Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Abdominal pain under rib cage left side...Feels like A Charlie Horse

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 72 Replies
  • Posted By: BarbaraBarbara
  • November 30, 2007
  • 02:28 PM

Hello, New to this forum and glad to meet you all.

I am a 38 year old Smoking Housewife with no medical insurance, about 180 pounds....have gained about 30 pounds since starting work on the computer 3 years ago, and dont get alot of physical exercise, so I am in an upright posistion alot of days and of course bending forward with not so great posture.

Other than generalized getting older and general aches and pains Im healthy.

I have had SEVERE bouts of pain on my left side, just beneath my rib cage in the stomach area, for about 7 years.

The pain isn't always present, it comes and goes but I never have it when im standing or laying down (only when Im sitting) , It can be brought on sometimes by coughing or even twisting/bending my body to the left ,right or foreward, doing sit ups, getting out of bed or for no apparent reason at all, but not every time, and I cant reproduce the pain for the doctor.

Severity of the pain...UNBELIEVABLE !!! On a scale of 1-10 it is always a 8-9 during the episode.
It almost feels like a charlie horse in my stomach, or severe labor pains but ALWAYS in the same spot ..I can put my finger on it every time..It's the same exact spot.
No chance that Im pregnant Ive had a tubal 15 years ago, and as mentioned this has been ongoing for about 7 years.
The muscles in my stomach area completely contract and I cant hardley breath in or out untill it passes.
It lasts about 30 seconds and then stops leaving a sore,bruised feeling for an hour or so in that area.

I can apply pressure with my hand to the spot and be very still or lay down as I feel the muscles begin to contract and that will usually delay or stop the full blown spasm for awhile or a day.
There's no bruising, I cant feel any lumps, it used to only happen about once a month ( sometimes It wouldnt happen for 3-6 months) but recently it has been more frequent happening 1-2 times per week.

It doesnt cause fever, and im not dibilitated except when im having the pain.
I am constipated and gassey quite often ( I think I should be going more than I do),I get indigestion often but hardley ever have diarhea.
These dont feel like gas pains, they are extremely more severe than that.
I dont loose my appetite,I dont take laxitives because I hate the stomach ache produced by them.

The only meds I take are Advil or aleve for pain ,claritin for allergies and Nyquil when I have a cold.

I also occasionally get a burning achey feeling in my back, towards the top between my shoulder blades, it's a radiating ache no more severe on one side than the other, but occasionally radiates up the right side of my neck ... usually brought on during colder weather or times when im stressed or smoking more than usuall , I thought it comes from my lungs and was a URI but my general physician always says my lungs sound fine, so maybe it is coming from muscles ?
I might add, taking Nyquil seems to help the pain between my shoulder blades.

I have brought these pains to the attention of my general physician for years and she looks at me as though she's puzzled so I stopped even bringing it up to her because she makes me feel stupid, I am not a hypochondriac .

7 Years ago she put me on anti-depressants after my 5 - 6 th complaint about these pains , I assumed she was thinking that I was too stressed and freaking myself out , I stopped taking them after the first 6 months or year because the pains didnt stop and I didnt feel depressed even in the begining .
I dont take pain pills so I turned those down when they were offered and told her I dont want a band-aid , I want to know whats wrong.

She says it could be alot of things (possibly more than one thing) and I should have an MRI done but I cant afford that.


Any ideas?

