Symptoms A-Z

Dull Rib Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your dull rib pain symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 8 Possible Dull Rib Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

8 Possible Dull Rib Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced dull rib pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Normal occurrence of chest pain

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

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: chest pain, rib pain

Symptoms that always occur with normal occurrence of chest pain: chest pain

Symptoms that never occur with normal occurrence of chest pain: being severely ill, shortness of breath, fainting, severe chest pain, crushing chest pain, excessive sweating, nausea or vomiting

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Acute costochondritis (chest wall syndrome)

Acute costochondritis is the inflammation of the flexible cartilage that connects each rib to the breastbone. Costochondritis is caused by excessive coughing or by straining the upper body, as with weightlifting. It is a common occurrence seen in children, teenagers, and adults.

Symptoms include a sudden, sharp, aching pain anywhere in the chest wall, especially near the breastbone where it connects to the ribs. The pain gets worse with deep breathing or with almost any movement.

Treatment involves rest along with over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Injections of corticosteroid medication to ease pain and inflammation are occasionally used.

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

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.

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

Atypical chest pain

Atypical chest pain describes the situation when someone's chest pain is unlikely to be related to heart or lung disease. There are many other possible causes that could explain chest pain, like sore chest wall muscles or psychological factors like stress and anxiety.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath

Symptoms that always occur with atypical chest pain: chest pain

Symptoms that never occur with atypical chest pain: fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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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.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, rib pain, shortness of breath, racing heart beat

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is an inflammatory reaction to an infection in the airways. Most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by a viral infection, although some cases may be due to a bacterial infection.

Symptoms include an acute-onset cough with or without sputum production, low-grade fever,(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/shortness-of-breath/), and noisy breathing.

The diagnosis is made clinically, although testing may be ordered to rule out other conditions.

Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and may include over-the-counter painkillers, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Although antibiotics are often prescribed, antibiotics have been shown to provide no benefit in most cases of acute bronchitis and are associated with an increased risk of side effects.

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

Hypertensive crisis

Hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high (180/120 mm Hg), to a level that can damage your organs. Hypertensive crisis is categorized as "hypertensive urgency" if the blood pressure is high without damage to organs, and as "hypertensive emergency" if the blood pressure is high with damage to organs.

Symptoms for hypertensive urgency are usually not noticeable, except for high blood pressure and a mild headache. However, hypertensive emergency symptoms also include a possibly severe headache, confusion, agitation or seizures, numbness or weakness, blurry vision, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, and back pain.

Treatments include methods to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, by either IV or oral medication.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: headache, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, being severely ill, dizziness

Symptoms that never occur with hypertensive crisis: chest pain that is worse when breathing

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Pleurisy

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the protective membranes which surround the lungs and line the inner chest cavity.

The inflammation is most often caused by a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, such as influenza or pneumonia; by some medications; or by a rib fracture.

Symptoms include sharp, "pleuritic" pain in the chest, back or shoulders that gets worse with deep breathing, sneezing, or coughing; shortness of breath due to shallow breathing in an effort to ease the pain; and sometimes fever and/or cough.

Sudden, intense chest pain during breathing is a medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; and imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. In some cases, a needle is used to withdraw fluid from the pleura for testing.

Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause, such as prescribing antibiotics for a bacterial infection. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used, along with supportive care in the form of rest, fluids, and good diet.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, muscle aches, fever, cough with dry or watery sputum, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dull Rib Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • What makes your chest pain hurt more?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • How would you explain why your chest hurts?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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

Dull Rib Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced dull rib pain have also experienced:

  • 8% Rib Pain On One Side
  • 8% Dull, Aching Chest Pain
  • 4% Shortness Of Breath

People who have experienced dull rib pain were most often matched with:

  • 33% Normal Occurence Of Chest Pain
  • 33% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
  • 33% Chronic Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)

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

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Dull Rib Pain Symptom Checker

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