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Rib cage pain on left side

Rib cage consist of 12 thoracic vertebrae, 24 ribs, sternum-breastbone and the coastal cartilages. It is the coastal cartilages which provide the connection of ribs and the sternum. Ribs assist a human in motion, expansion and contraction of the abdominal region. Rib cage surrounds the ribs and protects them. Rib cage is an elastic, flexible protective covering.

In the chest area nerves come out of the spine and split into two different ways. One of the parts goes toward the under part of the skin. In this way it sends the fibers even further to the surface of the skin and this is done during its travel half way around the thorax. The other nerve goes from the bottom of the rib just around the sternum. This nerve surfaces to the skin as well and then goes back in the direction of the side of the same level as the first nerve. It is exactly the hurting and the discomfort in this area of the ribs that provides the hurting of either left or right part of the rib cage.

Rib cage pain causes

A fractured rib is one of the most common causes of rib cage pain on both sides, not just the left one. A person can have a cracked rib due to an accident or an injury. If a person experiences pain on the left side of the rib cage, the doctor will first do an X-ray to see if some of the ribs are broken. An MRI or CT scan can be performed if the person is suffering for some time from the pain in the rib cage.

Another thing that can cause pain on the left side is the inflammation of the cartilage. A person can even mistake it for a heart attack because the pain sometimes spreads to the back and the arms. This inconvenience does not last for long but it causes a lot of pain.

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause pain on the left side as well because the gases tend to move up and get stuck in the left loop of the intestine.

There is a benign condition that mainly happens when the rib cage muscles get inflamed and it is called costochondritis. This is a problem that occurs quite a lot in children and it happens because of the viral respiratory infections or too much straining from coughing. Rib cage pain treatment

The doctor will prescribe different treatments depending on the seriousness of the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen will be prescribed in minor cases of rib cage pain. However, if the pain is more severe a patient will get tricyclic anti-depressants. In the most serious cases a patient will receive a local anesthetic and steroid injection.

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