Right side rib pain
What does right rib pain mean?
In the case of rib pain on the right, there is pain in the area of the right rib cage. The pain can be different, for example stabbing, piercing or exciting.
Often, rib pain gets worse when you inhale and exhale deeply, exercise, and cough. The right costal arch can be tender on touch.
Depending on the cause of the discomfort, a single or multiple ribs may be affected, the pleura or an organ that radiates into the right costal arch. Rib pain can be acute or persistent, i.e. chronic.
Causes of Right Rib Pain
- Injuries to bone tissue
Right-sided rib pain can be caused by various triggers. The most common causes of right rib pain are fractures or bruises of one or more ribs.
- Muscle injuries
In addition to bony injuries, muscle injuries are also a possible reason for right rib pain.
During sporting activities, a torn muscle fiber can develop between two ribs, which can lead to severe pain. Muscle tension in the muscles between the ribs can also be caused by sporting exercises or by a very unphysiological posture that occurs longer or more often.
In stressful situations, some people tend to sit or stand very cramped. This can lead to tension in various muscle groups such as the rib muscles.
Do you exaggerate with sport or other activities and the pain doesn't go away? A ruptured muscle fiber could cause the painful symptoms. Read more on the subject below: Torn muscle fiber between the ribs
Another possible cause of right rib pain is pleurisy, often as a result of pneumonia. Typically pleurisy spreads to the entire chest. If only the right lung and the surrounding pleura are affected, rib pain can develop on the right.
You can find out more about this at: Pleurisy
- Organic causes
Organic causes of rib pain are also an option. Inflammation and other diseases of the liver, gallbladder, or colon can be responsible for the pain in the ribs. In rare cases, renal pelvic inflammation can also radiate into the right costal arch in addition to other locations.
You will learn more about this in our next article: Rib pain - these are the causes
Right rib pain from coughing
If rib pain occurs on the right due to coughing, the cause of the discomfort should be investigated.
The most common cause of right rib pain from coughing is a broken rib that affects one or more ribs. A rib fracture can be diagnosed by an apparent accident or as an incidental finding.
Read more about this topic under: Rib pain when coughing
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Therapy options for right-sided rib pain
Treatment of right rib pain is determined by the cause of the discomfort. Muscle injuries, bruised ribs, and a harmless fracture of a single rib are often treated symptomatically with pain medication.
Rib fractures can be treated with a bandage or surgically, depending on the number of ribs and the complexity of the fractures.
In diseases of internal organs that radiate into the right costal arch, the root cause must be treated specifically.
What painkillers are there? Which, if at all, can you take with alcohol or during pregnancy? You can get answers to these and other questions at: Painkiller
Duration of right-sided rib pain
The duration of right-sided rib pain is largely determined by the cause of the disease. Broken ribs are common and can cause pain for four to six weeks. Muscular-related rib pain often heals within days to a few weeks.
Pleurisy can lead to rib pain for different lengths of time. How quickly and successfully the pleurisy is treated is relevant for the duration of the symptoms.
If internal organs are the source of the symptoms, the duration of the symptoms can vary widely. In the case of chronic liver inflammation, the pain in the ribs can last for months, while in the case of biliary inflammation they subside early with the healing through appropriate therapy.
Right-sided rib pain prognosis
Right rib pain is often due to a harmless fracture of the rib, which usually heals without complications.
If there is a complicated fracture of several ribs, the complication can be a right-sided pneumothorax. Without treatment, pneumothorax is life-threatening.
Muscular injuries typically heal without complications.
For liver, gallbladder, or colon disease, the prognosis depends on the underlying cause and treatment of the disease.
How can it be diagnosed?
In order to be able to diagnose the cause of right-sided rib pain, a detailed description of the symptoms is necessary.
A chest x-ray is often done to rule out a broken rib. If diseases of internal organs are suspected as the cause of the symptoms, an examination using an ultrasound device is suitable.
A small blood count and other imaging tests may be needed to find out the reason for the pain in the right ribs.
Are you interested in this topic? Read our next article below: X-ray examination of the chest - what should I pay attention to?
Right rib pain during pregnancy
There are several possible causes of right rib pain during pregnancy. A harmless cause of rib pain on the right can be heavily strained abdominal muscles that exert a pull on appropriate starting points. At the same time, radiation from the spine and back muscles is possible, which are increasingly stressed in the course of pregnancy.
It is also possible that the uterus, which grows with pregnancy, may put pressure on organs. Especially in advanced pregnancy, the uterus can constrict the liver and gallbladder. This can lead to right-sided rib pain.
If the pain is deeper and is accompanied by upper abdominal pain, this can be an indication of a dreaded pregnancy complication, the HELLP syndrome. This complication is associated with liver damage, which can cause deep pain on the right side of the ribs and upper abdomen, and requires immediate examination and therapy.
If you have any further interest in this topic, read it below: Pain in the ribs during pregnancy
Accompanying symptoms of right rib pain
Rib fractures and bruises characteristically cause pain on movement, deep breathing, and coughing. The tissue over the affected ribs is usually very sensitive to pressure.
If there is pleurisy, symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath can occur, depending on the cause of the inflammation. Acute inflammation of the liver often causes nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever and severe upper abdominal pain. In the chronic stage, pain often occurs on the right under the costal arch.
Further symptoms of chronic liver inflammation are reduced performance, fatigue, loss of appetite and varying diarrhea.
If the gall bladder is the cause of the symptoms, typical accompanying symptoms are yellow skin and eyes, discolored stools and vomiting. Fatty meals can also lead to colicky pain in the right upper abdomen.
In the case of a disease of the large intestine, in addition to the pain on the right under the chest, there is often a distended abdomen, loss of appetite and irregular stool.
The following topic could also be of interest to you: Pain between the ribs
Rib pain on the right under the chest
Rib pain on the right under the chest can be a sign of diseases of individual organs such as the liver, gall bladder or colon. A gallbladder infection (Cholecystitis) can be present, for example, with symptoms such as pain in the right upper abdomen or right under the chest.
Rib pain on the right rather laterally
If rib pain is more likely to be located on the right side, one should first think of bony and muscular causes.
Bruises and rib fractures are very common and can cause severe pain. During a fight, the side of the chest is often easy for the opponent to hit.
At the same time, muscle injuries such as strains or muscle fiber tears in the intercostal muscles are also possible.
The topic could also be of interest to you: Rib fracture - symptoms, diagnosis and therapy
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Further information could be of interest to you:
- Pain in the right costal arch - that's behind it
- Pain under the ribs
- Tietze syndrome