Pain Under Left Rib Cage

The heart beats and sustains our life-force under the protection of the left rib cage. Any pain in this area grabs our immediate attention due to the fatal consequences of a heart attack, but there are so many reasons that may cause pain under left rib cage. It can be due to simple reasons like trapped gas in the colon or some serious medical conditions like injuries and disorders. In fact, many people across the world who are otherwise fit and fine experience pain under their left rib cage. In this article, we are going to explore the reasons of pain under the left rib cage and their possible line of treatment.

The thoracic cage or rib cage is a very delicate and important part of the human skeletal system. The rib cage includes sternum, 12 thoracic vertebrae, costal cartilages and 24 ribs. As a part of human respiratory system, this bony as well as cartilaginous structure forms the thoracic cavity that house the lungs. Rib cage protects the most delicate parts of our body, and any pain under the left rib cage can be a sign of serious injury, disorder or underlying medical conditions that should never be ignored.

Pain Under the Left Rib Cage Causes:

► Spleen Irritation: The complications from a tear or rupture of the spleen cause pain under the left rib cage. In such cases, the pain extends to the extreme ends of the shoulder.

► Constipation and Indigestion: Constipation occurs when normal bowel movements don’t take place due to any reasons. The stools get hardened, and people feel irritation when they have to use pressure or special efforts to pass the stool. Constipation can cause pain in the stomach, particularly under the rib cage. Pain under the rib cage also occurs when people suffer from indigestion. Pain from indigestion is more likely to start suddenly and normally preceded by persistent burping.

► Injured/cracked or Fractured Rib: A fractured rib cage due to any accident or severe impact is the most direct and obvious reason of pain under the left rib cage. The cracked or fractured ribs cause unbearable pain that makes it impossible to breathe normally. Such injuries require immediate medical care. If you are having a very sharp pain that increases with every deep breath, promptly consult your physician to determine the condition of your ribs by using x-ray or other examination techniques.

► Bowel Obstruction: Sometimes, intestines get entangled and cause partial or even total blockage of bowel movement. People suffering from bowel obstruction feel severe pain and discomfort under the lower rib cage area.  Other symptoms of bowel obstruction include vomiting, constipation and irregular bowels.

► Kidney Stones: The pain from kidney stones can spread under the rib cages as they originate from the back and spread towards the front areas. Stones can develop in any kidneys. Pain under the left rib cage can be a symptom of stone in the left kidney.

► Costochondritis: The swelling and inflammation of the cartilages that connect the ribs to the breastbone can cause excruciating pain under the left rib cage. Costochondritis is caused by a viral infection. With breathing difficulties, the symptoms of this infection are quite similar to that of a heart attack. Therefore, appropriate medical examination is required for treating this condition.

► Gas in the Colon: Splenic flexure syndrome or gas in the colon can also cause pain under the left rib cage. When gas is trapped within the colon, people feel pain and discomfort.

► Diverticulitis: The pain in the lower rib cage can be a symptom of diverticulitis. The bulging sacs or pouches in the inner linings of the intestine, as typically seen in diverticulitis, cause persistent infection (diverticulosis) and people experience constipation, bloating and pain under the lower rib cage. Older people with more than 60 years of age are more likely to suffer from diverticulitis.

► Irritable Bowel Syndrome: when bowel movements are not normal due to any reasons, it’s called irritable bowel syndrome. Constipation and diarrhea present classical cases of irritable bowel. Normal bowel movement is disrupted when the digestive organs don’t secrete sufficient digestive enzymes for breaking the food into simple substances. There can be many causes of irritable bowel syndrome, but insufficient water intake, lack of fiber in the diet and overeating are some of the common causes of irritable bowel. Besides pain in the lower rib cage, bloating and stomach cramps are other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

► Gastritis: The disrupted digestive system and persistent vomiting from gastritis can induce severe pain under the lower rib cage. Gastritis occurs when bacterial or other infections cause inflammation and swelling in the protective lining of the stomach. People suffering from gastritis face frequent vomiting and other symptoms of a malfunctioning digestive system.

