Do you experience severe, even at times debilitating pain on the lower right side of your rib cage? Have all your ultrasounds and blood tests come back normal, and your doctors either

  1. Can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong
  2. Don’t believe that anything is wrong
  3. Think you are imagining the pain?

Well, you are not alone. There are thousands of people with the same malady, and for the most part their doctors are as equally baffled as yours. Many have endured their pain for years. So take comfort — you are not crazy, nor are you imagining the pain. It is real.

So what’s causing the pain, and what’s the cure?

Well, I am not a doctor. I profess no extraordinary medical knowledge. However, I have scoured the Internet asking just these questions and have found that, after reading hundreds of cases, the same (successful) diagnoses keep cropping up. I have listed them here in order of likelihood. I recommend that if you suffer from an unidentifiable pain in your lower right ribcage (LRR), that you print this list and take it to your doctor, and ask them to check for each cause.


1. Costochondritis


Doctors often don’t think of costochondritis when a patient complains of lower rib pain. Costochondritis is caused by inflammation of the cartilage joining the rib to your breast plate, and usually causes pain in the breastbone. At times, this pain can mimic a heart attack, although the pain will be confined to a small area, rather than widespread as with a true heart attack. (Note: If you feel any kind of chest pain, don’t try and differentiate between the two — assume it’s a heart attack and call 911 immediately).

Costochondritis can also manifest itself as pain to one side of the ribcage, although this is rarer. Many doctors don’t consider Costochondritis as a potential cause of lower right rib pain for that very reason. Also, Costochondritis can’t be observed on tests, so doctors are often hesitant about providing a diagnosis. In spite of this, Chostochondritis is probably the leading correct diagnosis for those suffering from LRR pain.

Costochondritis is not curable, but it is treatable Here are some prescriptions that doctors have given to patients with LRR pain whom they have diagnosed with Costochondritis. Patients prescribed these treatments have called them “great” and “miraculous”. If diagnosed with Costochondritis, discuss these treatments with your doctor, but on no account place yourself on any medication without their approval.

  • Celebrex
  • Vioxx (no longer available)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

Note: People with Costochondritis often report that the pain resurfaces or becomes especially severe after times of stress. Since Costochondritis has also been described as a “cramp” of the muscles and cartilage around the ribs, this makes sense. Stress causes your chest to literally “cramp”, causing the pain. To this end,

  • Massage
  • Heat
  • Relaxation

are excellent strategies to try, and do not need a doctor’s approval first.

A more severe form of costochondritis is called Tietze Syndrome, and includes swelling and tenderness.


2. Gallbladder


This one’s tricky. For many people, their LRR pain is caused by a complication with their gallbladder. Then again, there are many people with LRR pain who have had their gallbladder removed already.

Often, gallbladder tests will look normal for people with LRR pain. If this is the case and you still think the problem may be with your gallbladder, request an old fashioned test where the doctors give you dye tabs and a drug IV to make your gallbladder contract. They will then X-ray the gallbladder to see how much dye comes out when your gallbladder contracts. This test can often find existing gallbladder problems even if your ultrasounds come back clean.

An HIDA scan with CCK will also check gallbladder function and may show gallbladder problems even if you don’t have stones.

One patient whose LRR stemmed from their gallbladder found that

  • Drinking two cups of hot water

really helped alleviate the pain. That might be something to try while you wait for your test results to come back.


3. Loose Cartilage


This is especially common among people who have experienced some sort of fall or blow to the chest. Essentially, what happens is that a piece of the cartilage on their ribcage breaks off and just kind of floats around. If it becomes inflamed, it can cause intense LRR pain.

When cartilage breaks off your ribcage, it is called costo-chandral separation (slipped rib syndrome).

A doctor can usually tell if this is your problem by pulling up on your ribcage with one hand and feeling around underneath with the other (no surgery needed). Note that you cannot do this test by yourself.

Surgery is often not an option for this ailment. However, their may be medication to help the pain.

One patient found that taking

  • Two Gas-X pills + a pain pill

really helped alleviate the pain. However, neither the patient nor their doctors knew the reason why it worked — only that it did. Again, never take any kind of prescription medication without your doctor’s approval.


4. Acid Reflux


Many people associate acid reflux with heart burns and throat pain. However, some patients with previous histories of acid reflux who no longer have that but who now have LRR pain have found that by taking medication that blocks stomach acid, their pain almost completely goes away. Some such medication includes:

  • Nexium
  • Lanzoprazol
  • Omniprazol

If acid reflux is something you have suffered from in the past, and LRR pain is something you suffer from now, you might want to suggest to your doctor the possibility of trying an anti-acid medication like Nexium for a few months to see if it stops the pain.


