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Sharp pain below rib cage. ECG and blood tests normal. Whats the reason, advise?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6593 Questions
hello, i am experiencing a sharp pain beneath my left rib cage and also a slight pain where the ribs XXXXXXX .. the pain does on occasion move down the left arm and it does mostly feel muscular but its worrying me which seems to make it worse... i had an ECG and blood taken a couple of weeks ago and the heart and vital signs seem normal?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 30 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.
pain under the left rib cage is a dilemma for all patients suffering from it. Any constant pain is viewed by doctors as well as patients as a very serious disorder or disease and requires immediate attention and cure. 
A fractured or cracked rib can cause rib cage pain, costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilage near the breastbone,  and pleurisy. If you do encounter such ribcage you must first get the area x-rayed so as to determine if your ribs are fractured. If you've been suffering this pain for a long period of time (3 months or more) it's necessary to go for an MRI or CT scan.
Inflammation of the cartilage that is between the ribs and breastbone can cause pain around the back and down the arms. This pain is such that it might radiate a sensation as if you were having a heart attack or lung problems. Although the duration of this condition is short but very painful and uncomfortable during the period it lasts.
Other reasons could be due to acid reflux or gas in the colon or stomach ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome
Since your ECG is normal and you are not complaining of any abdominal complaints like bloating,acidity,diarrhea,constipation etc,the problem appears to be muscular in nature however you must get a preliminary x-ray chest done.
If chest x-ray is normal then you can take some OTC anti inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen 400 mg three times a day and see the response.If you don't get any relief then you must consult your doctor for thorough check up and treatment.
I hope to have answered your query however you can revert to me for any further query.
Thanks and best of luck.
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