► Pneumothorax: When any tear or rupture occurs in the membranes of the lung, people feel a very sharp pain under the rib cage. The cavity between the lungs and the rib cage is filled with leaked air, aggravating the complications of ruptured lung.

► Stomach Ulcers: Stomach ulcers also cause pain in the left rib cage. If the condition is not severe, associated discomfort may quickly disappear. On the other hand, severe cases of stomach ulcers produce persistent pain under the rib cage.

► Heartburn or Acid Reflux: This is one of the common causes of pain under the left rib cage. Digestive organs naturally secrete acids and enzymes to promote digestion, but some foods, beverages and unhealthy lifestyles increase this acidity within the stomach. Acid reflexes or heartburns cause bloated feeling, and people experience sharp pain around the chest areas.

The physicians prescribe medications like Dexlansoprazole, Esomeprazole or Lansoprazole to treat heartburn. However, lifestyle changes with an appropriate diet plan are considered to be the best solution for preventing excessive acidity in the stomach. You have to avoid foods that cause acidity.

So, the reasons of pain under the left rib cage can be related to trapped gas in the colon, malfunctioning of the digestive system, inflammation of cartilages, injury and other serious medical conditions.  The treatment of such pain depends according to the underlying cause. Prompt action is extremely important for timely diagnosis and successful treatment before things get complicated. If you experience any symptom described in this article, immediately consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of pain under the left rib cage.

Causes of Back Pain and Lower Left Side Abdominal Pain

There remain numerous causes of lower left side abdominal and back pain. The Merck Manuals website has stated that, abdominal back pain, which exists in the lower left side of your abdominal, can be caused by various problems in your abdominal organs or abdominal wall. Pain that originates from your abdomen can be moved to other parts of your body, such as your back. The lower back is the most common part of the abdominal pain.

Anatomy

Abdomen refers to the area in front of the body between the lower skeletal structure and your pelvis or hips. The abdomen on the left is the area between the navel and pelvis. The lower left abdominal quadrant consist of several tissues, as well as muscle, connective tissue and fat. The end of the colon, including the sigmoid and rectum, is also in this quadrant. Some reproductive organs such as ovaries (if you are a woman) are located slightly below the left lower abdominal quadrant.

Causes

There are many causes for which the lower left abdominal pain can send pain to the back (especially lower back).  Pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s diseases, ovarian, shingles, kidney stones, menstrual cramps, ulcerative colitis and pelvic abscesses can cause abdominal pain as well as lower back pain. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is one of the body’s biggest body blood vessels. Though, it is commonly near the midline of the abdomen can also cause lower abdominal pain or lower back pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms of back pain or lower left abdominal pain rely on the type of affected tissue and the cause of the pain. However, potential signs and symptoms related to coinciding left lower abdominal pain and lower back pain are:

  • Pain when urinating,
  • Sharp pain in the abdomen,
  • Abdominal tenderness,
  • Vomiting,
  • Nausea,
  • Unexplained weight loss,
  • Constipation and diarrhea, and
  • Dull and aching pain in the lower back.

Treatment

The treatment for the back pain or left lower abdominal pain relies on the cause of the pain. Some of the simultaneous pain can be resolved within a few hours or a few days. On the other hand, if the pains of your abdomen are severe in condition, then you should seek medical attention. The doctor will find out the cause of your pain providing some test and will prescribe you appropriate treatment for your condition.

Warning

Sometimes it may cause more than one condition for left lower abdomen or back pain. If the abdominal pain is acute and comes on suddenly, it points out some sort of abdominal diseases that should be diagnosed immediately. An aneurysm of the abdominal aorta that causes lower back and lower abdominal pain, dizziness and decreased blood pressure, is a dangerous disease that should be treated immediately.

