Our ribs play an important role in your body as they protect some of your internal organs, which are responsible for proper working of digestive and cardiovascular systems. Therefore, if you feel pain under your right rib cage, you shouldn’t panic, but for sure you need to consult your doctor who will detect the cause of your suffering.
Common Causes of Pain Under Right Rib Cage
The internal organs which are close to your right rib cage include right kidney, gallbladder, and liver. The pain usually happens when one of these organs is infected or inflamed.
However, there are actually many more possible causes of pain under right rib cage. You shouldn’t worry, though, that it may suggest any heart-related problem as it usually causes pain closer to the left rib cage.
Observe your pain and tell your doctor if the pain is strong or mild, sharp or dull, incidental or chronic. Think if you’ve also been experiencing some other symptoms as this may also help your doctor to give you the right diagnosis.
It may sound surprising but injuries are actually the most common causes of pain under your right rib cage. What’s more, people often don’t realize that they have injured their rib and they find out about it during a visit to a doctor as a broken or injured rib may result in either severe or only mild pain.
Of course, if you experienced some serious accident or injury, you will probably need a medical care or you won’t be able to move for some time. However, in case of insignificant fractures, your ribs will probably heal on their own. You will only need to have a plenty of rest and avoid exercising for some time. Your doctor will determine if your injury is serious or minor by chest X-ray examination.
MRI and CT scan may be recommended by your doctor too as these examinations may show the soft tissue and identify the injury which an X-ray hasn’t shown.
You must be aware that a rib injury may also lead to some serious complications as a result of the injury your internal organs might have been damaged too. It may have affected your liver, kidney, or spleen. Thus, if despite the fact that you have cured your ribs after some accident, you’ve been still feeling pain in this area, consult it with your doctor.
2. Digestive Problems
Other common problems which may result in pain under the right rib cage are connected with our metabolism and our digestive system. It’s connected with the fact that many of us eat fatty or fast food, we also tend to overeat or eat too fast. A stressful lifestyle may negatively affect our digestion process too.
A feeling of discomfort or pain under your right rib cage is very often caused by excessive gas in your colon. You may feel it in different parts of your abdominal area, depending on the location of the buildup of gas, however, it usually occurs under the right rib cage.
The accumulation of gas in your system usually happens after you ate a heavy meal, or food rich in carbohydrates. Dairy products are also quite heavy for our digestive system. In order to bring yourself quick relief, you can try over-the-counter products, which speed up digestion or go for natural methods, such as tea made of chamomile, ginger, or peppermint.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another common condition of the contemporary world. It’s very difficult to describe it and cure it as it may cause various symptoms and it isn’t clear what exactly leads to this disease.
One of the symptoms of IBS is actually pain under left or right rib cage. It’s usually accompanied by excess gas, bloating, and pain in the lower abdominal area. Some people also experience heartburn, difficulty with swallowing, or chest pain.
The studies have shown that bad diet and chronic stress are among reasons that lead to IBS. Thus, it’s crucial to introduce some changes into your everyday diet. Your doctor may also prescribe you some medicines which will alleviate the symptoms. Drinking aloe vera juice is considered to be the most effective natural way of reducing IBS.
A similar condition to IBS is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If there is some inflammation in your digestive tract, it won’t work properly and you may feel pain under your right rib cage. Other symptoms include difficulty with swallowing and coughing.
A lot of people also suffer from constipation. If it’s only incidental, you may easily deal with it, but if it’s chronic, it may become quite serious and it may lead to respiratory problems, pain in your chest, your abdomen, and the right rib cage.
Your diet is very important if you want to prevent constipation. Drink plenty of water every day as it will flush the stool out of your body. You should also consume a lot of vegetables and fruit. You must be aware that our body is one integral unit and if you want it to work properly, you need to take care of it holistically. Combine a well-balanced diet with regular physical activities at least three times a week.
Remember also that stress, especially if it’s chronic, may have a very bad influence on your digestive system and metabolism. Therefore, stay calm and positive and your organism will be grateful for that.
3. Lung Diseases
There are a few lung-related diseases and if your right lung is affected, you will feel pain under your right rib cage. However, it will be usually accompanied by other symptoms too.
One of the most common and at the same time the most serious lung diseases is pneumonia. It often occurs as a complication after some fungal, viral, or bacterial infection. Thus, it’s very important to fully cure all the infections.
You may feel pain either under either your left or right rib cage, depending on which lung is influenced with the disease. It’s usually a stabbing or sharp kind of pain, which gets worse when you want to take a deep breath. Accompanying symptoms include headaches, chills, fever, cough, and weakness.
A rib fracture, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or lung infections may be the cause of another serious lung disease known as pleurisy. It occurs when the layers of tissue that surround your lungs are filled with fluid. It puts pressure on your lungs, which you will feel as sharp pain under the right rib cage if it’s your right lung which is affected.
The pain may get worse when you cough and sneeze, and taking a deep breath might be painful as well. The pain often spreads to your back or right shoulder. Pleurisy needs medical care in order to be fully healed.
In fact, pleurisy may lead to another serious lung condition, which is a collapsed lung. The disease causes severe, stabbing pain, which makes it difficult to breath and it may be accompanied by a dry cough.
A collapsed lung usually occurs as a consequence of a serious injury or trauma to your chest. It’s also happens more frequently among smokers and drug abusers.
The most serious and life-threatening lung disease is lung cancer. However, pain under your right rib cage is actually not a common symptom of the disease. The main signs of lung cancer include chronic cough and coughing up blood, losing weight, weakness, and tiredness. Smokers are the most liable to getting lung cancer.
Appendicitis is quite a common and potentially life-threatening condition, which occurs when your appendix gets inflamed. The reason why it sometimes happens hasn’t been clearly identified yet.
In case of appendicitis the pain is usually severe and it starts close to your belly button and then spreads to the abdomen area near you right rib cage. Additional symptoms include abdominal swelling, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, loss of appetite, and fever.
Appendicitis requires immediate medical help to prevent the appendix from rapturing as it can be a life-threatening situation. Also, you shouldn’t take any painkillers to relieve the pain as they can also cause your appendix to rapture.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of your pancreas, which is an extremely important organ that takes part in the production of enzymes required in the process of digestion. When your pancreas works properly, it cooperates with your liver and gallbladder, but when it gets inflamed, it may be the cause of severe pain.
Pancreatitis is a common disease of people who drink too much alcohol. However, it may also appear as a consequence of an injury or gallstones. Apart from pain under your left or right rib cage, you may also observe that your stools got smelly and oily, suffer from nausea, fever, or vomiting. Pancreatitis requires medical consultation in order to be fully cured.
6. Kidney Stones
If kidney stones affect your right kidney, they may cause extremely severe pain under your right rib cage. Kidney stones are actually deposits of minerals and salts that sometimes accumulate in your kidneys for many years. When they move, they cause strong abdominal pain, which may spread to your back or even groin.
When your kidney stones get really large, you may also feel pain while urinating and your urine may smell or have a pink or even red color. In case you stop urinating at all, contact your doctor immediately. Kidney stones may also cause kidneys infection, which will additionally cause chills and fever.
However, if your kidney stones are small, there is a chance that you can manage them on your own. If you drink plenty of water or mix water with apple cider vinegar, you may dissolve your kidney stones.
Unfortunately, kidney stones like to come back. Therefore, even if you got rid of them, you should keep drinking a lot of water on a daily basis as it’s the best preventive measure you can take. It’s also worth having ultrasonography regularly, once a year would be enough, to detect any kidney stones in the early stage.
7. Liver Problems
As your liver is located in the right part of your body when something bad is going on, it may cause pain under your right rib cage. Liver disease appears when the capsule of your liver stretches. It often happens as a consequence of congestive heart failure, which makes your heart pump the blood weaker than usual, which may lead to fluid retention.
Your liver may also get infected or inflamed, which will also cause pain under the right rib cage. A common liver condition is Hepatitis, which is mainly associated with alcoholism, but in reality it may also be caused by some viral infections. Apart from mentioned pain, it can also cause fatigue, weakness, and fever.
Liver cysts are also quite common and they may cause pain under your right rib cage. The scientists haven’t clearly identified the exact reason of the cysts as even people who take good care of their body sometimes develop them. The good news is that they often cure on their own.
Fatty liver disease, is on the other hand, a condition that mainly affects obese people. It occurs when your body starts acquiring fat from the rest of your body.
The most serious and a life-threatening condition is liver cancer. The biggest problem with it is that people are often unaware that they have it for a long time. Meanwhile the bad cells are multiplying and are destroying good cells.
Liver cancer spreads very quickly and when it’s not detected in the early stage, it might be too late to cure it. This type of cancer is often a consequence of alcoholism or hepatitis. Symptoms include pain under your right rib cage accompanied by abdominal swelling, fever, dark urine, and loss of weight.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to take good care of your liver and clean it naturally by a proper diet. If you eat too much of fat and fast food, you liver may have difficulties with processing it. What’s more, a stressful lifestyle also negatively influences your liver.
Therefore, you should drink green tea between the meals as it’s a natural antioxidant, which will help your liver do its job. Consume a lot of fruit and vegetables, the most beneficial to your liver are avocados, beets, tomatoes, and apples. Use olive oil, turmeric, and garlic on a regular basis and your liver will stay healthy for long years.
Another important organ in your body is your gallbladder. It cooperates with your liver and they together break down food you consumed and they take part in the digestion process.
If you feel a sudden, sharp, or a stabbing kind of pain, it may suggest a gallbladder infection or gallstones. The pain may last for a few hours, it doesn’t go away even if you change your body position, and you may have a difficulty with taking a deep breath. In case of gallbladder inflammation, the pain may spread also to the right shoulder.
Costochondritis appears when your cartilage gets inflamed and as the cartilage holds your ribs to the breastbone, the inflammation may be quite painful.
The condition usually appears as a result of an injury, some sporting activity, but also as a complication after viral infections, upper respiratory diseases, such as fibromyalgia. It’s sometimes called ‘chest wall pain’ and apart from pain under your right rib cage, you may also suffer from a sore throat, fever, or fatigue.
10. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of your large intestine. Unfortunately, the exact causes of the condition have not been fully identified yet. It’s only known that often it’s a matter of genetics. Therefore, if any of your relatives has suffered from the disease, you are in the risk group as well. It’s a condition which mainly affects young adults.
One of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is pain under right rib cage. It’s usually accompanied by blood in stool, excess flatulence, diarrhea, ulcers, and loss of weight. The condition requires medical care and often a stay in the hospital.
Ulcers in your stomach are quite a common reason for pain in the rib region. An ulcer is a kind of an inflamed wound in your upper gastrointestinal tracts, usually in a small intestine or in your stomach lining. It’s often accompanied by reflux of heartburn.
What’s interesting, ulcers are more frequent in the spring or autumn time and they often heal on their own. Others, however, require taking medications prescribed by your doctor.
12. Other Causes
There are also some special cases in which you can feel pain under your right rib cage. One of them is pregnancy time. It’s usually related with change in the level of hormones and a bigger size of your uterus and breasts.
Of course, you can’t do anything about it. Just try to have a rest in a comfortable position, in which the pain is the least troublesome. It should disappear once you deliver a baby, otherwise contact your doctor about it.
Pain under the right rib cage is also quite common while running. It usually happens if you ate or drank too much before run. Dehydration or uneven breathing after running may also result in pain under your right rib cage.
Possible Treatments of Pain Under Right Rib Cage
Pain under your right rib cage may be truly troublesome as it can limit your body movements and interrupt your everyday life, causing a lot of discomfort. Of course, if the pain is really severe and sudden you should contact your doctor about it. Otherwise, try available over-the-counter methods and see if after a few days you can feel the difference.
Of course, it’s difficult to treat pain if you don’t know its cause, but you can always try popular painkillers, such as Paracetamol. The best option, however, would be using Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs as the pain in the rib area is often caused by some inflammation process. The most common available drug is Ibuprofen. It might be very effective as it not only cures the inflammation, but can also bring you relief from pain.
You should also have a closer look at your diet as pain under your right rib cage is often connected with your digestive process. You may get surprised, but even something as simple as drinking a lot of water on a daily basis may bring spectacular results. To remove the toxins from your organism and boost metabolism, start a day from drinking a glass of mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Avoid fast food and highly processed food. Instead consume a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and food rich in fiber. Also eat different kinds of meat, fish, and seafood. You will quickly see that your digestive system is grateful for these changes and you will simply feel better.
Unfortunately, in case of some more serious conditions, such as kidney stones, gallstones, or chest injuries, you will need to follow your doctor’s advice as sometimes a surgery is only possible treatment here.
How Serious Is It?
You’ve probably been wondering if pain under your right rib cage is something which requires a medical consultation or maybe you can manage it on your own.
You need to be reasonable here and observe your pain. If it’s severe, happens frequently, and over-the-counter painkillers, such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen don’t help you, for sure you need to make an appointment with your doctor.
You should even consult him immediately if the pain is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or fever, very low blood pressure, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, or when the pain spreads to your left arm or jaw.
Remember that only your doctor may give you the right diagnosis after a detailed, medical evaluation. Moreover, the sooner you know the cause of your pain, the sooner you will start a proper treatment and recover.