How to Make Yourself Free From Sharp Pain Under Right Rib Cage

Are you experiencing a pain on right side of the abdomen under ribs? The rib cage protects the vital organs within the thoracic cavity and the upper part of the abdomen. Any physical injury to the ribs or the infection of any organs inside the rib cage can cause sharp pain under right rib cage.

If you feel a mild or sharp pain under your right rib cage for a longer period of time, then consult your doctor. The proper diagnosis would help you to identify the cause for the hurting ribs.

Here I provided the possible causes and treatments for the pain in right side under ribs. Most of the causes can be treated with simple physical practices and medications. Only a complex causes need a medical attention or surgery. So don’t be panic about the rib pain.

Causes of the Pain Under Right Rib Cage

Let us see in detail about the causes of the pain below the right side of the rib cage.

Pain under right rib cage

Photo Credits: James Palinsad

1. Physical Injury

Any physical injury to your ribs can cause sharp or mild pain in your rib cage. Generally, an injury is one of the most common cause for the pain under right rib cage. Most of the times people doesn’t realize that they have been injured in the ribs.

Inflammation or small bruising may cause sore ribs or a dull pain under the right rib cage, but fracture could cause a sharp pain instead.

The symptoms that indicate serious problems are sharp pain under the right rib cage when breathing or pressing the ribs, while stretching, and bending. If you meet with an accident or Trauma, first consult a health care professional for a full health, because it may cause severe problems.

2. Gallstones

The gallbladder is located behind your right rib. So, if you experience pain behind your right rib cage, then it may be due to gallstones.

Gallstones are hard deposits that are formed in your gallbladder. These hard deposits block the passageway to the gallbladder.

This gall bladder is responsible for storing bile (a digestive fluid produced by the liver). As per the Harvard health school, the 80% of gallstones are made of cholesterol.

The most common symptom of gallbladder formation is the pain in the right upper quadrant of your stomach (pain behind right rib cage) and stomach hurts after eating. After proper diagnosis, the gallstones can be easily dissolved by your doctor.

3. Tietze’s Syndrome

It is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. This condition is also known as Costochondritis or chest wall pain. Usually, this condition affects the cartilage where the upper ribs connected to the breastbone, an area called as the costosternal joint.

The pain on the ribs (both on right side of ribs or the left side) caused by costochondritis can range from mild to severe. People with costochondritis often experience chest pain in the upper and middle rib area on either side of the breastbone.

The possible causes for this condition are trauma to the chest, certain viruses or respiratory conditions, arthritis, pain due to any physical activity (heavy weight lifting and vigorous exercise), etc.

The pain may get worse if you stretch, move, or breathe deeply. Without any treatment, it often goes away within a few weeks, but few cases may require treatment.

4. Pancreatitis 

The pain in right side under ribs that gets worse when you lie down often originates in the pancreas. It is one of the serious medical conditions where the pancreas becomes swollen over a short period of time.

The pancreas is an abdominal gland located behind the stomach in your upper abdomen. This illness may cause stomach discomfort after eating.

The symptoms include upset stomach after eating, diarrhea, sharp pain on right side under ribs, weakness and severe pain in the upper abdomen.

The possible causes of this illness are Gallstones, High triglyceride levels, stomach injury,  smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, Alcohol consumption, Cystic fibrosis, Pancreatic cancer, and surgery. This condition needs an immediate medical attention to cure it completely.

5. Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is also known as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It is a medical condition in which the long-term swelling and irritation occur at different parts of the digestive tract.

It causes mild to severe cramps in the middle and lowers parts of your abdomen and severe pain under right rib cage.

The other possible symptoms of this condition are diarrhea, blood in poop, constipation, urinary urgency, fever, weight loss, pain behind the right or left rib, fatigue, and feeling that your bowels are not completely empty after you go.

Note: Inflammatory Bowel Disease differs from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Don’t confuse this illness with IBS.

6. Appendicitis

If your appendix gets infected, you can experience a sharp pain on right side of the abdomen under ribs.

The inflammation and irritation of appendix at the end of your large intestine is called as appendicitis. Initially, it causes cramps around your belly button and spreads to the lower right side of your abdomen under ribs. Soon the cramps can be bad or severe.

The common cause for appendicitis is an obstruction in the appendix. A burst appendix can be life-threatening and treatment is a must to cure or remove it.

