Side Pain

Published: March 13, 2015
Last reviewed: March 15, 2018

What is side pain?

Side pain occurs between the armpit and the hip.

Causes of Sharp, Stabbing Side Pain

Side Chest Pain

Pleuritic Chest Pain

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura–the double-layered membrane that covers the lungs.

  • Causes:
    • Acute: viral infection (flu, infectious mononucleosis), pneumonia, tuberculosis, chemotherapy, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax
    • Chronic: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, lung cancer, asbestosis, silicosis
  • Symptoms: sharp, stabbing pain on one side of the chest, aggravated by deep breathing, coughing or moving the torso, shortness of breath (to avoid pain); sometimes pain in the shoulder, front of the chest or in the back, dry cough or fever
  • Signs: crackling sounds during breathing detected by the stethoscope, slight chest wall tenderness
  • References: (1,2,3,4)


  • Cause: direct hit on the side of the chest
  • Symptoms: dull pain on the side aggravated by moving the torso and arms
  • Signs: moderate chest wall tenderness, a bruise
  • The pain and bruise should reduce significantly within about 3 weeks.
  • Reference: (11)

Rib Fracture

  • Causes: fall from the height, direct hit, violent coughing, bending over a hard ridge
  • Symptoms: sudden, severe pain on the side of the chest, aggravated by deep breathing, coughing, moving or bending
  • Signs: a bruise, intense pain and cracking sound upon pressing over the broken rib
  • Recovery time: about 6 weeks
  • Reference: (10)

Serratus Anterior Muscle Pain Syndrome

Serratus anterior is the muscle attached to the side of the ribs and the shoulder blade on each side of the body.

  • Causes: muscle strain caused by repeated fast running, workout exercises, persistent coughing or lifting heavy objects with an extended arm
  • Symptoms: moderate pain on the side of the chest below the armpit, below the shoulder blade and in the pinky side of the arm and hand; sharp pain can be triggered by deep breathing or coughing
  • Signs: Pressing upon the trigger points at the level of 5th-7th rib on the side of the chest causes pain on the side of the chest and in the arm.
  • References: (18)

Serratus Anterior Muscle Pain image

Picture 1. Serratus anterior pain syndrome

Flank Pain

Flanks are areas below the lower ribs on each side of the body.

Trapped Wind

Trapped wind wind gas pain can result from:

  • Causes: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
  • Symptoms: pain after eating on the right or left side below the ribs or in the lower chest and in the shoulder tip (referred pain due to the irritation of the diaphragm), tenderness below the lower ribs and upper abdominal distension (bloating)
  • Reference: (19)

Side Stitch

Side stitch, “side cramp,” “runner’s stitch” or “exercise related transient abdominal pain” (ETAP) commonly occurs during running, swimming and horse riding.

  • Symptoms: exercise-related, transient, moderate or severe, cramp-like or stabbing pain below the rib cage, more commonly on the right side and, sometimes, in the shoulder tip on the same side; pain is relieved within a minute of rest (11).

Kidney Pain

Stones in the ureter can cause constant or intermittent sharp pain in the right or left flank lasting for 20 minutes to several hours; pain can be extreme and can radiate into lower abdomen and groin; you may occasionally pass blood or a stone, but you typically have no fever (16).

Certain kidney conditions (infection, inflammation) can present with mild pain that can be made worse by slightly tapping over a kidney with a fist. Other symptoms may include nausea, fever, frequent urination and cloudy urine. In some kidney disorders, pain can be triggered by drinking large amounts of fluid, or severe dehydration.

Throbbing kidney pain can be associated with ureteropelvic junction obstruction, IgA nephropathy or Berger’s disease, or loin pain hematuria syndrome.

Kidney pain needs to be distinguished from other causes of lower back pain.

Adrenal Gland Pain

  • Causes: adrenal tumor
  • Symptoms: constant, dull pain in the flank, sometimes: fatigue, headache, excessive hair growth, weight gain, irregular periods, decreased libido, excessive thirst, frequent urination
  • Reference: (23,24)

Liver Pain

  • Causes: liver inflammation (hepatitis), lymphoma, cancer
  • Symptoms: constant fullness, discomfort or dull pain below the lower right ribs and, sometimes, anorexia, nausea and itchy skin
  • Signs: Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) can be palpated below the lower right ribs, sometimes jaundice.
  • Reference: (22)

Gallbladder Pain

  • Causes: gallstones, acute gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), biliary dyskinesia
  • Symptoms: severe pain in the upper right abdomen or right middle back or shoulder blade, lasting from several minutes to several hours, nausea, vomiting
  • Signs: Murphy’s sign (tenderness in the upper right abdomen)

