The rib cage, also known as thoracic cavity, is an area that is most prone to accidents, and exposed to injury. It surrounds the chest muscles by supporting the shoulder girdle. The rib cage encases a large number of critical organs and pains in this region can be due to an underlying medical condition of these organs. A pain in the chest area is often a cause of alarm due to the possibility of heart pains. However, it is important to understand that not all pains in the rib cage indicate serious medical conditions. Having a proper understanding of what causes pain under left rib cage and surrounding areas can be useful when deciding whether the pain is a negligible matter or a medical emergency.
There can be a number of reasons for experiencing pain in left side under ribs. These can be due to injuries, sever illnesses or some underlying condition. Following are some of the most common attributes of pain in the left rib cage area:
Other conditions that cause pain under left rib cage include diverticulitis, pancreatitis, Intestinal infection, inflammation of the heart sac (pericarditis) and dissection of the abdominal aorta (Aneurysm).
Treating pain under left rib cage can be complicated because of the wide variety of possibilities that can be causing the symptoms. Some conditions such as mild muscle inflammations can be treated with a pain killer while broken ribs will need emergency medical attention. A ruptured spleen too will need surgical intervention. In case of being diagnosed of pneumothorax, the treatment will depend upon the severity of the condition and may need insertion of a chest tube. In case of heartburn or acid reflux, medications such as Lansoprazole, Esomeprazole, or Dexlansoprazole as well as changes in the diet can treat the condition. If the pain in the left side under ribs is caused by costochondritis, then medications such as Indocin, Relafen, and OTC pain relievers such as ibrufen can be used in the treatment of pain. If diagnosed with irritable-bowel syndrome, laxatives are recommended while a high-fiber diet would be a long term remedy.
Pain in the rib cage area usually results from an external injury or a forceful impact that may have caused internal damage to organs within. Broken ribs can cause excruciating pain in the underside of the ribs. A pain under left rib cage can be a manifestation of an illness or disease affecting the organs that are located in the left side of the rib cage. The urgency of seeking medical assistance depends on how the pain started and how sever or prolonged the pain is. Since a number of critical organs are present within the left side of the rib cage, neglecting pains that are persistent can be very harmful. If persistent pains or sudden and sharp pains are experienced and injuries are sustained to the rib cage, emergency medical assistance should be sought to avoid life threatening conditions.