12 Common Causes of Pain under Right Rib Cage + Infographic

12 Most Common Causes of Pain under Right Rib Cage and TreatmentDo you feel some strange discomfort with your right rib cage area right now? That can happen quite often and most of the time will make you feel very concerned about it. It is rather not so usual to feel pain under right rib cage so it is important to find out reason of such pain as fast as possible.

Whether it happened to you or to your family members remember that finding out what is the reason of pain under right rib cage can help you to find a quick and proper treatment. But do not worry; there are multiple reasons why you can experience pain in a right rib cage region so relax and have a quick look at the most probable causes of such pain. Remember that your fast reaction will help in fast recovery.

The rib cage is an important part of the human body. It consists of 12 horizontal bones located on either side of our body. Its main role is to protect our inner organs like heart and lungs thus entire cardiovascular system. Sometimes people may feel a various type of pain under the right or left rib cage, it can happen and not all the time mean there is a serious health problem right there.

Most of the time discomfort in rib cage region can be caused by some small injury or even too intensive sport. In such a situation it should go away after a few days and simply rest might be a treatment. But you need to be aware that if you suffer heavy pain under the right rib cage or it lasts for a long time and does not disappear it can be a serious problem.

Pain under right rib cage can vary from just mild discomfort up to strong and severe pain. Such pain may last only a few minutes or be prolonged for many days or weeks. When rib pain is associated with heavy injury it is very possible that one or more of rib bones are broken, of course, such a situation requires appropriate care and fast medical treatment.

However, there are many other diseases and certain disorders that may cause the pain of the whole abdomen and under right rib cage especially.

Causes Of Pain Under Right Rib Cage

There are several important organs of our bodies that are located within the abdomen area, so close to the rib cage. On the right side of the body, you will find not only intestines, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder but also liver and spleen. Pain under the right rib may be the first symptom of an injury or inflammation of any of the organs located in the abdomen area.

In some situations, it can be also the first signal of a cancer process in the abdomen. But before you start to panic let`s have a look at the most common causes of pain under right rib cage. Here are just a few:


Of course, not only medical conditions can cause pain in the ribs, sometimes simply injury or a fracture causes pain. This is a common reason why you may feel pain under your right rib cage. If you had an accident that leads to feeling pain in this area, it is most probably very heavy pain that can make you immobile or at least some kind of movements can be difficult for you now.

Such a situation requires fast medical attention so do not hesitate to visit your doctor as fast as possible. The doctor will determine how serious injury is only by simply chest X-ray examination. Remember that hairline fractures and small injuries can be healing naturally.

Gallbladder disease (gallstones)

Source: https://www.mediafamily.org/pain-under-right-rib-cage/
Gallbladder disease occurs due to inflammation of the gallbladder, most of the time, due to gallstones. Many people are surprised that problems with gallbladder can lead to recurrent pain under right rib cage but gallbladder is located in the upper right abdomen just under the liver. When gallstones are an issue it can cause mild to even severe pain below the right rib.

Symptoms of gallstones can be different, but most often unspecific nausea and vomiting will occur, as well as fever or rapid heart rate. The pain can also move toward the right shoulder. When the stone has blocked the bile flow the pain will be very intense. But there are many ways for the treatment of gallstones, it can be surgically removed or successfully treated with suitable medications.

Kidney stones

Of course, there can be stones formed not only in a gallbladder but also very common situation are stones in a kidney. This is a very painful disease. Kidney stone disease is also known as urolithiasis. Typically stones are formed in the kidney and then leave the body in the urine. When a stone is small it may pass easily without causing even symptoms, the problem appears when stone grow to more than 5 millimeters as it can block ureter.

That results in severe pain in the lower back or abdomen, it can be spread over the right rib cage region so it is difficult to find out that is a kidney problem situation. Some kidney stones can be dissolved by using special medications.


Wonder what is it? Don`t worry, inflammation of the muscles of the rib cage is known as costochondritis. It is also called ‘chest wall pain’. It can cause strong pain below the right rib cage. It is very often combined with a sore throat, fatigue, and fever. This can occur due to injury, physical strain, some viral infections, fibromyalgia, and other upper respiratory illnesses.

But what interesting costochondritis symptoms can be also similar to pain in chest area related to a heart attack that is why costochondritis pain may be often mistaken for cardiovascular disease symptoms. It can also lead to pain while breathing, coughing and even difficulty in breathing. Individuals with costochondritis are typically cured with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Liver problems

Probably that can be the most typical diagnosis for pain under the right rib cage. Most of the people will hear from their physicians that damage within a liver is one of the most common causes of strong pain in the area of the right rib cage. However, there are plenty of reasons why the liver may have a problem. It can be damaged or infections and inflammation of the liver can cause pain.

