Pain right side along lower right ribs towards my back right side.

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I am 28 years old with no known health issues.

In May I started to notice a pinpoint sharp pain on my right side. I should take not the week before I was in the gym but I done nothing to cause any injury.

I only notice this issue the first few times while in a hot shower.

I had a sharp pain that to me felt like its inside me in the Upper right quadrant but just below my rib cage. It started out as a very very small pinpoint sharp pain which only annoyed me first in the shower. Then after a week or more it turned really really bad.

The pain was very very ache and sore on my right side and towards my back.

I could not pinpoint were the pain was or if it was a muscle, rib or something inside me.

I was on the verge of going to A&E for several weeks looking back I wish I did.. but assumed it must be a pulled back or rib muscle of some kind and my doctor thought so too. The really bad level if pain last maybe 2 months.

Now Several months on the sharp pain I felt from the front right is I would say 90% gone. I still have a light feeling of ache there .

However My problem is I still have pain on the right side of my back very ache and sore and it goes along my right rib cage to the right side and sort of reaching my front right side.

I went to physio and we noticed the issue seems to be coming from my last 2 floating ribs. The Physio would push on either of the last two floating ribs real hard and I would be fine. But when he released the pressure the pain is terrible! I noticed now even to lightly push in the rib is ok but when I release its very very sore. I do not know if its pain with the muscle , rib or something inside me.

The Physio thinks I have sensitive muscle at the last two floating ribs. The muscle that attaches to the rib

But I am not satisfied with this. Its been several months why have I not got any better. Phyiso gave me exercises but its just makes it worse...

It is now 7 months later and I am in the exact same amount of pain! no improvement.

I notice it gets worse when sitting down (I am at a desk for work).

I try to have good posture but it does not help I find myself lifting my right side all the time thinking it will give me relief but it does not...

Basically the pain is on the right side of my back and along the right lower ribs/ waist towards the front. Bending over is a little stiff in my back and was sharp when I started to have the issue back in May.

The worst seems to be when I wake up in the morning and also towards the end of a working day having sat all day. I do take breaks.

Tests thus far:

  • I have had a chest xray and its clear.

  • I have been checked for kidney stone (since I complain of sharp pain and pain in right side of back ) but its all fine.

  • Urine is clear.

  • I have had an MRI scan on my Lumbar and Thoracic spine. The Lumbar showed a slight bulge and disc dehydration at L5-S1 and its not touching a nerve. My doctor thinks thats not the problem and I do agree as I would expect pain down the leg which I do not have that.

  • I have had blood taken and its ok but they suspect I may have hemochromatosis due to high iron level. I am awaiting confirmation on the second test to confirm if I do indeed have hemochromatosis. However I am not sure if that would actually be related to my issue unless its already damaged my liver but I am only 28.

I am in daily pain. Sometimes I feel the pain is related to muscle at my right lower ribs or a back muscle on the right side from my last two ribs to wards my back. But sometimes I feel the pain is inside me but that might be how I am interpreting it.

How I explain it is it feels like someone has their hand on my right side and is gripping my right side with their Thumb on my back and index finger warped around to the front right side along the diaphragm/last ribs. Pain is constant but goes from annoying to worse throughout the day.

Doing any physio exercises or simple back exercises makes it worse.

Sitting is making it worse even with good posture (at least im trying).

Because of the possible diagnosis of hemochromatosis I am currently awaiting a new appointment to scan my abdominal ( liver, pancreas etc) just to rule it out.

If I can can rule my liver/pancreas out then I think I will push to get a proper xray of my lower ribs again or perhaps a CT-Scan ??

I just cant understand why it would be a muscle issue its been over 7 months. The level of pain after the 3 months when down a little but I think I am just getting used to the pain..

Either way I need to keep chasing this as I have been in pain every day now since May 2019 and its now November.

Any advise on how to determine if there is a rib or muscle issue.?

Sometimes I feel like its my rib poking into me but my doctor and physio do not agree.

I just do not know what is wrong with me.

After this latest ultrasound to check my liver and pancreas depending on the results I will push for maybe a new x-ray or ct-scan to 100% rule out a rib issue. Perhaps I should ask for muscle relaxants?

Perhaps I need to see a consultant for the rib area but I am not yet convinced if its a rib or muscle issue or what...

Pain killers do not help that much. I have also tried ibprofen gel but it does not help.

I hope this could make sense to someone or help point me in the correct direction I am really fed up now.

To clarify again right now the pain is on the right side of my back and goes along the bottom of my last ribs towards the front. I find myself mostly rubbing the area of the last ribs at my back but the pain is not in any exact spot.

If I push on the area of my last 2 ribs its not that bad but when that pressure is released its very sore and pain feels like internal pain.

Only kind of way to keep the pain at a minimum is too keep good posture and do not do any exercises what so ever.. no bending or twisting only then can I keep the pain down but its still present.

Maybe my issue is simple a muscle or issue with sensitive floating ribs or muscle that attach to the ribs but its been over 7 months with little improvement.

Any advise is welcome sorry for the rant.


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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I highly suspect it's your gallbladder. I had a severe infection at from 16-19 and collapsed and had emergency surgery to have it removed. What caught my attention was;

    "How I explain it is it feels like someone has their hand on my right side and is gripping my right side with their Thumb on my back and index finger warped around to the front right side along the diaphragm/last ribs. Pain is constant but goes from annoying to worse throughout the day."

    This description is very gall badder like. When they do your abdomen scan... get them to check it thoroughly. It's sounds exactly like it. No physio, gym etc until this is sorted. XRays etc won't show anything either.

    Please get them to look at bile ducts and throughout gallbladder system. Get CT abdomen too and HIDA scan to check the function of your gallbladder.

