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What causes pain under the left rib cage which worsens during deep breathing?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 886 Questions
I have a very sudden and sharp pain under thr left side of my rib cage which worsens with a deep breath and while laying down. Has been coming and going for a while but lately is more frequent. Usually the discomfort ends within a few minute but has been over 20 minutes and has not changed in its sharp intensity.. Plan on scheduling a doctors appointment. Wondering if this is just heartburn or potentially serious...
Fri, 11 May 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Gopal Goel 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Could be muscle strain

Detailed Answer:
Hi I am DR Gopal Goel Orthopedic Surgeon.
the pain under the left rib cage which worsens on stress ( deep breathing , while lying down) , in my opinion is most likely due to strain in abdominal muscles where they are attached to ribs.
This may commonly occur when there is deficiency of vitamin d3 with osteoporosis or traumatic strain in the muscles . To me this does not look like a heartburn.
I would advice S Vit D3 and bone Desnitometry ( Dexa scan) to help in diagnosis.
I would recommend Pain killers , Muscle Relaxants and S Vit D3+ Calcium.
Thanx for the question. Please feel free to ask any other question.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes pain under the left rib cage which worsens during deep breathing? 36 minutes later
Would you recommend I go to the emergency room .
Been about too hours and cannot take too deep of a breathe without sharp pain nor lie down without pain and discomfort.
Answered by Dr. Gopal Goel 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
This usually does not require visit to ER.

Detailed Answer:
This does not need any visit to ER but medications. If you don't have medicines at hand , then there is no harm in visiting ER
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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