Rib/Chest Pain

Pain specific to the rib/chest typically falls under two types: intercostal neuralgia and costochondritis.  Intercostal Neuralgia is a rare condition that causes pain along the nerves located between the ribs.  It is caused by damage to one of the nerves or loss of function of the nerve, which can produce periodic episodes of acute pain or pain that is dull and constant.  Costochondritis, sometimes known as chest wall pain, occurs when the cartilage that connects your rib to the breastbone (sternum) becomes inflamed.  The symptoms of costochondritis often mimic a heart attack.

Signs & Symptoms of Rib/Chest Pain

  • Intense sharp, stabbing pain in the upper chest.
  • Aching pain in the upper chest.
  • Pain increases when coughing or laughing.
  • Pain that wraps around the chest.
  • Skin in the area has decreased sensitivity.

Causes of Rib/Chest Pain

  • Shingles
  • Post-Chest Tube Insertion & Removal
  • Post-Chest Surgery
  • Chest or Rib Injury
  • Pregnancy or Tumors