19 Common Causes of Pain under Right Rib Cage

Are you having some troubles with your right rib cage right now? There is a chance that you are and you do not know the primary reason why you are feeling pain under right rib cage. Our ribcage is an important part of our body because aside from the fact that it can protect the cardiovascular system, experiencing pain means that there is something wrong.

If you are also suffering from right rib cage pain, you would also like to know why you are feeling this way and at the same time, you would like to get rid of the pain at the soonest possible time. The pain that you may feel under your right ribcage may change steadily from mild pain to severe pain. Doing simple tasks may be hard to do at times.

Pain Under Right Rib Cage

Feeling any type of pain under your right rib cage can make you feel anxious because you know that your rib cage is protecting a lot of organs. If you start to feel pain, you cannot just ignore what you are feeling. You may assume that you are experiencing something that is similar to a heart attack but pain under the right rib cage is not commonly related to cardiovascular diseases and problems.

What Organ is on The Right Side Under The Ribs

You have to familiarize yourself with the different organs that can be found under the ribs because these are the organs that may be having problems. There are three different organs found under the right rib cage namely:

  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Right Kidney

If you are experiencing some pain on the left side of your rib cage,that is the time when you can contemplate if you are having a heart problem because the heart is located at the left side of the body.

19 Common Causes of Pain Under Right Rib Cage

There are certain conditions that you may have that is causing pain to be felt under the right rib cage. It is important that you gain as much details as you can about each one so you will have an idea about what you are going through.


If you are not too familiar with this condition, this refers to the formation of stones in the bile duct.The stones normally form at the gall bladder so when they form in the bile duct, they may be more painful.

When you have this condition, you may not even be aware of it. Some months may pass before you get some of the symptoms and there are also moments when it would take years before you learn that you have stones on your bile duct. If you are also suffering from fever and jaundice, this may be causing the pain under your rib cage.



If you are suffering from a dull pain under your right rib cage, appendicitis may be the culprit. This means that your appendix has become inflamed and this is causing some pain. Remember that you need to get medical attention immediately if you notice that your appendix is acting out in a regular manner. When your appendix ruptures, this can cause serious complications. There are even times when it can cause death.

You will know if this is the condition that you are experiencing if the pain starts near your belly button. As the pain travels, the pain also intensifies. Along with the pain that you are feeling, you may also suffer from nausea and you feel the need to vomit all the time.


When the pancreas gets inflamed, the left side of the rib cage may feel more painful but it does not mean that the right side of your rib cage will not experience any pain too.

It is not a surprise that one of the main reasons why people get pancreatitis is because of gall stones. You may also develop this condition if you drink alcohol on a regular basis. You will know if you have chronic pancreatitis based on your stools. If they are normally smelly and sticky, you may be suffering from this condition.



This is a condition that affects the lungs. This means that the tissue layers of the lungs are inflamed. This is normally caused by the accumulation of fluid due to different conditions. If you recently have had a respiratory condition, you may want to consider if this is the condition that you are suffering from.

Aside from the pain that you will feel under your right rib cage, you may also experience other symptoms such as shortness of breath and tenderness of the area. Remember that the pain may spread to other areas of your body too. For example, you may start to experience shoulder and back pain too.

5.Lung disease

There are different types of lung diseases that people may suffer from. If you are experiencing pain under your right rib cage and if you suspect that it is because of your lung, you need to have yourself checked.

You have to remember that your lungs are very complex. They allow you to breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. You may become more prone to lung diseases if you are always exposed to cigarette smoke. Some people are also more prone to getting various lung diseases because of genetics.

6.Collapsed lung

Collapsed lung

A collapsed lung is also called pneumothorax. Basically, the space between the wall of the chest cavity and the lung fills up with air. This makes the whole lung or a portion of the lung collapse.

There are different reasons why people may suffer from a collapsed lung. Smoking is always one of the reasons but a person who suffers trauma may also experience this. Usually those who are suffering from a collapsed lung feel like they are being stabbed on the chest area every time they try to breathe.

7.Pulmonary Embolism 

This occurs when one of the arteries going to the lungs become blocked. There are times when the blood clot may stem from the legs but the pain will manifest underneath the rib cage.

