Pain in rib cage on right side

About 9 months ago i got really bad pain in ribs on right side, felt like I had bruised ribs but I hadn't done anything to get that, I just woke up with the pain an it lasted for about 3 days. This pain came back again a few weeks later. That pain the next time then changed to just sharp darting pains with a constant discomfort pain just across the bottom of the rib cage coming in from the side and may just come at work during the day and last for few hours, generally sitting back will ease it while I'm sitting but driving drives it mad. It will go though if I go for a run or train. The pain kind of feels like something sticking in it or ribs going on top of each other, might get shortness of breath sometimes and if I take deep breath can feel it at the bottom of the cage or I can get sharp pains in chest. It could go away for few weeks but comes back an last few days, it seems have gotten worse though and lasting longer. At the bottom of my rib cage one spot is tender to press on. I know if I go to doctor pain won't be there and he will just tell me there's nothing wrong, does anyone have an idea what it might be and should I bother going to doctor?

17 Replies

  • Sounds like intercostal muscle spasm to me, especially if it eases on exercise (I'm a physio, but just educated guess from reading your history) Very important things to check are posture, sustained positions at work that might be bringing it on (ie slight twist to the side looking at your computer etc, or sitting with legs tucked up on one side on the sofa)

    best person to see is a physio, can treat any underlying thoracic spine stiffness or rib stiffness and teach you how to prevent reoccurrence.

    good luck, hope you feel better soon

  • Thanks for your advice, the pain seem to have started shortly after when I changed my job role, went from sitting at a desk to comstantly on my feet, would that be a triggering factor? I was recently at my physio for lower back problems and I do suffer from upper back pain a fair bit, spine stiffness and knots so your probably right it be all tied.

  • Could def be a trigger, especially if your having to carry things whilst up and about. As others have said on here always head to the doc to double check everything, and if all looks clear get a physio referral.

    Hopefully your team will get you sorted soon

  • Same thing happened to me. Went from bench tech to construction electronic installation... it's carring the darn heavy OSHA approved ladders. do you carry ladders now? Dont walk with it against your side, even the 6fts push up into and bruise that rib.

  • Hi there, could be your liver????????????? if it continues please go to your doctor.

  • Hi it sounds like you are worried about it as well as being fed up with the pain which probably means a trip to the doctor. You have explained very clearly in your post what's happening and how you are feeling. How about take a print out along with you?

  • Hiya

    Sorry to read your story.

    I have been in this sort of chest pain two or three times in the last two years and it has been so bad I ended up in A&E. I thought all sorts of things such as pleurisy, pneumonia and even a heart problem, but an A&E consultant told me it was costa-chrondrosis and is just another painful thing that can be caused by Rheumatoid Disease. It affected my breathing, sitting, sleeping etc. There is a lot of information online.

    For me it was because RD was not being effectively controlled by the drug regime I was on at that time.

    Just throwing this in with the mix ..... hope it helps.


  • I had the same sort of pain as you describe and when in hospital, following a drug reaction this time last year, I was told that this was RA affecting my ribs - non erosive but painful as Birthdaygal describes - Costrocondritis.

    But we aren't allowed to give out medical advice here so I'm only telling you what I experienced - you should always check with your doctor just in case it is something more serious - your heart for example.

  • Thanks I think il do that, I'm only 28 though? But in reading birthdaygirl's comment I am also suffering a lot of tiredness, on my days off I can't get out of bed until 12 or 1 so I think I'll take a trip to the doctor just incase. Thanks for everyone's advice.

  • RA and costochondritis and heart troubles don't always distinguish much by age unfortunately Dearodear. Hopefully it's something much more benign that will pass.

  • Hiya dearodear. I don't know if you have a Rheumatoid Disease or not but either way you should see your GP about this. It could any one of a number of problems & only a doctor's examination will determine which. Something like you describe can't be second-guessed.

    I hope it's something simple but your GP will determine that.

  • I agree with Pjsorefeet - sounds just like that, I've had it too. I found it was more likely when I had muscle tension or was unconsciously twisting to one side while doing something in a sustained position. I found that reading about and doing the Alexander technique helped enormously.

  • Hi dearodear,

    I was wondering if you ever found out what caused the pain you described. I found your post when I was researching pain that I was having. You described the same exact pain. Mine started a few months ago, but my GP has no answers for what it is. Did you ever find the cause?


  • I know this was 10 months ago, I'm a 15 about to be 16 year old girl. Recently I've been feeling some what of the same pain in my lower right rib. I felt it about almost a week ago. And now I'm feeling it again... It's a pain where it doesn't hurt to walk or breathe normally. But when I take a deep breath I can feel it. Also when I turn my back a bit it hurts. When I touch it, it's tender and hurts. It's slowly starting to hurt on my left side. I'm scared to tell my parents because they think it's nothing like all parents do. But I was just asking if anyone could help me out? I do play sports, I haven't cheered for half a season. & haven't played softball for almost a month.

  • its more likely because of gas issues but still to confirm consult a doctor , i m 14 years old and i also used to experience these type of pain when i was 13 ,taking deep breathe and experiencing pain in chest can more likely be because of gas blockage in veins i got myself checked up and it was due to gas

  • Look up costochondritis, this had been going on for a while for me as I also put it down to acid reflux then later on my non alcoholic fatty liver disease but something told me it was either of them as when I pressed on a part of my rib just offset to my chest and at the bottom, it felt like there is an open wound inside, so then they put a camera down my throat and no ulcers, so I was confused.

    This confusion went on for a while and felt like the Drs wasn't taking me seriously. Just last month one of my old Drs came back and said you suffer with nerve pain don't you, to which I replied yes after my fivth op on my endometriosis the pain got worse and worse until my ninth, and she said yes I remember, so costochondritis was the diagnoses but every other thing that I've explained are all other illnesses it could be. Hope that's some help to you 💖 Hope the pain is under control for you soon.

  • I'm 29 and experiencing EXACT the same pain. It's an annoying sensation ... and I'm noticing that it definitely gets worse when I'm behind the wheel. Have you figured out what is wrong?

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