5. Liver Toxins / Diet


We intake a lot of toxins in our diet — sodas, processed foods, artificial colorings — so much that we don’t even think about it. (Kind of like wireless and radio rays — we know that cell phones may cause cancer, but no one thinks about all the radio signals floating through the air and penetrating our bodies). Some doctors believe that people with LRR pain have too many toxins in their body, and it is overtaxing their liver, causing the pain. They have prescribed certain diets for their patients, which have met with much success in relieving the pain.

One patient takes a combination of

  • Milk Thistle
  • Digestaway
  • Artichoke Extract

to clean their liver.

Another found that by completely eliminating soda, white flour, and milk products from their diet, and by eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruit (and organic meat, when possible), their pain significantly decreased.


6. Too Much Vitamins


If a person with LRR pain is taking any sort of (multi) vitamin, it may be that they are actually getting too much of a certain vitamin. A,D,E, etc. vitamins are stored in your body and can cause problems if their concentration gets too high. This is especially true for Iron, which can be harmful if you get more than you need (if you are older than 45 or a guy, pay attention to this especially!). An easy way to tell if your pain is caused by vitamin overdose is to stop taking your multi vitamin for 2-4 weeks. It won’t hurt you to stop taking it for that period of time, but it will make obvious whether your pain is related to getting too much of a vitamin.

 

I hope that these suggestions help pinpoint your case!

Rachel4 R.M. ArceJaeger is the international bestselling author of Robin: Lady of Legend (The Classic Adventures of the Girl Who Became Robin Hood). Her publishing company, Platypus Press, is devoted to helping authors produce quality books.

77 Responses to Lower Right Rib Pain – Most Likely Causes

  1. Ngan Amborn says:

    Thank you so a lot for this impressive and efficient assist. I won’t hesitate to recommend you in my site and your internet sites to any person who demands guidelines on this scenario.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Thank you. I’m glad you find it useful.

      • chuck says:

        I have a question. Is burping alot, and throwing up blood slotches to pure blood looking vomit normal??When the pain hits my chest it feels like i got hit with a sledge hammer. I double over and usually vomit. This has been a 3 year 8,000 us. dollar question for me. What causes it? So far treatments that help are hot bath soak, i have to wear a back brace as a rib brace, the pain usually quits when i start to fall asleep. the problem is it also wakes me up about 2 hours later. Please ask around I would like an honest, answer. not a guess, ill settle for best guess.

  2. silvijo says:

    Hi… Pain can also be caused by Hiatus Hernia. Pain occur exactly were you describe it. Causes, overeating, heavy lifting, too much alcohol etc…

    Thanks

  3. Jake Braekes says:

    Yes, thousands seem to have this problem. The health boards are filled with people, with and without gallbladders, who have hundreds of tests and usually no conclusive cause.

    Because there seems to be no physiological cause for Costochondritis, which seems to be the catch-all when nothing can be found — ala Fibromyalagia — it seems to be more of an anxiety problem. Once you learn this pain then you brace and guard against or because of it, and it makes matters worse. And makes anxiety worse.

  4. Sudhir Udupi says:

    Thank you so much!

    I have been taking Protonix for long time. couple of months back I stopped it, and then I got heart burn and stomach pain , started taking Protonics but my LRR pain has not gone.
    I will check with doctor and have my physical check up next week.

  5. wayne says:

    thanks for this information. i suffer from traveling rib pain. my shoulderblade, then my side, then front bottom rib, then chest, 5% of time on left side ribs, 95% on right side. going on 12 months. :-( i am so lost

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      That’s odd. The only thing I can think of immediately is loose cartilage, but I doubt it would move enough to cause the kind of traveling pain you’ve described. Perhaps a slipped disk in your back that is pinching different nerves? What does your doctor say?

      [Update] Upon further research, I would assume costochondritis. As the pain it causes is frequently considered to originate in the breastbone (although many people feel it solely in the ribs), it is possible for it to appear to favor different sides.