Spleen Pain

  • Splenic infarction (in leukemia, lymphoma, blood coagulation disorders, endocarditis, vasculitis) or splenic rupture (in blunt trauma).
    • Symptoms: sudden, severe pain on the left side under the lower ribs and, sometimes, in the left shoulder tip; fever, chills, nausea, vomiting (5)
    • Signs: tenderness over the left lower ribs on the side; in internal bleeding: rapid heartbeat and breathing, anxiety, pale skin
  • Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), for example, in infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr Virus infection), malaria, liver cirrhosis, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoidosis, hereditary anemias (sickle cell disease, spherocytosis)
    • Symptoms: constant fullness or mild, dull pain on the left side under the lower ribs, recurrent infections, paleness and weakness due to anemia
    • Signs: a large, soft lump below the rib cage on the left side
    • Reference: (7)


  • Cause: reactivation of a chickenpox virus (Varicella-zoster) in one or more spinal nerves, usually only on one side, more commonly in older adults
  • Symptoms: moderate side pain, tenderness, tingling or numbness followed by a red, itchy, burning rash that travels as a stripe from the spine around the torso and heals in few weeks
  • Reference: (8)

Pinched Spinal Nerve

  • Cause: a bulging or herniated disc in the thoracic or lumbar spine, arthritis, nerve injury during rib fracture or kidney surgery
  • Symptoms: recurring stabbing pain, tingling or numbness on one side of the back and chest aggravated by moving the torso (11)


Adhesions are bands of an abnormal fibrous tissue (scars) in the abdominal or pelvic cavity.

  • Causes: retroperitoneal fibrosis, surgery, appendicitis, cholecystitis, peritonitis, radiation therapy
  • Symptoms: chronic moderate or severe pain in various parts of the abdomen or pelvis
  • Reference: (20)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The pain from an abdominal aortic aneurysm may mimic the pain from urinary stones (renal colic) (11).

Lower Side Abdominal Pain

Myofascial Pain in Latissimus Dorsi Muscle

  • Causes: muscle overuse due to rock climbing, gymnastics, strength training, ball games
  • Symptoms: pain above the hip, below the shoulder blade, in front of the shoulder and in the pinky side of the arm and hand
  • Signs: pain triggered by pressing near the lower shoulder blade angle (9).


Diverticulitis is an inflammation of pouches that form in the large intestine.

  • Symptoms: constant pain and tenderness in the lower left abdomen, fever, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, occasional blood in the stool (14)

Acute Appendicitis

  • Symptoms: vague, constant pain around the belly button, which within few hours moves to the lower right abdomen, becomes severe and is aggravated by moving and coughing; other common symptoms: nausea, vomiting, fever
  • Signs:
    • Tenderness in the lower right abdominal quadrant
    • Rebound tenderness: applying pressure upon the left lower abdomen and quickly releasing it triggers pain in the right lower abdomen.
  • Reference: (21)

Lower Side Abdominal Pain in WOMEN

Ovary Pain

Ovulation pain occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle (about 14 days before period) on the inside of the hip on either side, it can be severe and can last from few minutes to 48 hours (15); if it lasts longer, it could be associated with endometriosis or other disorder.

Other causes of ovary pain: ovarian cyst rupture, cancer (late stage).

Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

  • Symptoms: shooting or crampy pain near the hip or in the groin, more commonly on the right side; the pain can occur from early pregnancy on (17).

Ectopic Pregnancy

  • Symptoms: sudden, sharp or slowly developing pain on one side of the lower abdomen and, sometimes, vaginal bleeding and pain in the shoulder tip on the same side (13).

Other Causes of Side Pain in Women

  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

139 Responses to Side Pain

  1. swag bio says:

    I also suffer from side pain, but thanks to your article I know more about it. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. ipc section says:

    Thanks for being with here or and you there have for you the rest same

  3. Aditi Singh says:

    I also face this side pain issue, But now i know about it from your article. Thanks for this.

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi All,

    For the last couple of days I’ve had a pain in my back below my ribcage that I feel mainly when I take a deep breathe. It feels like when I breathe deep something is pushing from the inside on my spine and kidneys. I can even feel it a bit in my upper abdomen but mainly feel it in the back. Any ideas?


  5. jitesh says:

    helpful for others

  6. Tina says:

    I have sharp intense pain on my right side just below my breast area. Feels like someone is stabbing me. Any ideas?

  7. Funmbi says:

    Please what could be the cause of sever pain a little below the rib on the right. the person in question cannot stretch without feeling pains. He cannot drive long distance as well.

  8. Krystal bartle says:

    I just started to have very sharp pains in my left side when I take a deep breath it clentches upon that side and hurtsi can barley move please help

  9. Katie says:

    Okay I’m about 15 weeks pregnant. this would be my third child. With my first one I got blood clots . So I have been getting pains in my right side under my ribs but in my back where someone can push on where it hurts and I don’t have a problem . But if I move or try to climb in bed it makes me cry out in pain. Went to the hospital X-ray was fine ultersound of my right leg was fine . But they put me on blood thinners because they worried that I have a blood clot but they can’t find it they check my lungs and liver and kidneys and gallbladder. I had my appendix out when I was 5 months with my second child. So all that happened a on April 3 it’s not April 22 and the pain is back same place til tonight where it has not moved below my armpit and shoots pain to the middle of my chest and I went to the hospital today and the doctor told me it’s a pull muscle. All I know is it does not feel like no pulled muscle at all . also I have been having shortness or breathe since April 3 since I was at the hospital the first time . Has anyone else been throw this . I’m starting to get really worried . And temp today was 100 which is barley a fever .

