Left Side Pain Under Ribs Causes and Symptoms

Left side pain under ribs

Do you suffer from left side pain under ribs often?

Here we will tell you the possible reasons why you might have this pain. However, you must consult a physician to detect the actual cause.

Left side pain under ribs

Our rib cage has a total of 24 ribs. Out of which 12 are on your left side, and the other 12 are on your right side.

These ribs protect our organs lying below. Our left lung, spleen, left kidney, heart, pancreas, and stomach are under your left ribs.

You can experience pain if you get injured, inflamed, or infected in any left side organs lying below your ribs. Though your heart lies below your rib cage on the left side, the pain in that place doesn’t mean you have a heart attack.

Mostly, your pain in the left side below the ribs can be benign, and the condition is also treatable.

Causes of left side pain under ribs

There are several causes for your left side pain under ribs. They are as follows:


Costochondritis is cartilage inflammation. Your cartilage connects the ribs to the breastbone. You may suffer from costochondritis if you have arthritis, infection, or physical injury.

As a result, you can experience a sharp pain in your left side of the ribs. Try not to press the ribs, sneeze, or cough during this pain because the situation can worsen if you do so.

Splenic infarct and ruptured spleen

Splenic infarction can cause pain in your left side under ribs. You suffer from splenic infarction when a part of your spleen dies. This happens because the blood supply interrupts your arterial blockages or trauma.

The spleen lies in the upper part of your body on the left side. It removes the damaged or old blood cells and makes fresh new white cells in the blood. The new white blood cells help you fight the infection in your body.

You may feel full even after having a little food. This is a symptom of enlarged spleen disease. It is also known as splenomegaly. If your spleen has become enlarged, it is possible to get ruptured. The ruptured spleen will cause pain in your left side near the ribs.

There are a variety of causes for your enlarged spleen. They are as follows:

  • Viral infections like mononucleosis can cause your spleen to enlarge
  • Bacterial infections like syphilis can also make your spleen enlarged
  • You can suffer from an enlarged spleen due to parasitic infections like malaria
  • Liver and blood diseases can be the other causes of your enlarged spleen

You will find the area soft after rupturing your spleen if you touch it. As a result, you can experience difficulties like dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure, or blurry vision. Usually, trauma causes a spleen rupture. If you experience any of the above conditions, you must consult a good doctor immediately.


You have a gland named the pancreas in your body’s left part. The function of the pancreas is to secrete digestive juices and enzymes in your small intestine. It helps your food to break into the smallest particles.

The pancreas inflammation in your body is known as pancreatitis. This can happen due to gallstones, injury, and alcohol abuse. You will start slowly experiencing pain, and it will increase after you eat gradually.

The pain can be a constant pain also instead of going and coming. You have to understand that you are suffering from pancreatitis through the symptoms. Therefore, you must know all the symptoms. The other symptoms of pancreatitis are weight loss, nausea, and vomiting.


The inflammation of your stomach lining is known as gastritis. It happens on the left side of your body below your ribcage. As a result, you may experience fullness in your stomach and intense stomach pain. You must know the symptoms of gastritis. They are as follows:

  • You may suffer from gastritis if you have viral or bacterial infections
  • Alcohol abuse can lead to gastritis
  • If you use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) frequently, you can suffer from gastritis.

Stomach pain remedy at home


You must know that a fluid-filled sac is present around your heart. It is known as the pericardium. The inflammation of the sac is known as pericarditis.

The inflamed pericarditis can cause pain in the left side of the ribs. If you lay down, you will be able to feel the extreme pain. The possible causes of pericarditis are as follows:

  • Injury can cause pericarditis in you
  • Anti-seizure medications can lead to pericarditis
  • You may suffer from pericarditis if you have any infection
  • Various blood thinners can be the symptoms of pericarditis


The inflammation of the lung’s covered tissue is known as pleurisy. This can happen due to your lung’s blood clot. You can suffer from pleurisy if you have viral, fungal, or bacterial pneumonia, trauma, pulmonary infarction, or malignancy. You will experience extreme pain while breathing. Consult a doctor immediately.

The doctor may test you to know the exact reasons for your left part of the body pain. The doctor may provide you with NSAIDs to decrease your pain. He may suggest you an antibiotic to get rid of any bacterial infection. Though rare, in some cases, you need to have surgery. So, the doctor will be able to identify the exact reasons for the disease and the right suggestions to get away from these issues.

Common reasons to feel pain in left side under ribs

You have already got to know some of the causes of the pain in the left side under ribs. However, you can experience pain in your left side for many other reasons too. They are as follows:

Trapped gas

Usually, the gas moves through the digestive tract. The trapped gas forms when your gas cannot move from the digestive tract. You will get various symptoms like gas passing, painful cramps, abdominal bloating, and knots feeling in the stomach.