      • chuck says:

        Stress. does the patient lift, work in a go go go job? do you get enough or any sleep?? My guess since i have the same thing, is stress or pinched nerve somewhere causing part of the pain. the other part may be the bed itself, third stress fromn work. combine these and we have almost what this patient is asking about>

      • Mike says:

        If the pain comes and goes it could be a condition called Relapsing Polychondritis. At some point RP will usually manifest itself as hot red ears with accompanying fatigue. RP can be a very serious problem, as it attacks the cartilage; any and all of the cartilage. I have had this disease for 10 years and just found out what it was a few months ago. So, for 10 years I asked every doctor I could and none of them knew the answer. I did have costochondritis back in the 80’s that was stress induced. Stresses of most any type will cause my RP to flare and each flare causes a little more damage to the cartilage. If you are having recurring bouts of pain, especially if you notice that your ears are involved, mention Relapsing Polychondritis to your Rheumatologist. RP is a very rare disease though and only from 1 to 3 people out of 1 million develop the disease. There is no cure and finding the right combination of medications to control it can take a while. All the best to you.

    • Deb Frey says:

      Gall bladder. I’d bet on it.

  6. ERIC says:

    I have been experiencing pain at both below my right and lift ribs for over two years i once want to see a docter and various tests was done including scan,hiv/aids, hypetitis B of my to kidynes and the docter said the all my kidynes are okey but i still experience the pains and sometimes gets heart burns.what is wrong with me

  7. tess says:

    pain under/below breast and just under ribcage……?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Almost certainly costochondritis. Ask your doctor to test you for it.

      • Elaine says:

        how do you test for costochondritis? I have had 6 broken ribs years ago and now have constant pain again in right rib area? Just had a CT scan for broken ribs again but it was negative.

        • RMArceJaeger says:

          You cannot really test for costochondritis. Your doctor might seek to reproduce your pain by pushing on the cartilage of your ribs, which helps him know if it’s costochondritis. But costochondritis is usually determined by process of elimination — negative tests (e.g. a test for heart defects that comes back negative) for other causes usually means costochondritis is the culprit. Circumstance in your case lends an aid in diagnosing it — costochondritis is inflammation of the rib cartilage, and since you had 6 broken ribs, it’s possible the area is inflamed.

          There is no “cure” for costochondritis, but rest, anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Advil, Motrin), physical therapy, and even cortisone injections have been shown to help. Ice packs sometimes reduce the inflammation (and thus the pain), and Lidoderm may help with the pain, too. Talk with your doctor before trying anything other than rest and ice.

          • Wendy says:

            I suffer from costochodritis and my doctor listens to my chest with a stethoscope and can right away tell if it is an episode of this condition because he says the bones and cartilage will make a squeaky sound with each breath.

  8. constance says:

    i have had test on my gallbladder and liver and they all come back negtive but still i have pain in my right side lower ribs doctor has no answers for me was hoping he would for sure but no he doesnt it 6 months the pain ok ty

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Again, if your other tests come back negative, it’s likely Costochondritis. Ask your doctor what he thinks.

    • Angie says:

      A lot may depend on what gallbladder test they ran too. My gallbladder acted up and my test results were normal too. Until they did the Hida scan that showed my gallbladder wasn’t functioning. It took 8 years to finally figure it out which only happened cause the pain got so bad to where it wouldn’t even go away by applying pressure. When they went to go remove my gallbladder, they found numerous stones stuck in the bile duct. The surgeon said that my gallbladder was extremely close to gangrene-probably due how long it took to find it, or should I say how long it took to find a doctor that listened to me and instead of telling me the pain was all in my head.

  9. Denise says:

    My right rib pain started 4 years ago after lifting a case of water, and I felt a pop under my rib along with a sharp pain. Since then pulling, lifting anything causes pressure up under and against my right rib. Even when I turn to the right sharply, or bend over turning and reaching underneath I feel pressure and pain. This pressure causes difficulty then breathing. Something pops out against the bottom of my right rib, like a babies foot when pregnant… and the pressure is so bad, with pain I can’t move or breath for a ew moments. Any diagnosis? No test so far has shown any damage to rib. I’m scheduled now for an endocrinology procedure, will this find the problem?? Please comment or respond to me, at novellispwp@optonline.net

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Yours sounds like a case of loose cartilage. Essentially, what happens is that a piece of the cartilage on the ribcage breaks off and just kind of floats around. If it becomes inflamed, it can cause intense LRR pain.

      Your doctor can usually test for this by lifting your ribcage with one hand and feeling around for anything loose. Ask him about it.

  10. Jeremy Dyde says:

    Thank you for a well reasoned and articulate article. The pain that I currently have in LRR appears to have travelled around my body over the last year, although being relatively naïve about the function of the body parts, I don’t know if that is possible. I am 65, male.