    • Kisha says:

      Could have been Pneumonia, high blood pressure due to pregnancy or some sort of infection. Hope you and baby have been fine.

  10. rakesh says:

    pain in left side full part from left side under arms to lower kidney when i stretch and also when i twist or turn

  11. Jamie Arnaud says:

    About 5 or 6 years ago i would notice something under my left lower rib cage and it would feel like it would pop out from under ribs and randomly go away. I’ve had an X-ray but nothing showed. It now feels larger and possibly oblong if that makes sense and fully aware of it all day…when i twist or tip toe and turn suddenly it will stop me in my tracks until i relax for a sec then the dull but deep pressure stops. I’ve always suffered with severe cobstipatuon. Had colonoscopy done and came back fine. Scope down throat into stomach and after the 12 hr fasting prior to procedure, undigested food still in stomach. Gastro had an ultrasound machine in officevanf after looking he said what he thoughtvto Be a large cyst on ovaries and wouldn’t see me anymore that needed to see OB. OB said it was minimal and normal. Saying this incase it’s related to what’s under my rib cage. Always underweight until around 4 years ago i went from 110 to 160 within a year and struggle to now stay under 170. I workout 6 days a week intensively. Never had acne, like not even during puberty…but around same time 5 or 6 years ago its came and is constant battle. My weight gain starts under my sternum to my belly button area. Always bloated full feeling. So drastic that i eventually had liposuction on abdomen and lower back 15 months ago and it is all back as it was prior to procedure. Also have bouts of fluid retention that may come for 3-4 days and ankles get bigger than my calf…then goes away and could be months before happens again. Only thing consistent with all of this is this thing under my left rib cage so I’m worried that whatever it is could be the cause of these sudden body changes in past 5 years. Please help with guidance ask to what to do. I’m not dying I’m not depresssed . I still maintain my day to day life. I would just like to go back to feeling like me and to stop wasting money trying to fix it. Ty!! . Oh i am a female …age 37

    • Jan Modric says:

      I only can mention few possibilities.

      Trapped gas can cause pain on the left side below the rib cage and can be associated with bloating and constipation. Common cause is stress and inappropriate diet. A low-FODMAP diet may help (search online).

      Ankle swelling can be from a heart or kidney disease, for example. It can help if a doctor sees your legs when they are swollen. I strongly suggest you to get this checked soon.

  12. Tania says:

    I have agonizing pain below my ribs in the middle radiating down and across either side and through my mid back, my whole abdominal area is tender as is my back

    • Jan Modric says:

      Please, see a doctor. Such pain can be from a gastric ulcer, gallbladder inflammation or other severe conditions, for example.

  13. Miss Michelle L Archer says:

    I have a pain in both sides just below my ribs and is tender to touch also hurts when moving or sitting slightly.

  14. Michele says:

    My mom is experiencing pain in the middle of her right side that runs to her right breast, at first it was when she would stretch to put on her seat belt, but now she gets it at any time, it only lasts for 30 secs or so. What could that be?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Pain on the side of the chest that is triggered by movements most commonly originates from the muscles. Was she lifting something heavy recently or repeatedly using arms? Another common cause is pleurisy.

    • Derek says:

      It is called myofascial. An internal injury of the rib cage from any strenuous activity. It heals with time. Also seeing a chiropractor may help.

  15. Morrison says:

    I have a pain on my right side under my rib it would move to my side.. it will go away then come back in a couple seconds.. it’s a very sharp pain.

  16. Gary Clark says:

    I have had a sharp pain at the bottom of my ribcage off to the side on the left. I only notice it when I take deep breaths, hiccup, or sneeze. I haven’t noticed any tenderness or inability to sleep in any position. I have been experiencing this pain for several days now. I can’t recall any event that would of caused muscle strain or damage but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t. I am a very active 35 year old male. My bowl movements are regular, no fevers, sickness, or any other symptoms.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Few possible causes of the pain at the bottom of the rib cage on the left that do not change with the body position:
      – trapped wind
      – pleurisy
      – a spleen disorder

      In muscle strain, the pain would be aggravated by touch or body movements.

      After running, especially sprinting, boxing, lifting heavy objects or any activity that involves repeated backward and forward movements of the arms, you can have myofascial pain in the serratus anterior muscle, which would be aggravated by deep breathing.

