What Is Causing Sharp Pain Under My Right Rib Cage?

Sharp pain on the right side, under the rib. And all cells of your being, scream, “I am dying”! Just because you have google on your fingertips, it doesn’t mean you are capable of self-diagnosis. Sharp pain, on the right side under your rib cage, could have various different reasons. From something as simple as intercostal pain caused by sleeping wrong to something as serious as bone cancer. Your rib cage contains intercostal muscles, sometimes when you sit in a wrong posture for a long time they start to hurt. Exercising hard or twisting your body forcefully can also intercostal muscle strain.


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How to Diagnose the Reason for Rib Pain, Right Side

The diagnosis depends on the severity of the pain. If the pain is constant or if it is intermittent. And if it increases with movements. If you started having pain after undergoing an injury the doctor will get an X-ray done.

If the X-ray shows bone fracture or any abnormal growth, the doctor will suggest treatment accordingly. And if the pain is chronic the doctor will ask for a bone scan to determine what is causing it. It could be any bone degenerating disease like arthritis and it could also mean bone cancer.


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What could be the Reason for Sharp Pain under Rib?

There are many reasons for rib cage pain or the pain under the rib on the right side of your body. A pulled muscle, bruised ribs, bone diseases like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of lungs, broken rib, chest injury, intercostal muscle strain, or it might be indicating a liver problem. Therefore, it is best to consult a physician and get a proper diagnosis.


Rib injury

If the pain started after an injury, it may mean you have bruised a rib or two. If the pain is severe and increases when you breathe or cough. And it is accompanied by swelling it could also mean a fracture.  In the latter case, you should rush to the medical facility.

Liver problems

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The liver is on the right side of the body under the rib cage. The pain under rib can be caused by some Liver issues. But if it is a liver issue you might encounter other problems or diseases too. Like jaundice, itchy skin, abdominal swelling, swelling in the ankles, dark colored urine, pale or dark-colored stool, nausea, vomiting, and chronic fatigue.

If this is the case, add liver-friendly foods and drinks in your lifestyle and obviously get an appointment.

Gallbladder issues

Gallstone is located under the liver on the right side of your body, this little organ can cause a lot of pain if it gets inflamed. The reason for your pain could be that there are gallstones blocking the duct. Or the reason could be biliary colic. In the second case, you may have episodes of pain or it may last for hours. The pain could be so intense you may feel it radiating to your shoulder blade. Plus you will feel nauseous and your abdomen will feel tender for a day or two.


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What is an Intercostal-Muscle Strain?

Your intercostal muscles lie between your ribs, then attaching them into another. They help stabilize your chest muscles and also allow you to breathe. A strain is every time a muscle moves, pulls or can be partially torn. A strain in those layers of these intercostal muscles could lead to pain and difficulty in breathing.


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Gas problems

Gas can cause terrible pain, Our large intestine bends at two points under the rib cage. The left one is called splenic flexure and the right bend called the hepatic flexure. When gas accumulates in any of these bends in the intestine, it causes pain. The hepatic flexure syndrome or the pain at the right side of the body, under the rib cage, is often mistaken as pain caused by the gallstone.


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How to Cure Rib Cage Pain

The first step to curing sharp pain under the rib cage is to identify the cause, only then you will be able to treat the problem. If a bruised rib is causing pain using a cold compress or a wrap can help with the pain.

However, it is totally possible to cure the pain by just switching to a medicated mattress, or avoiding a particular exercise. Even eating more fiber and avoiding foods that cause gas can reduce your discomfort permanently.

In some cases you may need proper medical treatment, there is nothing better than getting diagnosed early and treating the illness to get a permanent cure.


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How to Prevent Rib Cage Pain?


To prevent rib cage pain, you should always stretch before exercising or playing. Eat gut-friendly food, drink loads of water, and avoid junk. Also, it is a good idea to go for a natural liver cleanse every now and then.


Frequently Asked Questions


What does it mean when you get a sharp pain under your ribs?

Sharp pain under ribs can indicate different problems. Rib cage pain might mean broken ribs, bruised ribs, pulled muscle, costochondritis, pleuritic, or cancer. It is always better to get it checked out from a doctor, to confirm the reason.

What does pain under the right rib cage mean?

