RIB CAGE PAIN post thumbnail image


Rib pain is a kind f pain felt in the rib area or chest wall. It may be sharp, dull or achy. Rib pain can be caused by a variety of things ranging from pulled muscles to a rib fracture. It may also be caused by a traumatic injury, joint inflammation or underlying medical condition and ranges in severity. Rib pain can be associated with bruising, difficulty in taking deep breaths, chest pain and difficulty in coughing. Many cases of rib cage pain are not linked to serious conditions and resolve on their own or with minimal treatment. Others, however, are medical emergencies requiring immediate intervention.

Below are the most common causes of rib pain;

  • Broken ribs
  • Injuries to the chest
  • Inflammation of the lining of the lungs
  • Muscle spasm
  • Swollen rib cartilage
  • Bronchitis
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Viral pneumonia
  • Chest bruise
  • Bone cancer
  • Costochondritis
  • Pleurisy
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Fibromyagia


Rib cage pain may occur in the chest, below the ribs, or above the naval. As there are several different causes of rib cage pain, the symptoms can vary. As a result, the pain may be:

  • Sharp
  • Dull
  • Aching
  • Sudden
  • Slow to develop
  • Constant
  • Intermittent
  • Worse when breathing in or moving

Other symptoms affecting the rib cage can include:

  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty breathing


Here are some common treatments for rib cage pain

The recommended treatment for rib pain depends on the cause of the pain. If the rib pain is caused by a minor injury such as a pulled muscle and the pain is not very significant, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen can be taken to relieve the pain, refrain from activities that exacerbate the pain for a week or two to allow the inflammation to resolve can also be remedy. If over-the-counter pain reliever does not stop the pain, a doctor should be seen. If the cause of the rib pain is bone cancer, the treatment options will be based on the type of cancer and its origin and may also require surgery. In some cases where surgery is not an option or may be too dangerous, the doctor may choose to shrink the cancer using chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Once the growth is small enough, then it may be removed it surgically.


Rib cage pain can be attributed to many underlying injuries or medical conditions. A person should always consult a doctor in any case of unexplained rib cage pain. A doctor should be contacted immediately when severe pain is experienced when breathing in or out or when moving the body into a specific position. If you have recently fallen and you have difficulty and pain while breathing along with significant bruising in your chest area, a doctor should be contacted immediately. Also, if you feel pressure or have pain in your chest along with rib cage pain of discomfort, you should contact a doctor as this may a sign of an impending heart attack.

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