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72 Replies:

  • No, I get those pains like that, too; it's a sphincter spasm. My doctor took me seriously, because it is like a 9-10 for when it spasms and I get it when I sit wrong or twist. I immediately change position to control it and it usually works...wow...a colonoscopy is in order to rule out obstructions and that doctor said it was musclular in nature.I hope you join the Y or a gym or begin walking for your overall health improvement plan. Yours could be something totally different and maybe I would throw in a stress test.
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 07:34 PM
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  • the shoulder blade pain could be gall bladder or perhaps you should get a mammogram...You could try some acupuncture for it and see if that helps.
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 08:01 PM
    • 0
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  • Could be many things - as Monsterlove listed above, or perhaps pancreatitis or some other pancreatic problem. MRI or ultrasound is the only way I would think a true "Western" diagnosis could be made...this is pricey, of course without insurance:confused: . I will also suggest trying acupuncture as it would most likely be very helpful. Acupuncture can be great at getting the body back in balance. Visit www.acufinder.com and type in your zip to find a practitioner near you. Also consider massage if your symptoms improve with self massage and pressure. A good massage therapist who is familiar with abdominal massage techniques may also help you. Exercise is key, in moderation at first. These are some ways to get better without having a definitive diagnosis. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 08:25 PM
    • 0
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  • BarbaraBarbara,My wife is experiencing a very similar problem. I know your query is a bit dated, but did you find out any more about what it might be? Thanks for any input.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • wow..i have never heard anybody else explain the exact thing that has been happening to me for years!!!im 32 years old and had my gallbladder removed 8 years ago. i have a weird but painfull heavyness under my left rib cage quite often! i notice it alot while im driving for more than 15 minutes or so. i dont get it often while standing..only when sitting. my doctor always looked at me a little puzzled while bringing up these symptoms. i was told it was gas and even had ultrasounds of my liver often to rule-out any enlargement or problems..nothing!! last month after having a scope down my stomach i was told that it is basiclly a build-up of bile that does not absorb as it should..makes sinse to me know. i was also having alot of digestion problems and occ. diahrrea.....guess the bile has to exit somehow when its not being absorbded correctly. i was also put on carafate to help the process and the pain has been reduced by half!! i can live with that!! good luck to you!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi, new here, but saw your plea for assistance. my first suggestion is to get a new doctor. go and get the dvd "sicko". many doctors/hmo's are using people by telling them basically "take two asprin and call me in the morning" which basically means, "yeah yeah, well you aren't dying, so you aren't that sick...come back later when you really show symptoms." i finally got my parents out from this clinic that used to be good 20 someodd years ago before they went hmo.. my parents who were over the age of 70 were treated or rather untreated for their health related symptoms, unless it was so bad, they had to go to the Emergency room. then it wasn't the clinic it was a hospital. i have met people over the years who lost parents, friends, other family members because this "clinic" wouldn't really help them. any way don't stay for loyalty sake...they don't care about you no matter how "nice" and "comfortable" it is to have one doctor over the years. this doctor does not trust you to give accurate symptoms. just because they don't know, does not mean that your pain goes away. it is still there. my guess is that you have endometriosis. i get that extreme chronic sharp stabbing burning pain in the abdomen area, when i am not on my bcpills to control the menses every month. my guess is that. go see a woman gynocologist and get yourself a new doctor. stick with a good woman doctor. good luck, renazantz
    renazantz 1 Replies
    • August 12, 2008
    • 03:09 AM
    • 0
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  • If you arent experiencing any kind of abdominal problems such as gas or dirreah, then my best tip is to have an MRI done of your spine. The spine can cause pain in places you would never believe. Kiera
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 12, 2008
    • 05:19 AM
    • 0
