Read below about spontaneous rib pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your spontaneous 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.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Chest wall hurts for no reason

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Spontaneous Rib Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced spontaneous rib pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  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.

    Costochondritis is generally self-limiting but may take several weeks to go away.

    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.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.

    Costochondritis is generally self-limiting but may take several weeks to go away.

    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
  3. 3.Normal Occurence of Chest Pain

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

    1 day

    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

    Spontaneous Rib Pain Checker

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  4. 4.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.

    2-3 days

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, rib pain on one side, shortness of breath, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.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.

    Recovery time depends on the underlying cause.

    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
  6. 6.Chest Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the chest are common, given how exposed this area of the body is.

    Bruises begin to heal within one week.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, constant rib pain, rib pain from an injury, recent chest injury, bruised chest area
    Symptoms that always occur with chest bruise:
    rib pain from an injury, recent chest injury, constant rib pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Tension Pneumothorax

    A tension pneumothorax is when the lung collapses due to air entering into the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. Tension pneumothorax is a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention to decompress the lung.

    5-7 days

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, being severely ill, chest pain, anxiety
    Symptoms that always occur with tension pneumothorax:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Spontaneous Rib Pain

  • Q.What makes your chest pain hurt more?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you have a cough?
  • 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, try our spontaneous rib pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Spontaneous Rib Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

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

    • 29% Spontaneous Chest Pain
    • 6% Rib Pain on One Side
    • 5% Shortness of Breath
  • People who have experienced spontaneous rib pain had symptoms persist for:

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

    • 33% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
    • 33% Chronic Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
    • 33% Normal Occurence of Chest Pain
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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