are the other causes of side stitch.
Fractured Rib Cage

A fractured rib cage can also give rise to sharp pain.
  • Physical injury is the common cause of fracture in ribs.
  • Sometimes the injury may not be caused due to a direct blow however, from coughing hard.
  • People suffering from osteoporosis are prone to such injuries caused to the ribs.
One should immediately consult a doctor if sharp pain is experienced; this is because, such kind of pain can be the symptom of injury caused to blood vessels, spleen, lungs, etc.

In this condition, lining of lungs (pleura) and other parts of the chest become inflamed. It causes sharp pain while breathing. The rubbing of pleural layers is responsible for this kind of sharp pain.
  • Underlying causes of pleurisy are mainly the infections resulting from tuberculosis and pneumonia.
  • Chest trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. are the other causes.
  • Stabbing chest pain is experienced by patients of pleurisy.
Intestinal Obstruction

Blockage of bowels takes place in this condition. It either results from improper functioning of bowel - ilieus, or due to some object that blocks the passage.
  • Pain resulting from intestinal obstruction has the underlying causes like cramps which wax and wane. These cramps can intensify suddenly after meals.
  • Watery stool is another sign of intestinal obstruction.
Pain Under Rib Cage on Left Side
Spasms in the spleen is one of the important symptoms of pain on the left side of the rib cage. Spleen gets enlarged or swells in size. Causes behind spasms can be diverse however, inflammation of the spinal region is most common amongst them.
The reasons behind pain under the rib cage can be varied. Therefore, the treatments used to cure these problems can be recommended/implemented only after proper diagnosis. Pain in rib cage is not a disease or disorder in itself. It could be one of the signs of a disorder/disease or various diseases could exhibit the same symptom of pain. Thus, one should take proper care in dealing with this health problem.
Disclaimer:This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.