You can treat the trapped gas in a variety of ways. Though gas is a common issue, it can still make you feel uncomfortable. You can treat the trapped gas in several ways. They are as follows:

  • You have to change your diet plan to reduce the formation of gas in your stomach
  • You have to eat a small amount of food slowly
  • Reduce intake of food which can produce gas in your stomach like dairy, carbonated drinks, fried foods, and fiber-rich foods
  • Avoid taking OTC (over-the-counter) medications such as Mylanta, GasX, or Beano.
  • You must stop straw usage and gum chewing to reduce the gas formation

Inflammatory bowel disease

Your inflammation in the digestive tract can cause inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most popular conditions of IBD.

You must know the symptoms of this inflammatory bowel disease like loss of appetite, bloody stools, pain and camping in the stomach, fatigue or exhaustion, weight loss, diarrhea, and fever. You can treat your IBD in several ways. They are as follows:

  • You can consume medicines like pain relievers, supplements, anti-inflammatories, antidiarrheal medication, immunosuppressants, and antibiotics
  • You can undergo surgical removal of the damaged digestive tract
  • Make diet and lifestyle changes, reduce your stress and do exercises regularly

Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD)

It is also known as acid reflux. As a result of this disease, you can suffer from heartburn at least twice every week. The symptoms of your GERD disease are cough, trouble swallowing, chest pain, regurgitating acid, bad breath, throat tightness, and hoarseness. You can treat your GERD problem by changing your medications and lifestyle. You can get relief from your GERD problem in several ways:

  • Try to eat the meals in small amounts
  • Avoid drinking alcohol to stay away from GERD problems
  • Do not smoke
  • Try to lose weight if overweight
  • Do not lie down after your meal. Wait at least three hours after eating
  • You must sleep with the elevating head

You can take some good medication to get rid of your GERD problem. They are proton pump inhibitors ( \PPIs), antacids, prokinetics, and H2 receptor blockers.


You will find difficulty in passing stools if you have constipation problems. It can cause pain in your stomach. The constipation symptoms are as follows:

  • You may feel a block in your stool passing area
  • You will get hard to pass off stools
  • Press hard on your stomach to pass off stools

You must know the proper ways of treating constipation. They are as follows:

  • Change your lifestyle and start to exercise daily
  • Try to consume a large amount of fiber in your diet
  • The pelvic floor muscles can be made loose and tightened
  • If you have an urge for your bowel to pass, then you must try to pass off your bowel at once
  • You can take prescribed medicines like laxatives and OTC

Stomach pain remedy at home


Usually, you may experience heartburn after consuming the food. You may feel discomfort in your chest area, which includes pain when the acid reaches your esophagus from your stomach. You can treat your heartburn problem in various ways. They are as follows:

  • You can lose weight to stay away from heartburn issues
  • Do not smoke because it can make your situation worse
  • Try not to intake any acidic or spicy food
  • Avoid eating fatty foods. If you can’t avoid it totally, at least try to reduce the amount slowly

The medicine of antacids can give you relief from heartburn issue.

Pain on the left side under ribs in front

The pain on the left side under the ribs in front can be due to a kidney infection.

Infection or kidney stones

You can experience the pain in the left side of your rib if your kidney becomes infected or inflamed. You must know that kidney stones are salt and hardened calcium deposits. If kidney stones are formed in your kidney, you will experience extreme pain. Kidney stones can cause numerous other issues in you. They are as follows:

  • You may get an urge to urinate, but when you are trying to urinate, you may see the urine coming out in very small amounts
  • The side pain may come towards the front body if you have kidney disease
  • You may get cloudy or bloody urine due to any kidney problem

Usually, you will suffer from kidney infection if the bacteria moves toward the kidney from the urinary tract. The kidney infection can happen due to kidney stones or something that will obstruct the urine flow. You should also know the other kidney infection symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and fever.

Sudden sharp pain left side under ribs

You may experience sudden pain in your left side under ribs due to a sudden heart attack. This could be a sign of:

Heart attack

You may have a heart attack if you get chest pain in your left side. Heart attack symptoms are pressure, pain, squeezing inside your arms and chest, tightness, aching, dizziness, breath shortness, nausea, fatigue, heartburn,  cold sweat, abdomen pain, or indigestion.

With pain medications, angiotensin-converting enzyme ( ACE) inhibitors, stent implant, aspirin, nitroglycerin, blood thinners, beta-blockers, and bypass surgery, you can treat your heart attack.

You should know all the causes of the left side pain. It will help you understand your problem if you have this kind of pain anytime.

Left side pain under ribs

Final thoughts

Consulting a general physician is necessary to ensure your condition is not serious. You should not wait for it to heal automatically or take over-the-counter medicines without being sure of the cause.