Pain under right rib cage when breathing isn’t normal. If your ribs hurt when breathing, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. There are a variety of conditions that may cause this type of pain. Here are some of the most common causes for pain under right rib when breathing.

Top 4 Causes for Pain Under Right Rib When Breathing


Costochondritis is related to inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib cage to the breastbone or sternum. It can be caused by trauma to the chest or physical strain, certain illnesses, some types of arthritis, repetitive motion such as sever coughing, or tumors in the costosternal joint. Costochondritis can often be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, antianxiety medications, and restricted activity levels. This condition is not usually serious and may go away on its own, however, a trip to the doctor is warranted.

Gall Bladder Problems

The gall bladder is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen just under the ribs and liver. Although it is rare for this pain to be associated with breathing, it can cause serious discomfort, so it may feel like it hurts with every breath. This condition must be diagnosed and treated by a physician.


Pneumonia is a lung infection and can cause serious illness. Although it is often able to be treated at home, some people such as babies and small children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses may require hospitalization. This infection can be caused either by bacteria or a virus. Pneumonia caused by bacteria is usually treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is not normally treated with antibiotics, but instead is to let to run its course and the symptoms, such as the cough, are treated. Bed rest is also recommended.


Pleurisy is an inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs and covers the inside of the rib cage. This membrane, called the pleura, should be moist and lubricate the lungs, so the rib cage can glide smoothly over it as you breathe. Sometimes, though, if these surfaces become inflamed, they lose their moisture and rub together like two pieces of rough sandpaper and can cause extreme pain in right rib cage when breathing.

The most common cause of pleurisy is viral infections, though there are underlying conditions which may be the root cause of the problem. It is important that you seek medical treatment to determine if there is another issue at play.

Remember, it is not normal to feel pain in right rib cage when breathing. If it hurts to breathe, get to the doctor and find out why.

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