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    What causes pain and tenderness in ribs while coughing or sneezing?

Posted on Wed, 27 May 2015 in General Health
Question: 10 days ago I slipped and the rim of a large trash bin went directly under my right ribs. There was a very sharp pain but then not much pain thereafter, but in the next few days there was a lot of soreness. I assumed I had bruised the rib. Two nights ago I noticed bloating and had some abdominal pain, which felt like indigestion of some sort, nothing serious. Yesterday I was really bloated though that's better today. I have no fever, no nausea, and my bowel movements are fine though a bit painful. The pain is more than noticeable, bordering on severe, when I cough or sneeze. My right lower rib is still painful but now I have a generalized tenderness all over my abdomen. Years ago I had a CT scan and was advised that I have some diverticulosis, but I have never had any symptoms. My question: should I go to urgent care or wait a day or two and see my doctor or is this more likely a coincidence? I don't want to ignore something that could be serious, but with no fever and the injury so long ago, I hate to take a doctor's office time for this.
Answered by Dr. Klarida Papaqako 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Consider going to the ER and having it checked.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for posting your question to HCM,

I read carefully your description.
Pain and tenderness in the rib, when caughing or sneezing its normal to have after an injury like the one you are describing. It will need maybe another week time to heal.
The generalised pain is not a good sign though.
I would recommend to go to the ER if you...
... have pain when you touch your abdomen (so feeling pain may be common in gastroenteritis but not pain in pressing it);
... are not passing gases or stool.

Fever is a sign of infection, but if in your case have had a problem from a trauma, so it will not be an indication if something serious is happening. Generalised pain is...and with the history of trauma it may be more higher possibility of being serious.

So, in my opinion, better consider doing a check up, then leave it and have possible complications after.

Let me know if you need further clarifications, I would be happy to answer.

Take care,
Dr. Papaqako.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Answered by
Dr. Klarida Papaqako

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 1614 Questions


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