Pain - rib cage
Rest and immobilization are the best cure for a rib cage
Follow your health care provider's instructions for treating the cause of rib cage pain.
Call your health care provider if
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if the pain is persistent, prolonged, or unexplained.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
The health care provider perform a physical examination and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history, including:
- When did the pain develop?
- Is it present all the time?
- Is it getting worse?
- How would you describe the pain?
- Is it a sharp or stabbing sensation?
- Does it feel like pulling or grabbing?
- Does it ache like a bruise?
- Is it a crushing pain?
- Does it feel like pressure or heaviness? (This may be a sign of
anginaor heart attack)
- Exactly where is the pain?
- Is it only on one side?
- Is it the same on both sides?
- Is the pain worse when bending or twisting?
- Is it worse when coughing?
- Is it worse when breathing deeply?
- Has there been an injury to the chest?
- What other symptoms do you have?
Tests that may be performed include:
Bone scan(if there is known history of canceror it is highly suspected) Chest x-ray
Review Date: 01/31/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.