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Pain under the ribs

The pain under the ribs is a relatively common discomfort that may be caused by different causes. The most important thing is to pay attention to whether the pain is localized on the right or left side, as well as whether it is accompanied by other symptoms.

When going to the doctor, it is essential for the doctor to know the area where the pain started to determine the cause . In addition, it is essential to be attentive to aspects such as where you are going or what the intensity is.

Rib pain is not something to get used to. Therefore, if it does not begin to subside after 48 to 72 hours, it is important to see a doctor to carry out the appropriate tests .

One of the main consultations of patients who have pain under the ribs is related to pain in the right side. Although it is not always a cause for concern, it is advisable to see a doctor, especially if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as general malaise and / or high fever .


The pain on the right side can give trauma to the area. The blows in the costal area are very painful. Regarding the recovery process, it is slow since the rib cage opens continuously to breathe.

Costal herpes zoster

Another probable cause for right side pain is costal shingles . It is a relatively frequent injury to the skin, which generates very intense pain accompanied by tingling and burning in the area. In addition, this disease can lead to other symptoms such as headache , fever, joint pain, and abdominal pain.


Pneumonia is one of the most common diseases in both adults and children. It is an infection that affects the air sac in one or both lungs . The symptoms of this disorder vary from mild to severe, depending on a number of factors: age, health status, microorganism responsible for the infection, etc.

The most common signs are: severe pain in the right side of the chest, fatigue, high fever, nausea, and shortness of breath . Regarding the complications of pneumonia, a pleural effusion may occur. This occurs when fluid builds up in the pleura, which must be drained using a chest tube.

Gallbladder problems

When pain under the ribs is on the right side, in many cases it is due to a gallbladder problem , such as a gallstone. This is a disease that gives rise to very noticeable symptoms, such as fever and jaundice .

Kidney tumor

Although not the most common, pain in the right side can also be a symptom of a kidney tumor. The incidence of kidney cancer is increasing among the adult population. It is a silent disease, which in many cases does not give rise to any type of symptoms in the first stages.

In the later stages, the signs of kidney cancer can be: presence of blood in the urine, pain in the right side of the body, weight loss for no apparent reason, tiredness and intermittent fever.


Appendicitis is known as inflammation of the appendix , a small finger-shaped pouch located on the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis causes pain in the right side, usually of great intensity.

Pain usually begins in the belly button area and travels as the swelling worsens. In addition, this disease has other associated symptoms: nausea, loss of appetite, constipation , abdominal bloating and fever.


Right side pain in children and adults can also be caused by flatulence . These appear when there is a distention of the stomach or intestines due to the accumulation of gases.

It is not a serious illness. Still, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms . If any of the following occurs, it is advisable to see a doctor: black stools, weight loss for no apparent reason, a lump in the abdomen and severe abdominal discomfort.

Causes of pain in the left side

Pain under the ribs can also be located on the left side due to any of the following causes.


One of the main reasons for severe pain under the ribs is a fracture or fissure . The last ribs of the rib cage, which are called floating ribs, are more susceptible to injury than the rest.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Another likely cause is gastrointestinal problems due to a heavy meal or ingesting foods that are too acidic or spicy. In this case, the pain in the left side is accompanied by other symptoms such as general malaise, nausea, and vomiting.

Injured spleen

An injury to the spleen can also cause this type of pain. This is a soft organ whose main function is to filter and destroy old blood cells. The main symptom is the appearance of bruises in the area due to the accumulation of blood under the skin.


Pancreatitis is defined as an inflammatory process of the pancreas. Mild cases can go away without treatment, although more severe cases can lead to life-threatening complications. That is why it is so important to see a doctor for any of the following symptoms: pain under the ribs that spreads to the back, nausea, fever, increased heart rate and vomiting.

Heart attack

The pain of heart attacks manifests itself on the left side of the body . It is a relatively easy pain to diagnose since it presents in an oppressive way and causes other symptoms that give rise to a general feeling of discomfort.

Stomach ulcer

stomach ulcer is a lesion that occurs in the lining of the stomach. In addition to pain under the ribs, other common signs are: feeling full despite eating little, heartburn, gas, and nausea.


The costochondritis is the most common cause of pain in the ribs. It has its origin in an inflammation of the cartilage that join the sternum bone and the upper ribs. The most common symptom is tenderness in the area between the nipples, especially when pressing on it.

In many cases, symptoms improve after 48 to 72 hours. The most common treatment is the application of warm compresses in the area and rest.

Rib cracks

There are many people who live with a cracked rib without even knowing it. This is partly because they believe that the ribs can only be fractured by a blow. However, a strong cough that lasts for a long period of time can also cause cracks, and even fractures, in the ribs.

In addition to severe pain in the affected region, other common symptoms include a lump in the waist or abdomen, shortness of breath, and shortness of breath when trying to breathe more deeply.

What to do about pain under the ribs?

If you suffer from pain under the ribs and don’t know what the cause is, the first thing to do is get into a resting position to ease the discomfort. If the pain is due to a minor blow or a muscle contraction, rest will allow you to recover without any problem. You can accompany the rest with the placement of cold compresses on the affected area.

If as time passes the pain increases in intensity, to the point that it is difficult for you to breathe, it is important that you go to the doctor as soon as possible. The most common thing is that at the health center they do an X-ray to determine the cause and thus establish the most appropriate treatment.

If the doctor suspects that the pain under the ribs is due to a heart attack, he will evaluate other parameters such as blood pressure and heart rate.

Pain under the ribs: is it a heart attack?

Pain under the ribs in many cases is cause for concern because it is directly related to a heart attack. In this case, in addition to the severe pain in the chest , other symptoms are suffered: discomfort in the left arm, immobility in the jaw and general malaise.

In certain cases , severe coughing due to various diseases of the respiratory system can cause the fracture of one or more ribs. A situation that can lead to a heart attack due to lack of oxygen.

Pain relief treatment

When the pain under the ribs is localized on the right side, the treatment in the vast majority of cases is symptomatic. It consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate the symptoms, although these do not eliminate the cause of the pain.

That is why it is so important to go to the doctor to establish a proper diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment for it.

  • Flatulence: if the pain is derived from gas and flatulence, the treatment should be aimed at restoring the normal functioning of the digestive system .
  • Gallbladder: If the person suffers from a gallstone, the most common procedure is surgery.
  • Anterior abdominal wall: in general, a treatment based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, rest and local cold is enough to combat the symptoms. However, in the event of a hematoma or extensive tear of the muscles that make up the abdominal wall, surgery is necessary.
  • Pleural effusion: Pleural effusion due to pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. In addition, it is necessary to drain the fluid accumulated in the pleura by thoracentesis.

The pain under the ribs is something that happens very often, especially among adults. It is essential to pay attention to the area where it is located and what the accompanying symptoms are.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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