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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Pain below the ribs

 Krissi - Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:32 pm

For about 2 days I have had a pain under my right rib cage towards the center of my abdomen. It hurts when I breath in, and the deeper the breath the more harsh the pain. Standing, sitting, and laying in certain posistions hurts it worse. I have also being feeling very nauseated for the past week. Is there something wrong with me?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:04 pm

User avatar Dear Krissi,

The chest contains many organs, like the heart, lungs with its pleural covering, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, and nerves.
They all can be the source of the pain felt in the chest.
Your symptoms are suggestive of Pleurisy, however other causes should be investigated too.

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the double layered membrane that covers the lung. According to your description it is more likely to the cause of your symptoms.

The condition is due to viral infection in most of the cases.
The pain is felt like sharp pain on one side or less commonly in both sides, it increases with deep breath. The pain usually stops once you hold your breath and result in rapid, shallow breathing.

The condition gradually improves with rest, plenty of fluid. NSAID can help reduce the pain.

If you have a productive Cough with yellowish or greenish sputum, or high Fever, you should visit your doctor immediately to receive the proper medical care.

Overexertion of the chest wall muscles or their inflammation as a part of viral infection like flu or cold results also in Chest pain, the pain is usually aggravated with certain moves and is usually associated with tenderness over the affected muscles. Pain due to rib or chest wall bone disease is also another cause of Chest pain.

Sometimes Chest pain is not originating from the chest itself; instead it is due to problems in the digestive tract. These problems include IBS, Gastritis and Gastric ulcer, gall bladder disease, GER. But these medical problems are usually related to meals and are not related to deep breath or physical exercises.

You need to be examined by your doctor, since the pain you described can be any of these causes. Only by complete history and physical examination, the correct diagnosis can be reached.

Best regards,

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