Pain under the right rib cage can be due to various reasons. Rib pain on the right side can be because of pulled muscles, bone problems, any rib injury, inflammation of lungs, liver issues, or chest injury.

What organ is under my left rib cage?

Heart, left lung, pancreas, spleen, and stomach sit under the left rib cage. A problem in any of these organs may cause sharp pain under ribs. 

Is Rib pain a sign of cancer?

Rib cage pain might be a sign of bone cancer but it is not necessary. In bone cancer, a dull and deep ache could be felt in the bones of the body, including ribs. However, a doctor’s diagnosis is important for this rather than assuming it on your own. 

When should I be concerned about rib pain?

In case of any kind of rib cage pain, especially severe chest pain and breathing problems, one should immediately consult a doctor.

Why would your ribs hurt for no reason?

Rib cage pain is never without a reason. There would be an underlying cause.

What does the pain of pancreatitis feel like?

The pain of pancreatitis might radiate from the upper abdominal to the back. This pain can be acute and intense; or it may start out as mild pain and become worse, especially after eating something.

How do you relieve gas pains in your ribs?

The best way to relieve gas pain is to let it out. The less gas in the body system, the less pain you will feel. Further, avoid foods that can cause trapped gas in the ribs. Try taking apple cider vinegar in the water and do some exercise.

 What does pain from the spleen feel like?

The spleen pain might be felt behind or under the left ribs. Taking deep breaths may cause pain in the left shoulder area or the upper part of the abdomen.

Why there is pain under my left breast and ribs?

There are a total of 24 ribs in the human body 12 on the left side and 12 on the right side. The rib’s function is to protect the organ lie beneath them. Some people having pain in their left rib and breast this is because of costochondritis. In this, the patient has inflammation of the cartilage so they face pain in their left rib and breast. This pain is mostly caused due to lifting heavy things, having an injury in the rib cage, or maybe some sort of infection. This pain mostly attacks the women of more than 40 years. Its medication includes only the steroids, some pain relievers.  

What organ is on the right side under the ribs?

The organ beneath ribs is the liver.

Why is my right side hurting?

The appendix causes pain on your right side. This pain takes place from the middle or right side of the abdomen and moves downward on the right side. The symptom of the appendix is you start having a fever with nausea and vomiting sometimes diarrhea also starts. The only solution to get rid of this pain is to operate before it comes to a critical phase.

How do you know if rib pain is muscular?

Rib pain is muscular pain it is a sharp pain under the rib due to the injury. This is the intercostal muscle strain. This pain becomes worse when you cough, twist, and breathe deeply.

What does pancreatic pain feel like?

Pancreatitis pain is mostly found in those people, who drink a lot of alcohol or having gallstone. The pancreatitis pain starts in the upper abdomen and it lasts for a few days continuously. This pain gets worse when you eat food. The pain is some time severs or some time mild in which the patient got dehydrated.

Why does my upper right side hurt?

When your upper right side hurt that is the indication of having a gallstone.  Gallstone is the stone formed in the gallbladder.

Where is gallbladder pain located?

Gallbladder pain is mostly located at the upper right position of your abdomen.

What does pain in the liver feel like?

Liver pain can take several forms. Sometimes it mild and sometimes it severs that it takes your breath. Liver pain feels like a wound with a sharp knife, so it is really painful and not easy to cop up with it.

Does gallbladder cause rib pain?

Not exactly gallbladder pain starts from the upper right abdomen near the rib cage. If it is not treated in the early stage it will be dangerous for the patient.

What causes left upper quadrant pain under ribs?

Gastritis cause left upper quadrant pain upper ribs.

Final words

No matter what you do, do not try to become a doctor just by reading some articles on google. You might injure yourself or cause some serious harm by trying to treat yourself without a proper diagnosis. Also, do not take pains and aches lightly. Over-the-counter medicine will help you with the pain but it cannot treat the underlying cause. Sharp pain under the ribs could mean something as serious as bone cancer. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor even if it turns out to be an intercostal muscle strain.

Do comment and let us know what is your take on self-medication? And if we were able to answer your queries regarding rib pain on the right side of your body.

Maryam Kishwer

Maryam is a creative person at heart, Jack of all trades and master of none, but she prefers it that way. Mom to two amazing boys, a wanderers soul, dreamy-eyed painter, an early morning Yogi, and a writer.

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