    I had been a bit under the weather and suddenly, one morning, started experiencing a pain around my waist area on my right. It got worse and worse and was quite excruciating, in spasms almost related to pulse. I went to bed fully clothed and just lay there and apart from getting up half an hour later to urinate, I was in bed for about two hours and then, upon getting up to urinate again, the pain had completely disappeared. I thought perhaps kidney stone(s) although I had never really experienced them before. However, a couple of weeks later it re-occurred and I then thought that perhaps it was UTI (urinary tract infection) oriented so I dosed on cranberry tablets (can’t get the juice) for a period but I then started experiencing pain in my right kidney area as well. That then continued, with overlap, to my left kidney area (the UTI apparently gone). The pain later appeared in LLR area (with overlap) while the pain in right kidney area disappeared completely. It has now moved to LRR (with a slight overlap) and I now no longer experience pain in either left kidney or LLR area.

    Although the pain has differed in nature, to some extent, in each location, it has typically been and now is a sharp jabbing pain that occurs almost randomly and in groups, often in the process of sitting down, e.g. on the bed, into a car seat (I have to lift my second leg into the car).

    I have read many threads on forums with regard to LLR pain but none of them seem to reflect what I feel has happened to me and, although your reasoning for costochondritis seems relevant with regard to my current pain, it is the apparent process that led up to it that seems to exclude it in my case.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Hmm, have you considered getting screened for colorectal cancer? Since the colon travels in a square-like shape throughout your abdomen, if you have a problem with your intestines, it could hypothetically cause the type of traveling pain you’re describing. People over 50 have a higher-than-average risk of developing this type of cancer, too, so if you haven’t been tested yet that’s something you should definitely consider looking into.

  11. Liz says:

    I’m really hoping you can help me. I’ve been in pretty bad pain now for over 12 hours. It started inbetween my rib cages felt like a knife was jabbing me in the stomach after I ate dinner last night. I originally thought it was from the marinara sauce so I took tums and then zantac, tried drinking milk and gingerale but it only got worse. After a couple of hours the pain has moved under my lower right rib cage and nothing I do is working. I’ve been laying with a heating pad all night and it helps slightly but not enough. Although it feels a bit better when I lay on my stomach with the heating pad under me when I move from that position the pain gets worse. Please help! Thank you!

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Hi Liz, I wish I could help but remember I’m not a medical professional, so treat the following with a grain of salt. Since your pain started soon after eating dinner and was located in the region of your stomach, it is possible you have a stomach condition, such as an ulcer. Marinara sauce is acidic, so it could aggravate a condition like that. If the pain persists or recurs, I would definitely recommend checking in with a doctor!

    • Heather says:

      I had bad pain in my right rib area. Xray showed inflammation. The doctors first thought it was pneumonia. Even though I hadn’t been sick prior. After a month of antibiotic treatments, an urgent care DR. told me to go to the hospital. Turned out I had a pulmonary embolism. I later figured it out. We went on a trip to Europe (9 1/2 hour flight, each way) Then 2 monthes after, had a massage because my calf was crampy. Turns out there was a blood clot in my leg, and a piece broke off, and lodged in my lung. Very stabbing pain, especially when taking a breath. Feeling very winded when walking upstairs. And laying a certain way helped. Anticoagulants for 6 monthes.

  12. tracey says:

    I too, have pain under my right rib cage. For a few years now i have suffered acute, chronic pain throughout my right shoulder, into my shoulder blade and up into my neck and around my right breast and armpit and travelling down into my right hand. I have had tests done, the doctors have found several supposedly, subcutaneous lumps throughout this side of my body.They have also found that at 34, i have joint degenerative disease in different areas of my spine, a haemangenoma in the vertebral body of my cervical spine and i believe the generative disease is going into my hands as well. I have been in pain for so long and nothing they prescribe seams to help. Recently along with the above pain, the pain under my ribs has been getting worse. i have had a bout of pneumonia lately which seams to be clearing up but this pain doesnt. I have also been getting bad heartburn and alot of gurgling in the stomach. The pain feels like there is something sitting under my ribs and does seam to make it harder to breathe. It is not a constant pain. The severity varies. My blood tests show up i have enlarged red blood cells, but the doctor believes this is just “my Body’ and is not concerned about it as all follow up tests show nothing. I have been told i have a curvature of my spine and i wonder does this push my organs further to one side, therefore creating this pain i am experiencing. I only wish someone could help me as this has affected my whole life and well being. I’m over it. :(

  13. sona says:

    I also experience very similar problem.
    Try hanging with two hands on side and up on the rod.
    The whole spine gets elongated and body gets stretched.
    Feels good and by regularly doing this it helps.

