19 Common Causes of Pain under Right Rib Cage

Are you having some discomfort in your right rib cage area right now? Our ribcage is an essential part of our body because rib cage is protecting our many vital organs, experiencing pain means that there is something wrong.If you feel chest pain or pain under right rib cage, 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 right rib cage is not commonly related to cardiovascular diseases and problems.

The pain under your right rib cage may change steadily from mild pain to severe pain and can radiate to the upper back.It may be sharp stabbing or dull, and you may feel the pain when you are breathing or eating.Doing simple tasks may be hard to do at times.Some people may also have symptoms of nausea or vomiting.If you are suffering from the right rib cage pain, you should know why you are feeling this pain and get rid of the pain at the soonest possible time.

Pain Under Right Rib Cage

What Organ is on The Right Side Under The Rib Cage

There are four different organs on the right side of the rib cage:

  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Right Kidney
  • Lungs

19 Common Causes of Pain Under Right Rib Cage


Choledocholithiasis refers to the formation of stones in the bile duct.The stones usually form at the gallbladder 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 in your bile duct. If you are even 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 discomfort. Remember that you need to get medical attention immediately if you notice that your appendix is acting out regularly. When your appendix ruptures, this can cause serious complications. There are even times when it can cause death.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

  • The pain starts near your belly button and becomes sharper under your right rib cage.
  • The pain moves to your right abdomen.
  • As the pain travels, the pain also intensifies.
  • You may also suffer from nausea, diarrhea, fever, abdominal swelling and you may feel the need to vomit all the time.


Pancreatitis can also cause pain under your right rib cage.When the pancreas gets inflamed, the left side of the rib cage may feel more painful.It is not a surprise that one of the main reasons why people get pancreatitis is because of gallstones. 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 smelly and sticky, you may be suffering from this condition.The other symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting.



Pleurisy is a condition that affects the lungs. This means that the tissue layers of the lungs are inflamed. This is usually 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.

Symptoms of Pleurisy

  • You can feel chest pain when you cough or sneeze.
  • The pain may spread to other areas of your body too. For example, you may start to experience shoulder and back pain too.
  • Shortness of breath and tenderness in the area.

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 complicated. 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.

Symptoms of Lung Disease

  • When you are experiencing pneumonia, you may feel pain under right rib when breathing.
  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches

6.Collapsed lung

Collapsed lung

A collapsed lung is also called pneumothorax. 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.

Symptoms of a Collapsed Lung

  • Feel like you are being stabbed in the chest area when you breathe.
  • You may also have a dry cough.

7.Pulmonary Embolism 

Pulmonary Embolism 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.


Injuries are the most common reason why you may be feeling pain under your right rib cage. You may feel mild to severe pain when you have an injury. You might have injured your rib cage, and you do not even realize it. The possible damages 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.


Having gallstones is one of the main issues that can cause pain under the right rib cage. The gallstones may not be evident in the beginning, but as they grow big, the stones will block the passageway for urine.

Symptoms of Gallstones

  • When you suffer from Gallstones, you may feel sharp stabbing pain in right side under your rib cage.
  • This pain 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.
  • The pain lasts for 15 minutes to 24 hours.
  • You may feel difficult to take deep breaths.

10.Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Of course, if there are stones that form in 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. Some small stones 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 dissolved through medications.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

  • Sharp and intense pain below your right ribs that come and go
  • You can also feel sharp pain in the groin area
  • You can feel severe pain when urinating
  • The urine is pink or red
  • Chills and fever

Methods of treating kidney stones include Apple Cider Vinegar, Kidney Beans, Lemon Juice, Celery, Basil, Watermelon, Wheatgrass.For more information about kidney stones treatments, you can read 10 Natural Home Remedies for Kidney Stones.

11.Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Some people are not aware what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is. What it does is it changes the bowel syndrome of people. While the pain will usually start at the abdomen, the pain will come up until it is already felt under the rib cage.

Symptoms of IBS

  • Lower abdomen cramps
  • Chest Tightness
  • Heartburn
  • Gas or bloating
  • Difficulty swallowing

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.

There are many natural home remedies for gas and bloating.For example Peppermint Tea, Coriander, Chamomile Tea, Fennel Seeds, Lemon Water, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, etc.For more information, you can read: 16 Best Ways to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating Fast

13.Fecal Impaction

Fecal Impaction is one disease of the colon wherein the colon will tend just to 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 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. There are different reasons why Costochondritis may take place among people.

15.Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease 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 pain.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Pain under your rib cage
  • Cough
  • Difficulty swallowing

16.Liver Problems

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 pain under your right rib cage may be a symptom of fatty liver disease. 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

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

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 located under your right rib cage may be inflamed because of an infection.

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 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 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

  • 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

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.

  • Sudden tightness pain under your breastbone.
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • The pain radiates to your left arm and back.
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Chills and Fever

You can take anti-inflammatory pain killers if your condition is nothing serious and will go away over time. 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:

  • 60 years old and above
  • Have suffered from stomach problems in the past
  • 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: Causes of Pain under Left Rib Cage


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