    Good luck and let me me know?


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    • Posted


      Thanks for commenting . I will ask them to carefully check the gallblader and duct as well as pancreas and liver . ill update you when i have results still waiting for appointment .

      The doctor also requested a scan of my pelvic not sire why he added it onto the referral letter


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    • Posted

      No pain in either shoulder.

      If i bend (without keeping my back straight, it can be very ache and sore and was originally sharp if doing any bending , the ache stiff pain goes down my back a tiny bit and then around the lower ribs to as i explained above. Its hard to tell which direction the pain is going. it could be a trapped nerve or something i dont know .

      I do also get some twitching going on in that general area bot sure if its a muscle but i assume it is . Its just a hard thing to describe and sometimes i feel like its a muscle , nerve or rib or back issue but other times I think its from inside me at my back/right side ...

      I am actually more worried if its a muscle back or nerve issue since its over 7 months with little inprovment ...

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  • Posted

    I agree with Melissa that this sounds like it could be your gallbladder. It sounds a bit like you possibly had a stone stuck at first (the pin point, extreme pain) but it moved, and now there could just be stones causing pain. My sister just had this exact problem, although it was over a period of 2 months not 7 but the description is pretty similar to how she described it.

    My own gallbladder got infected after a bad gastro bug when I was 21, and it slowly stop functioning. It took almost 9 years for the doctors to work out what the problem was. I had multiple ultrasounds because all my symptoms said gallbladder but no stones ever showed up. I was put on various food intolerances diets and subjected to so many tests (and repeat tests). It wasn't until I changed GP's and she sent me immediately for a HIDA study that they discovered that it was barely functioning, and when I got it removed it had partially calcified.

    It felt like right sided aches, worse after eating, much worse in the evenings. Whenever I lay on my right side it felt a bit like there was something bubbling or moving under my skin in a very uncomfortable way.

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  • Posted

    Quick Update

    Confirmed I do not have hemochromatosis but I am a 'carrier' of the bad gene apparently.

    I had my abdominal scan on the 27th November still pending results from scan.

    Some days I am convinced its an issue with my back. Then other days I change my mind.. Its hard to tell.

    MRI showed no issue at the level were my pain is. I hope that the abdominal scan results will show the cause.

    The pain over the 8 months if I was to draw a curve has I think been decreasing over time but so so slowly, and some days are still very bad. I will also clarify I do not feel any worse after eating.

    Will keep you all updated

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  • Edited


    So its over 2 years now for when my issue started to happen in May 2019 and its now July 2021.


    • I had chest xray
    • Abdominal scans
    • MRI scan on upper and lower back
    • Been too two physios(They had no real answers )
    • Bloods taken
    • Kidneys and Liver checked

    My last option before covid happened was to see a nerve specialist. I decided to just wait and see how I get on and was kind of forced to do nothing because of covid..

    I started to see some improvement in the pain and most of the nerve twitching feeling is gone away for the most park but it is not gone 100%.

    Right now I would say I am about 50% better to how I was in 2018 and 2019. But still my quality of life and mental health is suffering. I am never happy and cannot enjoy life. All I think about is the constant deep ache pain and uncomfortable feeling. Even when the pain is not bad there is still an uncomfortable feeling around my right rib/back area. I can get a shooting pain when twisting in bed or when getting into my car, or even sometimes when going down a stairs. I still also get referred pain up my back towards my right shoulder.

    I am still undiagnosed and have not been back to a doctor since 2019. However I am at the point were I need an action plan to get properly diagnosed and to find out how to manage this pain as I just cannot go on living like this.

    I keep searching google trying to find answers but I honestly have not got a clue.

    I am tempted to say its a rib issue or a slipping rib issue but I have no issues breathing. I am planning to go back to the doctor to try and see what plan they think is best but honestly I doubt they have any idea.

    Again my current symptoms are:

    • Mostly Deep ache and sometimes sharp pain around the right back/floating rib area.
    • Constant pain and only goes up and down in pain but never goes away 100%.
    • Referred pain up my right shoulder.
    • Sharp pain when twisting in bed or getting into a car sometimes.
    • Constant Uncomfortable feeling as in something is not 'sitting' right, as if a muscle is caught type feeling even when not in pain.
    • The feeling is like someone gripping my insides
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    • Posted

      Hi Kevin... just came across this thread... so awful you've been dealing with this for so long. I have the same issue more or less but it's on both sides of my ribs and back. I have muscle twitching in both ribs and back where the pains are. Going thru PT now and will get an MRI if this does not improve my symptoms. How have you been lately?

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    • Posted

      Hi Kevinjoy.

      I am going through the same thing at the moment. I have a pressure/discomfort in my lower right rib area constantly......upto 3 months now. Sometimes it aches quite bad to not much pain but the feeling is always there. I have had a urine, blood test, ct scan of internal organs and all came back clear. The next step is to see a physio and doctor has referred me to gynaecology (I have endrometreosis).

      Do you have an update on how you are now? It driving me crazy and my mental health is suffering as I am thinking the worst all the time.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kevin!

    I know this is an old thread but I have the same symptoms only on the left side.

    I have had ultrasound of gallbladder, liver kidneys, pancreas. All clear.

    Blood tests. All clear.

    Tested for H. Pylori. Negative.

    Chest Xray: All clear.

    I then went to physio and they suspect Slipping Rib Syndrome.

    Does your ribs ever make a click or popping sound?

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  • Posted

    I've developed this pain and sometimes it is really painful and I just want to lie down and rest all the time.

    seems to get worse with movement and sometimes affects my shoulder

    all scans show nothing, all blood tests fine, all liver and pancreas function fine.

    It's a mystery and it has been getting worse over several weeks now.

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