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  • I have a crampy muscle just under my left rib cage. I have had it scanned with and without contrast. There is nothing notable to see. The painful cramp happens when I bend over while sitting (like to tie shoe laces), and when trying to swim (I can't). I have Systemic Lupus which has become resistant to many common treatments including chemotherapy. I am currently treated with Rituxan (kills off some of the white blood cells). This is the only time I have been free of this cramp over about 20 years. Guess it must be some sort of muscle inflammation with me.Years ago, a gastroenterologist told me I could try Botox to relax the muscle. I never did, but you might ask about that.Good luck. Fran
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 12, 2008
    • 08:22 AM
    • 0
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  • Okay, so I am 19 years old and two or three days ago I started having moist bowel movements. In addition, I started laughing the same day and had an intense muscle cramping, that felt like my right side of stomach/under rib cage formed a knot or a charlie horse in my intestines. Unsure what to do, I grabbed for the side, only to find a worse unbearable pain, decided to stretch, relax and pray! Then later that night, I was driving with a friend in the car, we started laughing and I felt it coming back---only by supressing laughter, it went away faster and in smaller jolts rather than one, large, cramp. Then today, I started having the same feelings on and off during the day. That's when I asked my dad, who thought I was crazy and so I looked online and finally---Thank the Lord for Google, I found the most impressive and reliable source--that makes sense for 90% of the problem and here it is:Irritable Bowel SyndromeOkay, so I've heard of this, but after reading the whole thing, I don't have all the answers but many more, besides what is arbitrary like : "you're dehydrated or eat more bannanas", this has substantial and clinical data. So I hope this helps everyone who experiences the similar and nerve-recking pain. You are not crazy and God Bless!DefinitionIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal condition characterized by abdominal pain and cramps; changes in bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation, or both); gassiness; bloating; nausea; and other symptoms. There is no cure for IBS. Much about the condition remains unknown or poorly understood; however, dietary changes, drugs, and psychological treatment are often able to eliminate or substantially reduce its symptoms.DescriptionIBS is the name people use today for a condition that was once called--among other things--colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon, spastic bowel, and functional bowel disorder. Some of these names reflected the now outdated belief that IBS is a purely psychological disorder, a product of the patient's imagination. Although modern medicine recognizes that stress can trigger IBS attacks, medical specialists agree that IBS is a genuine physical disorder-or group of disorders-with specific identifiable characteristics.No one knows for sure how many Americans suffer from IBS. Surveys indicate a range of 10-20%, with perhaps as many as 30% of Americans experiencing IBS at some point in their lives. IBS normally makes its first appearance during young adulthood, and in half of all cases symptoms begin before age 35. Women with IBS outnumber men by two to one, for reasons that are not yet understood. IBS is responsible for more time lost from work and school than any medical problem other than the common cold. It accounts for a substantial proportion of the patients seen by specialists in diseases of the digestive system (gastroenterologists). Yet only half--possibly as few as 15%--of IBS sufferers ever consult a doctor.Causes and symptomsSymptomsThe symptoms of IBS tend to rise and fall in intensity rather than growing steadily worse over time. They always include abdominal pain, which may be relieved by defecation; diarrhea or constipation; or diarrhea alternating with constipation. Other symptoms--which vary from person to person--include cramps; gassiness; bloating; nausea; a powerful and uncontrollable urge to defecate (urgency); passage of a sticky fluid (mucus) during bowel movements; or the feeling after finishing a bowel movement that the bowels are still not completely empty. The accepted diagnostic criteria--known as the Rome criteria--require at least three months of continuous or recurrent symptoms before IBS can be confirmed. According to Christine B. Dalton and Douglas A. Drossman in the American Family Physician, an estimated 70% of IBS cases can be described as "mild;" 25% as "moderate;" and 5% as "severe." In mild cases the symptoms are slight. As a general rule, they are not present all the time and do not interfere with work and other normal activities. Moderate IBS occasionally disrupts normal activities and may cause some psychological problems. People with severe IBS often find living a normal life impossible and experience crippling psychological problems as a result. For some the physical pain is constant and intense.CausesResearchers remain unsure about the cause or causes of IBS. It is called a functional disorder because it is thought to result from changes in the