Pain In Abdomen Below Left Rib Cage

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi guys,

So I wanted to post this because after trying diagnose myself through the internet, I noticed that this problem is more common than one would think. So let me start with day one.

In mid May, I got a really bad cramp in the left side of my abdomen below the rib cage. The cramp was so bad that I was basically in bed rest for the rest of the night, unable to get up from my bed. I didn't think anything of it so I decided to sleep it off. The next morning that same area felt like it had a really bad bruise. Days went by and this bruise feeling did not go away. After a week in a half of no improvements I became worried. The pain was fluctuating between soreness, burning sensations, and sharp pains. I did want to point out that this pain would go away when I was active or standing up. Also, the pain was more intense in the evenings after getting home from work (I have a desk job btw). It was when I was sitting down that the pain would bother me. At first I thought it was kidney stones. I started taking supplements to help pass them but after a CT scan (done in beginning of July) everything came out clean. After, I decided to give it some more days since my doctor told me maybe I passed them already or they were too small to see with CT scan. Days went by and nothing was getting better. I went to a new doctor towards the end of July since I felt that my previous doctor was no help and not pursuing other options for this issue I had. The new doctor asked me to get another CT scan done but with Contrast this time and also blood work. Everything came out clean. At his point the doctor said to rule out kidney stones or anything serious. That's when I was sent to a Gastro specialist. Now we are around late August. The specialist was no help either, had no idea what I was talking about when I explained my symptoms. He gave me some medicine to help with stomach acid fluctuation thinking that might be the issue. After weeks of taking the medicine there were no changes. At this point I felt desperate because I felt that I was going nowhere and this pain was lowering my quality of life and making work miserable for me. Towards the end of September the pain for some reason shifted from my abdomen to my back. The next step from the specialist was an endoscopy but I decided to pursue other options since the pain changed and didn't want to pay for an expensive procedure. And I do want to mention that occasionally through those past months I would feel light pain on my back parallel to the area that I was having pain on my front. This time the pain was more on my back than my front. So I decided to go to a Chiropractor to check me out. To my surprise the Chiropractor knew what I was talking about when I explained my symptoms. He told me that the initial cramp came from a muscle that is connected to my abdomen and wraps around to my back which is the reason the pains were parallel to each other. I have gained weight the past 2 years and haven't been much active that could have contributed to this issue. Anyways, after some adjustments and physical therapy it has been improving! There's no more pain on my front and now it's mostly on my back. The intensity and frequency of the pains have gone down. Currently I am still in treatment but finally feel relieved to have answers and to see improvements.

Hopefully anybody going through the same situation finds this thread and can use this information to help themselves. Many doctors won't pursue other means to find a diagnosis so sometimes you just have to take it upon yourself to figure out what is wrong with you.

Good luck!! If you have any questions let me know!

1 like, 23 replies

23 Replies

  • Posted

    I forgot to mention that I am a 24 year old male.

    Sorry bout that!

  • Posted

    Well thanks for all this information! This was the first description I have found online that matched my pain. I'm 38 and female. Still hoping it's nothing serious. Hope you feel better!

  • Posted


    Thanks for you valuable info. Can you let me know wat other symptoms u faced like pain during cough or sneeze. Also wat type of physiotherapy or exercise u did to get relieved from this pain. Please share those information.

  • Posted

    Thanks so much. I have a cough and this makes sense to me. I recently broke my back and still have much pain. I know the chiro will give me the right direction. 

    Thank you

    • Posted

      Hi Arizonaguy,

      I went to see my GP before the chiro and she told me it must be a pulled muscle from coughing. As I am on pain medication for my back which did not work for the pain in my lower left side, she gave me a topical cream like Voltaren but has a higher level of whatever works in the ointment, it has steroids in it. you can only get it through a prescription. I had my hub rub it into the front and back of where the pain was and the fourth morning I woke up and the pain was gone to my relief. I had made a chiro appointment which,  i canceled. Please try this before anything else. Seems simple for the amount of pain I was in but it restored me to get on with my life.

      Wishing everyone  safe healing.


      For anyone suffering this way, please try this before you do anything else going forward. 

  • Posted

    I literally made an account just to thank you. The symptoms you described sound awfully similar to mine. Like EVERY single symptom. This gives me so much hope.  Doctors have no idea and some forums/sites will make you go crazy thinking it’s something much worse. Hopefully it’s just a muscle issue like yours and not worse.  And for others, ....I’m a healthy 23y/o male who exercises regularly. Thanks again Arizonaguy 🙏??

  • Posted


    I am experiencing exactly the same symptoms, and I am really worried about it, I have had an ultrasound scan that revealed I have a cyst on my left kidney, but they weren't concerned about that, !!! They said it was common. I am a 57 year old woman, I don't drink , smoke, could do with losing some weight though !! I have gained about 2 stone in the last 3 years, but Im still a size 12. I also experience it the right side too, the doctor prescribed Omeprazole, (which is for acid reflux , which I have never suffered from in my life and still do not suffer from). I just don't know where to go from here, so When I saw your post I felt a bit of relief !! The doctors don't seem to be really interested, which I find alarming, I have never experienced any thing like this in my life. This morning I had really bad back pain, but it was higher up than my left kidney, although I have had it what seemed parallel to my left front,  it seemed to be between my shoulder blades. I' m not really that active, I am going to get in touch with a Chiropractor to see if they diagnose these symptoms, I will let you know how I get on.

    I can see you posted this 4 months ago, how are your symptoms now ?

  • Posted

    I have been suffering similar symptoms for years, with ultra sound scans and numerous endoscopy proving fruitless! I've been convinced however that the root of the problem was digestive rather than muscular, did you suffer any pain or in particular a burning sensation under the left rib when eating?


    • Posted

      Hi everyone. I have the same thing. I had been drinking more than normal but I am 50 slightly over weight but reasonably fit. I have a scan Friday. Quite worried and the GP is in the dark.
    • Posted


      yes my burning sensation does seem to trigger after eating . Not always though and it can also move to the other side my right side but always just under the rib cage . Still baffled by what it may be . 


  • Posted

    Hi I just read your post and I think I'm having the same issues. About a week ago I started with pain under the rib cage on the left side under my breast. It was bad enough where I went to the ER and they did an CT scan with contrast. Blood work. Everything came back fine. Went home and the next morning it was worse. Went back to the ER. Then they did an x-ray thinking it could be something else. That came back fine and they sent me home. I made a follow-up appointment with my primary care physician but what they ended up doing was calling me and triaging my phone call over the phone. They said there was nothing my doctor could do since all the tests he would run we're already ran. It's been about a week now and I still have the pain and I am now having a burning sensation. They told me to stop the heating pad and to watch out for a rash. Which could be shingles apparently. I don't feel that's the case. I do sometimes feel the pain parallel to the back but still most of the pain is in the front. Wondering if it could be the muscle. I called the doctor's office again today and they have not prescribed me a muscle relaxant. Wondering if I should try CBD oil? Help?

    • Posted

      This sounds very similar to my situation! I’m only an 18yr old female and I’ve had this problem for 2 or so weeks. I went to ER because I straight away thought heart, had chest X-ray, blood work and ECG and all was clear and fine! My pain was underneath my left breast and it would change from Sharp and then burning and dull and it would radiate around my side and upper back. I went to physio and she said that it was a muscle in my back towards my underarm that was causing it. She fiddled with it and now the sharp pain is gone, it’s still there but no where near as bad! Hopefully this helps biggrin 
    • Posted

      Mine also hurt more when doing certain movements or even coughing and deep breathing. 
    • Posted

      Hi thanks so much for your reply . That is encouraging news ! I still get it not as bad, it can sometimes feel like you have got something stuck under there too ? I have found it can be gassy drinks like Fanta orange or Diet Coke even sparkling water than can trigger it too so I now drink only still water and squash diluted with water and it's much better . My GP seemed to think it was muscle spasms. And it can go around the back too like your symptoms . It is definetly not so bad since I changed the drinks and I am keeping a diary of foods now to see what food can trigger it also . I think the next step will now be a chiropractor as many people with the same symptoms are saying that can help . Keep posting please if your condition gets better as it looks looked many people suffer with this and it can be so worrying , 


  • Posted

    Oh sorry and I also wanted to say it hurts really bad to cough bend over and sine of my other ADLs.

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