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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18759
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have a sharp pain on the right side right under my rib

Customer Question

I have a sharp pain on the right side right under my rib cage every time I take a breath and 46 years old
JA: How long have you had the pain? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: I have had the pain for three days three months ago I had my gallbladder removed because it was infected it almost feels like my liver it's my liver I don't know how high your liver goes but it's right about 4 inches to the right side of my chest right at the base of my rib cage.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I have a compression fracture on my own one and T 12 vertebrae's that happened in 2005 due to a hunting accident I fell out of my tree stand I have been in a lot of pain medication , I have sarcoidosis, otherwise that's about it
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 month ago.

Hello from JustAnswer. This is Dr. Love.

There are several problems that can cause pain in this location.

The liver typically is just under the edge of the rib cage on the right, so liver problems can cause pain that is felt under the rib cage. The liver actually also extends slightly to the left side as well, but the great majority of the liver is on the right side. the gallbladder that was removed was lying on the underside of the liver.

It is also possible that have pain in this location from problems in the stomach or small intestine, as these organs lie below the liver on the right side.

However, when the pain is worse with taking a breath, that is usually not from problems of the liver, stomach, or small intestine. Instead, it would suggest that it is either due to inflammation of the rib cage or inflammation of the lung, or more precisely, the lining around the lung, called the pleura. If there is tenderness when pressing on the rib cage, that would strongly indicate that it is from inflammation of the rib cage. The pleura extends almost to the bottom edge of the rib cage, and pain from pleura inflammation can be felt anywhere along the rib cage.

Although it would require a proper evaluation to determine the exact cause, there are a couple options to try to ease this at home. The application of moist heat to the area of pain can help to relieve inflammation. You also can try to use an over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These medicines can help relieve inflammation of the rib cage or the pleura. However, these medicines also can irritate the stomach, so if you have a history of stomach problems, it may be better to avoid these medicines. In that situation acetaminophen can be used, although it is not truly an anti-inflammatory medicine.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your input I am thinking maybe my liver because I push on my rib it doesn't hurt when I take a breath that and I feel the pain I had the hick upS yesterday and every time I got it hurt I think it's my liver because this is not right at my rib cage it's about 8 inch or two below it and when I push on it it doesn't hurt just when I take a breath.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 month ago.

It is difficult to confirm whether it is your liver at home. To determine whether it is your liver would require an exam and blood tests of the liver. However, even if it is your liver, it does not require an urgent evaluation unless the pain gets to be severe. Otherwise, you can try the above home interventions for tonight and contact your doctor tomorrow.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 month ago.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.