Ribcage pain includes any pain or discomfort in the area of the ribs.
With a broken rib, the pain is worse when bending and twisting the body. Such movement does not cause the pain in those who have pleurisy (swelling of the lining of the lungs) or muscle spasms.
Rest and immobilization are the best cure for a ribcage fracture.
Follow your health care provider's instructions for treating the cause of ribcage pain.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you do not know the cause of the pain, or if it is ongoing.
The health care provider may perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms and medical history, including:
Tests that may be ordered include:
Your health care provider may prescribe treatment for your ribcage pain. Treatment depends on the cause.
Pain - ribcage
Lee-Chiong T, Gebhart GF, Matthay RA. Chest pain. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al., eds. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 30.
Reynolds JH. Thoracic trauma and related topics. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Elsevier Churchill-Livingstone; 2008:chap 20.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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