Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why are my ribs sore?"
I have stomach pain and my ribs are very sensitive to the touch. I didn?t do anything to hurt my ribs. Why do they hurt?
Pain in the rib cage can be caused by irritation to the different structures in the area. Most of the time rib pain comes from pain in either the muscles in between the ribs or from the ribs themselves (when they are injured). If you do not remember injuring your ribs, then it is unlikely that this is the problem. Many people develop severe rib pain and abdominal pain when they cough heavily for a few days. If you have recently caught a cold, or if you have recently developed a cough for another reason, the muscles used to cough in between the ribs and in the abdomen can be quite sore. Another possibility is that you have developed shingles. This is an infection with the Chicken Pox virus that can cause the skin on the chest to be very sensitive to touch. Finally, if you have inflammation or irritation of the inner lining of your chest wall, then this could be perceived as rib pain. This usually does not cause the ribs to be sensitive to the touch. I think you next step should be to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine your ribs and abdomen and attempt to figure out why you are experiencing discomfort. I hope you start feeling better.
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