Gastroenterology Community
31.6k Members
Avatar universal

tight band under rib cage

i have been diagnosed with oesophageal ulcer gastric erosions ?barretts oesophagus hiatus hernia. Was put on nexium which did indeed help over a period of about 2 weeks. Band under ribcage has suddenly come back despite taking nexium 2 daily what is the caiuse of this band under ribcage it is driving me nuts No problems eating although i was getting breathlessness before meds started

This discussion is related to Size of Hiatal Hernia.
55 Responses
Avatar universal
I would love to here people respond because that is exactly the way my problems began.
Sorry to say I didn't take the Nexium right away. That was 3 yrs ago, I had pain in "Xiphoid" area, the tip of the sternum and also sob, quit smoking.  Thought for sure it was lung related and still may be, just weird to have all these things pop up within a few months. Honestly, I still get this and then "it" goes into remission!
Have a gastro and pulmo but no "real" answers!!

SoIf you do find out more PLEASE post!!
Are you a man, I only ask because in the beginning I was treated soo poorly
like a mental case, hey maybe I have my issues, but that didn't and doesn't mean
that I dont know my body!  Good Luck, I'm sure you'll get some good responses here.
Avatar universal
I have had a tight band across my diaphragm, causing chronic pressure below my ribcage, for 4 years. It is usually in the left upper quadrant, but sometimes involves the right u/quad too.18 mths ago it began seriously to interfere with my breathing, as it affects the secondary muscles of respiration, and within the last year I have been diagnosed with severe brittle asthma which has developed as a direct result of the chronic inflammation in the diaphragm.
I have had multiple investigations - scopes, scans, biopsies, lung function, blood tests etc.  

The following were found to be normal : - lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, g.bladder, small bowel. There is some minor diverticular disease in the colon, nothing to worry about apparently, and in no way could this be the cause of the chronic pain in the diaphragm..  

4 yrs ago I had gastritis, which was brought under control with PPIs and H2 blockers.  I still take H2 blockers.

I have severe multiple food intolerances. Have been through 4 exclusion diets under supervision of a dietitian, and we are sure we have now excluded all the culprit foods and drinks.  

The pain and pressure in the diaphragm are always constant, but can get very much worse due to inflammation triggered by any physical exertion that uses my diaphragm muscles. This could be an action as simple as reaching up to get something off a high shelf in the grocery store. It can leave me in agony for a week afterward.

I have not found anything that helps reduce the diaphragm pain. I was prescribed Ketotifen (an antihistamine) but the smallest dose made me fall asleep in the daytime.   Diazepam 2 mg is effective as a relaxant but also makes me so tired I cannot function.   None of the antispasmodics for the gut help as they seem to work on the bowel, and I do not have bowel spasms. So they cause me to become constipated.

I can't take NSAIDs or steroids as I am allergic to them.

I have had 6 hypnotherapy sessions, which relaxed me nicely but did not get rid of the tightness and pressure in the diaphragm.

Does anyone have any advice as to what might help manage the pain, and reduce the inflammation ?

Thank you.  