Lower Right Back Pain

Do you want to know why your back pain is concentrated on the lower right side? Well one of the main reasons is because the majority of us are right handed. Because of this we tend to do a lot of different activities using our right hand. So it would only make sense that we would be more vulnerable to an injury on our right side than on the other side. Granted there is really no real research to back this up, but when you think about it it makes sense. Let’s get into it a little further.

Seeing as how the majority of us are right handed this also means we are right armed. So when we lift something we tend to focus most of our strength on this side. It’s easier for us to carry stuff on our right arm and in many cases it’s going to be better conditioned then the other side. But here is the negative. We tend to overuse our right arm and as a result it becomes easy to overtax it. If this doesn’t make sense we can explain further just to make sure we’re clear. People who are right-handed/right armed might work to condition this part of their body, but what about the lower areas of their right side?

A person can have a strong right arm, but weaker muscles in the lower areas of their right side. So putting constant weight on that side by carrying heavy things or partaking in certain activities is really going to make a person prone to lower right back pain. Not to worry though, because there is a lot you can do in order to help with the problem.

Cut back on certain activities

Take note of any activities you take part in that might have caused or at least contributed to your lower right back pain problems. Also make sure you don’t favor your right side more than you might the left. This is not a good thing and it’s what will lead to the possibility of more problems in the future. What you want is balance.

Don’t stay in bed for too long

Sleeping in on weekends can be pleasant, but if you have lower right back pain you shouldn’t stay in bed too long. If you do your muscles will begin to get weak and this will lead to recurring back pain problems.

Keep engaging in non-strenuous activities each day

Activities you take part in that might not cause you any problems you should keep doing. These will help you to stay active and they will also help build up your strength.

Take some over the counter pain medication

If you have severe lower right back pain then you should consider getting some good over the counter medication to help. Tylenol has been said to be very effective for different back pain problems. If you can’t find any then try some other well known anti-inflammatory treatments.

Start taking part in light stretching activities

Light stretching activities will help you to loosen up certain muscles so that they aren’t so prone to injury in the future. You can also decide to see a specialist.

Being right handed or right armed doesn’t mean you will automatically suffer from lower right back pain problems, but it certainly increases the chances. What you have to do is focus on being well balanced in order to avoid overtaxing any one side of your back. Balance is what will help keep you back pain free.

Middle Back Pain

Whenever someone has middle back pain it usually happens because there is some sort of inflammation of the spine or because it’s irritated. There are many different conditions that can cause inflammation or irritation of structures within the spine. Some of these would include different diseases, injuries or even structural damage.

How long does middle back pain last?

Middle back pain can last for a short period of time, but it can also becomes chronic. Physicians define a chronic conditions as anything that lasts for more than a few months, usually over three. Middle back pain is not as common as lower back pain, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause the same level of discomfort in a person. This type of condition can be even more problematic, because just about anything you might want to do is going to be impacted by it.

Some symptoms

The type of symptoms you’re going to have are going to be very dependent on the underlying cause of the condition. Sometimes the cause might be arthritis. If this were the case then the main type of pain you might experience would be in the joints. Here are some other symptoms you should look for.

  • Depression problems
  • Anxiety problems
  • Fatigue problems
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Problems or severe pain when you attempt to twist or turn in a certain position.

What are the best ways to go about getting treatment for middle back pain?

In order for you to know what the best type of treatment is you first need to ask yourself a few questions. How severe if your middle back pain. The more severe it is the more likely that simply home treatments designed to offer relief aren’t going to be that effective. In fact you might begin to experience problems because of taking too many over the counter treatments or engaging in too many therapeutic exercises.

The second question you need to ask yourself is how frequently does the pain come up. Not all middle back pain is going to occur at the same time. It might come up during certain periods of the day and these will be the times where you want to take careful notice of what you’re doing. Maybe you might be able to stop doing whatever is aggravating the condition and this will help it go away.

The last question you need to ask yourself is how long have you had the condition. If you’ve had middle back pain problems for a long time then there is a good chance there’s a strong underlying cause you’re unaware of and you should seek out medical help right away.

