Hi I am a female nineteen year old of 165 pounds 5' 4". I have a weird pain usually beneath my left breast in my chest that flairs up with no warning. When I take a breath or move it feels like someone is sticking a knife through my ribs. I have heard of precordial catch syndrome however I am not sure that is what it is as I have had this issue every other day or so since I was four or five. My mother had me brought into the doctor because along with that I can press on the middle of my ribs beneath my breasts and cause them to pop in and out. The doc at that time said it could be broken cartalidge but that was when I was four. At nineteen I am still feeling the pain and I can still pop my ribs in and out if I like or with really deep breaths. I honestly just want to know if its something I need to get on top of ASAP.
Hello, and thanks for your medical question on eHealth forum!
If you can pop your ribs and there is pain below your left ribs then this can be due to costochondritis. This causes pain and tenderness at points where your ribs attach to your breastbone. The inflammation around the joint area gives sharp pain on taking a breath. This can also cause tenderness on pressing the area which pains. An orthopedic doctor can diagnose this for you. Generally there is no cause. However it can be due to infection, blow, injury, or fibromyalgia. It usually goes away on its own. Otherwise it can be treated with muscle relaxants, and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. You can apply a local pain killer gel or cream and avoid pressing on the area. You can also use a heating pad.
Sharp stabbing pain under left ribs could be due to acidity with gastric reflux or hiatal hernia. Take a late night snack. Raise head end of bed. Take Omeprazole empty stomach in morning and an antacid gel at bedtime. Refrain from smoking, alcohol, carbonated drinks and spicy food. Walking around also helps clear gas. I would strongly recommend you to see a gastroenterologist (a specialist who looks after the diseases of our digestive system) if these tips help you.
Other than that it could also be pleuritis (inflammation of covering of lung) or pericarditis (inflammation of covering of heart). Since you do not mention any other symptoms, it is less likely to be any of these. IBS, Crohnâs, chronic constipation, spleen problems like bleeding, cyst, abscess etc can also cause pain under left ribs.
Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please consult your doctor regarding this and rule out the possibilities through clinical examination, history taking and investigations. Hope this helps. Take care!
"Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals.
For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our
medical experts page.
You may also visit our Chest Pain , for moderated patient to patient support and information.
The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician.
Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.