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Pain Behind Right rib-(Not underneath Rib)

I am hoping you can help me. For approximately 6 months I have been having pain behind my right rib. (not below or underneath the rib) The pain is also in my right side and back. The pain is aggervating/uncomfortable during the day but is worse at night. It keeps me awake. Pain relievers do not help nor does a heating pad. There are times my rib gets tender and feels like it is bruised. I have had no injury in the area.
I do have IBS and Gerd. I did have an abdominal X-ray, Ultrasound, Upper GI w/ small bowel follow through, and recently a colonoscopy and EDG. I have not had my follow-up appointment yet since having the Colonoscopy and EDG but was told after the test that everyhting looking fine. There was nothing significate.  The other testing came back normal. I do take 40mg of nexium 2x a day.
The pain is really getting to me and the above testing is not giving me any answers.  I desperatly want a solution to this pain.  Can you tell me what other disorders can cause this?
60 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
There has been a pretty comprehensive GI evaluation.  You can consider a HIDA scan with CCK stimulation to evaluate the gallbladder function.  In those with a normal ultrasound (i.e. no gallstones), a low gallbladder ejection fraction can cause RUQ pain.  

If the testing remains non-revealing, you can consider looking outside of the GI system.  This can include chest imaging looking for pulmonary causes, or going to see a physiatrist (rehabilitation MD) looking for musculoskeletal causes.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

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.
Avatar universal
Have you had your gallbadder checked?  That might be your next step if everything else came back normal.  I'm having some discomfort on my right side and well.  No major pain, but my back lower rib cage is tender as if bruised and I haven't had any trauma to that area either.  I also have pain on my lower right side like in the pelvic area, but only when I'm laying down and start touching around does it hurt and the pain radiates towards my side and back to lower rib cage.  If you get any insite on your problem please post it so I can see if it will help me any with my problems.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
As we use to say in the Army, "Suck it up and drive on, soldier!"  What did you blood work come back and tell you (Your Doctor) and did you do a U.A.? (Results may very from person to person.)

We need facts!!! Only facts!! And nothing but the facts!

Doc Mahdo
Avatar universal
What is a U.A?
Avatar universal
Whiz qiz. (Pee pee test)  One need not study for the exam.  It's all "pass" or "fail".
Avatar universal
Sounds as if quite a few people have the same problem with the under the rib pain.  I also have that problem and have had a test revealing slow emptying of the gall bladder, but I seem to have more problems when I drink.  I am a 54 year old woman who can not get any help from my doc's they all seem to think that it is complications relating to menopause.  When I have an attack of the pain under the rib cage my whole body seems to get a feeling of having a yeast infection.  My throat get sore, I have frequent trip to the bathroom and lately I have developed pain in my back above the waist line.  I have always been a healthy person, no surgerys no sickness. I am having one of the attacks now and I guess it is another trip to the doc.
Avatar universal
Mrs Peke ~
  I suggest getting a second opinion. If your physician doesn't look past menopause, then you need to seek a different physicians advice. I'm not saying that your symptoms are not possibly related to menopause, but your physician shouldn't just assume it is. I saw a physician for almost ten years and more recently was having terrible stomach issues. He just assumed it was related to menopause (I am only 27; hysterectomy when 22) and he would not look for any other answer. Well after 10 hospitalizations this year, I fired that physician and got a new doctor. In one test, my new physician found out what was wrong; I have gastroparesis. You don't have to fire your doctor. I am just suggesting getting a second opinion. Even if they have the same opinions, at least you will have eliminated any other possibility. In my opinion, from what you state, it does sound like it is your gall bladder. I had mine out due to the same symptoms; plus my HIDA scan proved it was bad.

Please talk with your physician. I hope you get help/relief soon.

