Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Rib Pain - upper Right - lower left
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Rib Pain - upper Right - lower left

I have had constant rib pain in my upper right chest for over 10 years.  Now I also have it in my lower left rib area.  I have had an MRI full chest, abdomen area.  The only thing it came up with was that I have a slightly curved spine. Other than that it came up normal. I have been complaining to my doctor for years.  He pretty much told me it was stress.  Now, I have been reading through many of the questions and answers on this site and it's obvious others suffer the exact same symptons, I'll copy and paste one below.    I have been reading your answers and most often it's suggested that people may have GERD and they should get a test.  Unfortunately, we don't get the results, so we don't know if your recommendations are accurate.  But I would like to help improve your knowledge of this very troubling, and obviously more widespread chest pain phenomenon.  My doctor finally after years of my complaints came up with this:  SLIPPED RIB.  Please look into this, perhaps others can benefit from this type of evaluation.  It's basically: Slipped rib syndrome, sometimes known as "Rib subluxation," is a common cause of mid-back, chest, and/or abdominal pain in adults. Its characteristic feature is sharp rib cage pain with deep or heavy breathing. It is frequently confused with rib fracture or disorders of the esophagus, heart, or stomach.  This is such a little known syndrome but seems as your "on-line patients" describe it to be a possible culprit.  Especially in light of the fact that many people are getting all kinds of tests and everything looks normal.  I can only hope this is what's happening to me...

Here is one example from an on-line patient: About a month after the GERD diagnosis I developed a pain on my left flank. The pain is maybe 3 inches above my bottom rib but it is difficult to pinpoint an exact location with one finger. It sometimes moves from flank to the left center under ribs. The pain is always there and is not affected by movement, breathing, eating, or bowel movements. It seems to be a bit worse when lying down and it invariably wakes me up at night. The pain has been present for four months and it hasn't gotten any better or worse. There are some days that are better than others. The pain feels like a dull pulling pain inside my ribs.

Do you suppose there's a cure for Slipped Rib?  I put it in the Gastroenterology category because the symptoms are alike. Thanks
Related Discussions
233190_tn?1278553401
Thanks for your contribution.  Reading the many questions in this forum, you can understand it is impossible for me to make any diagnosis over the internet.  What I write here is **only meant to be used in furthering discussion with one's personal physician**.  I cannot give any concrete recommendations nor diagnosis without seeing the patient, and that is not the purpose of this forum.

Slipped rib syndrome is a musculoskeletal etiology of pain in specific location in the rib cage.  Unfortunately, treatment options are limited - there is no consensus data showing one option giving a significant improvement to this disorder.  Options that have been studied in small trials include chiropractic manipulation as well as physical therapy.  You may want to discuss these options with your personal physician.

You may also want to consider a referral to a physiatrist (a rehabilitation physician).  They are specialists in evaluating and rehabbing chronic, musculoskeletial discomfort.    

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Medical Weblog:
kevinmd_b
3 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had a similar kind of pain off and on for many years. When I had an xray done fours ago, they found I had an extra partial rib on the left side. Many people are born with this and are not symptomatic. But for some, they describe symptoms similar to yours and mine: a kind of nagging upper rib pain, for me it was in my back, which often is worse at night or awakening in the morning. I suppose because of the reclining position. My doctor prescribed some physical therapy to help strengthen the upper body, mainly the thoracic area, so that my muscles are stronger and help to support the diaphram and upper skeletal area. I now do these exercises regularly, and only rarely do I have pain. Sometimes all I have to do is some stretching of the upper body, and it is fine. I am no Doctor, but thought this might help you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comments, I really think many more people suffer from this / these types of syndromes than doctors are aware.  I'm sure you know how frustrating it is to have constant rib pain and have no explanation.  I thought if others saw this it might help to explain their condition... CAmom
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm sitting at my computer, 1 am in the morning, to try and discover why the upper right side of my chest is in such pain.

Last night it felt as though my kidneys were throbbing in pain so I drank a lot of cranberry juice and that seemed to work for that. Tonight the pain feels more in front and on only the right side. No matter what position lying down, the pain kept getting worse, not better.  I took 3 asprin, the pain remained and so here I am.

As I'm sitting upright typing, the pain doesn't feel as severe but I feel it more in the back side than in the front this time in the kidney area I believe. Anyway, before I found this site I wasn't sure whether or not I was having a heart attack. I've never suffered from indigestion. Thought this type of pain would be more near the stomach area.

After reading some of the comments above I became curious about the similar pain experiences and that they occur at night or in a lying down position. Also reading about a rib fracture is curious as well. My husband, when placing his arm around me at night, exerts so much pressure that sometimes I wake up feeling my arm or ribs are bruised. It's more frightful when his arm's around my neck or most of his chest is on my back and I can't breath. Anyway, I began to wonder if perhaps my rib is fractured.

Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank