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Learn about your dull rib pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your dull rib pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Dull Rib Pain Checker

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Your Dull Rib Pain May Also be Known as:
Achy chest pain
Dull chest pain

Top 10 Dull Rib Pain Causes

  1. 1.Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)

    Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by taking over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Local heat or ice compress can also improve symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, chest pain that is worse when breathing, chest pain, rib pain when moving, pain when pressing on the chest
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Normal Occurence of Chest Pain

    Many people experience chest pain and it's not always indicative of a serious issue.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about, particularly if you are otherwise healthy. However, it might be good to call a health care provider to double check. If the pain becomes severe, you have trouble breathing, or have a history of serious heart disease, it would be prudent to call 911.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    chest pain, rib pain
    Symptoms that always occur with normal occurence of chest pain:
    chest pain
    Symptoms that never occur with normal occurence of chest pain:
    being severely ill, shortness of breath, fainting, severe chest pain, crushing chest pain, excessive sweating, nausea or vomiting, fast heart rate in adults, slow heart rate
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  3. 3.Enlarged Breasts (Gynecomastia)

    Gynecomastia is the swelling of breast tissue in boys in men, which may be caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. It is generally not a serious problem and is normal during puberty.

    Contact your primary care physician for evaluation. As gynecomastia may be a side effect of medications, recreational drugs, or diet rich in hormones (e.g. milk or meat from estrogen-treated cows), consider evaluating and discontinuing the use of any of the above.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, decreased sex drive, painful chest wall lump, pain on the tip of the nose, movable chest- wall lump
    Symptoms that never occur with enlarged breasts (gynecomastia):
    severe rib pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Mitral Valve Prolapse

    Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn't close properly because the flaps of the valve are "floppy." Most people who have the condition are born with it.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis. Afterwards, a referral to a specialist may be needed to explore treatment options.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, rib pain, shortness of breath, racing heart beat
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Bronchitis

    Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, as well as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. It is typically caused by a virus.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by resting, drinking fluids and taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to alleviate fever and discomfort. If the condition lasts longer than a few weeks, or if your symptoms are worsening, you may want to see a doctor who may prescribe an inhaler or pursue other treatment options.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    cough, productive cough, sore throat, wheezing, coughing up green or yellow phlegm
    Symptoms that always occur with bronchitis:
    cough
    Symptoms that never occur with bronchitis:
    nausea or vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Dull Rib Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dull rib pain.

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  6. 6.Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax)

    A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax.

    You should go to the ER immediately as a pneumothorax can de-stabilize your ability to breathe and your blood flow from the heart. Diagnosis involves an immediate chest x-ray. Confirmation leads to different decisions on whether to treat the pneumothorax or let it heal naturally under doctor supervision.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, shortness of breath, rib pain on one side, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, racing heart beat
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  7. 7.Chronic Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)

    Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by taking over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Local heat or ice compress can also improve symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, chest pain, chest pain that is worse when breathing, rib pain when moving, pain when pressing on the chest
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  8. 8.Bacterial Pneumonia

    Bacterial pneumonia is the infection of the lungs with bacteria (as opposed to a fungus or a virus).

    You should go see a doctor within the next day since this diagnosis requires a chest X-ray in addition to a doctor's assessment. Treatment with antibiotics is important to keeping the infection under control, which can become dangerous if it spreads or worsens within the lungs.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia:
    cough
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  9. 9.Hypertensive Crisis

    A hypertensive crisis occurs with when there is a severe increase in blood pressure. In some cases, this causes damage to the organs.

    A hypertensive crisis is an emergency requiring immediate attention. Call 911.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, being severely ill, vision changes
    Symptoms that never occur with hypertensive crisis:
    rib pain that shoots to the jaw
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  10. 10.Viral Pneumonia

    Viral pneumonia is inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the lungs due to infection with a virus. Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type, which is usually acquired in public areas such as at work, school, or grocery store.

    You should see a care provider to be treated and for evaluation of severity of your symptoms. Viral pneumonia is NOT treated with antibiotics, and you may find over-the-counter medications for pain and fever to be helpful.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that never occur with viral pneumonia:
    unexplained bruising
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dull Rib Pain

  • Q.Is your chest wall pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.Do you have a cough?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.If you presses on the area where you are in pain, does this make it hurt worse?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our dull rib pain symptom checker.

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Dull Rib Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dull rib pain have also experienced:

    • 10% Rib Pain on One Side
    • 4% Tight, Heavy, Squeezing Chest Pain
    • 4% Sharp Rib Pain
  • People who have experienced dull rib pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 48% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Less Than a Week
    • 14% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced dull rib pain were most often matched with:

    • 46% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
    • 21% Normal Occurence of Chest Pain
    • 10% Enlarged Breasts (Gynecomastia)

Dull Rib Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dull rib pain.

Take a quiz