God Bless,
Avatar universal
I have been having pain under my rib cage and in my upper back.
I had a HIDA scan done after receiving my Ultrasound results showing that my gallbladder is contracted. The scan diagnosis is Low gallbladder ejection consisted with biliary dyskinesia. The gallbladder ejection was calculated to be 11%.
The pain that I have been getting seemed to have gotten worse ever since I had the HIDA scan. I also have pain on the lower right side of my stomache.
My biggest concern is that I had Crohns disease since 1980 and had surgery for it with the removal of the right portion of my small intestines, and was wondering is the lower pain I am receiving is because of a reoccurrance of Crohns or because of my gallbladder. My gastrointerologist scheduled me for a colonoscopy on 2/6 however my primary Dr. sceduled me to see the surgeon for the gallbladder ejection. Should I notify my GI Doctor regarding my scan results or wait to see what the surgeon is going to tell me.My appointment with the surgeon is Friday 1/27.
Avatar universal
YES!!  I am amazed at how many people have this same problem!  It is like we have all been abducted by aliens and implanted with something unknown!  I have had an ultrasound and CT scan but nothing at all was found.  Gall Bladder, Liver and Pancreas are all in good order and I had my appendix out when I was young - I am now 36.  I have had this pain for over a year now.  It started as a gradual thing when I was running on the treadmill at the gym.  I used to be able to run for at least half an hour up hill and fast, now I am lucky if I get 10 mins in before the pain is so sharp that I have to stop.  It is like a really bad stitch but higher up and it lasts longer, like you have torn or damaged something and so it kind of aches after.  I can ride a bike, use the cross trainer, row etc all without the pain, but running hurts!  It is also like I can feel something inside me but you can't feel it to touch.  If I am a bit stressed I also feel it.  The only time it actually hurts is when I run, the rest of the time it is just uncomfortable and if I am sitting on the couch or lying in a certain position it sometimes feels like it is digging into me.  But the Doctors tell me they can't find anything!!!  This to me is not a good sign as I want them to find something and then do something to get rid of it so I can get back to nice long runs!  It is SOOO frustrating as I am sure you all know!  I have also developed Hives in the last 6 months which only come out at night and then are gone by morning so I can't even show Doctors this.  I was rather highly stressed when I contracted them so I guess this is how I got them but I am not sure if they are related to my other problem.  They mostly come up over my legs but I have been known to get them on my arms, stomach and bottom.  But only at night.  I thought it may be when I get hot but I get hot and sweat at the gym and don't get them but when the moon comes out, out they come!  My skin on my legs just burns!Another alien unexplained thing.......
Avatar universal

I had this also. It's gone now. With all due respect to western medicine, my cure came with a liver cleanse. I have never followed homopatheic medicine, never took herbs, and never took vitamins. I thought they were a huge waste of time, and possibly dangerous. I was very skeptical of anyone who discussed this stuff. Then came my gallbladder attack.

Two ultrasounds later, there are no stones, but a fatty liver. My doctor had me scheduled for an MRI, which also showed nothing except a cyst on my liver. I was in such pain, my stomach was bloated, and I felt toxic all the time. I'm 50, and I thought that I was pretty much done with my life. I even, stupidly, took a pregnancy test because those flutters felt like when I was pregnant! My husband thought I was crazy, but was damn nervous during that test...of course it was negative.

Then my friend, who is an OB/GYN, and into holistic medicine turned me onto Dr. Hulda Clarks site. I took the liver cleanse there, and amazingly enough, I improved immediately! I lost over 500 stones on my first try, 1000 stones on my second....it's absolutely amazing! I feel 25 years old. And to top that off I decided to do a parsite cleanse, and when I did that, the fluttering totally stopped. I got that from DrNatura for a product called Colonix. There is no bad feedback anywhere for this product, and it has done wonders for me. I have lost 45 pounds, my blood pressure is way down, and I no longer feel like my stomach is an alien being attached to me.

Now, I know all of you are on a traditional medical website, and I completely understand if you feel relunctant to look into this, but just do a little research. I'm so glad I did. My life is so much better, and I didn't have to lose my gallbladder to do it.

Good luck to all of you.

Avatar universal
This indeed is a popular complaint.  I have had the same thing for years.  Pain under my right rib that sometimes extends into my back.  It got especially bad about 5 years ago and, since I was sick at the same time, the doctor took my gallbladder out.  I wasn't sick after that but the pain gradually came back and it comes and goes with exercise.  Running is the worst for exacerbating it.  Just this past week I went to the doctor to mention it again and he sent me for a rib x-ray.  Turns out I have "subtle changes" of the 9th and 10th ribs as if I may have fractured them at some point?  Wouldn't you think I would know if I had fractured my ribs???  Because there is no obvious injury recently or in the past my doc is sending me for a bone scan.  I don't think he necessarily expects to find anything "bad" but it's just to try to put a little more light on the subject.  Sometimes my entire right side rib cage area just feels achy/tight and sometimes it's just in the front, sometimes it's just in the back and sometimes it's the entire area.  It's annoying.
Avatar universal
I forgot to add that I am a 45-year-old male and in generally good physical shape. I have never had a serious health problem and aside from the side pain, I feel good. Mark
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