  14. Buchi says:

    Hi, last month i was diagnos of thyphoid nd hapetitis b was treated and am ok now, a liver test was conducted the doctor said its okey bt lately i started feeling uncomfortable at my right ribs. Wht can i do pls help

  15. KIM says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! YOU HELPED ME A LOT,
    KIM

  16. Vicki says:

    My daughter has been suffering with right side rib problems for 5 years. She is a field hockey player and the pain started while playing. We had the gallbladder checked of course, but this pain stops her from breathing. Her trainers on college worked with her, with heat and compresses, but that just seemed to make the area bruise and hurt more. It’s now a problem when she is sitting and riding in the car driving, forcing her to lean to to the left to open that side. We’re going for our next set of tests…a bone scan which we hope with show any loose cartilage.

    Really appreciate the work you did on this article, it’s good advise and I would love to hear any more advise or thoughts you may have to say.

    THANK YOU!!!

  17. Myles says:

    I have been suffering from this for over 10 years and it increasing gets worse. I just found something that seems to take the pain away. It’s Full Spectrum Wormwood. It’s less than $6 for a 30 day supply. Here is where I get mine:

    http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SW1157/ItemDetail

    I take 1 dose 3 times daily with meals. What I have come to believe is that it’s a parasite or parasites eating away in that area. When I take the wormwood, they stop chomping. I’ve only been taking it for a week but it’s been the best week in the past 10 years! There is fatal warning about other types of wormwood (liquid form) so I stay away from it. I got the herbal form in gel caps. Wormwood is knows for killing parasites and so far it’s working.

    • kristina says:

      Hi, I am a 42 year old female and I am going out of my mind with worry. About 3 months ago I went to my chiropractor as I was having pains in my back and neck. A couple of days later I developed burning pains in my ribs which my chiropractor explained away as a bit of rib cartridge infection. A couple of weeks ago I started having a feeling of fullness under my ribs as if something is pushing up (same feeling as being very pregnant) went back to the chiropractor as there was still burning sensation on rib area. He poked around and asked me to go and have a scan done of my stomach as he feels that my pancreas is enlarged. The results came back indicating that my liver is 17cm mid car and my spleen 14.4cm which was stated as slightly enlarged. My GP was quite annoyed with me for pursuing the matter as I have been to him twice with the problem witch he pushed under the carpet. However I asked him to please do blood tests which he did and told me came back normal. He did a full blood count, liver and pancreas function as well as the spleen. I have been diagnosed with IBS 10 years ago and 2 years ago was diagnosed with anxiety. I am still experiencing intense pressure under my right rib down to my hip bone. Please help don’t know what to do, is this all in my head?

      • RMArceJaeger says:

        That sounds like quite a frustrating, scary, and difficult problem! It’s possibly our chiropractor broke off a piece of cartilage in your ribs by accident and now it’s enflamed and bothering you. More than that, I cannot tell you because I’m not a medical expert. However, if I were you, I’d definitely do some research on my own into any organs in that vicinity and google search your pain along with the name of those organs (one by one though, not all together). Something might come up.

        Hope you find the answer!

      • Jason says:

        Hi. Did you ever find out what this problem was?
        Kind regards.

        • RMArceJaeger says:

          As you can see, it’s a problem with many possible causes. Your best bet is to read the article and try to narrow down your particular cause.

  18. Marlene says:

    Hello, I’ve been diagnosed with costchocondritis in my chest around the front rim area but over the last few months I developed pain in my lower right rib area that raps around my back with spasims. when it started it just came from nowhere having coffee Saturday morning and got up and the pain was on it was completely to Bill it 18 and caused me to not be able to move for the first 3 days now I’m completely much more mobile flexible but when I leave back or if I push on my lower right rib cage area it hurts it’s sore and if if I lay on my left side it’s cool that that area and can cause it to go into spasm although it’s getting better I’m still a bit worried because the pain still there I love to work out and walk long distances and it’s kept me from doing those things that I love and enjoy so I’m worried about what level of physical activity I should be having right now. I would be so thankful for any advice that you have.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      With costochondritis, you are likely to have some level of pain for the rest of your life. Your doctor would be the best person to ask for how to minimize your discomfort, as well as the recommended level of physical activity. I would give you these answers myself, but I am not a medical professional and don’t want to advise you poorly.

  19. Kylie says:

    Thanks for the read, Ive had pain under my right rib area and breast area but mostly pain under right rib for about 10 years now,the pain doesnt seem to be triggered by food,stress or anything I can pin point and may not happen for long periods in between episodes, when pain is occurring its like an attack of pain and reaches an intense pain then eases off, I compared it to labour contractions it’s that bad, I’ve already had my gallbladder removed and had test done but doctors can’t tell me what the cause is, last week I had it and used a hot water bottle and to my sunrise it eased, not sure if that was coincidental but I will sure try that next time as I have found nothing to ease the pain when it gets too bad I go to hospital for pain relief.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Hmm, sounds like it could be a cramping of the muscles around the ribs (a more common cause than you might think). I’d see if a hot water bottle continues to help ease it. If so, this is likely the cause and just like a cramp of the foot or something, simply needs to work itself out.

  20. Paul says:

    Dear Doc,
    I was playing tennis a week ago, working on my serve actually, when I felt some pain in the right rib cage. I thought I might’ve pulled a ligament or something at the time. However, over the last week, that pain did not go away. The whole week I needed to work to find a comfortable position in which to lie down in bed. Yesterday, I played tennis finally (less rigorously though), and the pain today intensified – any deep breath is painful. The pain is not sharp, but dull. I’m 32, and the pain is in the lower portion on top of my right rib. any idea what this might be? Thanks in advance.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Hello Paul,
      As I state in my article, I am not a medical professional. However, I am a tennis player, and I think there are two likely possibilities as to what could be causing your pain: 1) Some cartilage may have broken free in your ribcage while you were serving, or 2) You are experiencing a cramp in the muscles of your ribcage. I’m inclined to think the latter is the case, so I’d recommend rest from tennis and maybe a hot pack to ease the pain.

  21. Ben says:

    I have a pain at the height of my belly button but to the right hand side … If that makes any sense it feels like a stabbing pain when i move sometimes and i can constantly feel like a dull annoying pain that when i try to touch the area hurts more and seems to spread to my kidney area its only been happening a few days but its not a pain i feel iv ever felt before.any ideas? (i know your not a medical professional but any help would be great or a recommendation would be great)

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Well, that’s the location of your gallbladder (on your right side about level with your belly button and in front of your kidney). If I were you, I’d go to the doctor and get it screened.

  22. Glenny says:

    Thank you for this information. This will really help in finding an answer to the unknown whereabouts of the pain. Impressive! :)

  23. Ryan says:

    I have a pain under my bottom right rib. It doesn’t hurt while pressing on it, just a dull kinda pain. Hanging upside down has helped me some. I think my problem started from slouching in front of the computer so much. So I have made a conscious effort to sit up straight. My mother had her gallbladder removed a couple of years ago. She believes it was bad side effects from I thinks its call yazz birth control or something like that. There is now a class action suit against them. I am hoping my problem isn’t gallbladder from bad genetics or environmental hazards. I don’t trust doctors anymore so I will not go unless I’m dying or the pain gets really bad. I Will continue my stretching routine for a month and follow up on the results.

  24. Sam says:

    Any Idea on this one, my bottom rib last one connected to sternum has this nickle sized lump under the skin and I can move this lump even under my rib and move it alittle back and fourth, I can feel it on the other side but it doesnt move? Might stay of my Multi vitamin for acouple weeks… thinking its loose cartilage?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Loose cartilage is what it sounds like to me, especially if it’s painful, in which case stopping your multi vitamin is unlikely to make a difference. (If it’s not painful, it might just be the end of your rib. That’s the case with me. The bottom ribs are “floating” ribs which means they don’t connect to the sternum, and if they’re pronounced they will feel like you have a lump under your skin…although you said your lump is on the last rib that does connect to he sternum? In which case, loose cartilage would be my supposition.)

  25. Pat McClelland says:

    X-rays show I have 2 fractured ribs and pain was unbearable for several weeks. I now have pinching stabbing pain under arm close to shoulder blade but only when I reach or turn certain way. What on earth is causing this? Also feel popping in my chest area.

  26. Darla says:

    Years ago my sister was in a bad roll over truck accident. She was ejected out the back window. She had several broken ribs along with other injuries. She gets really sharp bad pains in lower right, behind rib cage, followed by throwing up. She is sick for hours. They took out her gall bladder which wasn’t necessary. After 10 years she is still getting these episodes and has been told several times that nothing is wrong. HELP!!

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Costochondritis is caused by inflammation of the cartilage joining the rib to your breast plate, and usually causes pain in the breastbone. Costochondritis can also manifest itself as pain to one side of the ribcage, although this is rarer. It often occurs after a person has received an injury to the chest (as your sister did) and is usually a lifelong issue.

      Costochondritis can’t be observed on tests, so doctors are often hesitant about providing a diagnosis. I would ask your doctor about it directly. Although there is no cure for it, costochondritis can be treated with medicine.

