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Lower Rib Tip Pain
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blotto posted:
Hello,

I woke up one morning with pain in my lower right side/back. It was in a strange place, but I figured it was just a pulled muscle and I didn't really think much of it. About a week later there was no change and it was still there. So I decided to go see my doctor. Depending on which position I'm in it seems to radiate from the rear to the front. So the doctor said it sounded like it might have something to do with my stomach since I have a history of gastritis and hiatal hernia. He put my on Omeprazole and sent me on my way. Well after about two weeks, there was still no change. So I went back to him and this time he decided to run a battery of tests. Urinalysis, several blood tests, and an ultrasound. Everything came back normal. No stones, no abnormalities, and perfect blood work. At this point he said that he didn't really know what was going on and decided to send me to a gastrologist. The gastrologist looked me over and said that the pain seemed to be too localized to be something with the stomach. So he decided to send me to get an x-ray. The x-ray came back normal as well, so they both said just wait. So I waited again for a couple of weeks and still no change. This time my doctor sent me to see a back and spine doctor. This doctor also looked over the x-ray and felt around. After explaining all of this his conclusion was that he really didn't have any idea what it was and that it sounded like some sort of inflammation in my rib or a muscle spasm. He gave me gave me muscle relaxers and told me I should consider physical therapy.



I'm not convinced this is the problem. I'm more of a cause and effect person, and something is causing this. I don't know that physical therapy is the answer. So here I am, three months and three doctors later and I still don't have an answer. It is as painful today as it has been since it started with no signs of relief. So here is a rundown of what actually hurts and what tests I've had. Hopefully someone out there has had something like this too and actually got an answer and a cure. And if so…please share!



Symptom:

I have pain in my lower right side upper floating rib. Which seems to be right at or around the very tip of the rib. I can put my figure on it and when I do it's very painful. It's less painful when I stand up and walk around and seems to shift around when I sit down. When I'm sitting it sometimes feels like it's in the front just under my front rib cage (stomach area). Also sometimes feels like pressure up front. But even when I'm sitting, if I press on the spot on the rib it still hurts. The pain in the rib never subsides. So I can't tell if it's actually the rib itself or something in the stomach/colon area radiating out and causing pain in the rib…if that is even possible? Or, it might just be the rib radiating pain into the stomach area. Recently (within the last couple of weeks) I've started getting this pain on the left side as well. Exact same spot but on the left rib.

So what causes right and left side floating rib "tip" pain that come out of the blue…no injuries.. and lasts for months with no other symptoms. To describe the pain best, it feel a lot like a pinched nerve or a dislocated joint….always hurts, never gets worse, never gets better. Pain is on a scale of 3-5 out of 10 depending on which position I'm in.



Tests I've had: Urinalysis, several blood tests, chest/side x-ray, ultrasound. NO CT or MRI yet…doctor talked me out of it. Felt it wasn't worth it. But also mentioned money and insurance several times, which makes me think he was getting cheap.



Anyway, if anyone out there can help I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,

Brian
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davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to read of your pain but fully understand.

An MRI would be the next logical step since you continue to have symptoms. Talk to your doctor about having this diagnostic test done and be assertive. You are the patient/customer and he needs to listen to your concerns and do what he can to help you. If he will not order an MRI or refer you to a doctor who can, it may be time to find another primary doctor.

We are lay people in this WebMD Back Pain Community. It is against the rules to diagnose or give medical advice. However, we can offer advice based on our own experiences which is what you are looking for. My advice is for you to push for an MRI as x-rays and the other tests you have are not telling the whole story.

Please keep us updated. I hope you can get answers and relief soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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An_254022 responded:
I have the very same symptoms and had all the same tests and results. My doctor believes it to be costochondritis. Treatment advised-slow careful stretching, careful lifting especially above my head and Ben-Gay (yes, he actually suggested that.) He also said I could use an anti-inflammatory, such as Aleve or Advil, but with care because of possible stomach damage.


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