Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have a pinching feeling under my ribs?"
I guess it is almost like a muscle cramp, but it is more of a pinching feeling and it is right under my ribs. It is my ribs on the left side. Underneath them and more towards the bottom of the ribcage. Why do I have this pinching sensation?
It sounds like this is a very unpleasant sensation! There are several different explanations for your symptoms. It is possible that you may have injured one of your ribs. If you have had any recent falls, accidents, or even particularly vigorous activity, you could have a small rib fracture. Next, you may have pulled or strained the intercostal muscles which are the muscles that run in between the ribs. This can be very painful and can feel like a pinching or pulling sensation. Beyond the actual ribs and intercostal muscles themselves, it is also possible that something involving your lungs is causing your symptoms. Both pneumonia and bronchitis can sometimes present in the way that you describe. This could be more likely if you have also been feeling short of breath or had a fever or cough recently. In addition, your spleen and your stomach are the organs in your abdomen that are right underneath the rib cage on the left side. Any kind of process involving either organ could manifest itself as pain near the ribs. Given the multiple possibilities to explain your symptoms, the best thing for you to do at this point is to see your physician for a thorough history and exam. By considering any other symptoms you have noticed and examining your lungs and abdomen, he or she can help you figure out what might be causing this and what should happen next in terms of further testing or treatment.
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