Pain Under Right Rib Cage: 12 Possible Causes and Treatments

Pain under right rib cage

Rib cage pain is caused by various things in your life. This is a very common health condition and can happen to anyone. It can be minor or severe and should be monitored closely.

Causes of rib cage pain vary from a small fracture to lung cancer. This can either be dull pain under right rib cage or sharp.

Your rib cage is an important piece of your body. It protects the cardiovascular system and other vital organs. Pain under right rib cage is something that you should speak to your doctor about.

Related Reading: Pain Under Left Rib Cage: Common Causes, Treatments and Prevention


What Causes Pain Under Right Rib Cage?

What causes pain under right rib cagePain under right rib cage can be caused by so many different things in your life. It could be as simple as a minor injury, or the sign of a more serious condition.

You should check with your doctor if your pain does not go away with home treatment, or before you begin home treatment. Below we will discuss some possibilities for pain under right rib cage.

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1. Right Rib Cage Pain Due to Injury

This is the most common and major reason for pain under right rib cage. Sometimes you are unaware that you have even injured your ribs.

This pain can occur because of fractured, broken or bruised ribs. This pain can be minor or severe. It all depends on the injury itself. If you are experiencing severe or sharp stabbing pain in right side under rib cage, you should seek a doctor.

2. Appendicitis

Appendicitis causes your dull pain under right rib cage. It happens because of an inflamed appendix. If you feel more severe pain, then you should seek medical attention immediately.

An inflamed appendix can cause more health problems and result in death if left untreated. This pain will begin at your belly button and intensifies with time.

You may also experience other symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, fever and other abdominal issues.

3. Collapsed Lung

A collapsed lung is also known as pneumothorax. This happens when your air-filled walls of the lung lose it all.

There are many reasons why this happens but smoking is a big cause of it. This pain feels like sharp stabbing pain in right side under rib cage. You may also experience pain under right rib when breathing.

4. Costochondritis 

This is a disease that causes inflammation in the rib cage, and this pain mainly ranges from mild to severe. With this illness, your chest will feel tender to touch or unbearable chest pain.

This pain can go away on its own within a few weeks, but sometimes you may need a doctor. Symptoms of costochondritis are pain under rib cage both sides, middle and top.

5. Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may cause a liver problem. This will lead to pain under right rib cage and other health issues.

If you notice any pain in your ribs while drinking alcohol you should stop immediately. There are home remedies that can be utilized to alleviate this issue, but doctors can help too.

6. Tuberculosis

This is a bacterial infection which can cause pain under right rib cage. This can affect your lungs and liver. It is a contagious disease and can spread to your spine and brain.

If you believe that you have contracted tuberculosis, you should seek medical attention immediately. This is a very serious condition that needs to be dealt with using medicine.

7. Chronic myelogenous leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer which starts in the blood-forming tissue. Chronic myelogenous leukemia can be dangerous and may lead the affected person to death.

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It can cause pain under right rib cage. If you believe that you have chronic myelogenous leukemia you should seek out medical help.

8. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be a reason for pain under left rib cage or both sides. This occurs when acid in your stomach reaches to the esophagus and also known as heartburn.

Common symptoms of acid reflux are inflammation or chest pain. Chest pain from acid reflux can also feel like a heart attack.

There are several home remedies that can be utilized to alleviate the pain and symptoms of acid reflux. It will also help the pain under right rib cage.

9. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease has been found to damage lungs and cause pain under right rib cage and back.

Ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease are two common inflammatory diseases that cause pain in colon and rectum. The pain in your colon and rectum can lead to chest pain or pain under right rib cage.

10. Pleurisy

Also known as pleuritic, this is an inflammatory condition that affects the linings of the lungs and chest. The pleura are thin tissues that line the wall of the chest and the lungs.

When they become inflamed, they rub together which leads to sudden sharp pain under right rib cage. Antibiotics are available to help alleviate this pain.

Pain under right rib cage

11. Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the united states. One symptom of lung cancer is pain under rib cage and back.

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The pain will intensify as you take deep breaths, cough or laugh. There are treatments available for this form of cancer. If you believe that you have lung cancer you should seek a doctor immediately.

12. Fibromyalgia

This is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body. The pain associated with fibromyalgia can be burning, throbbing, stabbing or aching.

These pains are often felt in the rib cage. Rib pain right side tender to touch can also occur with this condition.


Is Pain Under Right Rib Cage a Serious Condition? 

If you are experiencing sudden sharp pain under right rib cage, you may be wondering how serious it actually is. Depending on what is causing this pain will dictate how serious the condition is.

If you are experiencing the pain due to a minor injury, then it will all be healed in a short amount of time. But, rib pain may be the sign of a more serious condition.

It is always best to consult with your doctor about these issues as they will be able to give you a proper diagnosis. Your pain could be something simple, but it also could be potentially life-threatening.


Possible Treatments for Pain Under Right Rib Cage

Once you have discovered what causes pain under right rib cage you will be able to try out some possible home treatments.

There are a variety of different things that can be done to help alleviate this health issue. Below we will discuss some of them and what you need to do.

Pain under right rib cage treatment

Limit Body Movements

If you are experiencing dull pain under right rib cage comes and goes from certain body movements, just try and avoid those.

Your daily life should not be hindered from the pain you are having. But, you should also be able to live your life without causing more pain.

Try and stretch before various activities to ensure your body is prepared to work. Avoid any body movements that cause more pain for you.

Painkillers

There are some over the counter painkillers that can be taken. This should be used in moderation and not to fix the issue.

You may need to discuss options with your doctor prior to taking them to make sure you are able to do so. Do not abuse the over the counter or prescription options. This can lead to more serious medical conditions.

Avoidance

Avoid fast food and highly processed food. Instead, consume a lot of fruit and vegetables.

These different foods will be easier for your body to digest and help alleviate any pain you may be experiencing. You will quickly see your digestive system improving and feel overall better.


When to See a Doctor

At any point during the at-home treatment, you can seek a doctor. If you are experiencing pain under right rib when breathing, dull pain under right rib comes and goes or rib pain right side tender to touch, a doctor’s consult will help.

They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. It will allow you to heal faster and get back into your normal routine in life. Avoiding the doctor can potentially lead to more serious health conditions or worsen the current ones.

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Sources:
https://www.nlda.org/a/pain-under-right-rib-cage
https://www.healthline.com/symptom/rib-pain
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-ribs/symptoms-causes/syc-20350763
https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/muscle-contusion-bruise

Dr. David Cummings, MD

Dr. David Cummings, MD

David Cummings, MD, is a medical reviewer and editor at Daily Health Cures. David received his medical degree from the University of Illinois.