What could the bad pain in my rib area/under my rib be?

Hi guys I have been having these really bad pains around my front right rib area for about 3-4 months and sometimes it's unbareable. It comes and goes but when it comes people can see I'm in pain, when I have the pain it hurts when I breath in, laugh, cough, lean forwards and laying down is the worst.

Has anyone else been having this and has anyone got a clue what it could be?? Xx


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40 Replies

  • Eleanorg

    You poor thing. You really are restricted in your movement.

    Have you talked to your doc about this? If you are just putting up with the pain WHY? You know that a drip ignored could become a trickle which... yes? I can put off things but do think, what would I tell my sister/daughter/mother/ anyone? Do think of that. Would you be concerned? Would you counsel to see a doc?

    As bad as facing horrible things can be I think your doc/rheumy would want to know. Pain and stress do not make anything better.

    Please, I urge you to get an appointment soon.

    You are not alone. We support you. We understand so well finding a new condition. But take courage, and a friend to see someone soon

    Encouraging (gentle) hugs


  • Thank you I am trying to get am appointment soon xx

  • Footygirl

    I have just been putting up with the pain at school because I didn't really think others might have the same and it was unexplainable. It was after 3months of the pain I told my mum cause I thought it would go away, but turns out it didn't.

  • I have been to the doctors and that say u have something called scoliosis so basically one side of my body is higher than the other(lop sided)

    And I have been told I need to do physiotherapy

  • Well done Eleanor. Diagnosis ?medication?

    Pain relief

    ? Peace of mind?



  • Hello, I have the same pain, I wake at night if I turn over and have to hold the area if I laugh or move quickly. I was diagnosed with lupus in 2002 and I think the pain is serositis. Serosa covers many organs and becomes inflamed with a flare. Doctors can't explain which organ this is though, is it the liver, pancreas ?! I suppose it must be referred pain and prednisolone does help. Serositis can't be 'seen' so it's frustrating trying to explain it. I understand and I do hope it goes away and does not return. I have had it continuously for around 3 months. And to be honest am feeling very down and tired.

  • How long have you had your pain for?

    What is serositis?


  • Serositis is part of lupus, inflammation of many organs, those that have tissue named 'serosa' around them .

    If you get pain sometimes breathing or leaning forward ( the lungs and heart tissue are inflamed ) it's inflammation of the outer lining: the serosa.

    Other organs can become inflamed such as the stomach and intestines : gastritis and enteritis.

    Ok so under the rib on the right side, which has been 'crippling' me for years, maybe from the liver or pancreas outer lining being inflamed - anti inflammatory medication such as prednisone is the drug of choice, but it's not a cure, it helps. I've driven 100 miles this evening to see a very good doctor tomorrow, about it, I'll let you know.

  • Hi Eleanorg28

    I saw a clever general practitioner yesterday as I wrote, I'm seeing the rheumatologist in August because he rang and insisted I see the Prof, but more importantly I want to say the pain under the rib is actually the rib- lupus arthritis pain and does exist. I guess it's similar to costochondritis where the ligaments are inflamed. I'm on morphine patches as of last night and the doctor thought I'll probably have platelet/ blood injections to ease the pain directly at the spot.

    Keep going, there are clever, kind doctors out there.

  • wow! Juz saw this, so guess i have my answer. Thank u. :)

  • Hello, I juz found this page. Please let me know what ur doctor says. Im gonna research this, as the clinic cant seem to diagnois me with anything. and well, it took them years to do an mri and see what else is going on. I finally will recieve medical, So Hope to find a Really Good Doctor. :)

  • Penelope yes it is i have it and both sides of my rib cages are very sore it hurts when i breathe and when i walk lay down stand up go to sleep

  • Do see your doctor Elise...you can get pain relief specifically for this type of pain...it's inflammation and there are both over the counter and prescribed medications that should help.

