The ribs are the bones that enclose the heart and the lungs to protect them from getting damaged. However, the ribs can easily be inflamed and fractured. Many people experience rib pain because of several causes. If you want to know what is causing yours, continue reading below.
Your rib pain can be a result of fractures. The most common cause of the pain is broken bones. The pain from this usually lasts for several days or weeks. It is better if you consult your doctor and ask for a physical examination in order to find out if some of the rib bones are fractured. X-ray examinations will be very helpful in knowing the actual condition of the ribs. Fractures can also lead to immobility and difficulty in breathing.
Another cause of rib pain is the inflammation of the cartilage. This condition is also known as costochondritis. This can be extremely painful that is why many people mistake it for heart attack or stroke. Patients who have this condition experience difficulty in breathing and sharp pain when moving the affected area. The pain usually subsides after several weeks as the body has its own of healing cartilages and bones. However, it would be helpful to consult with a doctor to relieve the pain immediately.
Pleurisy can also cause rib pain at a great extent. It is a condition which is characterized by the thin tissues that cover the heart and the lungs. It can be a cause of infection or underlying medical conditions such as arthritis. People with this condition experience the pain when they cough, sneeze or breathe.
The causes of rib pain can further be divided into four types according to which body system is affected the most. The first type is known as the musculoskeletal cause. These are conditions that are physical in nature. It includes injuries, arthritis, osteoporosis, strained muscles, muscle stiffness, multiple sclerosis and infection. The next type is known as the respiratory cause. These conditions mainly involve the lungs. Examples of these are pneumonia, pleurisy, asthma, tuberculosis and blood clot around the lung area. The third type is the cardiovascular cause. These are the conditions that involve the heart and the cardiovascular system. They include coronary heart disease, heart failure and heart attack. Cardiovascular causes are usually life threatening therefore they should be treated immediately. The last type is the digestive cause. Conditions such as peptic ulcer, gastritis and gallstones may cause rib pain.
It is very important to identify the cause of the rib pain. Although some causes do not pose immediately harm to one’s life, there are some which can lead to death if not diagnosed immediately.