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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17353
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am having severe/sharp pain when I bend over at the rib cage

Resolved Question:

I am having severe/sharp pain when I bend over at the rib cage (right side). If I just lean over at the waist and keep my torso straight, no pain. I was holding my 3 year old and leaning in to the car and it was a very severe pain. Could it just be muscular? I have had difficulty swallowing food, it sometimes gets "stuck" in my throat, ever since birthing my daughter. Someone mentioned a hernia to me. Could these two be related?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
Yes, it is very possible that this pain is musculoskeletal. There are several muscles that insert onto the rib cage, although the specific muscle would vary according to the exact location.

A hiatal hernia and acid reflux can cause pain with swallowing and can also cause pain in he chest that is worse when bending over, as bending over increases abdominal pressure worsening the hernia symptoms.

Ultimately, it would require an appropriate evaluation to determine the exact cause. If there is tenderness at the area of pain, that would be more indicative of musculoskeletal pain. There are a couple of treatment options available over the counter. It also may help to use a medicine to control stomach acid to see if the symptoms improve. An anti-inflammatory medicine may help with musculoskeletal chest pain, but also may exacerbate symptoms from a hiatal hernia/acid reflux, but would be reasonable if there is tenderness when pressing on the chest.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
there is no tenderness when i press on it ans the pain is just below the right rib cage almost in the center only when bending or lifting something heavy. are there any organs i should be concerned about?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
There are many organs in this area. It still could be musculoskeletal, but of a deeper level. In addition to acid reflux, it could be gallbladder or liver disease or an acid irritation syndrome of the stomach, such as gastritis or an ulcer, although bending over would not usually exacerbate these other sources of pain. If the acid controlling medicine eases the pain, then further evaluation or concern is not necessary, but if the pain is more severe or persists, it would be better to be seen so that a proper evaluation can be done.

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