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Experiencing pain near rib cage. Ultrasound clear. Suggested intercostal rib muscle pull. What is the treatment?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 589 Questions
i am a 22 year old female experiencing pain just below my right rib cage for over 2 weeks now. its mostly dull pain but becomes sharp suddenly 2-3 times a day, subsiding again in 5 minutes. i consulted a physician. the ultrasound is clear so liver and gall bladder are alright. the doctor said its probably an intercostal rib muscle pull. how do I treat this? and also, is there a danger that it could be something else that the ultrasound may not have found?
Posted Mon, 5 Aug 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Guru 45 minutes later

Thank you for consulting HealthcareMagic!
I am sorry for your pain and I can understand your concern. If your treating doctor strongly believes after a thorough physical examination and investigations like ultrasound that the cause of pain is due to , then I want to reassure you that there is nothing big to worry about. Intercostal muscle pull or strain is not a serious issue and just needs conservative treatment like rest, breathing exercises and physiotherapy if needed. This usually takes 3-6 weeks to completely get relieved depending on the grade of strain.

However, to answer your last line that - is there a danger that it could be something else that the ultrasound may not have found? - Can be answered based on physical examination finings, associated symptoms and should be decided by treating doctor. Anyhow, from the clinical presentation which you have given, I do not suspect anything serious but would advice to see your doctor if you have any associated symptoms like sudden weight loss, fever, nausea, vomiting, jaundice etc.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, please let me know!
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