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Experiencing pain and discomfort under rib cage. Cause and treatment?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5931 Questions
I have been experiencing pain just under the left side of my rib cage and just under my left breast
it starts like a contraction does, it peaks and then subsides but starts with a stabbing like pain first.
Posted Wed, 13 Feb 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 22 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.

A rib cage pain on right side or left side can be due to any pain or discomfort in these areas of the ribs.
Rib cage pain causes:

Fracture rib
Cartilage inflammation
Irritable bowel syndrome

Depending upon the cause and severity of the rib cage pain in left side, the treatment varies. In mild cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve), that will help decrease the symptoms of pain and inflammation in the rib cage muscles. But if the pain is severe, making it difficult to sleep, the anesthetic and steroid injection in the area that is tender, if the pain does not subsides with medications.

The best way to treat rib cage pain on left side is self care and complete rest. XXXXXXX breathing, rigorous exercising and straining the chest muscles may worsen pain or inflammation, and slow down the healing process. Applying heat pad or ice pack on the painful area several times a day will also help in relieving the rib cage pain.

Hope this information helps you. Please do write back if you have any additional concerns.

Wishing you good health...

Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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