Upper Right Abdominal Pain Under Ribs: Causes and Treatments


Aches and pains in your upper right abdomen under your ribs can have a variety of causes that will or might not be a reason to stress. Intense cramping aches or short stabbing pains on the proper side of your abdomen might be something as simple as gas or as serious as gallbladder inflammation. Or, a burning sensation in your right chest may desire heartburn but be cardiac-related.

The right side of your upper abdomen contains a part of your gastrointestinal system, your gallbladder, pancreas, liver, right kidney, and right lung. There also are muscles and ligaments in your right skeletal structure that support your body and assist in breathing. the rationale that upper right pain under your ribs is difficult to diagnose is because issues with one or more of the organs in your abdominal area can cause varying degrees of pain.

Of course, any quite traumatic injury to your right ribcage can cause intense pain under your ribs. because the injury heals, the intensity of pain may change to dull and nagging aches with tenderness within the affected area. there’s also an opportunity that the upper right abdominal discomfort is coming from a damaged organ in your abdomen.

In this article, I will be able to check out what it can mean if you’re having pain in your upper right abdominal area. Knowing the symptoms of abdominal and chest pains can help identify the cause and skills to treat the pain. you’ll also determine when stabbing pains in your right chest require examination by a doctor.

Organs in Your Right Upper Quadrant

Specialists for the most part partition your stomach district into four zones called quadrants. Your right upper quadrant (RUQ) extends from your belly button to the highest right side of your upper chest.

Dr. Mary Harding on Patient.info says that the ensuing organs are found in your upper right stomach zone under your ribs:

  • The largest part of your liver
  • Part of the pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Part of your large and little bowel
  • Right kidney
  • Right lung
  • Nerves and muscles of the chest

Symptoms of Upper Right Abdominal Pain

Expert in gastroenterology, Dr. Jay W. Marks says that there are many symptoms related to upper abdominal pain on the proper or left side. Sometimes, inflammation can cause a burning sensation under your ribs or the pain may feel crampy due to muscle constrictions.

Other symptoms concerning RUQ pain can include:

  • Gnawing discomfort within the area slightly below your right ribs
  • The torment that spreads from the front of your chest close to your back
  • Sharp excruciating pain within the middle back that spreads to the groin due to a kidney infection
  • Tenderness within the upper right abdomen thanks to injury or inflammation
    Pain that eases when passing gas or having a movement if there’s a digestive issue because the cause

Causes of Upper Right Abdominal Pain Under Ribs: viscus Related Causes

Let’s look in additional detail at a number of the conditions connected with your organs which will end in abdominal pain on the upper right side.


Gallstones can form within the gallbladder and cause constant dull pain which will last a couple of hours. Usually, the aching pains start gradually within the right upper quadrant and may become very intense.

Dr. Douglas M. Heuman, who focuses on liver diseases, says that RUQ gallstone pain usually occurs when the duct carrying bile gets blocked. this will cause persistent aching pain within the upper abdomen for between 30 and 90 minutes. Other symptoms of gallstones can include:

  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain that radiates to the proper shoulder or upper back
  • Gas
  • Heartburn

Kidney stones

Stones in your right kidney can cause sharp debilitating pains under your right skeletal structure which will extend as far as your groin.

Your kidneys are located within the middle of your back against the rear muscles, with one on either side of your spine. consistent with information published on PubMed Health, some larger kidney stones can cause severe discomfort and complications if they move. Usually, the stones cause mild to severe abdominal and back pain once they move. alongside the extreme pain, kidney stones also can cause any of the subsequent symptoms:

  • Waves of flank pain that come and enter intensity and frequency
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Passing blood together with your urine
  • Pain in your genitals
  • Frequent urge to urinate

Sometimes, kidney stones can cause a tract infection which can cause symptoms of cloudy, foul-smelling urine.

To get obviate small kidney stones naturally, doctors say that drinking many fluids is often enough to flush the mineral deposits from your kidneys. there’s also some evidence that drinking diluted apple vinegar can dissolve some sorts of kidney stones and permit you to pass them with no pain.


The health of your pancreas is additionally connected to your gallbladder, and inflammation within the pancreas may result in upper right abdominal pain under the ribs.

