What is Rib Pain? Its Symptoms and Causes

RIB Pain Causes

The rib pain can be achy, dull or sharp and it can be felt at or below the chest or above the navel on either side. This pain can happen after an obvious injury or without explanation. There can be many different causes for the rib cage pain, from pulled muscles to a rib fracture. This type of pain can develop immediately after an injury or it can develop slowly over time. Also, the rib pain can be a sign of an underlying medical condition so if you feel rib pain, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. If the illness is cause for your rib pain, then you should get a lot of rest and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

RIB Pain Symptoms:

This type of pain can happen above the navel, below the ribs or in the chest. There are many different causes for rib cage pain so the symptoms can vary. As a result of these factors, the rib cage pain can be:

  • Worse when breathing or moving
  • Intermittent
  • Constant
  • Slow to develop
  • Sudden
  • Aching
  • Dull
  • Sharp

Also, there can be other symptoms which can affect the rig cage, such as

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising

There are many cases when the rib cage pain can be caused by underlying injuries or medical conditions. If you have unexplained rib cage pain, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible. If the pressure in the chest or the pain is severe and your breathing is difficult, then you should seek emergency medical help because these symptoms can indicate a heart attack.

RIB Pain

RIB Pain Causes:

There can be many different causes of rib pain. Your doctor will make physical examination and imaging scans to diagnose the underlying cause for your rib pain. Here are the most common causes of rib cage pain:

  • Pleurisy: It is also known as pleuritis. This is an inflammatory condition that is affecting the lining of the lungs and chest. The thin tissues which line the wall of the chest and lungs are known as pleura. When they are healthy, then they smoothly slide across one another. The inflammation which is causing them to rub is leading to significant pain. In recent years, antibiotics are helping to pleurisy and this is a reason why it less common than it was. When pleurisy happens, then it is often a mild condition that is resolving on its own. Usually, this condition lasts from a few days to two weeks. Also, there are other inflammatory conditions of the lungs, such as bronchitis, which can cause pain around the rib cage.
  • Costochondritis: This condition is also known as Tietze’s syndrome. It is one of the most common causes of rib cage pain. It is characterized by inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. Usually, it happens in the cartilage which joins the upper ribs to the sternum and this area is known as costosternal joint. The rib cage pain which is caused by this condition can range from mild to severe. The symptoms of this condition include pain and tenderness when touching the chest area. The severe cases can lead to pain which interferes with daily life or with pain radiates down the limbs. There are some cases of Tietze’s syndrome which resolve without treatment while other cases need medical help.
  • Injury: The most common cause for rib cage pain is an injury to the chest which is caused by sport-related contact, traffic collisions, and falls. The most common types of injuries are pulled muscle; fractured ribs; bruised ribs and broken ribs. The rib cage pain which begins after an injury is typically diagnosed with an X-ray to highlight the fractures and bone breaks. The MRIs and other scans are used to detect soft tissue damage.
  • Fibromyalgia: This is a chronic condition that is causing pain throughout the body. The pain which is associated with this condition can be aching, stabbing, throbbing or burning. These types of pains are commonly felt in the rib cage but they can be felt all around the body. There are some studies in which are said that the non – specific chest pain, in which is included the rib cage pain, is the most common co-existing condition which is leading to the hospital admission in people who have fibromyalgia.


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