activity of the major part of the large intestine (the colon). After food is digested by the stomach and small intestine, the undigested material passes in liquid form into the colon, which absorbs water and salts. This process may take several days. In a healthy person the colon is quiet during most of that period except after meals, when its muscles contract in a series of wavelike movements called peristalsis. Peristalsis helps absorption by bringing the undigested material into contact with the colon wall. It also pushes undigested material that has been converted into solid or semisolid feces toward the rectum, where it remains until defecation. In IBS, however, the normal rhythm and intensity of peristalsis is disrupted. Sometimes there is too little peristalsis, which can slow the passage of undigested material through the colon and cause constipation. Sometimes there is too much, which has the opposite effect and causes diarrhea. A Johns Hopkins University study found that healthy volunteers experienced 6-8 contractions of the colon each day, compared with up to 25 contractions a day for volunteers suffering from IBS with diarrhea, and an almost complete absence of contractions among constipated IBS volunteers. In addition to differences in the number of contractions, many of the IBS volunteers experienced powerful spasmodic contractions affecting a larger-than-normal area of the colon--"like having a Charlie horse in the gut," according to one of the investigators.DIETSome kinds of food and drink appear to play a key role in triggering IBS attacks. Food and drink that healthy people can ingest without any trouble may disrupt peristalsis in IBS patients, which probably explains why IBS attacks often occur shortly after meals. Chocolate, milk products, caffeine (in coffee, tea, colas, and other drinks), and large quantities of alcohol are some of the chief culprits. Other kinds of food have also been identified as problems, however, and the pattern of what can and cannot be tolerated is different for each person. Characteristically, IBS symptoms rarely occur at night and disrupt the patient's sleep.STRESSStress is an important factor in IBS because of the close nervous system connections between the brain and the intestines. Although researchers do not yet understand all of the links between changes in the nervous system and IBS, they point out the similarities between mild digestive upsets and IBS. Just as healthy people can feel nauseated or have an upset stomach when under stress, people with IBS react the same way, but to a greater degree. Finally, IBS symptoms sometimes intensify during menstruation, which suggests that female reproductive hormones are another trigger.For more information, visit this website----there's a word limit!http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/irritable_bowel_syndrome.jsp
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2008
    • 04:37 AM
    • 0
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  • Did you have your tubes tied or do you have filshi clips ? If you have clips of any type on your filopian tubes, it's possible one could've come loose and migrated in that area. You should see an internal medicine Doctor and have bloodwork done to check for infection, check liver enzymes, kidneys...etc.... I felt the same way and my bloodwork was good except my H.Pylori count was high in the 60s. I never even heard of H.Pylori before until my Internal Specialist called me in for a follow up on my blood work. H.Pylori is a stomach infection and is generally treated with antibiotic therapy such as Prev Pack which consists of Previcid, Biaxin and amoxacillin. Most everyone has it apparently, just some people have lower counts from 30 or below. Anything higher than 30 is a sign of infection in the stomach. Alot of people with ulcer problems have a high count and don't even know it! Family practice doctors just treat the person for the ulcer pains and check your blood for chol.,sugar,thyroid etc... which also is a good thing also. H.Pylori apparently comes from the foods we eat. Stay away from Buffet Restaurants where everyone puts their hands in the food.If you are really concerned, See an internal specialist :) Hope that helps. Good luck:) Shelly> Hello, New to this forum and glad to meet you all.I am a 38 year old Smoking Housewife with no medical insurance, about 180 pounds....have gained about 30 pounds since starting work on the computer 3 years ago, and dont get alot of physical exercise, so I am in an upright posistion alot of days and of course bending forward with not so great posture.Other than generalized getting older and general aches and pains Im healthy.I have had SEVERE bouts of pain on my left side, just beneath my rib cage in the stomach area, for about 7 years.The pain isn't always present, it comes and goes but I never have it when im standing or laying down (only when Im sitting) , It can be brought on sometimes by coughing or even twisting/bending my body to the left ,right or foreward, doing sit ups, getting out of bed or for no apparent reason at all, but not every time, and I cant reproduce the pain for the