    • Erin says:

      Gary- did you ever get a diagnosis on what was causing your pain? I have been experiencing the exact same pain you mentioned for the last two days now and don’t know what to make of it.

      • Derek says:

        You’re pain is called myofascial. Proper rest will help. Also avoid deep breathing. As it may irritate it. And seeing a chiropractor.

  17. I’ve had a sharp pain to my left rib cage below my breast bone that radiated to my left shoulder. Hard to sleep with pain at night, I can’t sleep on my right side the pain get very severe that it’s hard to move or breath. Pain also severe with deep breaths, sneezing, or coughing. Started a few days ago. Sometimes seems like it is getting better then it comes back. Should I go to the doctor.

  18. Faye Brown says:

    In 2011, I had a severe clavical joint infection. When my chest was Xrayed, to try to find out why I was in so much pain, the acute care clinic and then the hospital both saw a mass on the lower outside area of my left lung. They could not do anything about it at the time, because of the severity of the clavical joint infection. I had a central line in me, and I was on a pump with vancomycin for a month. About four months later, I got another Xray. This time no mass was seen. I was supposed to go back for another Xray three months later, but never did that. I have been getting sharp pains in that same area, where they had previously seen a mass. The pain is below my left rib cage and above my left pelvic bone, around my waist area. It has increased in frequency from once in awhile to just about a constant sharp pain, that occurs when I move in a certain way. I’m going to a new doctor on Friday, Sept. 1, because I had moved.

  19. Brianna Sanders says:

    i’ve been having sharp pains on my left side .. rib cage area it travels to the lower part of my stomach when it gets severe. i dont have periods but lately ive been spotting.

  20. Shannon Buterin says:

    For a little over three weeks now; I can pin point the date; as for I have it written down. I moved furniture. I was using proper body mechanics and I had assistance. (pushing/ lifting) I have severe sharp shooting pains under my left rib cage that radiates thru to my back. If I lie down; I can’t lie down on the right side; as it feels like my rib cage is crushing body parts on the right side. If like I lie on my back; I generally have to have my left arm underneath me for some form of support. I can lay down on my left side with minimal amount of pain. I finally sucked it up and went to the local urgent care, who couldn’t pin point anything specific. They did xrays; which resulted in nothing. I have no fever, but my day to day functions are now limited to how well I can deal with the pain. I want to say it is muscle issues; however after 3 1/2 weeks; it is just as bad today as it was when it first started. I was given Baclofen to help relax the muscles; but it hasn’t helped. Any idea as to what it might be? ps…I no longer have my gall bladder.

    • Jan Modric says:

      I assume that the doctor said there is no broken ribs. Did the doctor also say there is no spontaneous pneumothorax? This can be seen on X-ray but it may be missed if looked just quickly. Spontaneous pneumothorax would cause an obvious pain during breathing.

      Repeated pushing and pulling can result in serratus anterior muscle pain. It is myofascial pain in the big flat muscle that connects the side of the ribs with the lower border of the shoulder blade. Changing the body position, moving an arm, deep inhalation and coughing can trigger pain. I think that such pain should improve in several days…It would be possible that you have a more severe injury of this muscle, such as partial muscle tear. You could also have a damage of the long thoracic nerve, which supplies this muscle. In this case, you would have winging scapula – a scapula that protrudes out more than the other one when you lean to the wall with the extended arms.

      If the pain persists, I suggest you ask for a referral to an orthopedist.

  21. Angela A Austin says:

    I have had since Tuesday June27th what I thought was the flu. Migraine and hurt everywhere (I have RA) with a fever that peaked at 103.8 and the pain was so intense I had to take ibuprofen to bust it.yesterday I woke up with a migraine again and then I noticed that the all over body pain morphed into my left upper rib. That is also still present today. Only now the pain has wrapped itself to my spine and now creeping in the right side as well. I fear it is pneumonia, I am going to the er today because of my whole body is aching again the pain has increased by coughing and I have that as well. Started vomiting yesterday. My breathing is more shallow and my heart rate is up and Ok seems like it dropped. 95% I have a pulsox monitor. I have missed placed my BP machine. But I can tell my breathing seems slightly labored. I also have pulmonic stenosis.

  22. Ladyofspringrain says:

    I have severe side pain that comes and goes. The pain is in the right flank, right at the natural waist. Used to feel like a stabbing pain, now more like a metal spider trying to escape. The pain is always severe and comes quickly.

    I have 2 kidney stones, but neither is in the ureters (both are buried in the ‘meat’ of the kidney), both stones are less than 2mm. I have recently been told it is not caused by stones.

    Movement aggravates it and when I sit still for longer than 30 min it usually fades. The pain is daily. It is strong enough to affect my job and my daily life.

    There is no fever or other indication of an internal infection. No STDs either. No chronic diseases. No medication. No known injuries. Stress levels are really high and have been for the duration of the pain. No surgeries. No previous pregnancies. No current pregnancies (currently menstrating).