What is important to know that all discomfort within a liver may be an effect of serious liver damage that can be even dangerous for your life. Sometimes people get Hepatitis that can be caused not only by alcoholism but also by viral infections. It will give many unclear symptoms include fever, weakness, fatigue and upper abdominal pain, usually focused below the right rib cage area.

Not only hepatitis, but also fatty liver, congestive heart failure, and many others can be the reason why our liver becomes infected. From time to time blocked blood vessels due to blood clots can be responsible for pain under the right rib cage.

Liver cancer

So serious that it needs to be separate from just ‘liver problem’. While suffering from heavy pain in the upper abdomen and pain under right rib cage you need to be aware that it can be a symptom of liver cancer as well. Like other cancers, liver cancer occurs because cells multiply out of control within the liver, which destroys healthy cells.

Cancer of the liver can be spread over the body very fast what makes medical treatment difficult and time to time unsuccessful. Most of the time cancer of the liver is caused due to hepatitis or alcoholism. Symptoms of liver cancer include fever, abdominal swelling, jaundice, dark/brown urine, often also unexplained weight loss together with pain under right rib cage.

It is very important to consult your doctor every time you experience any pain around your liver area. Diagnosis of liver disease early can surely help prevent serious health conditions.


Persistent pain on the right side of the abdomen should be medically checked without a doubt. It can be something wrong with your pancreas as well. When there is a problem with your pancreas, you can be sure it will lead to not nice pain around the right rib cage. Infection and inflammation of the pancreas will result in sharp pain under your right rib cage.

Such pain can spread over the sides and back of your body. An unhealthy diet with too heavy meals and too much alcohol drinking can be a reason for pancreatitis. You need to visit your doctor if you notice fever, yellowish skin, fast heart rate or vomiting together with the pain under the right rib area.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

You might not even realize how many symptoms can be associated with irritable bowel syndrome, named IBS. People that complain about pain in the abdomen and under the rib cage very often are diagnosed with IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a group of symptoms that can make problems with abdominal pain and changes in a pattern of bowel movements. It is a very common issue in the past few years. Stress and unhealthy food may let you suffer IBS. However, the real reason for Irritable Bowel Syndrome is so far not clear.

Too much gas

The other problem with your intestines that together with irritable bowel syndrome can be a reason for pain under right rib cage is simply overeating. When you are eating too much that can cause problems in digestions, your stomach will produce too much acid and too much gas what will surely lead to some abdomen pain. The reflux of acid and regurgitation of food will cause a strong pain under right rib cage.

Crohn`s disease

This is a very serious inflammatory bowel disease that affects mostly young adults. When this is your problem you will suffer not only with severe pain under the right rib cage, you may also experience heavy diarrhea, loss of weight, blood in the stools, ulcers, flatulence, and other abdominal discomforts. Of course, this needs to be treated by a specialist, often in hospital conditions. However, it is good to know that pain under the right rib cage is often experienced by persons affected by Crohn`s disease.


Stomach ulcers can be also a reason why we feel unspecific pain in the lower part of the rib region. An ulcer is an inflamed wound in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. It is a painful sore found in the stomach lining or in a small intestine. It often can lead to abdominal bleeding or tearing. It coexists frequently with the reflux of acid what may be responsible for a burning sensation in the throat.


There is also one more possible situation that can result in strange pain experienced in a low right rib area pain. A small part of the intestine, called appendix, may get infected what generate a sharp pain under right rib cage. Such pain is a result to the inflammation process and will need immediate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Special Cases

Pregnancy time

The pain under right rib cage can be experienced also during pregnancy period. As there is a huge hormone changes cascade and also size of the uterus and the breasts is increasing during pregnancy it is easy to imagine that discomfort in a rib cage area is a common situation for a pregnant woman. Of course you cannot do too much about it, but be sure that after delivery a baby all discomfort in a rib cage area will disappear. If not, there must be other reason of pain despite aside from pregnancy.

During running

That can happen quite often for many people. It is unexpected sharp pain under right rib cage while you are running and may be caused by several reasons. It can be associated with overeating before run, it can happen also when you drink too much right before run. Uneven breathing or even dehydration may lead to such unspecific pain in right rib cage area as well.

How To Deal With Pain Under Right Rib Cage

When you experience pain under right rib cage it can be difficult to function normally. Some of the body movements can be tricky and pain can be various depending on situation. Of course depending on what is a reason of your discomfort, there is plenty of way to treat your problem.