doctor.Severity of the pain...UNBELIEVABLE !!! On a scale of 1-10 it is always a 8-9 during the episode.It almost feels like a charlie horse in my stomach, or severe labor pains but ALWAYS in the same spot ..I can put my finger on it every time..It's the same exact spot.No chance that Im pregnant Ive had a tubal 15 years ago, and as mentioned this has been ongoing for about 7 years.The muscles in my stomach area completely contract and I cant hardley breath in or out untill it passes.It lasts about 30 seconds and then stops leaving a sore,bruised feeling for an hour or so in that area.I can apply pressure with my hand to the spot and be very still or lay down as I feel the muscles begin to contract and that will usually delay or stop the full blown spasm for awhile or a day.There's no bruising, I cant feel any lumps, it used to only happen about once a month ( sometimes It wouldnt happen for 3-6 months) but recently it has been more frequent happening 1-2 times per week.It doesnt cause fever, and im not dibilitated except when im having the pain.I am constipated and gassey quite often ( I think I should be going more than I do),I get indigestion often but hardley ever have diarhea.These dont feel like gas pains, they are extremely more severe than that.I dont loose my appetite,I dont take laxitives because I hate the stomach ache produced by them.The only meds I take are Advil or aleve for pain ,claritin for allergies and Nyquil when I have a cold.I also occasionally get a burning achey feeling in my back, towards the top between my shoulder blades, it's a radiating ache no more severe on one side than the other, but occasionally radiates up the right side of my neck ... usually brought on during colder weather or times when im stressed or smoking more than usuall , I thought it comes from my lungs and was a URI but my general physician always says my lungs sound fine, so maybe it is coming from muscles ?I might add, taking Nyquil seems to help the pain between my shoulder blades.I have brought these pains to the attention of my general physician for years and she looks at me as though she's puzzled so I stopped even bringing it up to her because she makes me feel stupid, I am not a hypochondriac .7 Years ago she put me on anti-depressants after my 5 - 6 th complaint about these pains , I assumed she was thinking that I was too stressed and freaking myself out , I stopped taking them after the first 6 months or year because the pains didnt stop and I didnt feel depressed even in the begining .I dont take pain pills so I turned those down when they were offered and told her I dont want a band-aid , I want to know whats wrong.She says it could be alot of things (possibly more than one thing) and I should have an MRI done but I cant afford that.Any ideas?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 30, 2008
    • 00:13 PM
    • 0
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  • I have been suffering with the exact symptoms. I realize that so many of us have. We keep getting jerked around by doctors--tested and treated for illnesses we don't have. Sometimes eventually even getting illnesses we shouldn't get due to their incompetence.I've finally learned this is most likely Candidia albicans that has overgrown in the intestinal tract. My incidents of intense sharp pain usually occur following a round of antibiotics. I am about to start self care, because most western doctors do not recognize this. Visit curezone.com for more info. Basically get off sugars/carbs, get on probiotics, get off antibiotics, antacids, birthcontrol pills (if possible). Some herbal remedies help as well. I know how painful this condition is--I was almost passing out from the pain in the airport the other day--stress and fatigue seem to be factors as well. Oh, colon cleansing with apple cider vinegar definitely also does help to get this toxic overgrowth out as well and the pain does subside. But you do have to change your lifestyle!Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • OMG! I have looked and looked all over the web for an answer to this problem! This is the first time I've run into anyone who has the same issue. My symptoms are SHARP cramping pain just up under my left ribs. Cramps lasts for 4 minutes, very painful on a scale of 1-10, I'd say a 9. When they stop, then all is well and I have no other issues. Cramp is brought on by any stomach muscle exertion (like sawing or sit ups or pulling), orgasm (BIG bummer), or bending over or squatting. Cold food or liquids can be felt in the same area, but don't produce cramps.One doctor said it was IBS----wrong! One doctor said it could be a spasm in the diaphragm. Possible. I had an ultrasound done of the left abdominal quadrant, everything was normal. X-rays of same area showed nothing. Colonoscopy is probably next. Any further info or developments would be greatly appreciated. I'll keep checking back.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 28, 2009
    • 06:06 PM
    • 0