    The pain has come and gone for 5 months. Early on their was a bit of left side pain.

    I’m an otherwise healthy 25 year old.

    • Ladyofspringrain says:

      I am seeing a doctor. We are somewhat stumped, looking for new ideas on what could be wrong.

      • Jan Modric says:

        Pain aggravated by movements (and touch?) is more likely from the abdominal wall than from internal organs but I can’t exclude anything. It could still be a kidney stone…A muscle cramp in the abdominal wall, possibly caused by stress, could also cause such pain.

  23. Tiffany says:

    Hi I have a sharp stabbing pain in the middle of my back by the spine of the left side when i move wrong it shoots into my arms and takes my breath away if i breath to deep i can feel it as well i cant hardly bend or twist and it’s been giving me headaches. I asked my husband to take a look and his says there is a bruise by my spine, he’s tried to rub near it and it felt like someone stab me and it took about 30 secs to fade away. I am 24 and I have fibromyalgia as well

  24. Annie Witts says:

    I had a bad fall from upright straight down onto my left side on floor tiles down the stairs. I was in so much pain I visited the hospital. Xrays were done and no brocken ribs. 3 months later I’m still having pain under my ribs. If I eat I feel it more. If I lean to the left it hurts, not sharp pain but aware of it.
    Should l go back to the hospital as rather concerned

  25. Henry says:

    Good day , whenever I eat late at night or heavy , I do experience sharp pain on the left and right side of my stomach/abdomen,especially when sleeping at night. The pain disappears some minutes after I have woken up ..

  26. andressa says:

    I’ve been in chronic pain for over 1 year and 2 months, always the same amount of pain, and it never goes away. It is located on my RIGHT side only, on the back side, right at rib/ waistline area.
    I’ve been to a general practitioner, done a ct scan and mri, blood exams, and all shows normal. I did take an anti -inflammatory for 1 week (with no success). Advil also doesn’t help.
    Usually I feel the pain only when I twist my upper body to the right side or when I lay on my right side while sleeping (the pain usually wake me up at night).

    Just as a medical background: I have a very minor central disk protrusion at l4-l5 that is superimposed on a mild diffuse degenerative disk bulge ( I’ve had this problem for many years and never caused the “strange” side pain, so I am not sure if it would be connected.

    Can anyone help? Have you had anything similar? What kind of specialist should I go to?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Jan Modric says:

      The pain that is closer to the ribs than to the pelvis is less likely from L4-L5 disc. If degeneration was found only in the L4-L5 disc so far, it is less likely that degeneration would spontaneously develop in the higher lumbar discs (L1-L3) or in the thoracic discs.

      The pain triggered by twisting the torso most likely originates from the muscles or the spine and less likely from the internal organs. An orthopedist deals with such pain.

  27. Chris says:

    Been having problems for about 3 yrs with my right side of the middle of my back and ribs when I do manual labor and if I been standing up to long. It also makes it worse if I eat first and then do manual labor. It only subsides if I sit down. Once I get back up and start working again after a little while it starts hurting again. It’s like a stabbing pain that gets worse and worser. I do have acid reflux. Don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I also lift weights don’t know if that has anything to do with it. Doesn’t bother me when I lift weights though.

  28. Brooke Mckinney says:

    I have been having left lower side pain like in my lower side between ribs and hip it’s a constant stabeing pain hurts to cough bend over move in don the have health
    Insurance so I try to avoid hospitals and doctor offices any ideas

    • Jan Modric says:

      So, this is below the ribs, so lower than the lungs are? How long do you have this pain? Are you constipated? Did you have any illness recently, did you change diet or started to take any medicines?

  29. Sheila Morris says:

    I am a 56 yr old female i fell on my left side a couple of mons ago holding my 14 mon old grandbaby & since have had one problem after the other on my left side ive been to my dr twice had elbow & shoulder xrayed nothing broke but told theres alot of inflammation so been taking inflammation meds but now seems that shoulder is better but real tender to touch even painful for my left arm to be against top part of my side just down below armpit hurts to touch or lay on left side

    • Jan Modric says:

      Has a broken rib been excluded? A doctor (orthopedist) can tell more after a physical examination, for example, if there is a winging scapula, which would suggest an injury of the long thoracic nerve. One possible cause of pain would be a stretched serratus anterior or other muscle, in which case limiting using your left arm, especially lifting anything heavy, could help in a couple of weeks.

  30. Kikelomo says:

    I have slight pain under my left breast around the rips,the comes nd goes its looks like nothing serious but just a bit worried.what can this slight pain meaning

  31. Cynthia Reich says:

    I have been experiencing constant pain when laying down only on my right side above waist.

    It keeps me up at night. I CANNOT lay on my back or right side.

    Laying on left side makes it possible to sleep.