Taking Medications

Of course before using any medication to cure pain under right rib cage the best would be to know the cause of that pain. There are varieties of special medications that can treat such pain depending on individual circumstances. Most popular is using proper dose of popular paracetamol that for sometimes can relieve pain. However using of Nonsteroidal

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) is usually the best choice. Especially when there is a problem with an inflammatory disease that is responsible for pain under rib using anti inflammatory drugs e.g. ibuprofen can not only help with pain but also cure an inflammation process. However when there is a case with severe pain you need to visit your physician as fast as possible.

Changing Your Diet

Change in your diet is often an option to help with several different pains that affect quality of your life. Of course it will give the best results when a pain under right rib cage is connected with obvious intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or more serious disease as a Crohn`s disease. However changing wrong diet habits will have only positive effect on your life comfort anyway. A change in your diet can cure many different symptoms.


But there are certain situations when just changing your diet or taking medications will not be enough to get rid of the pain under right rib cage. When there are gallstones, severe injury of chest or fractured ribs, surgery might be necessary to relieve the symptoms.

Should I Worry?

The question is what kind of pain under right rib cage you feel. Is it strong? Is it often? How long it takes? Can you feel any differences after taking paracetamol or ibuprofen? Is that helping you? Do you feel pain under right rib all the time? Or it occurs only in a special situation, during some extra movements?

Do you feel pain under right rib cage also during the night while sleeping? And what about other symptoms, are there any other problems you have along with pain under right rib cage? That are important questions you need to ask yourself and discuss the answers together with your family doctor.

Remember that you cannot ignore sharp or prolonged pain in the area of right rib cage, as there are plenty of diseases that can be combined together with unspecific pain around your abdomen and under right rib cage region especially.

That can be results of heavy injury or even cancer process within your abdomen organs. Together with your physician you should be able to find out what is the reason of that pain. Also required medical treatment should be implemented as fast as possible.


Causes of pain under right rib - infographic

12 Common Causes of Pain under Right Rib Cage + Infographic
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      1. I have had what may be the same problem and it ended up being a gas pocket. I took some otc antacid/antigas tablets and in a little bit I burped a bit and then the pain went away. I don't know for sure that is what your issue is but, it sounds similar to mine as it would hurt when I would take deep breaths.

    1. I literally just went to the ER for the same pain. It became unbearable. It ended up being H-pylori. They gave me some antibiotics to treat it with, and its already healping!

    2. I have pain under my rib and when I take a deep breath it hurts and the the bottom right rib does feel sore , at night the most comfortable position is to lay on my back.

  1. I get them weekly and it's actually driving me insane and its won't go away😭😭 the Drs here don't know what to do or what is it, I can't take this.

    1. Have the same problem , they told me they don't know what could be the cause. Mine is random and during the day only . When I sleep it feels better . It's not sharp but just discomfort and the pain killers and treatment I got doesn't seem to be effective. I'm considering going to the hospital

    2. hy abigail my name is tomas and i just want to ask you some question concerning the pain you get underneath of your rightside ribcage. since you can remember how long you had the pain for? when did you first notice? were you alone? how often do you get the pain? please answer this question i may have your solution

  2. i have had pain in my right side for over a week now , have to try and sit certain ways in the office to stop the pain. It seems to come and go. Not sure if i have just pulled something as had a terrible cough for a few weeks.

  3. I've been dealing with Costocondritis for 5 months now. About the time I feel better than BOOM Thep pain is back. Dr's claim there's nothing that can be done but for it to heal. Is it time to change Dr's? I've seen primary, NP and cardiologist for this. Coughing, sneezing and twisting just about put me on the floor. Feed up!

    1. I have it to mine is rear the doctor says mine wt pain it's so scary I be thinking I'm bout to die been had it sense 1996 and they still can't find how to fix it

      1. hello mr anderson my name is tomas when you get this message please tell me how often you get this pain? if were ever anybody with you when you got it or whom you been in contact with?

  4. I have a pain under my right rib so severe it causes me to dbl over in pain and it usually takes 10 min to go away to a tolerable level it makes me sick to my stomach sometimes it hurts so bad….and it burns with a dull ache after the initial severe pain. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what was it?

    1. Yes I have the same pain for almost 2 months first they told me it was a tract infection I go back to the hospital month later and they tell me I'm coming to pated I'm still having this pain and it hurts so bad it feels like a baby is trying to come out of my ribs and now it's going to my left side and all through my back

    2. Shelly S. Hillebrandt, that sounds like gall stones, I have had that problem when my youngest daughter was 2 1/2 months old and I had to have my gall bladder removed! I would suggest you seek medical attention! Hope it's not, prayers going up that you get some answers!