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  • I have had the exact same pain for over 10 years. I have had MRI's of the aorta, spine and gal bladder. Also I just completed a colonoscopy and endoscopy. NOTHING!!!! It is interesting to read other posts. My pain is mostly when I am standing up. I am a teller at a bank and am doing a lot of standing. I am with the other folks that think it is a charlie horse of the abdominal muscle. But what do we do about it?curious
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 2, 2009
    • 02:56 PM
    • 0
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  • I have had the exact same pain for over 10 years. I have had MRI's of the aorta, spine and gal bladder. Also I just completed a colonoscopy and endoscopy. NOTHING!!!! It is interesting to read other posts. My pain is mostly when I am standing up. I am a teller at a bank and am doing a lot of standing. I am with the other folks that think it is a charlie horse of the abdominal muscle. But what do we do about it?curiousHi. I also have experienced this sharp intense pain just below the very last left rib. When it happens, I'd feel faint from the pain. My goodness. It may last for about 10mins. I haven't had any tests done. But will be talking to my dr about it on Wednesday. I am female, 29. I started experiencing this since 2001. It only comes by once in a blue moon. It's in the same area where I feel cramp from running, also on the left. So I am thinking and also hoping that it's only muscle related problems.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 6, 2009
    • 06:31 AM
    • 0
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  • Iv just turned 21 and gettin the same thing , my doctor never knew what it was and also told me its anxiety attackes and offered me anti depressents it cant be that tho i never satarted the course as im not depressed , im up at 3 am as i just had the pain about 40 mins ago and i get woken from my sleep with it , it starts off with a bad ache under my ribs and across the top of my back by shoulders , then it comes on strog a few mins later where im doubled over not able to straighten up and humming in pain while rocking myself back and fourth , its worse than labour pains and i should know i had a baby 3months ago the pain makes me want to vomit its unbearable sometimes im weak and crying while its happenin its like a contraction it lass about 25mins and i spray deap heat all over my back while this is happening it seems to help but im worried there is somthing seriously wrong?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 9, 2009
    • 02:42 AM
    • 0
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  • Oh my goodness people.. I have the same exact thing and I have been told it is possibly due to lack of calcium or potassium... my doc recommended that I drink Tonic Water because it has quinine in it. Quinine used to be used as a treatment for Malaria, but can be used as a muscle relaxant. It has (in the past) been used for treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and arthritis. *(No wonder so many old people drink it!) But anyway... thought I would offer this information.. it did NOT help me, but if you can stomach tonic water, try it out. There's also a vitimin called q12 my doctor recommended, which didn't help me either, but maybe it will help somone out there. ... Doctors may still prescribe quinine, but the FDA has ordered firms to stop marketing unapproved drug products containing quinine.Please note (taken directly from the FDA website) FDA informed healthcare professionals and consumers that the Agency ordered firms to stop marketing unapproved drug products containing quinine, citing serious safety concerns, including deaths associated with quinine products. There are multiple unapproved products containing quinine currently on the market, used off-label to treat leg cramps and similar conditions. Since 1969, FDA received 665 reports of adverse events with serious outcomes associated with quinine use, including 93 deaths. Quinine drugs are associated with serious side effects, such as cardiac arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia, and severe hypersensitivity reactions. Qualaquin, manufactured by Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, is the only quinine product approved by the FDA.I'm not a doctor, I don't play one on tv, but if this helps anyone dealing with the same type of cramps I have, then that's a start. I plan on printing your information and taking it to my doctor to show him exactly what I'm talking about (and as proof that other people actually have this same problem) ... thanks for your info. Enjoy mine
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 11, 2009
    • 05:23 AM
    • 0
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  • I have occassional "spasm" near the front lower ribs. Usually after bending and straining like when doing a sit up. Very painful. Feels sore for days. One explanation I found that seems to explain this, that has not been mentioned is " Costochondritis and Tietze Syndrome ". Try looking up those terms and see if it sounds right.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 14, 2009
    • 02:50 PM
