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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes pain under the rib cage?

I have a pain under my right upper rib cage that has bothered me for about 2 weeks. It is hurting bad tonight and am not sure what to do. I have a cold now...which isnt why its hurting but when I sneeze it hurts worse. It doenst hurt to touch...so weird
Mon, 30 Mar 2015
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Hi,
Thanks for your query
If the pain on right side has appeared suddenly with shortness of breath and some radiation to the arm, pneumothorax is possible. This condition can appear with no reason. Sometimes sudden cough or sudden lift of heavy object can cause it. It is more possible if you smoke or have chronic lungs disease like asthma or bronchitis.
If nothing like that is present, strained muscle is the most probable reason. Strained muscle usually appears only when the chest is moving, and should be completely gone when lying down and not breathing.
If the pain is sharp and well localized, more intense when breathing, rib nerve issue is the most probable reason.
In both cases, rest and anti-inflammatory medicines like Diclophenac should help.
If the pneumothorax sounds possible, you should have chest x-ray done as soon as possible
.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more concern.
Warm Regards.
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What causes pain under the rib cage?

Hi, Thanks for your query If the pain on right side has appeared suddenly with shortness of breath and some radiation to the arm, pneumothorax is possible. This condition can appear with no reason. Sometimes sudden cough or sudden lift of heavy object can cause it. It is more possible if you smoke or have chronic lungs disease like asthma or bronchitis. If nothing like that is present, strained muscle is the most probable reason. Strained muscle usually appears only when the chest is moving, and should be completely gone when lying down and not breathing. If the pain is sharp and well localized, more intense when breathing, rib nerve issue is the most probable reason. In both cases, rest and anti-inflammatory medicines like Diclophenac should help. If the pneumothorax sounds possible, you should have chest x-ray done as soon as possible . Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more concern. Warm Regards.