7. Pleurisy

Pleurisy is the medical condition where it causes swelling of pleura (a thin layer of tissue that covers the inner side of the chest cavity and a layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs).

Generally, when you inhale and exhale pleura can rub together. If the rubbing causes inflammation of pleura, then it is called as pleurisy.

The symptoms of pleurisy include sudden or sharp pain under right rib cage, stabbing chest pain when breathing, coughing, bending down or lying down, shortness of breath and pain on the right side of the upper chest.

After proper diagnosis, your doctor may find the cause of pleurisy prescribe antibiotics, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory drugs. You need to take a complete rest to heal faster.

8. Liver Problems

The pain on right side under rib cage is common if your liver is infected. Some of the liver problems such as hepatitis and fatty liver are the most common illness causes the pain under lower right rib cage or at the left rib cage.

The liver is located in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen. So the liver inflammation (hepatitis) and fat accumulation in the liver causes pain on the right side of your chest.

9. Intercostal Muscle Strain

The intercostal muscles are located between the ribs. These muscles expand and contract to move your ribs, so that your lungs can get enough space to inhale and exhale.

Twisting your body in unexpected ways can cause the strain on the intercostal muscles. This strain is also a common cause for the sore ribs or the pain on the right side below ribs. Sports people or physically active people are more prone to the intercostal muscle strain.

The simple meditation, relaxation techniques and taking rest can help you to get relief from this muscle strain.

10. Acid Reflux

The acid reflux occurs when an excess acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus. This also causes pain on right side of the abdomen under ribs.

Usually, you can experience a sharp pain below right rib cage after eating in most cases, especially if the food was highly acidic.

The symptoms include Heartburn, dysphagia, wheezing, Regurgitation, bloating, hiccups, burping, weight loss, bloody stool, nausea, and dry cough.

To get relief from acid reflux avoid spicy meals, take a smaller amount of frequent meals, quit smoking and alcohol.

11. Gas in Colon

A sharp pain on right side of the abdomen under ribs (or left side) can also indicate a gas pain.

Gas pain occurs when gas is formed in your intestine and is trapped in your body during the digestion process. Usually, intestinal gas is harmless, but it can be painful and discomfort under right rib cage.

There are many reasons for this trapped gas and pain, especially due to your food habits.

The possible symptoms are a knotted feeling in your stomach, bloating, Flatulence, Bad Breath, Lack of Appetite, cramps in your upper abdomen and stabbing pain under right or left rib cage, belching and Burping

You can get relief from gas pain with the help of home remedies. If pain continuous for some longer days, consult your GP.

12. Stomach Ulcer

It is the most common cause of pain on right side of the stomach under ribs. Peptic ulcers are lesions that develop in the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or in the lower esophagus.

The common cause for the stomach ulcer is stomach acids or the bacteria H. pylori.

The symptoms of include indigestion, stomach cramps after eating, nausea, changes in appetite, blood in stool, pain below left rib cage or right rib cage, vomiting, and weight loss.

This condition can be easily treated with antibiotics and certain medications.

13. Fecal Impaction

A fecal impaction occurs when the waste products in the colon unable to pass through your system. This causes pain under the lower right rib cage.

This blockage can cause pain behind the right or left rib, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and difficulty in bowel movement.

This can be easily treated with medications. Using laxatives, you may able to force the passage of the hardened stool.

In a Nutshell,

Feeling pain on right side of the abdomen under ribs is quite common nowadays. The rib cage protects the vital organs within the thoracic cavity and the upper part of the abdomen. Any physical injury to the ribs or the infection of any organs inside the rib cage can cause sharp pain under right rib cage.

If you feel a mild or sharp pain under your right rib cage for a longer period of time, then consult your doctor. The proper diagnosis would help you to identify the cause for the hurting ribs.

Hope the above possible causes and treatments for the pain in right side under ribs can help you to identify the cause for your rib pain. Most of the causes for sudden sharp pain under right rib cage can be treated with simple physical practices and medications. Only a complex causes need a medical attention or surgery. So don’t be panic about the rib pain and consult your doctor for further treatments.

About the author

Amanda kelly

She is specialized in alternative medicine. As a nature lover, she has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems. she has been trying these remedies for many years and you would like them as well. She has experience editing for both the scientific community and the general public. She joined AskMyHealth in 2015. She loves to hike, use her standup paddleboard, and enjoy all life has to offer.

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