Avatar universal
thanks for your comments i never get pain with the pressure and tightness so i cant help there I feel as though i want to push everything down its a horrible feeling. Have another scope end of April to see if meds have improved ulcers heres hoping. I had a barium swallow prior to my endoscopy which showed everything normal how wrong they were.Can anyone tell me if there is any ither way to have an endoscopy besides medazalam and pethedine sedation i knew everything that was going on gross.
Avatar universal
hi there no I am a woman hoping to have more information on tightness and bloating under ribs after scope at end of April
Avatar universal
Well i have had my scope it appears that my oesophageal ulcer has healed with the meds. The problem is I still have the band under the ribs with the bloated feeling have difficulty bending forward as i get a weird sensation where i have to straighten up quickly otherwise really uncomfortable sensation like something is moving upwards and i have to try and push it down but it doesnt work. Still have gastritis according to consultant and have to take ppi 2 daily total 40mg. I have been taking these now for about 10 weeks with no relief any ideas what this discomfort could be its driving me nuts. What is the usual time for meds to start working on gastritis
I have had the same symptoms they gave me an MRI and found a herniated disc at t-8-9, and they say that it rubs on nerves that cause the sensation around ribs, haven't gotten any relief so far any ideas out there?
I found your comment really interesting because I suffer with lumbar disc herniation, but more recently tingling in my shoulder blades, and was wondering if that too could be a thoracic disc problem
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I know how you are feeling. I have a tight band beneath my rib cage as well. It does not hurt so it is hard  to explain to someone how dbilitating it is. It is just very tight and it feels like that area of your stomach or diaphragm or whatever that area is, is pushing up under your ribcage/lungs. It even makes it difficult for me to breathe or get a good breath anyway. I am in the process of having some tests done so I will let you know if I find anything out and I hope you will post again if you find out something. In the meantime you should look up the MS hug as well as radiculopathy both of thos create that girdle like tight band. Good luck!
Avatar universal
been back to my gastro who says i am to stay on meds indefinately still doesnt know what is causing the band. Went back to my GP and he also does not know what is casing the problem he is stumped as he puts it.Have you had any more luck
Avatar universal
Could it be costocondritis? I had the same problem and went to gastrointestinal doctors and they thought irritable bowel syndrome. Costocondritis causes a tight feeling around ribcage, and the ribs feel sore. It hurts to wear a bra and you feel like maybe you're bloated
I can't wear a bra either, and feel constricted and just too full when I eat. Was there a treatment for your costrcondritis?
Avatar universal
I have suffered the same things as jenniwrenne for at leats 10 years on and off. The reaching up action setting the 'puffing' and pain off is spot on! I also get heart palpitations sometimes with it. I have costocondritis which comes and goes and sometimes the cartlidge in the centre of my chest where the ribs join becomes so inflamed that it swells up and feels like a sausage just under my skin about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. The pain is sharp and on a scale of 0 - 10 can reach 5 or 6. Mine is caused by degeneration of my spine and the pain 'refers' around my ribs to the front. It took me 10 years to establish this after every test known to man and seeing doctor after doctor. Finally one Chinese doctor who I tried in desperation just looked at me, pushed my back and the pain shot around to the front and there was the answer.
I  have a hiatus hernia too which affects that area and sometimes when it plays up I get breathless, asthma type problems also. All I can do is take 2mg Valium, rub deep heat cream on my sore chest and take it easy till it decides to calm down for a while.It is debilitationg when it's full on, that's for sure.
Hilda, check for a hiatus hernia - ask your doc. Others try the back exam for the chest band and pain. Just have somebody press down the vertabrae starting at your neck and working down, I bet 4,5,6 in your vervical spine hurt. They all told me - don't bend, don't reach up and manage your pain! Sorry that's it; pay at reception on your way out. Can't offer any solutions I'm afraid.
Avatar universal
Hi thanks for your comments I notice when i get the weird feeling of something moving under my ribs that when i try to push it back down i can get a very slight clicking sensation. I am now wondering if this is cartilage. I went back to my consultant yesterday for a follow up and he reckons that it is probably the bowel moving slightly out of position as i have in the past suffered with very bad chronic constipation.He says this is nothing to worry about???? I have had chostochondritis in the past but ended up in hospital thought i was having a heart attack couldnt take a breath in it was soo painful.
At the moment i still have the bloating and the band which actually seems to be worsening Am still on nexium 40mg which consultant says is maximum dose and he cannot do anything for me. Anyone have any ideas its driving me nuts. I do suffer with osteoarthritis of the spine will try your suggestion of pressing on spine thanks
Avatar universal
have you been for your tests yet just wondering. I have been back to GP who sent me for another abdo scan small cyst on liver and fatty liver which he says comes as you age but shouldnt be cause of band and bloating am at the end of my tether help becoming depressed and frightened to bend forward as whatever it is causing the problemmoves up under my ribcage driving me nuts
Avatar universal
Your comment fits me to a tee.  Feel like I have a bra on even when I don't.
Have a dr's appointment on Monday.  Hope to find out more then.
Have the same symptoms.  your comment is from 2009.  Any ideas?
Avatar universal
I been suffering from discomfort under my breast bone in a central position which goes through to my back, i have noticed it started a few hours after i picked up something heavy???? not sure if that had anything to do with it!!, It also feels worse on stretching and breathing in has anyone got any ideas what this could be.. havnt seen my gp yet..
Avatar universal
I'm having the same symptoms as well, a sever tightness just under my rib cage.  I've had all the test, but still no idea.  One docter said it was IBS.  I wish there was somthing that would help.
Avatar universal
I'm having the same symptoms as well, a sever tightness just under my rib cage.  I've had all the test, but still no idea.  One docter said it was IBS.  I wish there was somthing that would help.
Avatar universal
I feel like I've had this problem ever since I was a kid and now it is sort of coming back (im 25) but with a little nausea and indigestion after meals. I'm 5'10 165 fairly good health..But I do strain with some heavy lifting at work sometimes. I might just schedule a check up with the doc it's overdue anyways
Avatar universal
Isn't that a hiatal hernia?
Avatar universal
I have been experiencing the above conditions for just over 2 weeks now and they progressed as follows:

1.  One night I got wasted - woke up in the morning, went to work on limited to no sleep feeling like a train wreck, and dealt with the stress of the day, high anxiety, and after lunch a strange tightness formed in the center of my chest, directly below my sternum, that was not unbearable, but annoying and alarming.  The anxiety exacerbated the tightness, which did not subside for nearly a week.

2. I play soccer and run regularly, and I find when I do, generally the tightness goes away the day after, only to return within a 48 hour period.  However, when it returned the first time it wasn't nearly as painful as the initial first few days.  Its a tightness that is somewhat relieved when stretching back, or moving, but it is uncomfortable sitting in a cubicle or driving, I constantly find myself moving to "adust my internal setting" is the best way I can describe it.  I have found that if I have a suddent tense feeling of anxiety it also comes back (such as a high-tense situation while driving, or being caught off guard).

3. The symptoms manifest primarily while at work or right before I go to sleep.  Often the uncomfortable feeling is coupled with heart palpitations and semi-heat flashes.

Idiot's Diagnosis:  I personally believe it is either a small hiatial hernia or anxiety.  I am 25, with no history of heart conditions, and I am in semi-decent shape.  I have yet to go to the doctor to get it looked at because it seems to oscillate weekly.  I am going to increase exercise, primarily running, to see if it alleviates the annoying symptoms.

Very strange.
Avatar universal
I also have the tight band around my ribcage.  After doing hours and hours of research, I found some information which may help us.  This band is also referred to as a "girdle" band.   Please see http://www.bettermedicine.com/books/algorithmic-diagnosis-of-symptoms-and-signs/girdle-pain.   I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I have Ulcerative Colitis which my consultant and GP have not managed to get me into remission due to the drugs not being right for me.

I have now started recently having come of some drugs - with this band under my rib cage and pain down the centre of my rib cage.  On listening to some of the comments above, some seem to think it is related to the Gastrointestinal part of the body, which would fit in with my condition, so perhaps this is part of the bowel system.

I am due to have a second opinion in the next two weeks so will have this checked out, will come back if I find any information relating to this.
Avatar universal
i am a 20 year old woman and i have been feeling this horrible tightness in my middle/lower right and middle rib cage that sometimes travels to my back for the past 7 or so months, it hurts to breathe in too far and to breathe out to much, I do have lymes disease but i dont think its what is causing the problem, i just dont even know what i should begin to look for, but its starting to make breathing hard when im at work? any suggestions?
Avatar universal
Hello, I too have been experiencing very similiar pain surrounding mostly the upper left handside of the abdomen. It's not constant but usually occured every 2-4 months after eating. Every few months id experience this chronic pain where it would be so bad id go to emergency and was too perscribed the nexium.. I've been told Gallstones, Chronic indegestion, and ulcers. I dont exactly no what the problem is but ever since i stopped drinking coke a cola i have stopped having this chronic pain..so i think its wise to u all if u get down on accidic foods. :)
Avatar universal
i am so glad you post this because i have been dealing with this for years and didn't know how to describe it or what to tell the doctor. its that muscle above my stomach under my ribs that is so tight, especially when i stand. its a tight stretch. not so bad if im sitting to lying down. i have been told for years i got asthma but i never believed it. been on asthma meds for years to has no effect on the breathing. i bring fine but not  as good because that muscle is so tight. all started when i had my first panic attack and just anxiety over the years which is usually in my stomach. my stomach muscles are over tight. if i could just fine a cure to relax that muscle i would feel 1000 times better!!! i have had cat scans and endoscopys and the only found was fibriod on my uterus but this has been this way long before that. HELP!!!
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem