Symptoms A-Z

Rib Pain on One Side Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand rib pain on one side symptoms, including 10 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 10 Possible Rib Pain On One Side Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

10 Possible Rib Pain On One Side Causes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a chronic condition that involves repeated episodes of panic attacks, as well as worry about future attacks or consequences of attacks, or unhelpful changes in behavior to avoid the attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of sudden-onset fear, discomfort, and/or other symptoms that may or may not be associated with a specific trigger.

Symptoms of panic attacks include chest pain, shortness of breath, shaking, trembling, sweating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, dizziness, heat or cold sensations, numbness or tingling, or fear of dying.

Treatment options include psychotherapy and antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: anxiety, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, depressed mood

Symptoms that always occur with panic disorder: anxiety

Symptoms that never occur with panic disorder: agoraphobia

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Bacterial pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by one of several different bacteria, often Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia is often contracted in hospitals or nursing homes.

Symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, painful and difficult breathing, and cough that brings up mucus. Elderly patients may have low body temperature and confusion.

Pneumonia can be a medical emergency for very young children or those over age 65, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system or a chronic heart or lung condition. Emergency room is only needed for severe cases or for those with immune deficiency.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and chest x-ray.

With bacterial pneumonia, the treatment is antibiotics. Be sure to finish all the medication, even if you start to feel better. Hospitalization may be necessary for higher-risk cases.

Some types of bacterial pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination. Flu shots help, too, by preventing another illness from taking hold. Keep the immune system healthy through good diet and sleep habits, not smoking, and frequent handwashing.

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

Viral pneumonia

Viral pneumonia, also called "viral walking pneumonia," is an infection of the lung tissue with influenza ("flu") or other viruses.

These viruses spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible, such as young children, the elderly, and anyone receiving chemotherapy or organ transplant medications.

Symptoms may be mild at first. Most common are cough showing mucus or blood; high fever with shaking chills; shortness of breath; headache; fatigue; and sharp chest pain on deep breathing or coughing.

Medical care is needed right away. If not treated, viral pneumonia can lead to respiratory and organ failure.

Diagnosis is made through chest x-ray. A blood draw or nasal swab may be done for further testing.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses and will not help viral pneumonia. Treatment involves antiviral drugs, corticosteroids, oxygen, pain/fever reducers such as ibuprofen, and fluids. IV (intravenous) fluids may be needed to prevent dehydration.

Prevention consists of flu shots as well as frequent and thorough handwashing.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Pulmonary embolism

An embolus is a blood clot that forms in the bloodstream, breaks loose, and is carried by the blood to become lodged elsewhere in the circulatory system. If this clot (embolus) blocks part of the bloodstream in the lungs (pulmonary system,) this condition is called pulmonary embolism.

It is most often caused by blood clots in the deep veins of the legs, which can form after long periods of inactivity or bedrest.

Other risk factors include smoking, obesity, and female hormone replacement therapy.

Symptoms include sudden difficulty breathing; chest pain; coughing, sometimes with blood; anxiety; lightheadedness; and fast, irregular heartbeat.

Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening medical emergency, because it causes high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and lack of oxygen in the blood. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves anticoagulants, or blood thinners; "clot-busting" medications; and surgery to implant a filter to help prevent clots from traveling through the bloodstream.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, cough, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, fever, wheezing

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Rib Pain On One Side

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 rib pain on one side

Rib Pain On One Side Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced rib pain on one side have also experienced:

  • 5% Shortness Of Breath
  • 4% Pain In One Arm
  • 4% Rib Pain

People who have experienced rib pain on one side were most often matched with:

  • 50% Atypical Chest Pain
  • 25% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
  • 25% Normal Occurence Of Chest Pain

People who have experienced rib pain on one side 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”).

Rib Pain On One Side Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having rib pain on one side