  32. Tami Deming says:

    I have pain under my left arm, down my left arm, left arm swollen, mass in crease of elbow, pain in left rib area down to my waist. I’m extremely fatigued all the time. It all started with a mass in my left breast and under my left arm. I’ve had 2 mammograms and 2 ultra sounds. Both negative. The masses in the breast have diminished, but the left arm and ribs is getting worse. My doctor has no idea what it is and is sending me to pain management and I don’t know what else to do. I need to find an answer, I do not need referral for insurance but I don’t know what type of doctor to go to for this.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Was any doctor able to physically detect the masses in the breast, armpit or elbow? The swelling in an arm accompanied with a mass in the elbow and armpit suggest enlarged lymph nodes, which can be caused by an infection or cancer. Lymph nodes that are swollen due to cancer are usually not painful, though.

      You can ask a doctor (infectologist) for blood tests for cat scratch disease (after a cat scratch), tularemia (after a rabbit bite) and other relevant infections or other causes of enlarged lymph nodes, such as sarcoidosis, etc.

      Here is a list of causes of enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.

  33. Monique says:

    Hi I’m curious, I have severe sharp pains under my left arm, and over my left breast. If I press on the spots they feel sore but I haven’t pulled anything. I have severe GERD and a Hiatal Hernia that sits at the top of my abdomen. Is it normal to feel those sharp pains with those issues?

    • Jan Modric says:

      No, I don’t think so. You may want to see a doctor.

    • Julie says:

      Hi I’m curious, I have severe sharp pains under my left arm, and over my left breast. If I press on the spots they feel sore but I haven’t pulled anything. I have severe GERD and a “small” Hiatal Hernia that sits at the top of my abdomen . I don’t have a gallbladder,had that out three years ago . The ribs do hurt while I lay on my left side and stomach also . Would taking a ginger or apple cider supplement help with this ,or Is it normal to feel these pains with those issues?

  34. Cathy steele says:

    Fractured my eighth and ninth right side ribs, just from a simple fall and hit the back and broke them. It has been two weeks now and I am getting a stabbing pain on the left side between my spine and shoulder blade feels unbearable. It is a doll ache about the size of a Silverdollar and gets worse when laying on my back. Also feeling very nauseous, and threw up just clear fbile this morning

  35. Elizabeth says:

    My side pain started about ten days ago. I can reach it with a long vibrator made for the back. It’s extremely painful to the touch but I’m hoping that disturbing it will calm it down. The pain is on my flank, on my left side, about six inches down from my armpit. The pain is not constant but is excruciating. It feels like skeletal muscular problems but I did not injure myself. I also have knots or cysts or nodules in my stomach area, about 8 inches down and to the left. In reflecting I’d say they feel like when I had shingles a few years ago but I have no rash. Just a lot of pain, sensitivity to touch, itching, and a feeling of tightness around my feet. Emailed my pcp and waiting for a reply from her. In the meantime, any thoughts,

    • Jan Modric says:

      Shingles can cause pain for 10 days or more before any rash appears.

      Other than that, there’s one flat muscle called serratus anterior in that area. The overuse of the muscle due to hyperventilation, arm swinging during running or repetitive lifting of heavy objects can cause severe pain, which is triggered by the movements of the arms or trunk.

      The spleen is also about there, but spleen pain is usually not associated with such tenderness to touch.

      The knots and nodules are on the surface or within the abdominal cavity?

  36. Danielle says:

    I have an acute pain middle left of my back. Suffered from a virus recently and recovered only to get it back Now have a chesty, tickly cough with this awful pain. feeling exhausted and have a mild fever…. Any ideas?

  37. Thomas says:

    Hello I have a sharp stabbing pain under the rib cage (left) side. It happened some times. And when it happens it radiates up wards but takes few seconds. And I am really worried if it is a serious health matter. Any idea will help.

  38. Ron says:

    I have moderate to severe Pain on my lower right side, the only releif I get is from so many e borrowed pecadan and vicadins. Very persistent pain. Any ideas?

  39. Diane Sharp says:

    Have a strange one. I have ovarian and peritoneal cysts, due for appointment to discuss further action next week. But last night, I noticed a dull ache on my left side, right at the bottom of my rib cage. When I rubbed it, I realized there was a lump under my skin about the size of a small orange. It’s not extremely painful, like I said a dull ache that gets a little worse if touched, or if I cough. Ideas? I did call the gynecologist’s office and report it, but am trying to wait it out until my appointment next week.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Diane, it might be another peritoneal cyst, not sure. The transverse part of the colon also runs there. It could be also a collection of gas in the colon…An ultrasound could show what it is.

  40. Osore E. O. Godfrey says:

    Which Doctor is specialized in dealing with such cases? Please advice.

  41. Carol says:

    I have pain,on my right side,upper back,waist area,it hurts to move walk, take a deep breath.