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  • I experience this under the rib cage, sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left and I have to do some deep breathing till it passes or it will hurt like a bruise for days.My guess, and I'm a pretty good guesser (I just diagnosed my own shingles with the help of google, of course :-))......is that it might be a hiatal hernia. I rushed to the hospital and got the antiviral pills which probably kept me from suffering more than I did.I asked a heart doctor about it and he said, Well, it's NOT your heart!I haven't really mentioned it to any other doctors since.I wish someone knew what it was. It's quite excruciating and worrisome.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 14, 2009
    • 08:05 PM
    • 0
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  • I have experienced this for years. It started when I was about 30 and would only happen when I am sitting, leaning, twisting but all when sitting or leaning hard. It always happens on my RIGHT side and only subsides when I drive my thumb into it under my ribs....I can actually feel the muscle cramp. At first when it all started years ago ( I am 43 now) the cramp was about the size of a quarter and would last only a few minutes but it was a few minutes of intense charley horse action! I would drive my thumb in until it left and sometimes....many times actually, it would come back instantly just like a charley horse would. I would always hav a bruise on the skin afterward from the pressure of my thumb. When I was stressed really bad around age 39 the charley horses were nonstop and went to the ER several times only to be sent back home. The last time I went I demanded some answers so they admitted me. I am a good ol' country girl from Maine and I can take a lot of pain! When they asked the pain # I told them 9+. My long time doctor then knew something was wrong because he knows I'm not a sissy. He ordered an array of tests and EVERYTHING came back normal...not even my gallbladder was acting up - NOTHING! They put me on morphine because it was so constant....well, after talking with my dad on the phone he told me that my grandfather had the same thing and so does my aunt on my fathers side....guess what? No answers! Doctors just assume it is my diaphram spasming. No known cause OTHER THAN if I eat regular interval meals It happens much less! The other day I had an "attack" and the charley horse was long and bumpy (about 4 inches long and about an inch or so wide) and as I drove my thumb into it I could feel it spasming....literally! It was so weird to feel with the thumb and as much as it hurt I was amazed and fascinated! The best thing I have found is to stand up, twist and arc your back while driving your thumb into it until it goes and wait until next time. It actually feels like a rock in there with my thumb! Whatever it is, might be a hereditary thing? I have an identical twin sister and she does not have the problem.
    lorajean 4 Replies
    • November 5, 2009
    • 02:01 AM
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  • I am soooo glad that someone else has posted their stories. I am up late at night trying to find out what is wrong with me. I have been having these spasms on the left side just under my rib cage,for about 3 years now. It feels like a tennis ball trying to shove its way from the inside out. I have to put my right hand over the spot and press in while stretching up and arching my back with my left hand stretched above my head....a very scary feeling because I know what is coming and i am always afraid it may last way too long. When it finally starts to subside it starts quivering and straightening itself up, and during this process I have to control my breathing and try to relax and be patience for it too COMPLETELY subside or else it comes back full blast. My worst episode happened while on an airplane for 10 hours...the seat was in a position that just irritated the "spot". I felt panic and just wanted to disappear. I was so embarrassed (a big "OH NO" came into my thoughts) and didn't want to cause a scene. Finally I stood up in the aisle and tried to stretch this thing out. It looked (i hope) like I was doing lunges, although I know the look on my face had to seem like i had just dirty my pants...you know...Panic. I do hope that someone finds out what this is. I have mentioned it once to my Dr. but really felt that I didn't want to convince him what I was feeling was real. I am currently trying to find a Dr. that has the same symptoms...no luck yet. But good luck to all you fellow sufferers and I hope that my painful experience brings you a little peace of mind that your not crazy, there are many that suffer with you. And If anyone finds a cure or a Doctor that knows about this please let me know.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 1, 2009
    • 11:08 PM
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Safe Sex With Hepatitis C

Prevent the spread of the hepatitis C virus.

Preventing Lung Infections

With COPD, it’s important to protect your lungs.

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

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