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Having pain under armpits till waist. X-ray shows no fracture. What can this be?

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Ihave pain under my armpits going down both sides of my rib cage to my waist. it is severe . i fell from my bed a week ago on my left side and this pain strted 2 dys ago. i had xrays done and there was no fracture. i do not think this pain is related to my fall beacuse the pain is the same on both sides and i fell on my left only. and my ribs the emergency told me were bruised the pain should get a little better ....this pain came on 5 days after my fall. what do you think it is ? percocet isn't touching my pain
Posted Thu, 18 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later

Thank you for the query.

Please note that the area where your pain is located is composed of bones, muscles, fatty tissue, nerves and skin. X-ray tells only about the bones condition. It is good to rule out ribs fractures, what has been done.

However after falling, muscles are very often injured. The pain does not appear right after the fall. It is because the fall causes muscle cells damage. This damage does not hurt itself. What hurts, is an inflammation which appears to clean this damaged cells. It takes time for this inflammation to develop (inflammation cells needs to migrate to this area). That is why muscles pain can appear few days after the injury. And it can last even 2 weeks.

Other possible reason of your symptoms is spine disc herniation. Due to nerves compression (disc herniation can compress nerves on both sides) the pain can radiate to mentioned by you areas. And disc herniation wont be visible in the X-rays. MRI needs to be done to visualize it.

I suggest you to visit orthopedist, have physical examination and consider MRI.

In a meanwhile, you should try Diclophenac 50 mg twice a day (should be prescribed by your doctor, should be taken along with Omeprasole 20 mg once a day to protect the stomach).

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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Follow-up: Having pain under armpits till waist. X-ray shows no fracture. What can this be? 2 hours later
thank you for you in depth explanation which i understand now better. my doctor did not explain this to me. i do have 1 herniated disc in my back from a car accident so hopefully i didnt make things worse. i will follow up with your recommendation to see the orthopedist and get the mri. i thought i had something else going on because i got these sharp pains went to my lower abdomen. I saw my gi doctor and he gave meds for ibs antispasmadic. Now i just got a sharp pain in my upper rib . is this nerves related to the fall? these pains out of nowhere? the gi doc's nurse said the sharp pains from my upper abdomen to lower were from nerve's from fall. what is your opnion on this? should i expect these sharp shooting pains like this to be normal? this is all on my right side..or do you think something else is going on? thank you for your reply
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 9 hours later
Such shooting pains can be caused by nerves irritation indeed. However as this pains are on the right side only other issues are also possible. Upper right abdominal pain right under the ribs is very often caused by gallstones. Such pain can appear and disappear spontaneously. It can be triggered by fatty foods, spicy foods or alcohol. The pain can radiate to the back.
Urinary tract stones (kidney stones) can also give upper right abdominal pain radiating to the lower abdomen. With this condition frequent urinating or burning while urinating can also appear.

If you have any stool problems like constipation, diarrhea, blood in stool, large intestine condition should be also checked. The upper right abdomen and lower abdomen is where the part of large intestine is located. Such pains can sometimes be caused by issue of the large intestine.

To diagnose mentioned conditions please visit your doctor and have some basic tests. Abdominal ultrasound (for gallstones diagnose), blood work, urine analysis should be done. FOBT (fecal occult blood test) is also a good idea, even if you have no symptoms at all.

Hope this will help.
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