If you go in to see a doctor because of the pain then they will ask you a lot of the same questions. Most treatments are self care and they work really well to diminish pain, but not all of them. Your doctor will take a careful look at your condition and determine if other options are needed. Surgery is a last resort, because in some cases it can actually make things worse(at least in the short term).

Middle back pain is just as problematic as lower back pain, but it can be so much trickier to deal with. You don’t have to let it interfere with your life. Learn about different treatment options and don’t be afraid to get medical help if you really need it. Ignoring this problem can really impact your life negatively moving forward.

Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain is typically experienced between the bottom of your neck and at the top of your lumbar spine. Understand that your upper back and neck area are extremely complicated parts of your body, because there are just so many joints and muscles that have to work together all the time. Even though lower back pain problems are most common and impact a person’s ability to walk and move around, upper pain can impact activities such as doing our hair, lifting something over our heads such as a shirt we have to put on or take off, etc.

One issue with upper back pain is that most people who have it are convinced there must be something else wrong with them, but this isn’t the case. Certain activities you engage in might cause you to have this problem. The upper back doesn’t move around as much as the lower back, but this doesn’t mean it’s not vulnerable to problems.

How do you know when you suffer from serious upper back pain?

When you have lower back pain it’s something that can follow you around for your entire life. This is regardless of whether or not you have surgery done. With upper back pain the condition is usually not life long. In fact it’s actually quite short term. It usually lasts for a few months, but in many cases it lasts for just a few weeks. Any upper back pain that lasts for more than a few months is chronic and you might want to go visit with a physician.

Some symptoms:

  • Having a fever or a headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Stiffness in the back
  • Swelling or redness in the back
  • Fatigue

What causes upper back pain?

In most cases when someone has upper back pain problems it happens because of some kind of trauma, a sudden injury, strain or even having bad posture. Anyone who has to work a lot of long hours where they sit down in front of a computer will be vulnerable. Also anyone who has to consistently stretch their body in weird angles will be vulnerable. Joints and muscles get exhausted when this happens. People who have to stretch and swing the upper part of their body because of certain sports activities are also at risk.

Some treatments

You can get ice/therapy, deep message/massage therapy, joint manipulation (which is carried out by chiropractors or physiotherapists, passive physical therapy and analgesics like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If you go see a doctor or a physical therapist they might recommend some exercises you can do at home in order to help out with your condition.

If you have upper back pain that’s really bad than you might have to resort to surgery, but surgery should be considered a last option. In many cases a doctor is going to make sure they look into any other method they believe will work to help out with this condition and something should work before it ever comes to surgery.

Upper back pain problems can really make your life difficult the condition isn’t properly dealt with. You certainly don’t want to ignore the problem if you have it, because it can get bad to the point where even surgery won’t do much to help you. Don’t allow this to happen. Be sure to seek out medical assistance before the condition can get too bad.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be really problematic for those that have to endure it each day. Letting it go untreated is not the right route. Instead you should seek to get treatment so you can begin living life again the way you did before your lower back pain set in. What’s the best way to go about doing this? Well you can go to a back pain specialist, but you wouldn’t want to go to just anyone. You would want to go to someone who offered nothing but the most up to date and advanced methods to help you deal with it. Any specialist you go to see should be well prepared to treat any type of patient.

What if you can’t afford to go to a specialist for lower back pain?

Not everyone is going to have the money to afford going to a specialist. In fact even if you have insurance there is no guarantee they will pay for it. So what you have to do is find some other ways to treat your problem. Not to worry, because there are several ways this can be done. Here are a few of them.

  • You can take part in different exercises designed to strengthen certain areas of the back
  • You can make sure your posture is good as to not aggravate your condition
  • You can decide to lose some weight as to take the pressure off of certain areas of your back
  • You can make sure you take extra measures to protect your spine when you take part in certain activities during the day
  • In extreme cases you might want to consider getting surgery or see if physical therapy can work for you.