Pancreatitis usually causes left upper quadrant pain; however, pancreas pain also can affect other areas of your abdomen. consistent with doctors from Cedars-Sinai, pancreatic conditions can cause gnawing pain in your upper right side and middle of your back.

Liver pain

Liver pain would be felt within the right upper quadrant because the most important part of your liver is within the right upper quadrant.

According to Dr. Benjamin Wedro on MedicineNet, certain liver illnesses can cause right-sided upper stomach torment under the ribs. for instance, inflammation caused by hepatitis will cause a dull ache with abdominal discomfort. the particular liver pain comes when the liver is enlarged and pushes on surrounding nerves in your right abdomen.

Some of the first symptoms of liver damage include:

  • Swelling of the abdomen or legs
  • Abnormal biopsy results
  • Passing dark-colored urine
  • Bruising easily

To keep your liver in healthiness, it’s important to avoid these 5 habits which will damage your liver.

Reasons for Right Upper Abdominal Pain: Digestive Issues

Many causes of cramping abdominal pain in your right upper quadrant are often thanks to various digestive issues. Your intestines take up the foremost of the space in your abdomen so digestive issues can cause pain anywhere below your ribs.


Gas pain on the proper side of your abdomen is often so severe that the pain can desire appendicitis. Gas can build up anywhere in your colon and may cause dull abdominal aches or sharp stabbing pains that recover once you release gas.

RUQ pain can also be caused by Gas . for instance, researchers from Johns Hopkins report that if gas builds abreast of the proper side of the colon, you’ll feel aching pain that’s almost like gallstones. Gas pain also can desire other medical problems.

Excess gas is rarely some things to stress about. If you’re concern about why you fart such a lot, you’ll try some home remedies to urge obviate gas naturally.

Acid reflux

Heartburn can cause pain within the upper right side of the stomach due to digestive juices that shake the stomach and irritate the esophagus.

According to a study published within the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, acid reflux usually causes pain and burning within the upper right abdomen.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that heartburn or acid reflux can cause pain that starts as a burning sensation in your upper abdomen then spreads to your chest. The pain is often so severe, that it can desire the beginning of an attack.

Usually, antacids help to quickly relieve the discomfort of heartburn and there are many natural home remedies you’ll use. for instance, drinking 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda during a glass of water is an efficient natural antacid for heartburn.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome may be a combination of varied digestive disorders which will cause dull pain within the upper right abdomen.

A study published within the journal Gut found that a standard reason for pain within the upper right abdomen under the ribs is irritable bowel syndrome. This was amid discomfort within the intestines, diarrhea, and constipation.

Other symptoms of IBS can include:

  • Passing greasy stool or stool with stringy mucus
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Frequent rumbling noises from your stomach

The manifestations of fractious gut infection can travel every which way and there are powerful home solutions for overseeing IBS. Some people that suffer from chronic digestive upset have found that flavorer capsules help to alleviate abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease may be a collective term for various inflammatory digestive conditions which will cause cramping discomfort and tenderness within the upper right abdomen.

Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD reports that colitis and Crohn’s disease are the foremost common sorts of IBD. With these digestive diseases, inflammation can occur anywhere within the alimentary canal. One sort of Crohn’s disease is Ileocolitis and this causes cramping pain within the middle of a part of the proper abdomen.

Other symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease can include:

  • Mild to severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Passing stool with streaks of blood
  • Unexplained weight loss

Upper Right Quadrant Pain: Lung issues

Various issues connected with your right lung can cause sharp jabbing pains under your right ribs. Because sudden sharp pains in your left chest or right chest alongside breathing difficulties are often potentially serious, you ought to always contact your doctor.


An upper respiratory condition can cause infectious pneumonia which may have a variety of symptoms starting from mild to very serious.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that pneumonia can cause stabbing chest pains that are worse once you cough. Other symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • A high fever
  • Coughing up greenish or yellowish mucus
  • Difficulty breathing
  • General fatigue and feeling tired all the time
  • Increased sweating


Your lungs are encircled by defensive tissue called the pleura.

Dr. Laurence Knott on Patient.info says that irritation of the pleura will cause right-sided upper stomach torments under the ribs if your correct lung is influenced. Pleurisy can sometimes be the result of a virus infection, a complication of pneumonia, or an arthritic condition.

