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Pain in rib cage when coughing. No other symptoms. Any idea what this could be?

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Sharp pain under right rib cage when i cough and only with the cough and when i lay down on that side. It has been hurting for 4 days now and i don't show any other symptoms. Any idea what this could be?
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. The most common cause is either a cough related muscle pull in the rib-cage / upper abdomen and gallstones or gall bladder problems. Your age and profile fits such a situation, especially if you are overweight.

2. An abdominal ultrasound (USG) will help distinguish between gall bladder, liver, pancreas, duodenum / colon and kidney related problems.

3. A chest X-ray and ECG is always advised to rule out lung, rib cage and heart related problems.

4. Sleep apnea requires a sleep study to identify the cause of the airway obstruction during sleep. If your cough is dry, try an anti allergic and a cough suppressant under medical supervision. I will not recommend anti-spasmodics and mild painkillers before thorough examination and investigation because they can mask the origin of your discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if any infection is detected.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

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