Some other methods you can use in order to help out with lower back pain would include monitoring the way you sit and the type of chair your sitting in. You should make sure that it offers you the needed support. Also make sure not to twist at your spin when you’re sitting down.

One more thing you can do is make sure you don’t sleep lying on your stomach. This will only make lower back pain problems worst. Make sure you have a nice firm mattress that’s going to provide you with all the support you’re going to need.

If you are able to go to a specialist because you have insurance of even because you can pay out of pocket, then you will have plenty of other options to treat lower back pain. A few of these would include spinal fusion, disc replacement, chiropractic therapy, spinal braces and non-Invasive surgery.

Managing lower back pain that won’t go away

There are no guarantees when it comes to seeing a specialist. In fact you can probably do more to help yourself than what a specialist can do for you. Before you actually decided to go see one you should make sure you’ve exhausted every other avenue. Surgeries should be looked at as a last resort. They aren’t always effective and insurance usually will not cover the cost. Plus there is usually some physical therapy needed after such surgeries.

Lower back pain problems don’t have to control your life. You can instead make every effort you can to control the discomfort so you can carry on with everyday activities. In the end this is the best way to go. You should also refrain from doing any activities that you know will aggravate your condition. This would include special exercises that are actually supposed to help with back pain problems. Not all exercises will work for everyone the same.

3 Reasons behind Middle Back Pain

There are a number of reasons behind the middle back pain. The NIAMS (National Institution of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) states that middle back pain may appear suddenly, or it may appear gradually. According to the NIAMS, the severity of back pain ranges from a middle ache to a sharp pain. Poor posture, certain medical conditions and traumatic injury are some reasons of middle back pain. Below you will find 3 reasons behind middle back pain.

1) Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the main reasons behind middle back pain. According to the APA (American Pregnancy Association) Back Pain is common at the pregnancy stage and almost every expecting mothers experience middle back pain. About 50 to 70 percent pregnant woman experiences middle back pain at the pregnancy stage. The APA also states that middle back pain can be occurred at any pregnancy stage. Usually, it occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy when the baby has reached at its maximum weight. Middle back pain at the pregnancy stage causes the interruption in daily activities and restless sleeping. APA has shown some factors that cause middle back pain:

  • An increased amount of hormones, which affects on the spinal ligaments.
  • A varied center of gravity, which puts excessive pressure on back tissues.
  • Excessive body weight
  • Poor posture, and
  • Increased stress.

2) Scoliosis

This is another cause to the middle back pain. According to the NIAMS, scoliosis refers to such physical condition where a sideway curve of the spine occurred. The sideway curves may be either C-shaped or S-shaped. In most of the cases, the reason behind scoliosis is unknown that is why NIAMS states this as an idiopathic scoliosis. The Mayo Clinic website has shown out some symptoms and signs of scoliosis.

  • An uneven shoulder (it is a condition of the shoulder where one shoulder blade appears more noticeably than the other)
  • An uneven waist
  • An uneven hip (it is a condition of the shoulder where one hip is higher than the other hip)

When scoliotic curves go on, a person’s spine either twist or rotate besides curving to the side that causes one side of the ribs extend out more than the other side of ribs. The Mayo Clinic also notes that intense scoliosis can cause substantial back pain which also cause breathing problems.

3) Acute Pancreatitis

It is another reason of the middle back pain. According to the NIDDK (National Institution of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), acute pancreatitis refers to such inflammation that occurs in the pancreas without showing any reason and can be resolved after several days of treatment. It is a life-threatening condition, which can bring out many serious health complications. The two main reasons behind acute pancreatitis are:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstones that irritates the pancreas

The common symptoms or signs of acute pancreatitis are:

  • Extreme pain in the upper abdomen, which stretches through the back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling or tenderness
  • Elevated heart rate, and
  • Fever.

If necessary steps are not taken, it can lead to the kidney, heart and lung failure.