If you feel that this is the condition that you are suffering from ,take note of the other symptoms that you are experiencing. Are you suffering from shortness of breath? Are you breathing rapidly? When you cough up blood, you know that you need medical help immediately.


This is the most common reason why you may be feeling pain under your right rib cage. You might have injured your rib cage and you do not even realize it. The possible injuries you may be suffering from may be bruised ribs, broken ribs or fractured ribs. There is also a possibility that you have pulled your muscle and taking adequate rest can help cure this problem.People only learn that they have injured their ribs after visiting the doctor. Do remember that the great thing about this is the ribs can heal on its own although it would depend on how severe the fracture is as of present time. Going to the doctor for possible treatment is recommended.


There are a lot of people who are not aware that problems with the gallbladder will be felt through the right ribcage because of where the gallbladder is located. Having gallstones is one of the main problems that can cause pain under the right rib cage. The gallstones may not be evident in the beginning but as they grow bigger, the stones will block the passageway for urine. This can be very painful and it will be harder for people to pass urine. The less urine that comes out, the more painful it will be.

10.Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Of course, if there are stones that form on the gallbladder, it is only natural that there are also some stones that may form in the kidneys. Kidney stones may start to develop through the various items that are found in urine. There are some small stones that can be passed on together with urine but there are also some large stones that may cause some pain especially if they are blocking the passageway. Some kidney stones can be dissolve through medications.

11.Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are some people who are not aware what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is. Basically, what it does is it changes the bowel syndrome of people. This is usually a problem with the gut that can cause pain that can be felt at the right rib cage. While the pain will usually start at the abdomen, the pain will come up until it is already felt under the rib cage.

12.Too Much Gas

Gas and Bloating

Do you even realize that when you overeat, you are making it harder for your body to digest the food? When the body is having a hard time digesting, your system will produce too much stomach acids and too much stomach gas that can cause a lot of problems in the long run. Do remember that trapped gas may be trapped in different parts of the digestive system but this can still cause pain felt under the right rib cage just the same.

Read: 16 Best Ways to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating Fast

13.Fecal Impaction

This is one disease of the colon wherein the colon will tend to just accumulate all of the waste products that should already be out of the body. The long stay of waste products in the colon might cause the colon to have more problems in the long run. If you have this type of condition, you will notice that you find it hard to pass stools. You probably suffer from constipation.



If you are not familiar with what Costochondritis is, this is basically the inflammation of the cartilage. The cartilage is in fact holding the ribs to the breastbone so these cartilages that are inflamed can be very painful for people who are suffering from this condition. There are different reasons why Costochondritis may take place among people. Most people say that they acquire it from getting injured due to some activities that they have done incorrectly.

15.Crohn’s Disease

This is known to be an inflammatory bowel disease that some people get afflicted and diagnosed with within the year. Usually, what causes the pain is the inflammation of the digestive tract. This means that the tissues inside the body will start to feel painful. There are other symptoms that may be experienced together with this condition that will let you know what you are suffering from.

16.Liver Problems

Liver Problems

Do you know that a lot of people who are suffering from pain under their right rib cage are usually diagnosed to have liver problems? When the water becomes inflamed, this can cause pain to be felt immediately. There are different reasons why the liver may have problems. Sometimes, people get infected with Hepatitis. There are different ways by which people can prevent the onset of some liver problems.

Read: 16 Foods that Will Cleanse Your Liver Naturally

17.Liver Cysts

You may not be aware that cysts can also be seen in the liver. This may be because you are taking good care of your body and you would not expect that you will have cysts. Do remember that some people just get once cyst but there are also some who get so many all at once.

18.Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver Disease

It seems that there are some people who are not aware that there are various types of liver diseases that should be given proper attention and recognition. Fatty liver refers to a condition wherein the body acquires fat from the rest of the body. Usually, people who acquire this condition are people who do not take good care of their bodies and people who are suffering from obesity.

19.Liver Cancer

Although this may be fitting to be placed along liver problems, this deserves a spot of its own because of how serious this is. Most of the time, people are not aware that they already have liver cancer wherein their bad cells are multiplying and this takes over the healthy cells of the body. Do remember that this is one condition that should be detected early because it will tend to spread to other parts of the body.

Differences in the Type of Pain

It is evident from the things mentioned above that the type of pain that you will experience is a telling sign of what condition you may be suffering from. Even though it is hard, you have to take note of the type of pain you are experiencing.

