ZocdocAnswersWhat could be this pain on the bottom of my left rib cage?

Question

What could be this pain on the bottom of my left rib cage?

When stretching in bed after i woke up this morning i felt a around the bottom side of my left rib cage. Hurts if i bend over or cough. Was worried if it was just a muscle pull or something worse. it does not hurt to touch, only if i bend over or if i cough. I suffer from Anxiety so of course i think the worst of everything

Answer

You are describing pain in the bottom left rib cage that is triggered by bending over or coughing. I recommend that you speak with your primary care doctor. The etiologies of the pain could be from bone, muscles, lungs, or other internal organs such as kidney and spleen. It sounds like pain was acute and not a chronic problem. If you lifted heavy objects or used your upper body yesterday, you could have strained a muscle which is causing musculoskeletal pain. These are usually treated with rest and pain medications. There is also a possibility that a rib fracture could have occurred. If it is within the lung, it could be a number of causes such as infections leading to pneumonia, a tear leading to pneumothorax, or blood clots causing a pulmonary embolus. Organs in the region could also be the culprit such as the kidneys from a urinary tract infection leading up to the kidneys. The spleen could also cause some pain if enlarged. Also possible is a hernia, especially since it hurts when coughing and bending over. Since I cannot examine you or know your medical history, it is best that you go to your primary care doctor to have an exam. From your vital signs and physical exam, they can recommend further testing if needed since the symptoms you are having are vague.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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