  27. sheryl says:

    I had phneumonia and septasemia in nov last year I was in intensive care,now I have real bad pains in the right side my chest under my ribs not constant but but abt 10 times a day and until it eases I can’t breath in properly etc,it was my right lung that was bad with phneumonia do u think there is any connection or just coincidental

  28. Lorraine Pilkington says:

    I have had severe pain on the right side of my ribcage i have had every blood test going and every scan and x ray and all come back normal somedays the pain is unbearable i will be printing this page off and showing my consultant at hospital and thank you for putting this information out

  29. christopher heffner says:

    Hey, I was hoping for a little help or advice. For the last few months I’ve been expirancing a slightly cramping feeling under my righpoolt ribs on the front side. The cramping feeling started intermittently But now has progressed to having that feeling all the time. It’s not a sever pain more So than it just being a irritating feeling

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      It sounds like Costochondritis which is, by definition, a cramp in the rib muscles. There isn’t a cure for it, but you can take medication to help ease the ache. If it persists, I’d see a doctor.

  30. paininrib says:

    Hi!
    I have had this pain in the right side of my ribs,just under the ribs.

    It comes only in the afternoon. Most of the time mornings i am fresh.Lying flat on my back seems to ease my pain.

    I had been diagonised with GERD and was on PPI s ofr about a month. The pain subsided but other symptoms got worse.So i had discontinued it and the pain returned now.
    My US also came back normal.

    What should i do now?
    I am sick of this..

  31. lily413 says:

    For the past week I have experienced discomfort (more a dull pain) behind my right lower ribs, I suppose where my liver is. It is worse when sitting or bending down. It feels bruised when I press my lower right ribs. My ribs in that area seem to go in a little compared to the left hand side and there seems to be a bigger gap between 2 of my bottom lower ribs on my right side compared to my left side.

    I recently had my bloods done and my iron levels were really high and one of enzymes in my liver is high. I told my doctor that I had been taking iron tablets every day for over a year, although I did stop taking them a month or so ago (apparently I was only supposed to take them for 3-6 months!!!) and she said that both things on my blood test are almost definitely caused by taking iron tablets for so long and to have another test in 4 weeks. Everything else on my blood tests were normal.

    Can my liver/ribs become sore from taking too much iron? Could I have done damage to my liver?

    I have experienced a bad bout of Health Anxiety over the past 3 months and would be so grateful for some advice.

    Thanks.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      It’s hard to say without knowing how old you are. While women need iron when they’re younger because they lose it when they menstruate, they’re not supposed to take iron at all once they start going through menopause. If they do, it can cause a lot of health problems. Anything in excess is dangerous…we need vitamin C, for example, but too much can actually cause our organs to “rust.” I doubt you’ve done any permanent damage, and I think if you give your body a few weeks to flush the iron out of its system, you’ll feel a lot better. Please remember, however, that I am not a medical professional — I encourage you to pose these questions to your doctor who will be able to give you much more specific answers and advice.

  32. lily413 says:

    P.S. I had also been taking a multivitamin with iron alongside the ferrous fumarate tablets. Although I am not sure if this has anything to do with my pain as I only started getting the pain a week ago and I stopped taking the iron supplements around 6 weeks ago..

  33. Mike says:

    I had a recent cough and after several bad coughing fits I developed some back pain and lower right rib pain. The rib pain was small enough that I could ignore and the back pain is going away now. I couldn’t sleep on the side with the rib pain though because it bothered me from sleeping.
    The cough has since gone away recently and just now I bent over to pick something up and coughed once. I felt a crack in my lower right rib area and now it hurts just to breath in too much. I cant lift anything or use that muscle. Sadly tomorrow ill be digging trenches for training (I am in the Canadian forces).

    Does anyone have any idea of anything they can tell me about this?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      To me, it sounds like you’ve strained the muscles around your ribcage. The fact that your back pain went away is encouraging. The crack you heard when you coughed could be one of several things — air popping in your joint (much like it does when you crack your knuckles), a piece of cartilage coming loose, a tendon passing over a bone, etc. Unfortunately, in your case it sounds like more time is needed to see if your body recovers on its own, or if this is in fact a more serious issue.

  34. Tina Davies says:

    For 3 wks now, I have been experiencing pain/discomfort under my right rib cage. It seems to get worse when my heart rate fastens(a heathy feeling)and after I’ve eaten.Sometimes I have twinges that last seconds, these can occur on the breast plate and the rib cage. At first I thought I could feel a ball or mass inside my rib cage. this pain lasts only seconds but it affects my breathing and I can also get pain in the middle/right side of my back.I cannot bend as it feels like my rib cage will explode and eaves me feeling sick.I don’t know if this is related, but now my urine really smells.What could this be?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Hmm. Feeling something inside your rib cage could indicate a piece of loose cartilage. The change in your urine is important, though, especially if your diet hasn’t changed. I would go see a doctor since that is usually an indicator of a deeper concern.

