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Date of last update: 9/11/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Orthopedic Topics

Question: Left sided ache under ribs

wils8207 - Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:07 pm

I have had a dull ache under my left ribs (lower) for a week now. I thought it was maybe a strain from holding my 14-month-old son on that side. What else could it be?
Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:19 pm

Chest pain could be due to many causes. The first cause, and most alarming, a physician wants to exclude is heart disease. Pain due to ischemic heart disease has a special character and patients usually have multiple risk factors, none of which I saw in your profile. It is common for musculoskeletal pain to cause a picture similar to your complaint. Is that part of your chest tender?

Have a look at our Chest pain page for a list of causes of Chest pain.

Best regards,
wils8207 - Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:27 pm

Hello; I put heat on that area last night and felt better for a while. I don't feel anything in my "chest" area. Could it be my stomach? It almost feels as if there is something there that should not be there. I can't feel anything though. I've been under some stress these last few weeks too. My husband thinks that I have Anxiety.

Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:37 pm

I was under the impression that your pain was related to the ribs (beneath). If your pain is abdominal again there are many causes for this. Do you suffer from Heartburn? Or any other symptoms for that matter?

Stomach pain tends to be more centralized and to the right, while pain that is towards the left tends to come from the colon (very common with Anxiety and accompanied by gas and flatulence or Constipation), kidney (usually colicky in character and much sharper than your description), or spleen.

Again a full list can be found here: click here!

I would suggest you get a medical examination if your symptoms progress or if other new symptoms arise.
wils8207 - Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:29 pm

Hello again. The annoying feeling kind of feels like a side stitch that won't go away. I have been reading too many things on the Internet and now I am having an Anxiety attack. I read that my symptoms could be pancreatitis. I noticed this problem last week after I had too much wine to drink and that is what the Web site said it could be, pancreatitis. Is that common for someone my age? I will be making an appointment Monday.
Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:46 pm

Alcohol abuse can lead to acute pancreatitis. However, patients usually present with a more severe type of pain in the midline of the abdomen which could be referred to the back. In addition there is associated Vomiting and in severe cases shock. Acute pancreatitis is a medical emergency. It doesn't appear to match your symptoms although I am in position to judge given the limitations of the internet. As long as nothing new appears I think you should worry less about this until Monday when you meet your doctor.

Best regards,
skenz - Tue Feb 08, 2005 3:56 pm

I have the same symptoms. Did you ever figure out what it was? I asked my doctor, who did a ct scan and she has no idea. But it does not go away and I am worried.
MuDdLe - Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:54 pm

Same thing here. I have the sensation that there is something just under my left ribs, crowding out the organs there. I have had a mild discomfort here for years. In fact, years ago, when I worked a very physically demanding job, I felt that my bottom rib "turned under" on that side as I used a pitchfork, etc. Now, there is a nearly constant pressure and discomfort, bordering on pain. It is slightly to the left, though sometimes it feels almost centered--more in the area of the stomach. I have no noticeable stomach problems (bloating, early satiation, etc) or bowel problems (you could pretty much set your watch by my regularity.

arty - Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:55 am

I too have this uncomfortable pressure feeling just under my rib cage and to the left side. It feels like there is something there that shouldn, t. I have been to the doctorand he said my tummy feels fine and it may be gastritus or IBS. He has given me some tabs that you put on your tongue. Not working! I have had this for about a week. I also have lots of wind and bowels do not seem right. I suffer with social anixity and Panic attacks. Could this be related. I am really worried and feel sick and have no appitite and am feeling palpitations in my tummy at night. I am 33 and female. Doctor doesn, t seem to be bothered by me.
annil - Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:25 am

I have had a dull pain, that occasionally gets worse, at the bottom of my ribs on the left side for over a year now. It occasionally goes away completely. It seems to be related to my bowel movements. I was diagnosed with IBS many years ago, but feel this was a diagnosis the doctor came up with because he didn't know what it could be. I've never had any tests. Since having my son 17 years ago I developed haemarhoids, which have been treated but which remain. My stools are often 'square' and thin. I feel that I have enlarged veins in my rectum and possibly in my lower colon that cause this. I cannot seem to get my diet right. High fibre foods such as bran make it worse. Sweet foods make it worse. Sugar, chocolate, alcohol etc.. make it worse. I do lots of meditation and Anxiety reducing strategies, but I'm just about coping and sometimes I despair of ever feeling well. These days I don't bother to go to the Doctor with it. I just get fobbed off. I guess he thinks I'm a hypochondriac. It's really hard to be taken seriously.
Dave C - Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:37 pm