  42. Angie Daqson says:

    Mine sounds like the surratus anterior pain syndrom. Luckily there is a diagram of exactly where the pain should be. That’s exactly where I’m sore but the pain is increasing. And when I breath in deep it aggravates the pain. It feels like a steady side cramp. ?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Angie, serratus anterior pain is usually not crampy. If your pain is increasing I suggest you to visit a doctor.

  43. Dar. belona says:

    I get pain on both an left side between the arm pit and waist and its severe these articles here need to be more clearer on what to do about it ….and tell us exactly what it could be frim i feel like i have to play guessing games……thank you for your consideration im not criticizing but it would help us to make it ckearer …

    • Jan Modric says:

      Dar. belona, I would need more info, like, are you a man or woman, how old are you, is your pain affected by moving, how long does it last, is the painful area tender to touch, do you think it’s related to some physical activity and do you have any chronic disease?

  44. brwnsuga says:

    I have extreme pain on my right side.when I lie on my right side it literally take my breath away to the point I have to switch sides…Been too many doctors no one van figure out the problem…Please help the pain goes all the way to my hip bone

    • Jan Modric says:

      brwnsuga, such pain usually originates from the muscles, but you revealed too little info for me to say anything more specific.

  45. alicia says:

    Pain here an there on left side stomach across from my bellybutton under my rib it hirts a little an moves

    • Jan Modric says:

      Alicia, a common cause of such pains is trapped wind. I can’t say if it is, though and I can’t exclude other causes.

  46. Patricia says:

    I have a burning discomfort that radiates below my shoulder, under my arm and down left side of my torso. Feel it mostly while lying down. Wakes me up in the middle of the night.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Patricia, there’s a long thoracic nerve that runs from the armpit vertically down by side of the body. A hit on the side of your body or excessive exercise that involve swinging the arms might be the cause. You may want to see your doctor.

  47. Elaine Lowe says:

    I’ve been in chronic pain for over two weeks in the left side of my back from the middle to the lower part and sometimes round to the front. It feels like a pulled muscle. I’ve had congestion with a odd dry cough which kept making me wretch with green phlegm coming up in lumps. My chest and lungs are clear. I’ve been to my doctors, primary care twice and also to my heart failure nurse. My diagnosis is severe muscle spasms. I’m worried it’s something more sinister? I have never felt pain like it. I can’t shout, even when I scream out in pain and cry, cough or breathe it hurts. It’s worse than when I fractured my knee or gave birth! Pure agony

  48. Kelsey says:

    What would be the cause of such bad pain in my right side above my hip that it is very difficult to get a substantial breath in?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Kelsey, it could be trapped gas, strain of serratus anterior muscle, pleurisy, adhesions, endometriosis, for example, but these are just few possible causes. If worried, visit a doctor.

  49. simon says:

    I really need help with this ive got a pain next to my right uper ribs the skin feels dead as well sometimes when i couth it hurts more even when i bend over or if i lay on my side.
    Kind greatings simon

  50. Tintaglia says:

    I am very sorry to bother any of you with my problems, but both me and my father suffer from the same problem (Inheritance?) that we both do not understand. We have gone to the doctor’s about our random pain and cramps (stabbing pain, Burning/Searing pain) in both our Rib’s usually around the 4-7th rib. As I read this article, most of what could come close, didn’t even make sense because some of it didn’t even exist, wasn’t a symptom, or was just too much. I thought that this would be the right place to ask about this, to see if you have any generalized ideas about this problem.

    • Tintaglia says:

      Oops! I forgot to add, sometimes I will have pain in my area of ‘Fake Ribs’

      • Jan Modric says:

        Tintaglia, by fake ribs you mean the ribs 8-10? I would need to know exact pain location (near the sternum, at the side, which side, one or both sides?), pain triggers (applying pressure, moving, breathing), how old are you, when did this start and what investigations did you have so far and what were the results.

  51. Elize says:

    Please I am very nauseas dizzy weakness stinging pain in lower ribs at sides especially left side near spleen and in diaphragm area vomiting bile no gallbladder.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Elize, such symptoms can occur in impaired motility of the bile ducts or in intestinal blockage, for example. I strongly recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist.

  52. Margarita Finlay says:

    I’ve had pain under left rib cage for around 5 years now, had scans done etc and nothing showed up but still have the pain -don’t know the cause (I also have Haemachromatosis).

    • Jan Modric says:

      Margarita, to help a doctor to find the cause of pain, you need to tell him exact pain location, does it spread anywhere, is it tender to touch, is it affected by breathing, moving or lying down, when did the pain start and do you have any nausea or other related symptom.

  53. David says:

    I have a hard time breathing properly if I’m bent to my right side and worsens when I lean all the way to my right and pain in that area becomes a factor. I’m able to catch a full breath when I lean towards my left side. Any clue as to why this happens or what it means?

    • Jan Modric says:

      David, maybe something is pressing on your airways or lungs when you bend to the right. I guess, some investigation, like X-ray can reveal more, but go ask your doctor.

