What is Causing This Pain Under the Ribcage?
My 16 year old daughter has had a stomach ache every night for the past week. The pain is located just under the rib cage. She says it feels like her stomach has been twisted inside.
Can you advise what might be the cause of this? She's not keen on going to see a doctor (like many teenagers).
I am sorry to hear about your daughter's stomach pain. It is probably quite worrying and frustrating as a parent to not know what is the cause of her discomfort.
Seeing a DoctorUltimately, your daughter needs to see her doctor to have her pain properly investigated. Hopefully, her doctor can determine what is causing the pain, which will allow for the right course of action and treatment where appropriate.
For now though, there are a number of potential causes that can put you on the right track to finding out what is triggering her stomach ache and pain under her rib cage. Medically speaking, rib cage pain refers to the types of pain and discomfort that occur in and around the ribs.
Broken RibWhile a broken rib is unlikely, it should still be considered. When a broken rib occurs, the pain is typically more intense when a person bends over or twists and moves the body. It is therefore different from pain in other conditions where the pain relates to the lungs, for instance.
PleurisyPleurisy is an inflammatory condition in the lining of the lungs. It can be extremely painful and can take weeks to months to resolve. It can occur following several illnesses such as pneumonia or a similar infection. It tends to be a pain that syncs with breathing, because as the diaphragm expands and contracts, pressure leads to pain in this area. Coughing will usually make the pain worse as well.
Gastrointestinal ProblemsThere are also possible gastrointestinal conditions that could relate to her pain there. Does the pain come and go with relation to her eating habits? Are there particular foods she eats prior to experiencing the pain? These are all important considerations.
Obtaining a Thorough ExaminationWhen your daughter sees her doctor, he or she will want to ask questions about the pain. So, it's a good idea to perhaps write down details about the pain now. Consider when the pain started and whether it has worsened over time. Also, it can help to describe how the pain feels – is it a sharp pain or a dull, constant one?
Your daughter's doctor will likely conduct an examination that focuses on her lungs and her chest cavity. A chest x-ray may also be needed as well. Hopefully, with prompt attention you will find out the cause of her rib cage pain.