Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Pain under my right rib - what is it?"
it hurts worse when laying down and when laying on the right side of my body. i take deep breaths and it hurts in to my back. It started yester day
Pain can represent many causes, and sometimes despite the best history and physical exam, one still may need to get additional imaging or tests to figure out the true cause. It sounds like you have pain along your chest wall or flank pain on the right side. Pain radiates to your back and it is worst with deep breathing. The most common reasons for having abdominal wall or chest wall pain is musculoskeletal problems such as a muscle strain. Sometimes muscle cramps or spasms can cause considerable pain as well. Muscle pain generally feels better with compresses and Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Other potential causes of your right sided pain could be from within the chest. If shortness of breath is associated with your pain, it could be due to a pneumothorax, pneumonia, or even a pulmonary embolus. In addition, a large mass or tumor in the lungs can also cause pain in the same area. Furthermore, abdominal organs can present with chest pain. On the other hand, gall bladder stones or infection can cause considerable pain over the right side that radiates to your back and shoulder. Kidney stones can cause extreme pain over the side of the ureter where the stones gets trapped. Patients often get nausea and vomiting for abdominal disorders. As you can see, potential causes for right sided pain is very broad (from muscle strain to potential gallbladder or kidney stones). Fortunately, a good history and physical exam can lead a skillful physician to the right tests. I would recommend you discuss this with your primary care physician, especially if you develop nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, or weight loss.
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