  54. saugata mukherjee says:

    i m getting crumbling feeling on the left side under the rib cage and back side too sometimes…like some liquid is flowing there…please help me

    • Jan Modric says:

      Saugata, it sounds like the bowel content moving. If you have eaten something wrong, it should go away in few days. Intestinal parasites can couse troubles lasting for months, though. If it is a repeating issue, you may want to think if you are intolerant to lactose, fructose or some specific food.

  55. LINDA says:

    I keep getting bad pain in the middle of my id cage., it keeps me up all night, i already take pain meds for a back surgery, and they don’t stop the pain.. I had a cat scan. but nothing showed up.i don’t know what to do next.

  56. Sandi Duvall says:

    I’ve had the same experience as Sarah. Been to the ER, treated like a crazy old woman, given pain meds and anti-angiety drugs that don’t help. Pain starts on left side near kidney, radiates up my side, into my left chest and shoulder. I cannot lay down, the pain gets so intense. I don’t know what to do!!

    • Jan Modric says:

      Sandi, to expect a reasonable response, you need to mention when the pain started, is it constant, does it change with body movements, what are other triggers or relievers, does it radiate to an arm…any other symptoms or underlying diseases…are you physically active…?

  57. Larissa says:

    Ello 🙂 I went to the ER like a month ago, I had a miscarriage that went on for over 40 days. The same day that the bleeding stopped I was having what felt like contractions still. For days I couldn’t get out of bed (the pain was so strong that I physically couldn’t move my body) I felt like calling the ambulance, but I wanted my husband to take me to the ER when he got back from being out to sea. We went which was a week later and they mentioned something about fluid under my lungs and something else about one of my lungs… After that I saw my primary care provider and he said I was fine and that I just had a virus…. So, now a month later I’m starting to have the same pain from my “virus”… Last time I at least had a cold so it made sense, I’m not sick at all right now, are there any thoughts on what it could possibly be? I know virus’ never go away, but why would it trigger now when I’m not even sick? Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Jan Modric says:

      Larissa, a virus can cause viral or atypical pneumonia, but it seems that was just a doctor’s hypothesis. To confirm that you would need to have some tests. “The fluid under your lungs” can result from a viral or other infection, from disorders of the lymphatic vessels, heart disorders and cancer. The fluid is usually associated with an inflammation of the lung membrane (pleurisy), which can cause pain on the side, back or in the front of the chest and is aggravated by deep breathing. If you don’t get better soon I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor and insist to get an actual test-confirmed diagnosis.

      • Larissa says:

        Oh wow!! Thank you so much, it’s gotten progressively worse haha!!! As much as I hate going, I’m going to schedule an appointment this week, thank you 🙂

  58. Trish says:

    Extreme exhaustion, nausea, pain in rt side under ribs, diarrhea. Any ideas what might be going on? I have no gallbladder so I know it’s not that…

  59. Kelly Smith-Shepherd says:

    Ive been to ER, cannot get help, pain on right side middle area so severe, say I have 2 small ovarian cysts on right, 1 larger on left one, but that my pain up to high and cysts on right small, to be the pain cause, help I’m in pure agony!!!!

    • Jan Modric says:

      you need to go to the ER again, it’s impossible to solve medical urgencies via the internet.

      • Sarah says:

        I’m in the same boat as Kelly an I’ve been to the ER twice and have been refused of ultrasound and X-rays. They said unless I’m in chronic pain an dying I need to go see my primary physician.

      • Ashley Puckett says:

        Hello I’m looking for actual help I’ve been to er many times and doctors of all sorts for a very young age till now and have yet to figure out how to get the pain to go away I have several very small cyst’s on my left ovary (since around the age of 7 is when the pain started) I’ve been given norcos oxys (also started at age 7) things like that for temporary relief but as time passes it gets worse and worse I’ve been told that it will correct itself I’m now 23 years old and it’s becoming unbearable especially during my menstraul cycle Doctors refuse to pay any attention to what I have to say I’m told “im to young to understand what pain really is and I’m making it worse than it is” or my favorite ” oh hunny it’s supposed to hurt while you bleed it’s cramps get over it” I’ve had 3 children 2 of which were delivered all natural so I do understand what pain is and I can live with everyday pain but I need any kind of advice here a home remedy of a doctor from Rockford that is recommended any thing at all that might help get me to where I can pick my baby up or chase my toddler anything that will give me the opportunity to be there for my children please I’m begging for help

        • Jan Modric says:

          Ashley, it’s not likely I’ll solve your problem, but it can help you search further if you know:
          – Your exact diagnosis? (PCOS?)
          – Any other abnormality detected by any investigation at any time?
          – Where exactly is the pain?

        • Kate says:

          Ashley you may have endometriosis. Get a referral to a gynaecologist.

  60. Kelly b says:

    Hi. It would help a lot to set links to what to do if the discription fits us.

Load more comments
Show less

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *