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Pain in Right side under Ribs

The rib cage consists of twelve pairs of ribs, 12 thoracic vertebrae and ‘sternum’ bone which is in ‘T’ shape. Pain under ribs is very common and there are various reasons for it. One of the causes for pain under ribs is injury to the rib cage. Also, pain may occur because of direct trauma to the chest. A person may also suffer from pain in case soft tissues are injured; and injuries to the walls, intercostals muscles that hold up the ribs canalso lead to pain under ribs. This pain could be either on left or right side, and is very severe.

Symptoms of pain in right side under ribs

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Signs and symptoms that may accompany pain in right side under ribs are:

  • Bloating
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Constipation
  • Loose motion

Causes for pain in right side under ribs

Some of the causes for pain in right side under ribs are as follows:

  • Fractured ribs: Ribs may fracture or injure due to fall, accidents or crush injuries. The pain may be mild or severe; if it is mild the pain will disappear within few days. However, if the pain is severe and body movements are not easy,then pain killers are prescribed. When a person suffers from crush injury the pain could differ. It depends upon the force with which object damages the ribs.To assess the level of injuries to ribs X-ray of the chest can be taken. Complication may come up if a section of the ribs shifts from its proper place causing injuries to the other organs. Along with painkillers, doctor may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or nerve block injection. Person suffering from pain in right side under ribs is advised to take rest and keep away from activities that can make his condition worse. Surgeries, if necessary, have to be done in serious cases.
  • Costochondritis: Inflamed muscles and cartilage (it connects ribcage to the breastbone) results in costochondritis. Thus ache felt due to costochondritis is normally in the costosternal joints, a point which connect the ribcage to the breastbone. Muscles and cartilage become inflamed due to trauma and frequentinjury to the chest. But sometimes cartilage may swell due to continuous and violent coughing caused by respiratory infection. Pain under ribs occurs mostly in the left side. However, sometimes the pain shifts to right side too. Medical experts might recommend painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and in serious cases steroids are prescribed.
  • Intercostals strain: Many groups of muscles are situated amid the ribs. These muscles are known as ‘intercostal muscles.’ Intercostals muscles carry out an important function in the respiration process. If the right side intercostal muscles become strained, then the person will experience pain in right side under ribs. Fast twisting of the chest may also result in intercostal strain, which further makes breathing difficult and sore. Doctors usually prescribe painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, and good rest is also advised.
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones: Gallbladder is situated below the liver and its function is to store and release digestive juice known as ‘bile.’ Bile is made up of bile salts, bilirubin, and cholesterol. In case the level of cholesterol or bilirubin increase then it results in the formation of stone deposits called ‘gallstones.’Gallstones may obstruct the bile flow, which in turn affects the digestive process causing cholecystitis, i.e.‘inflammation of gallbladder.’ Inflamed gallbladder causes persistent pain in the upper part of the stomach below the ribs.Gallbladder disease and gallstones are the main causes for pain in right side under ribs. Pain normallyoccurs after consuming food, particularly fatty foodstuffs. The pain can be severe and may shift from back to shoulder too.
  • Liver problems: Liver is situated in the abdomen and any problem with liver leads to pain under ribs. Infections in liver like hepatitis A and B, liver cancer, liver damage etc. are some of the reasons causing liver problems.
  • Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is an unusual kind of cancer affecting the mesothelium. Mesothelium is a thin cover of tissues which wrap up the internal organs in the body.There are different kinds of mesothelioma. It depends upon which area of mesothelium is affected. ‘Pleural mesothelioma’ is a kind of mesothelioma which produces pain in chest under the ribs. In this,cancer develops in the thin layers of tissues that encircle the lung.

Some other causes are:

  • Gas
  • Kidney stones
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Treatment of pain in right side under ribs

Pain in right side under ribs can be because of variety of reasons. Therefore a correct study of tests is necessary to diagnose the cause for pain to give the right treatment. If a person experiences pain due to rib injuries doctor should be consulted right away. X-rays will help to know the degree of damage and intake of painkillers and drugs will lessen and decrease the pain. However, in case of displaced rib or fractures surgeries may be necessary. A necessary step to increase the healing is to take good rest. Treatments differ from person to person if pain occurs due to the organs situated in the stomach cavity.

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