Pain under Your Left Ribs – Is It A Sound for Alarm?


It’s not pleasant to feel pain, including pain under left ribs. When you feel it, it’s evident that you worry. This symptom can be the consequence of some serious disease, that’s why it’s necessary to have the full medical examination as soon as you feel that discomfort sensation.

Possible Causes

Left rib cage pain can be caused by many diseases. Sometimes it can be the symptom of heart diseases, including local asphyxia and coronary thrombosis. But in such cases the pain is only located somewhere near the ribs and it’s not very severe. The pain in the chest is much sharper at that moment. You can also feel uncomfortable sensation in your left arm, fast heartbeat, unstable pulse, dizziness, labored breathing and hydrops.

Another reason for pain under your left ribs can be intercostal neuralgia, caused with degenerative disc disease or arterial hypertension. People with dysautonomia frequently suffer from such diseases. The pan intensity can be various: from hard to light. It can become stronger, when you sneeze or cough, move rapidly or do physical exercises. The pain can also appear when you inhale or exhale. Due to intercostal neuralgia the pain spreads over the back. This uncomfortable sensation is also accompanied with ankle clonus, sweatiness, skin redness, paleness. Neuralgia can be also caused with hard muscle spasms. The reasons for them can be the following:

Apart from neuralgia, there can be other causes for pain under the left side of your rib cage.

  1. pain under left ribs cageStomach pain. Gastritis or ulcer of stomach can cause stabbing or sharp pain, which can be paroxysmal. The additional symptoms are belching, vomiting, diarrhea. Due to hyperacidity the pain appears after eating, due to hyperacidity right before eating. If the reason for the pain is ulcer of stomach, it can appear any time, because it doesn’t depend on eating.
  2. Diseases of the respiratory system. Such diseases as pneumonia and tuberculosis can cause pain under left ribs, which comes together with cough, labored breathing, fever or weakness. The pain becomes especially strong, when a person coughs, sneezes, inhales or exhales. The symptoms of the lung tumor can be weight loss, feeling weak, blood streaked sputum.
  3. Sporogenous splenomegaly. It’s frequently accompanied with asthenia, fever, sweating. This disease is very dangerous, because there’s a risk of lacerated spleen.
  4. Disorder of pancreatic gland. In this case the pain spreads over left ribs and chest. The unpleasant sensation appears after eating something sweet and drinking alcohol. It’s also accompanied with vomiting, diarrhea, sharp fever.

The pain can also be caused with rib injuries, diaphragmatic hernia, stomach cancer. Women can have that sensation due to cystic ovary or pelvic inflammatory disease. The intensity of pain can be different: light or hard. It can appear before or after eating, during exhaling or inhaling, during physical activity.

How Can It Be Treated?

When you feel sharp pain under the left side of your rib cage, you should go to a doctor and have a full medical examination, which includes:

  • pain under left ribs causesX-ray treatment;
  • Ultrasound investigation;
  • Clinical blood analysis;
  • Biochemical blood analysis;
  • Computer tomography.

You should also go a surgeon, gastroenterologist, cardiologist, traumatologist, oncologist, infectious disease doctor. People with dysautonomia also go to a neurologist. The first step in treatment is finding the reasons for the pain. When a person suffers from lacerated spleen, peritonitis, appendicitis, ruptured ulcer, internal hemorrhage, the surgery is necessary.

The sharp pain can also be accompanied with nausea, diarrhea, fever or dizziness. You should call for a doctor, and they lay horizontally and try to relax. The room should be ventilated well.

Healthy lifestyle together with physical exercises and mindfulness can help you avoid pain in your left rib cage.


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