  35. Wayne says:

    For a week now I’ve had what I can only describe as a pretty severe “pinching, crampy” pain up under and around my bottom right rib, and around to the actual side of my torso. The pain really isn’t there when static, but is certainly affected by movement or body position. From the first morning I had it, I noticed much tactile tenderness on the true right side of the bottom 2 ribs, and when I lay on that side (which I really can’t do anyway)it feels like there’s a swelling underneath. All this started a day or 2 after doing side crunches for my abdominal oblique muscles. It was also 4 days after drinking a LOT of alcohol. There is also a feeling of fullness under my ribcage toward the front. Liver issue? Rib issue? What do you think?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t have sufficient medical background to distinguish between a true liver issue and something like costochondritis. I would wait and see if the pain abates in a week. It’s possible your crunches strained a muscle, broke a piece of cartilage, etc. If you find the pain fades after a few days, it’s probably nothing to worry about. If it persists or grows in intensity, I would go see your primary care physician, tell them what you said above, and they can direct you to the appropriate specialist.

  36. Alice says:

    You don’t mention pancreatis or bilary colic!

  37. Isabel says:

    I feel this kind of pain for 4 years already. It was 2010 when I feel really hard. every time I move i feel pain in my lower right ribs. And sometime in breathing also. I go for check but the doctor say its normal. And now my ribs are bulging bigger. Am thinking about this until now. What am going to do. Why in my x-ray things are quite fine. Now I know some idea about this. But still I need to find out what really reason why I felt this kind of pain.

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      It sounds like you could have broken off a piece of the cartilage around your ribs when you fell. Cartilage doesn’t show up on x-rays, so an x-ray would look fine. That could be why your ribs are bulging out if the cartilage is misplaced. A doctor should be able to lift your ribcage slightly with one hand and feel under it with the other and see if some cartilage is loose. Ask your doctor about the possibility of broken cartilage.

  38. stacy says:

    Hi everyone! I know this sounds crazy but its really not! Ive been having pain on and off for 8 yrs now below my right rib cage that comes and goes. Ive been to a lot of doctors and been x-rated with all kinds of different tests. Everything came back normal. I got to doing my own research on line about pain below rib cage and I found that it can be trapped gas. Which makes sense because when I went to the gastrotoligist he had mentioned that could be a cause. Ive read on line it can become trapped and cause severe pain. Read on line about trapped gas. I hope this helps.

  39. Nancy says:

    For approximately 1/1/2 years I wake up every morning with pain under my right rib cage. After moving around it eventually goes away. Sometimes during the day it returns for a short time. I had 4 broken ribs on left side in Feb 2013. Any ideas

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      Possibly loose cartilage resulting from the break, or inflammation of the cartilage around the ribs (costochondritis).

  40. emily says:

    I have had a pain under my right ribcage recently, it aches when I’m sat down sometimes, like someone is applying pressure on it. It has also occurred a couple of times while I’ve been walking, I gently tried to feel the area and felt it clicking and it became really painful for around 20 mins as more of a sharp stabbing pain, any idea what this could be? I would appreciate the help :)

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      A clicking? It might be loose cartilage that is irritating the muscles around your ribs. That could explain the intense pain and sound when you tried to feel it, if you were causing the cartilage to move around. Ask a doctor to check — they should be able to lift your ribcage slightly with their hand and feel for any cartilage pieces floating around.

  41. Trudy says:

    I tried to read through all the other questions but I couldn’t see anyone else with my strange pain. I woke up a week ago with a pain (like muscle pain) under my right breast, behind the rib. I’m fine to take a deep breathe but when I exhale completely, it hurts at the end. I can sneeze or cough without pain. Laughing hurts. If I lay in bed on my back I am fine. But if I roll over to one side, the sore spot moves in the direction I am rolling to. Take Tylenol seems to help a bit. I’ve pressed on my ribs, checked my breasts, etc and the pain is definitely behind the rib cage. I wake up in the morning feeling wonderful and the pain doesn’t come on until I start going about my day. It’s been a week and it’s still just as strong. Any ideas?

    • RMArceJaeger says:

      It could be costochondritis, which is essentially a cramping (or sometimes inflammation) of the muscles around your ribs. As the day goes on, your body absorbs tension and you become more stressed, which can lead to cramping. It could be something else, but at first glance that’s what it strikes me as.

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