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Dr. Shah
Dr. Shah, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3898
Experience:  Years of experience in patients' management.
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Soreness/tenderness under right rib cage... What can cause

Customer Question

Soreness/tenderness under right rib cage... What can cause this? I do not have any type of severe pain - I truly don't believe I am experiencing appendicitis. But it's really starting to bother me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to Just answer!
I would like to get more information so that I can address your concern appropriately.

How log are you having it? Do you feel pain when you press in your right upper abdomen or on your ribs? Any nausea, fever, jaundice, change in stool or urine color? is this pain radiating to your back? Any relation with meal? How severe is your pain in 1 to 10 scale?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It just started this morning. I coughed a lot yesterday, so I thought I was just sore from that...but it's become a nagging, dull ache. No, I do not feel pain if I press on those areas; however, if I "flex" my stomach, it's very sore (not just the right side). I have not done any exercises that would make me sore like that. No jaundice or change in urine color. Slight nausea, lack of appetite, and I'm never regular as far as bowel movements are concerned. If I had to rank my pain, I'd say 3-5; like I said before, it's not necessarily pain - just a dull soreness that is really bothersome on the right side right under my ribcage and a little toward the center.
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the information. Based on your description, your pain in right upper abdomen could be due to surrounding structures located in that area. Possible organs that can cause pain in that location would be gall bladder, liver, kidney, costochondritis, muscle pull, trapped gas, pancreas. Constipation is also one of the common causes of abdomen pain, but it may not be affected by bending. However, I do not see any other associated symptoms to pin point a particular type of problem. I also see that there is no pain when you press, but there is pain when you bend it. In my personal opinion, it is most likely a muscle pull, you can take rest, avoid further pressure in that area, and use heating pad for symptomatic relief. You can also take OTC pain meds.

Even though, I am not suspecting any major issues due of lack of associated symptoms and relatively mild discomfort, but you should keen eye on new symptoms. However, if you can make it then visiting your doctor would be one of the safest option, specially when your symptoms are bothering you a lot at this time.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do have an ulcer - for about 5 years now - could this be the source of pain?
Expert:  Dr. Shah replied 5 years ago.
Peptic ulcer can also cause pain upper abdomen, but at this time you do not seem to have pain when you press in your upper abdomen. You also do not see any relation with food. These are typical things that you would see with ulcers. Ulcer can also cause pain when your stomach is empty or flare up at night. At this time, I do not see enough symptoms to suspect ulcer, but it is possible to have pain upper abdomen with ulcer. OTC anatcid or prilosec are usually effective in managing ulcer symptoms. You can try it, if your symptoms improve, then it is stomach problem.