6 Common Causes of Pain under the Right Rib Cage

However, this kind of pain can also result from some underlying medical condition which requires an immediate treatment. The right rib cage protects many vital organs, so you should never ignore any pain in your chest or upper abdomen.

Common Causes of Pain


Here are some of the most common causes of pain under the right rib cage.

Liver Disease

A liver disease is one of the most common causes of pain under the right rib cage. This type of pain can occur if the liver becomes infected due to various conditions, including fatty liver, hepatitis, congestive heart failure, as well as blocked blood vessels.

Detecting a liver disease in the early stages is crucial for successful treatment. Therefore, if you experience any pain in your liver region, you should immediately consult your doctor.


Sharp pain under the right rib cage can be a symptom of gallstones or gallbladder infection. If you are dealing with gallstones, the pain can be accompanied by some other symptoms, such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate.

In case you experience a severe pain under the rib cage, which extends towards the right shoulder, you could be suffering from a gallbladder infection.


The appendix is a small part of the intestine located on the right lower side of the abdomen. If the appendix gets infected, it causes inflammation and pain that starts near the belly button and moves to the right abdomen under the ribs.

Appendicitis is a serious health condition that requires an immediate medical attention because if the appendix ruptures, it may lead to fatal consequences.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes two chronic conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which are caused by inflammation of the digestive tract. These conditions prevent your digestive system from functioning properly.

Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by an occurrence of pain under the rib cage, difficulty swallowing, coughing, tiredness, and weight loss.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are small mineral deposits that form in the kidneys. They cause an intense pain below the right ribs, especially if they move.

If you have kidney stones, you may also experience severe pain in the lower abdomen that spreads to the groin area. In case the kidneys become infected, there might be an occurrence of fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.


Pneumonia is a lung inflammation caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. This condition can cause sharp chest pain which worsens when you are breathing deeply.

If you suffer from pneumonia, you will have pain under your right or left rib cage, depending on which lung is affected. Some other symptoms of this conditions are a cough, chills, fever, and headaches.


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