Home Heart Care 7 Causes of Pain Under Left Rib Cage Other Than Heart Attack

7 Causes of Pain Under Left Rib Cage Other Than Heart Attack

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Have you ever inhaled deeply and felt a searing discomfort under your left rib? You might have thought it was a heart attack and the end of your life at the time. 

Pain under the left rib can be quite stressful, especially if you have a heart condition. However, Instead of jumping to conclusions, you should think about alternative conditions that could cause pain under your left rib. 

So, if you experience a stabbing pain under your left rib, do not be alarmed! It could be caused by a variety of factors. 

Here I am going to list some causes of pain under the left rib cage. 

Keep reading!

Ribs Hurt When I Breathe – What Could be the Reasons? 

Your left ribs protect several body organs. These include your heart, stomach, as well as your left lung, pancreas, spleen, and left kidney. 

Any infection, inflammation, or injury to these organs can result in pain radiating under and around your left rib cage. 

Now, let’s see in detail the potential causes of pain under left rib cage. 

1- Broken or Bruised Ribs

A bruised rib causes pain in the chest that gets worse as you inhale or move. The most common cause of bruised or broken ribs is a powerful blow or injury to the chest.

When a rib is shattered, the pain is usually excruciating. It could feel like it’s difficult to take a full breath in. Apart from causing pain, broken ribs can result in significant consequences such as:  

  • A collapsed lung
  • Injuries to your blood vessels or organs, such as your spleen 
  • Flail chest, which is a medical emergency that occurs when you have several rib fractures

2- Costochondritis 

Costochondritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone. It is characterised by a sharp, stabbing pain on the left side of the rib cage. The pain gets worse when you cough, sneeze, or when you exercise. 

The cause of this illness isn’t always obvious. It can happen for a variety of causes, including:

  • An infection
  • An injury
  • A lot of coughing

If you suspect this condition is causing pain under your left rib, avoid sports or activities that put additional strain on your breastbone.

3- Pericarditis

The pericardium is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds your heart. The inflammation of this sac is referred to as pericarditis. This might result in a dull aching or searing pain, which is usually worse when lying down. A high fever is another symptom of pericarditis.

4- Problems With Gut 

Causes of pain under left rib cage and in the upper abdomen may also indicate stomach and intestinal disorders. These are:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are digestive disorders. IBS and IBD both produce chronic pain in the abdomen, which runs from your chest to your hips. 

They can also produce pain under your left ribs. Some of the digestive symptoms caused by IBS and IBD are: 

Get to know how to get rid of stomach gas naturally


Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, which is also located near the left side of the rib cage. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, however the following are some of the most common ones:

  • Pain in your upper abdomen 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Feeling of being full even after consuming a tiny amount of food

Know about effective remedies for stomach ache

5- Pancreatitis 

The pancreas is a gland, not an organ. It is located on the left side of your stomach, near your small intestine. It produces digestive enzymes as well as hormones such as insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin.

Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas is inflamed. This inflammation is one of the causes of pain under left rib cage, which can spread to the back. 

Pancreatitis can also cause the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 

The inflammation of pancreas can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Gallstones 
  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Injury
  • Medications such as corticosteroids, losartan 

6- Problems With Your Spleen

Your spleen is also located near your rib cage on the left side of your body. This organ plays a crucial role in your immune system. It makes white blood cells that fight illness and processes other blood components.

A damaged or enlarged spleen could be the source of any pain you’re experiencing under your left rib cage. Symptoms of an enlarged spleen, also known as splenomegaly, include:

  • Bloating 
  • Feeling full after eating only a modest amount of food 
  • Pain or discomfort

Bursting of the spleen can be another cause of pain when you breathe. Your spleen can burst at any time, usually as a result of trauma. This is a medical emergency, and you should get medical help right now.

When your spleen ruptures, the area around it may feel sensitive to the touch. Other signs and symptoms, in addition to pain, include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 

7- Kidney Stones

Calcium and salt deposits solidify and form stone-like lumps in the kidneys, causing kidney stones. This can cause a blockage in the passage of urine, resulting in severe back discomfort radiating to the front and up near the ribs on the affected side. 

You may get pain near the left side of your rib cage if your left kidney has stones. 

Other symptoms may appear, such as: 

  • Burning when urinating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius
  • Blood in the urine

When is Left Rib Pain An Emergency? 

When is pain under the left rib cage the symptom of a heart attack? A medical emergency, such as a heart attack, can occasionally be indicated by chest pain. 

Some symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain, or a heavy feeling in your chest, commonly in the centre or on the left side
  • Ache in neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, back, or above the belly button
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Loss of breath 
  • Rapid or erratic heart rate

Call your local emergency services straight away if you fear you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms. 


It’s not uncommon to experience pain under the left rib cage due to the large amount of organs in the upper left side of your body. It could be caused by a disorder that is easily treated. 

To find out underlying causes of pain under left rib cage, you can consult with the best medical specialists near you. To make an appointment you can visit Healthwire.pk

However, if you have significant pain in this area that worsens over time, lasts more than 24 hours, or is coupled with any of the serious symptoms listed above, you should seek medical attention right away.

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