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Suggest treatment for pain below the ribs and the upper back

May 2014
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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 6505 Questions
Hi, I am having pain below my returns ribs which goes till upper back since last three days. It was being felt only when I was moving my torso in specific position or coughing. Earlier, intensity of pain was less, now it has increased very much and I am unable to move. This is after applying an off the counter balm. I am facing difficulty in daily movements. please suggest what could be causing this and what should I do?
Posted Fri, 24 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Infection more likely if you have cough Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for writing in to us. Pains below the ribs and the upper back can be due to many reasons. It is important to know the type of pain you are having, burning, pricking, stabbing or dull pain. Also pain can be superficial or deep in nature. Most of the superficial pains are due to musculoskeletal origin and can be seen in muscle sprains usually after you have made a sudden back movement unknowingly. This kind of pain usually decreases after application of pain relief ointments and muscle relaxants. The deeper pain can be from the lungs or pleura and can be related to any infection and frequently also presents with cough and fever with tiredness. This is investigated through blood tests and a chest X ray may also be required. If an infection is confirmed, a course of medications often treats it. Sometimes back pain can also be due to acidity or cardiac problems but these have no relations to any specific movement of torso and you are young enough not to have any cardiac complaints. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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Follow-up: Suggest treatment for pain below the ribs and the upper back 2 hours later
Thanks for reverting sir. My condition worsened after application of ointment. And the pain is on right hand side of ribs going uptil lower back. It is so worse that I am having difficulty in normal activities like sitting, sleeping and walking. As its Sunday, our family physician would not be available. Could you please advise what precautions i should take at home?
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 29 minutes later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for writing back with an update. From what you have written, and as you have not mentioned about cough and fever, I feel it is a severe muscle spasm that you're having. Muscle spasm worsens over a day or two after the muscle is sprained and it is relieved over the next two days. I suggest that you apply ointment with pain reliever and muscle relaxant gently over the ribs and back. Do not rub it roughly. Make yourself comfortable in the position causing least pain and do not move about unnecessarily. Wear loose clothes. You can use a hot water bag if it gives relief. If pain is severe, please take oral pain killers like diclofenac after food. Note: Please do make a visit to your physician and confirm your condition as I am only giving an opinion purely based on what you have written and not examined you clinically. Wishing you good health and quick recovery. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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