James is a 27-year-old male, working as an executive in a firm. James has always enjoyed good health; however, for the past 6 months he has been experiencing sharp pain on the left side of his ribs that becomes acute during sleeping hours. After visiting his doctor friend Peter, James was advised to do gallstone tests. James, quite shockingly, agreed to Peter's advice. Unfortunately, after the test reports came, it was found that James had gallstones in his bladder.
While James, in the above story was able to know the cause of his erratic left back pain under ribs, many people are unable to know the left back pain causes. There are in fact innumerable causes of such pain under ribs. In some cases, like that of James, there is the possibility of gallbladder stones, while in others, an inflammation of the lungs or kidneys contribute to left back pain under ribs. Even pregnant women have been reported to complain of this condition. In the advanced stages of pregnancy, many women experience pain in the area, where the rib cage and breast meet. Exactly what causes this pain is hard to find out, unless proper diagnostic tests are carried out. However, whatever be the cause, it is difficult to handle and can cause uneasiness in the lifestyle of the person.
The rib cage gives shape to the thorax and surrounds the vital organs like chest, heart and lungs. The rib cage comprises 12 pairs of ribs, the thoracic vertebrae, sternum (or the breastbone) and cartilages (structures that attach the ribs to the sternum). Being the vital part of the skeletal system, the rib cage is a part of the axial skeleton and also a part of the respiratory system. Expansion, contraction and motion in the abdominal region is dependent on the movements of the rib cage. If you experience erratic left back pain under ribs, back pain just below rib cage or pain in back behind ribs, in all possibilities, it may be related to some complications of the rib cage or any internal problems.
Left Back Pain under Ribs Causes
An injury to the rib cage, particularly a fracture or a cracked rib, is one of the possible causes of this condition. Prolonged left back pain under the ribs can be diagnosed by doctors with the help of MRI or CT scan.
Cartilage is the area between the rib cage and breastbone. Inflammation in the cartilage area may lead to extreme pain in the back and arm regions. Cartilage inflammation may even give the person an impression of heart attack or severe lung inflammation. The pain due to cartilage inflammation lasts for a short time, but causes discomfort as long as it lasts.
Costochondritis is the most common cause of left back pain under the ribs. It is a condition that occurs due to respiratory infections and is responsible for pain in the area around the ribs.
Besides these, lack of exercise and not consuming enough water can lead to various digestive system disorders. Indigestion and intestine related infections cause improper food breakage in the stomach leading to trapping of gas in the intestinal area that may appear as pain in the area under the ribs.
Doctors generally recommend an X-ray, MRI and CT scan tests of the person who complains about back pain just below the ribs. Pain killers are initially advised medications for treating the left back pain under ribs. In case of severe pain in the back, the doctor can give local anesthetic or steroid injection.
Besides these treatment methods, the best method to treat left back pain under rib cage is to take complete rest and do not strain the chest muscles. As the doctor's reports will come, you will be able to know the exact cause of the left back pain under ribs and then the treatment will be carried out effectively. It is mandatory that first the cause of the pain is diagnosed, so that effective treatment can be given.