There is a myth, which says that pain under left rib cage might suggest a heart-related problem. Apparently, it’s just one possible reason out of many as left rib cage affects various internal organs. Therefore, pain in this area may actually be a symptom of different conditions. Some of them are quite serious so never ignore the pain under left rib cage.
Different Types of Pain Under Left Rib Cage
As pain under left rib cage may be caused by different reasons, you need to observe it and other symptoms in order to be well diagnosed by your doctor. You need to be able to answer the questions if your pain is strong or mild, chronic or episodic, sudden or constant.
Location is also extremely important as the area under left rib cage is quite large and often just millimeters can tell you a lot about the cause of your pain. Your body is one unit and your internal organs affect one another. Thus, almost all the organs which are located on your left side may be responsible for pain under left rib cage.
It’s important to decide if you feel pain in your abdominal part of the body or rather between the ribs or in the chest. The kind of pain is important too as sometimes what you’ve been actually feeling is more like a burning sensation or a moderate ache that lasts for many days and it can also spread to your neck or shoulder.
However, if the pain is severe and sudden or what’s more, it’s accompanied by other worrying symptoms such as short breath, fever, dizziness, vomiting, or coughing, consult your doctor immediately.
The Causes of Pain Under Left Rib Cage
You should never ignore pain under left rib cage, but you also shouldn’t exaggerate the problem as it may be caused by various reasons. Actually, you may even feel pain in this location after you’ve eaten too much.
In most cases the pain may be quickly diagnosed and cured. The organs which may be the cause of pain under left rib cage include left ureter, left kidney, pancreas, adrenal gland, stomach, left lung, and heart.
1. Rib Injuries
It’s probably one of the most obvious causes of pain under left rib cage. If your rib was broken or fractured, it must hurt. The problem is that we usually think that such an injury will cause severe pain. A broken rib, however, can also cause only mild pain, which we tend to ignore even for weeks.
What’s more, a rib injury may also have hurt your other internal organs, for example spleen or left kidney, which of course may be painful too. Thus, if you experienced any accident or trauma to your left rib cage and you feel pain even weeks after the incident, go to your doctor.
Similarly, if you know that your rib was broken or fractured, it’s extremely important to fully cure it. Therefore, don’t rush intense sports or stretching exercises. Take some painkillers which will bring you relief from pain and have a lot of rest.
2. Spleen Disease
Spleen is a very important organ located under the left rib cage. If it works properly, it protects your organism from infections and keeps your blood healthy. It’s also in charge of your lymphatic system.
Spleen can be the cause of pain under the left rib cage and in the left part of your abdomen when it’s enlarged. It can be the reason of quite severe pain. If additionally you have a difficulty with eating a large meal, your doctor will suspect the spleen disease.
3. Lung Diseases
If your left lung is affected with some disease, it may cause pain under your left rib cage. The pain may be quite sharp and it may appear either under right or left rib cage, depending which lung is influenced.
Lung-related conditions are often the complications after some respiratory infections. Thus, if you’ve suffered from one recently and now you’ve been feeling pain under one of your rib cages, you should consult it with your doctor immediately as lung diseases might be quite serious.
Pneumonia is probably one of the most common lung diseases and at the same time also one of the most serious ones. The pain may be quite strong and it usually gets stronger when you cough or when you take a deep breath. You may also feel stabbing pain under your ribs, which is often accompanied by an unexplained fever. In general you may feel bad and weak.
A less known lung-related disease is pleurisy. It may affect one or both lungs too and thus cause pain under left or right rib cage. The symptoms of the condition resemble pneumonia as the pain may be quite sharp and it gets worse when you sneeze, cough, or take a deep breath.