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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65671
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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when I cough I have a pain just under my right rib cage?

Customer Question

when I cough I have a pain just under my right rib cage?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Robert replied 4 years ago.
Dear customer

Welcome to and thank you for your question.
I'm so sorry to hear of your discomfort regarding pain in right rib cage during coughing.I will do whatever I can to help answer your questions:

There are groups of muscles that are located between the ribs. These are called intercostal muscles.

If the intercostal muscles on the right side are inflammed due to chronic coughing,you are likely to experience pain under the right rib cage.

Another possibility is of inflammation of inter coastal cartilage that can also occur because of strain due to coughing.The coastal cartilages could get inflamed due to violent coughing that may occur due to respiratory infections caused by a virus.

Less likely possibilities are:gallbladder disease,duodenal ulcer,acute pancreatitis,liver problems,subphrenic abscess.

Take tab. Ibuprofen 400mg from the counter.It non steroidal anti inflammatory drug(NSAID) & will help you greatly in reducing the inflammation & hence the pain.It is available as OTC(over the counter) without prescription.

If still after this,the symptoms persists,then you need to consult your doctor as tests like x-ray chest & ultrasound upper abdomen may then be required accordingly.

Also take your cough medications to cure the cough.

Hope this helped.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Thank you XXXXX
Dr. Robert

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.



As I understand it, this is pain under the rib cage, which can also happen from ulcer. Do not take an NSAID, which can aggravate ulcers.


You need an exam now, not later..this type of pain in this location is not a self help situation. Gallbladder disease can become serious if not treated.


And, I would see your doctor regardless of if this pain comes and goes. Just because it might go temporarily, does not mean it is not ulcer, gallbladder, or other serious problem.


Let me know if you have further questions.

Please do not forget a positive rating.