Pain under the right side of the rib cage may be caused by stomach ulcers, liver damage, costochondritis, bone injuries, gallbladder disease, Crohn's disease and liver cancer, according to MedGuidance. Rib pain may also be associated with muscle tears, lung inflammation and osteoporosis, notes Healthline. Enduring pain should be examined and diagnosed by a doctor to avoid serious health complications.
Doctors are likely to question patients about the nature of their pain, when it started, what it feels like and what types of symptoms accompany the sensation. Signs of labored breathing, general chest pain, difficulty moving and bruising require immediate medical attention, according to Healthline.
Imaging tests such as X-rays are commonly performed to diagnose rib pain and gain visibility into the rib cage to rule out broken bones, organ inflammation and cancer, explains Healthline. When X-rays return positive results for internal abnormalities, it is typical for doctors to then order a magnetic resonance imaging scan to provide a detailed look into a person's tissues, muscles and organs. If bone cancer is suspected, a doctor may perform a bone scan with a radioactive tracer to detect the presence of a tumor.
In mild cases, it may be enough for people to treat rib pain by taking gentle painkillers and applying cold compression to the area, according to Healthline. If a serious diagnosis is made, surgery may be required.