    Hugs 🤗



  • Hi

    I have this now and had it last year they said pluersy first then admitted to hospital due to double pnemonia so best to get it checked out

    My pain has started again this morning and i feel shocking so tired and i have flem also

    Hope this helps x

  • Dobermanndale

    mine hasn't started hurt yet this morning sometimes i think that maybe laughing triggers it, I might be wrong or that might just me me, but this has made me try to stop laughing as much.

    People have said that I am not like u used to be in thatbi always used to laugh to much but now I don't as much.

  • Awww thats not good... But i feel your pain i have managed to get in my docs today so hopefully i can get some resolution on my pain.... I have also lost my voice again which is a pain on it own ha ha ha

  • Ok hope it goes well and hope your voice gets better xx

  • Best to get it checked out, it can be various reasons, if your pain radiates to the back of your shoulders, it could be gallstones. If it's at the front, it could be pancreatitis, ulcer, hernia, intercostal muscles.....I could go on. Unfortunately we have some weird symptoms going on within our bodies! X

  • Thanks I'm getting my mum to make me an appointment soon x

  • Hi Eleanor, two years ago when i saw my new Rhume I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and pleurisy, but i haven't had pleurisy for a while but still get a lot of pain. You might find this site helpful, i find it better to go to the GP with questions about things you have read than with no knowledge at all. At the end of the day only we know how we feel but it is easier to explain if we have information to hand. I have a new GP sadly she does not understand the complications that run alongside Lupus and after my first consultation with her she seemed to think it was all down to my mental health. I have a chest infection the fourth one this year so far but i have not been asked to go for an x-ray or indeed any tests, i feel quite alone about this. Anyway it might be worth reading this information. I hope you get something sorted soon.


  • All gp's should have an awareness of this...I felt that my new gp was not sure what to do.Been in terrible stomach pain for a week now..told to take omeprazole and come back in a fortnight..been in bed 3 days now..vomiting last night.if it gets worse I'm off to hospital. ..again.My ferritin is 400 ..I think it's my liver

  • Although I haven't officially been diagnosed with Lupus but this is the first symptom that I experienced before my onslaught of symptoms over the last 9 months. It was a burning/stinging pain in my right abdomin beneath my lower right rib. I went to the doctor and got an abdominal ultrasound as well as an endoscopy. All came back clear except the fact I had mild gastritis. The pain went away after a month and a half or so. During that time I was under a lot of stress and also had lost almost 20 pounds and it appeared to disappear after I gained the weight back. So, I am not sure what the exact cause of it, but know you arn't alone. Hopefully you find a cause for your pain! Good luck!

  • I wrote about my rib pain to eleanorg28 if you see it. It was the most severe pain I had at diagnosis and now 13 years later have had it identified, pain medication given and a letter for the rheumatologist for treatment which probably is to inject blood cells into the inflamed rib cartilage .

    Never give up.

  • Have you had a chest xray? I had that when I left the hospital after having a leg full of blood clots. One lodged at the bottom of my lung, and it caused sharp pain - especillay lying down, at the bottom of one rib. There was either fluid there or a clot escaped from my leg. The chest xray showed it.

  • No I haven't had a X-ray, I haven't even been to the doctors yet.

  • Then you need to get a chest xray, first thing! Anything in the rib ara - especially if it's in the back - needs to be looked at.

  • I too have this pain.. Think it is called costochondritis. I find rubbing ibruprofen down my spine at the back really helps.

  • Have you been checked for Pleurisy?

  • No I haven't xx

  • I am sorry to hear you are suffering with dreadful pain in your ribs! I am pleased to see from the other replies that you have made an Appointment to seek help to see what is causing this pain?

    I had horrendous pain in ribs, diagnosed with a Lung Infection & Pleurisy. Within two days I just could"nt breathe & pain was unbearable! I ended up in hospital with Chronic Pneumonia, plus complications of Septicaemia (blood poisoning) , Respiratory Failure, also my Organs started to shut down!!

    I was rushed into Intensive Care on Life-support Machine! This has happened twice to me!

    I have only just been diagnosed with Lupus (2 weeks ago), so I am new to this Site but find all Members extremely supportive by just reading their experiences, strength & hope!

    Please DO NOT ignore pain in your ribs, as I would hate for any thing serious to happen to you!

    Good Luck with your Appointment & please ask for an X-ray if the Doctor does"nt suggest one?

    Many blessings X :)

  • Ok I will.

    I hope you are ok, after hearing your story

  • Hi Elenorng28, Many thanks for your kindness and concern, very much appreciated by me!

    PLEASE make sure you go to see a Doctor asap, for them to listen to your chest, insist on a Chest X-ray, if they don"t suggest one? I am no medical Professional but I felt same when I had Pleurisy, could"nt even open the Fridge door without severe pain in ribs! Pleurisy can be dreadfully painful & easily treated with Antibiotics!

    I have also remembered something else that happened to me few years ago with same symptoms of severe pain in ribs, especially when trying to breathe in, laughing, yawning ect. I had a Chest Infection, (I have chronic Osteoporosis), with all the coughing, believe it or not (I could"nt!) but I had small fractures in three of my ribs from coughing?!!!

    I sincerely hope you get to the bottom of this. Sending you positive, healing, comforting vibes & Good Luck, Please let us know how you get on @ the Doctors?

    In my thoughts & prayers

    Lynn XX :)

  • Thanks I think the earliest appointment I can get is in like 2week I think I'm not sure

  • I have got a appointment tonight

  • Thanks for reply. I can see from reply below that you have an Appointment for tonight. Well done!

    I sincerely hope that they can find out why you are suffering with pain in your ribs.

    Good Luck,

    Please let us know how you get off?

    Many blessings XX

  • Hi Eleanorg28,

    This might be body cavity inflammation. I suffer this and everything you say I recognise particularly the pain when lying down. Good news is there is a simple test for it. Locate the base of the sternum, that's the bottom of the Breast plate, just under the centre of your bra band, & push. If its tender here its probably body cavity inflammation.

    Good luck at GP. If you suspect body cavity inflammation then tell GP this as they will probably rarely see it & so might not consider it. A course of naproxen sorted it out for me, although it keeps returning so I'm on a maintenance dose.

  • Ok thank you for the help

  • Hi elenor, i have sle lupus and serousitus like penelpoe mentioned above ask about it at your appointment. i have had it for 5 years and like penelope said its inflamtion of the serouse tissue, the pain at first can be really uncomfortable like bruised bones, lying down is the worst, mine has got so bad all my serouse tisse inflames when im very fatigued and my serouse tissue around my organ inflame at start a crushing pain from the inside out, hard to breath and so very painfull, its got the the point. When in a full blown serousitus flare with lupus im lucky enough to have morphine at home, i really hope you dont have this serousits as i know how hard lupus is to live with without the added serousitus. Penelope how are you coping with yours.

  • Hi willow, thank you for asking! I wrote just now about rib pain to Eleanor . Serositis is tricky isn't it, ' invisible pain'. It's so important to find an intelligent GP and interested rheumatologist . I wandered in the wilderness for 5 years because I've moved down to the seaside to live in our beach house, life in town was impossible. So yesterday seeing my clever 'city' GP after 5 years was a God send.

    The ' you don't look sick' line still gets to me, does it, you? Serositis is so very painful and yet so misunderstood .

    I am thinking if you. Take what you need and be kind to yourself.

  • Oh my goodness. I just signed up . I have been haveing pain under my ribs ,in my back for about a week . It woke me up . I have been sitting here for hours reading all of your posts . I have been trying to absorb all of this . You see I was just diagnosed about 6months ago . I have at the same time recieved another gift ,and this one is truely a gift from God ,I am now raising 2of my grandchildren . So I have just now been able to settle with this thing they told me I most carry . Lupus . So when I felt the pain ,which I am not used to scared me ,I needed answers . So glad I found all of you . Will be read . Thank you for you comments on here . I feel so much more at ease . Thank you .

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