  5. I have had the pain under my ribs for 3 wks. My pcp said he thought it was a pulled muscle. Two days later nausea and loss of appetite. Felt better for a couple days of not eating that much. Bloodwork showed anemia. Going to GI in 2 days. Hopefully they can do something

    1. Hi di they find out what was wrong I'm Curious cuz I've been having the same problem? I get spasms all the way to the top corner right rib almsost by the middle of my chest

  6. I am also having pain in right side, about where my rib cage stops. Sometimes the pain shoots down into my right abdomen. I am very fatigued, have pain in my upper right arm also. It's very frustrating, and a little scary. This evening it's worse, and I also have headache. Has anyone else had these symptoms? I just don't feel well generally, but the pain is getting worse.

    1. I have same symptoms and was just diagnosed with fibromayalgia. Ask your regular Dr. to see a rheumatologist. Good luck because if you do have it, it can be debilitating.

    2. Hey, your symptoms sound very similar to something I am currently experiencing. Have you found out what I'd going on. I started having pain in my right side under lower rib, then my upper arm muscle was very sore to touch. The pain went away for a couple of days, but now it's back and hurts even worse now.

    3. i am also having pain in right side, about where my rib cage stops. some times the pain shoots down into my right abdomen. i am very fatigued, have pain in my upper right arm also. its very frustrating and a little scary. this eveninig its worse.

  7. I have pain under the right rib cage and feel the area swollen. Besides, I also have feel tight like my chest stretched when I change sleep position at night. The urine flow also not smooth. I dont have any pain during urinate, but I have to press my abdomen to let all urine out.

  8. I just have a really bad pain under my right rib and it won't go away. It hurts a lot when I breathe in and out.

  9. Already had my galbladder removed, but I was lucky, after an ulatrasound, I was told I have a benign cyst on my liver.

    I also have one on my kidney. No action required, they usually go away, although I'm trying to eat better and exercise more. All my other tests were normal. I was very worried it could have been something more serious. Obviously people should have it checked out to make sure it is not something else.

  10. I've been suffering from pain under my right rib that spreads across to the left for years now. 2005 to be exact. Had Gall bladder removed and still have pain in the same spot. After all these years of dealing with the pain, my GI doctor says it's IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Prescribed my bentyl. Started on 10 mg now on 20 mg. Helps a lot. Drinking ice water while having the pain helps some too. Certain foods and drinks are triggers to cause pain and so is stress. I was pushing 200 pounds and now I'm down to 154 by reducing food and drink triggers. No spicy, fried,greasy, or sauces. No caffiene, acids, some fruits and vegetables. Hope this helps anyone.

    1. That sounds very like what I have, had it for years now and docs have no idea what it is, seams like after I eat it gets worse , it’s not a sharp pain just feels uncomfortable and sometimes feels like it’s bubbling away.

  11. I've been having this discomfort pain on my right side. It feels like someone punched me and it feels bruised and tender. I am diabetic type 2, I also have High BP, H Cholesterol, and been having some cardiologist issues. Not sure if I should take this serious or it I am just panicking for no reason.
    My gallblader was removed in 2001

  12. It feel like, a bady movin but it not… muscle spasms. What could this. I had a MRI an XRays. They couldn't find anything. I know there is something there.

  13. I have been having sharp pains under my right ribs for about two months and I have went from 147 pds to 123 pds it hurts for about 10 to 20 minutes and than it still feels funny after the sharp pains I get weak at times and feel sick but haven't thrown up at all but I don't feel like eating but I do

  14. gosh, I too have been having same kinds of pain, and it feels like a baby inside kicking my lower right rib cage for nearly a year. I had upper and lower GI, ultra sounds, MRI, and even though my blood and lab results were not really concerning-not each time, I did find I have 3 benign cysts in liver, diagnosis is NAFLD, non-alcholic fatty liver disease. I believe meds caused it, but haven't had my Dr. agree; STATINS combined with metformin, syntheroid, atenolol, STATINS are not good for my liver!

  15. Pain under right ribs for 2 months I'm a breast cancer survivor of 3 years, had soon and ultra sound and they saw nothing

  16. About a week and a half ago my initial symptoms wear that of a normal UTI. Then develop stream flank pain while taking antibiotics. While taking the antibiotics all symptoms of the UTI have dissipated besides the game which has gotten worse in the meantime I have started my period and now have extreme pain in the abdomen area upper and lower. I have tests coming up this week but my doctor doesn't really know what direction to go in has anyone experienced anything like this or know what it might be? At times the pain is unbearable.