Dr. Knott advises seeking medical advice for pleuritic pain within the upper abdomen if the subsequent complications occur:

  • Severe chest pains that don’t get away after a couple of days
  • Upper right or upper left abdominal pain that gently gets worse
  • You cough up bloody mucus

Collapsed lung

Pneumothorax is that the medical name for a collapsed lung and it happens when air enters the space between your lung and therefore the chest wall.

Specialists from the Cleveland Clinic say that a fell lung causes extreme hitting torments on the upper mid-region of the influenced lung. Other symptoms can include:

  • Bluish skin thanks to a scarcity of oxygen
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Breathing difficulties.

To avoid complications from the lung problems mentioned here, it’s important to understand the way to keep your lungs in healthiness. for instance, garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties and may help prevent serious lung conditions. you ought to also avoid habits that will damage your lungs.

Upper Right Abdominal Pain Under Ribs: Rib Related Causes

Pain within the right upper quadrant under your ribs also can be associated with muscles, ligaments, and bones in your chest.

Intercostal muscle strain

You might experience tenderness and sharp pain on the proper side of your chest wall if you strain one among your intercostal muscles. These are the muscles located between your ribs. Sudden jerking movements, forcefully throwing an object together with your right, or falling on an outstretched arm can strain them.

For example, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jack McPhilemy reported on a case of a ballplayer who sprained his intercostal muscles. This happened because the sportsman was running and twisted his body at an equivalent time. This causes intense stabbing pains within the upper chest wall due to a tear within the rib muscles.

To forestall pulling a muscle in your chest, it’s imperative to heat up before participating in any active work. . This helps to extend blood flow to your muscles and increase muscle and joint movement.

Rib injury

Any quiet injury or blunt force trauma to your right skeletal structure will cause varying degrees of pain in your upper right abdomen.

Doctors from the Victoria government say that falling or being injured in an accident are the foremost common causes of rib injuries. which will end in popping a rib from your skeletal structure, bruising, or tearing an intercostal. alongside the upper pain, an individual may have difficulty breathing and listen to grinding sounds as they move their body.

Applying a chilly or hot pad to the injured area can help to alleviate the pain and speed up healing.


Inflammation within the joint between your breastbone and your skeletal structure can cause pain and tenderness on the front of your upper chest.

Doctors from Southern Cross say that costochondritis is often the result of respiratory tract infection or fibromyalgia. this will cause intense, severe pain on one side of the chest but also can affect both the proper side and left side of the chest. Usually, the inflammation clears up and therefore the pain goes away on its own within 3 weeks.

Right Upper Quadrant Pain: Heart Related Issues

Although cardiac-related pain within the upper abdomen under the ribs usually affects the left side of the chest, you’ll sometimes experience right-sided pain.

Cardiac ischemia

Cardiac ischemia is when there’s a discount in blood flow to your heart due to a blockage in your arteries. Serious complications of cardiac ischemia can cause damage to the guts and even an attack.

According to Dr. Julian M. Aroesty from Harvard school of medicine, ischemic pain is going to be felt throughout the chest – on the proper side of the chest and left side. Pain within the chest can spread to the jaw, neck, or shoulders.

Heart attack

Although the warning signs of an impending attack cause squeezing pains on the left side of the chest, you’ll sometimes have pain within the upper right abdomen and back.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that attack pain can occur on the proper side and also spread to the rear and scapula.

When to ascertain a Doctor

Fortunately, the greater part of the reason for torment on the upper right half of your mid-region is simply passing spasms or hurts. However, pain in your chest or upper abdomen is often an indicator of a more serious condition.

According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, there are some times once you must see a doctor about upper abdominal pain that happens on either side of your body. These manifestations of torment under the ribs can include:

  • A sensation of completion or crushing throbs in your chest
  • The agony that spreads to one sidearm, shoulders, or jaw
  • Persistent upper abdominal pain alongside nausea and/or vomiting
  • Shooting sharp torment on one side of your upper mid-region that causes windedness
  • Coughing up colored mucus that’s green, yellow, or red
  • Tearing torment that emanates from the chest to neck or back
  • Recurring upper abdominal pain on the proper side or left that doesn’t get away


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