The list of specializations of doctors who are consulted for pain in the rib area include traumatology, pulmonology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and oncology. It is difficult to immediately determine the source and causes of pain. Knowing about the relatively harmless causes of pain in the rib area, it is worth thinking about possible, although, fortunately, more rare, serious signals from your own body.
If, when flexing and turning the body, the pain in the ribs increases, and its appearance is preceded by a fall or bruise, then it can be assumed that the body signals broken ribs. In osteoporosis, associated with a decrease in calcium in the bone tissue, leading to its fragility, the ribs can be injured even with a strong cough or a sharp turn.
A common cause of rib pain is intercostal neuralgia, caused by compression of nerve roots in the space between the ribs. It is almost always detectable by palpation (examination by probing). They change the position of the ribs, causing compression of the nerve endings, curvature of the spine, intervertebral hernias of the thoracic region, excessive tone of the external and internal muscles and ligaments of the chest. Pain can be given to the region of the heart, under the shoulder blades, in the lower back. In the very focus of nerve damage, numbness is observed. With a change in the position of the body, with a deep inhalation-exhalation, the pain intensifies.
Excessive tone of the scapular, shoulder and back muscles can lead to pain in the area of the ribs. The pain increases with bending, muscle stretching. Sometimes changes in the tonic balance of muscles and painful sensations in the chest are included in the symptoms of depressive conditions.
The cause of pain localized in the region of 4-6 ribs is costal chondritis, a consequence of inflammatory processes in the cartilage tissue that attach the ribs to the sternum. A characteristic feature of Tietze's syndrome - another name for the disease - is pain when pressing on the area of attachment of the ribs to the sternum.
Breathing-related chest pain is one of the symptoms of pleurisy: inflammation of the pleural space surrounding the lungs. When bending, turning the body, there is no increase in pain with pleurisy.
Rib pain can be caused by fibrositis (fibromyalgia), a chronic condition that causes, among other things, stiffness and tenderness in tendons, joints and muscles. Like the aforementioned osteoporosis, fibrositis mainly affects women.
High-intensity chest pain can be caused by myocardial infarction. Pain in the right and left hypochondrium signals diseases of the stomach, pancreas, spleen, intestinal node, gallbladder, liver. Next on the list of reasons is oncology: costal osteosarcoma, malignant tumors of the lungs and pleura (mesothelioma), metastases of cancer that affected other organs, etc.
Take your health seriously. Never self-medicate and take an interest in various medical advice only in order not to harm yourself at the first sign of ailments that appear.