  17. My son. Aged 10 years. get severe pain under and at the end of the right rib cage .The pain comes at the interval of 2/3 months . Today his pain has relapsed after 3 months , difficult even to breathe .it was midnight. Senior doctors are not avaible. In hospitals. The junior doctors would push and pull the child the child leading to more traumatic condition. So decided to keep at home till morning with some commonsense remedy. Gave him to seep some lukeworm water , and gave him a calcioum tablet 500 mg to chew. Then my mother i.e. his granny took quick bath and prayed in our Hindu way. The child is slowly coming back to normalcy . But the previous 3 hours he had a grueling time . Planning to take him to a super specialist.

  18. Have this pain at the upper right rib cage since one month ago,i have taken so many pain relief but to no avail, i hardly sleep at night bcs i can't turn around, Please can someone help me out for solution

  19. I have a dull discomfort of right side rib area. Not sore to touch or any other symptoms other than maybe a little more gas. Occasionally rib area tender or sore. A holistic thinking chiropractor has poked and probed area and noticed nothing, saying it may seen from skeletal upper back pain and poor posture. Recent blood work had no related abnormalities. I was hit in chest by a board several week ago, bad enough for chest abrasions and slight bruising diagonally across mymid-chest. Any ideas appreciated. Thinking I a pyschsomatic.

  20. I have this cramping under my lower right rib.
    I haven't able to sleep on my left side for over 1 year.
    Comes on suddenly and now more often.
    Hope it is not my liver.

  21. I have pain under my right rib where when moving a certain way makes it spasm and grabs, hardens and I lose my breath. Can figuer out what it is..

  22. There is a constant pain under my right rib. I tried to look for medical assitance and the doctor just gave ibuprofen. They have checked my liver, gall bladder, kidney, and urine and they did not see any tthing wrong. Sizes of my organs are normal and no abnormal thing was found. The problem is the pain is getting worst. This has been going on for 4 weeks now and everytime i consult a doctor they cant see any thing. No xray was done beacuse I just had one 5 weeks ago for my employment. The pain is constant and its getting worst. From the scale of 1-10 i will rate it as 9, sometimes 10 when trying to change my sitting position.

    I want a cure. Pls help. What kind of doctor should i consult? I only had ultrasound for kidney, gall bladder, and liver, transv and urinalysis.

    1. Hey Lyka, have you found the solution, am going in the same thing.. the pain is unbearable.help if you have find the solution

  23. Hello everyone so I had this same pain you all described under my upper right rib cage, I had it for 3 days then I took an Advil for inflammation and the pain was gone!!! Try it, it really helped my issue and it was gone!!!

  24. I have had shingles for 3 weeks and the gnawing pain started while I was taking gabapentine I stopped them but pain still there

  25. Gallbladder cleanse is what you need. I did one and a bowl full came out. Pain gone! I had energy too. Dr’s don’t tell you to cleanse cause they want you on meds or to remove the gallbladder. There are recipes online to do a cleanse.
    I had pain in my back, sick all the time and feeling sluggish and muscle pain in the arms and pain under right rib. Don’t take Advil and drugs to cover it up. There is a problem.

  26. Not pain but slight soreness and “popping” feeling under right rib cage when i move a certain way. Has been happening for past several weeks.

  27. Hi,
    What kind of medicine I take if I have the little bit pain because of gas in right side down rib. Or should I go to the hospital for check up.
    Please reply if anyone having the answer.

  28. Hi all. I’ve had pain under my top rib cage just under my right boob. Had it for months getting me worried can any give an answer why this is happening please

  29. My pain in line with naval on right side.
    8th day now.
    3rd day DR said traces of UTI completed 5 day augmenting course.
    Pain still there.
    It started when I think I pulled a muscle that side.
    I dont know what to do.
    Started ibupain as I type.
    Lets see.

  30. I have a problem in my right upper side of my ribs. It started in June 2010. I decided to go for check up and subsequently x-ray. The X-ray results indicated some part of the lungs is affected. Doctor said there is possibility of Pneumonia. I was injected and bought anti-biotics to cure the same. The pain reduced for some time but recurred again. This year May, 2018 I felt a serious pain on the same side to some extend that it paralysis my right hand. I dont know what could be the problem.

    Please advice.

  31. l started feeling pains at my lower right rip on the 19-07-2018, during training as an athlete (100/200mts runner). So I decided to take Diclofinac to reduce the pain, but up to now, the pain is still there.
    What should I do please.

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