Yep, I've exactly the same thing going on, I've had it about 5 months now. And it has not got better or worse, doctors have prescribed LoPras Ulcer treatment but they didn't work. I then tried a combo of Amoxycyllin and the Lo Pras and that didn't work either. The symtoms are very similar, I've a dull ache under the left side of the rib cage, accompanied by a funny little globule type thing that I can actually feed beneath my skin when I'm seated. When I feel around that area I can physically feel a little thing moving against the lower rib on the left hand side. Can anyone else as a matter of interest feel anything like this. What could that be, I cant see it being totaly normal. The doc reckoned it was some fat growth beneath the skin but I aint convinced! Very strange. It aint painful, its just uncomfortable. Its more noticeable after I eat. I do have more gas alright, but nothing massively noticeable. Again, its more noticeable with tight trousers, sitting down, driving that kind of thing. Drinking doesn't affect it massively. It is affecting sport in that if I am cycling, the compressed position seems to agitate it. It just feels like there is something there that I would love to put my hand in and rip it out whatever the hell it is! Any ideas???
rkcriddle - Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:33 am

Ok what the heck? if soooo many people have this pressure under the left side of the rib cage, my pressure is pushing tward my back left side,,,,, why why why has noone, on any site, said what it is? I have looked and there is alot of us!!!!!
it is just like an organ is swollen maybe too large to fit in there with the rest.
I do not drink and I have normal bathroom issues and I don't have heart burn or any thing else
now I have had this for... I cant remember its been so long and now I am pregnant, I know this pressure is just going to get worse with the growing person inside.
I am upset. why if there is so many people does my doctor not even understand what I am trying to say? everyone here explains it just like I do. I do not have money to pay for scans and crap that obviously didnt work for anyone here anyway.
vj b - Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:24 pm

I too am in the same boat.

I am 29, male, not too active since feeling bad-approx past year.

I have the feeling of a swollen organ in my left side that is pushing my ribcage out. I went to the emergency room december 30th and got a CBC and xray which were all fine according to the doctor. They prescribed nexium since I have a history of acid reflux. I have been on new medication now for the reflux..which isnt bothering me, it is my front left rib area under my top left abdominal, with discomfort on my side that is painful to the touch then to my back around my kidney area. I recently had fairly extensive blood tests done and the results were normal and in healthy range and another xray showed no rib fractures. I am a fairly big guy still at 232, normally I weight between 240-250, but at 14% max bf at my heaviest, and am 6-1" in height. I am a former college athlete and recreational bodybuilder. My new doctor wants to see me in 6 weeks. I don't know if I can wait that long. I feel progressively worse each day, and the fact that the blood and xray results were fine means theres not too much new data that she can work with as far as diagnosing me. This doesn't feel connected to my stomach.

I also have painful to the touch knots in my abdominals in certain spots. THe whole back left side of my body has been sore the past few days. I helped move heavy boxes for my church last thursday and its possible that I pulled a muscle in my back, although I do not remember doing so. I am very out of shape right now, and im used to being quite strong, so it it entirely possible.

I have read probably 200 posts of different people with this same problem on different sites. but no one has yet to come up with an answer....I figured I would "sign the petition".....#201

Please help.
rkcriddle - Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:13 am

I am back. and now that I am 6 month pregnant, there is pressure on all sides and my whole rib cage hurt, so it all mixes together now.
I didnt mention before that I am 31 and I am only 5 foot tall, and befor pregnancy only 92 lbs. so I don't see weight being an issue with this problem. but it would always hurt most after I ate and had a full stomach.
I am not a college grad.... but after studying many sites of anatomy I figure the spleen is close to where my pain is and I noticed during the time of my last posting that there was a rib that would buldge out with the pressure as I would sit at the computer and if I pushed on it, it would go back in place and relieve my discomfort for the minute.
but now I am so swollon with child that I cant feel that rib move anymore. but my point is, I havent found an answer. noone even with all the tests have found an answer. but I did see sites that explain your spleen is on the left side twards the back sharing a space with your liver and heart and left lung. and a spleen can be related to acid reflux and digestive problems. maybe that could give us a start when looking for something online to help us?
vj b - Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:35 am

The doctor checked and concluded that my spleen was not the problem. I really hope that this is not serious for any of us with these same symptoms and that help can be found. I do not want to live with this feeling and not knowing what the heck is wrong with me.
vaneconchi - Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:29 am

I have been feeling the same pain for about a week, mainly in the afternoons, after spending most of the day sitted and driving back home. I am 41, F, never diagnosed, do not have BM problems, but have been taking Nexium for around a year now. My older sister and father had galdbladder problems (stones). Has anybody received a diagnosis and/or proper treatment? thanks,
vj b - Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:55 am

I have $1k worth of doctor bills and no diagnosis, and not even a step closer to what is wrong.

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