Ribs Hurt to Touch

If you experience rib pain when you press the left side of your ribcage or stretch your body, among a couple of problems could be the perpetrator. Swelling in the rib cartilage, referred to as costochondritis, is a reason for pain because area. However, concerns such as a broken rib or an internal health issue could send out pain to that area, according to MedlinePlus.

Ribs Hurt to Touch

Potential Symptoms

Pain originating in your chest wall, mainly on the left side of your sternum, is most commonly credited to costochondritis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although the pain is most likely to feel sharp, it can also feel gnawing and dull. You are more likely to feel the pain when carrying out actions such as taking a deep breath or coughing, however you can likewise replicate the pain by pushing in on the area that harms when you perform other annoying actions.

Also read: Ribs hurt when I cough

More Serious Symptoms

Your rib pain might be related to a fracture or bruise if severe tenderness develops after injury such as a blow to the chest. An injured rib is likely to feel more painful when you take breaths or when you attempt to bend or twist. Get help from a doctor as quickly as possible if you believe you have actually injured your rib. In many cases, pain that seems like it’s coming from under the rib may be associated with a major internal problem that requires immediate medical attention. For instance, you may be having a cardiac arrest or heart-related problem if you experience feelings of pressure or squeezing pain in the chest that increase in frequency. Cardiovascular disease pain typically reaches your arm or shoulder.

Potential Causes

Lots of conditions can cause costochondritis, but sometimes medical professionals can’t identify a direct cause. However, you may have the ability to trace back to the root of the problem if you have actually: recently hurt your chest, have pain in another part of your body, done any difficult activity such as lifting a heavy box, recently had an upper breathing disease or been detected with fibromyalgia, inning accordance with the Mayo Clinic.

Getting Checked

Your doctor will ask a series of concerns about your recent symptoms to figure out the best course of treatment for your rib pain. She will likely ask about what the pain seems like and inquire about when it began, whether it exists all the time or occurs sporadically, whether it is getting worse, if you have other symptoms and if any activity makes it feel even worse, inning accordance with MedlinePlus. She might likewise carry out tests such as a bone scan or a chest X-ray if she wishes to confirm or rule out a more serious issue such as a break in the bone.

Course of Treatment

The course of treatment, if any, will depend upon the underlying reason for your rib pain. For example, if your pain is from a break, your doctor might prescribe a strong pain medication or inject a long-lasting anesthesia to numb the nerves around the impacted rib until the rib heals by itself. If costochondritis is the offender, applying a heating pad throughout the day and taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen can help in reducing the pain till the swelling reduces on its own, inning accordance with the University of Iowa Health Care site. In either case, you need to take it easy up until the pain subsides and slowly return into normal activities to avoid overexerting your body as it heals.


Last modified: March 15, 2017

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