Experiencing pain under the right rib cage can be concerning, especially if you can’t pinpoint a reason. According to Dr. Anita Iroko, a general practitioner, this discomfort can arise from a variety of causes, including issues with your gallbladder, liver or even due to a pulled muscle.
Let’s explore these causes in more detail. But before that, remember: If you’re experiencing persistent pain, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.
Common Symptoms Accompanying Right Rib Cage Pain
The nature of the pain you experience can vary, depending on the cause. Here are some common symptoms that may accompany pain under the right rib cage:
- Sharp or dull ache
- Intense pain during movement or deep breaths
- Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to visit a healthcare provider to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
10 Possible Causes of Pain Under Right Rib Cage
Let’s delve into some of the potential reasons for pain in this region.
- Gallstones: Gallstones are hardened deposits that form within the gallbladder, potentially causing sharp pain if they block the bile ducts.
- Liver Conditions: As the liver resides under the right rib cage, diseases like hepatitis or liver cirrhosis can lead to discomfort in this area.
- Kidney Stones: Although primarily associated with lower back pain, kidney stones can sometimes cause pain to radiate up to the rib cage.
- Rib Injury: A broken or bruised rib caused by a fall or impact can lead to sharp, intense pain.
- Pulled Muscles: Overstretching or straining the intercostal muscles located between the ribs can result in dull or sharp pain.
- Costochondritis: Inflammation of the rib cage cartilage, known as costochondritis, can result in pain around the ribs.
- Pleurisy: Pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, can cause a sharp pain that intensifies during breathing.
- Gastric Issues: Conditions like gastritis, ulcers, or gastroenteritis can cause pain under the right rib cage, often accompanied by other digestive symptoms.
- Pneumonia: Right-side pneumonia, if it affects the lower right lung, may cause rib cage pain.
- Pancreatitis: Though the pancreas is mostly located on the left, conditions like pancreatitis can sometimes cause referred pain under the right rib cage.
It’s important to remember that this list isn’t exhaustive. Various other conditions might cause similar discomfort. Therefore, any persistent pain under the right rib cage should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
What To Do If You Experience Right Rib Cage Pain
If you’re dealing with persistent or severe right rib cage pain, seek immediate medical attention. Dr. Iroko and other professionals can conduct appropriate tests, like a physical examination, blood tests, ultrasounds, or CT scans, to diagnose the underlying cause.
The treatment for your pain will depend on the cause. For instance, gallstones may require surgical removal, while pulled muscles often benefit from rest, heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Conditions like pneumonia or gastritis will likely require medication. In all cases, early detection and treatment often lead to better outcomes.
In summary, while experiencing pain under your right rib cage can be worrisome, remember that understanding the potential causes is the first step towards finding relief. Always consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you receive the best possible care.