Rib pain can be dull, achy, sharp, and can have various causes. It is important to tell the physician what type of pain one experiences as it can help the doctor make a diagnosis.
Medical imaging such as an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can also help rule out harmful conditions. A bone scan may be necessary if there is chronic bone pain.
Treatment would depend on the underlying cause of the rib pain. It may include pain medication and a compression wrap. If the rib pain is due to underlying cancer, it may include radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Some causes of rib pain are listed below.
Cause #1: Fractures
A fracture describes a broken bone, which can range from a thin crack to a complete break. A bone fracture occurs when there is more pressure or force placed on the bone than it can support. Patients with fractures usually experience intense pain that worsens with movement. Other associated symptoms include dizziness, bruising, swelling, redness, and a visible deformity in the area.
Fractures can be classified as closed, open, complete, or incomplete. There are also different types of fracture such as compression fracture, comminuted fracture, and segmental fracture. Fractures can be caused by trauma, falls, and sport injuries. Fractures can also occur in the ribs causing severe rib pain.