Here are the different types of pain that you may experience:

Sudden sharp pain under right rib cage – When you experience this type of pain, it means that any of the organs that are located under your right rib cage may be inflamed because of an infection.

Pain under right rib when breathing – When you are experiencing pain under right rib when breathing, this is a sign that you have pneumonia.This is something that can be treated easily at home but there are some medications needed in order to treat the condition. If left untreated, this may become life-threatening. Other possible conditions are:

  • Costochondritis – This occurs when the cartilage that connects the rib cage to the sternum becomes inflamed.
  • Lung Cancer – When the cancer cells start to take over the healthy, normal cells this can cause pain.
  • Fracture – If the pain under the rib cage started after you have been in an accident, this may be the probable cause. Remember that this is a medical emergency and this should be addressed immediately.

Sharp stabbing pain in right side under rib cage – The main cause of a sharp stabbing pain under your rib cage is gall stones. If in case you are not suffering from gall stones, this can also be a sign that your gall bladder is inflamed.

Pain under right rib cage after eating – You may want to relax after eating but suddenly, you are experiencing pain under your right rib. This can be very problematic and uncomfortable. The pain under your rib after eating may be caused by the following conditions:

  • Indigestion – When your digestive system is having trouble digesting your food, you may experience some pain.
  • Heartburn – The pain may feel like it is burning because of the stomach acids trying to come back from your system.
  • Anaphylaxis – This is a type of allergy that is actually life threatening. There are other symptoms that you may experience along with it such as facial inflammation and hives.
  • Peptic Ulcer – This means that you have an open wound in your esophagus or stomach wall.

Dull pain under right rib cage comes and goes – Some people who experience this type of pain usually say that this is due to having gallbladder stones or some issues with their kidneys. At the very least, the pain under the right rib cage may be due to over indulgence. Try to change the food that you eat and see if the dull pain goes away for good.

Other Possible Symptoms to Watch Out For

A lot of the conditions that are mentioned above may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Bruising of the affected area
  • Tenderness
  • Having difficulty breathing

How To Deal With Pain Under Right Rib Cage

How To Deal With Pain Under Right Rib Cage

The pain under your right rib cage may be annoying at times especially when you are supposed to do something but cannot do it because of the pain but there are also moments when the pain is bad enough that you need to seek medical emergency immediately.

To deal with the pain, you have to know first what condition you are suffering from. It is okay to check out the possible symptoms of the conditions that are mentioned above as well as the type of pain that you are feeling but you can only start treatment when you know what you are suffering from.

Some of the possible treatments are the following:

  • Try to become less stressed. When you are stress, you may change your overall body condition and you may start to feel pain.
  • Eat slowly. Eating fast can sometimes cause the pain to become stronger.
  • Be aware of the food that you eat. There are times when the food that you eat will be causing stomach pain.

There are also some natural remedies that you can try but remember that these remedies will not work if your symptoms are too severe. At the same time, you are not recommended to take medications on your own. The wrong medications may aggravate your condition

When to See a Doctor

Remember that pain felt under the right rib cage can be attributed to a lot of injuries or some possible medical conditions. If you do not know what is causing your rib cage pain, you should not hesitate to seek the help of your doctor now.

If you are already having problem breathing and you feel like the pain is already becoming unbearable, this is a sure sign that you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Once the condition is diagnosed by your doctor, you may be recommended to take anti-inflammatory pain killers if your condition is nothing serious and will go away over time with a little bit of lifestyle change. If your condition is life-threatening or would require further tests and treatments, then your doctor will also inform you about it so that you can prepare yourself.

When taking painkillers, it is important that you tell your doctor if you are sensitive to it. Some people who have allergies may be any of these people:

  • Those who are 60 years old and above
  • Those who have suffered from stomach problems in the past
  • Those who have a history of having any cardiovascular diseases
  • Those who are taking other medications that may not coincide well with the painkillers that are suggested

Remember that you cannot just choose a random painkiller from the drugstore. There are different painkillers that may be recommended based on the other symptoms that you are experiencing. If you want to heal yourself, then listen to your doctor. This will make a lot of difference.

Recommended Reading

Different Types of Pain in Left Side, Causes and Treatment

Causes of Pain under Left Rib Cage


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