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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Rib/Liver Pain?


 JJS - Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:44 pm

For the past 5-6 months, the lowest rib on my right side is tender to the touch. I went to the doctor in April and she pushed directly under my right ribs towards the center and there some pain there. She thought it might be a liver issues, so we had bloodwork done and it all came back normal. I had slipped and fallen on ice the month before and I carry a heavy backpack everyday, so she figured it was an abdominal/rib muscle strain.

I only feel a slight twinge of pain when I twist. The rib is still tender to the touch on my side. And the spot closer to the center of my abdomen still feels a twinging mildy sharp pain that seems to radiate up underneath my ribs when you push fairly hard on it. I still carry a heavy backpack, but am trying to cut back.

Should I be worried about liver/gallbladder/stomach problem or does it sound like a muscle/rib problem like my doctor in April seemed to think?

Thanks!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:04 pm

User avatar Hello -

What you describe sounds very much like a rib-muscle issue, especially since the blood tests were all negative for liver injury. It is odd this should have persisted for so long, but you may have gotten some inflammation of the connective tissue where the rib attaches to the sternum (costochondritis), which can become chronic if not treated. The usual treatment is simply non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofin or naproxyn (Advil or Aleve), and sometimes stronger, prescription doses of the same medications.

If you've already tried over-the-counter meds such as mentioned above and they haven't worked, whether or not you bring this back to the doctor's attention would be guided by how much the soreness bothers you. It doesn't sound like anything serious and I think you can safely assume your liver and other internal organs are fine.

I hope this is helpful.

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