What are Floating Rib Pain Symptoms?

Floating ribs, also known as cervical ribs, are two lower ribs (11th and 12th) that do not attach to the sternum (breastbone) like the other ribs. While pain or discomfort in the area of floating ribs is less common compared to other rib injuries, it can occur due to various reasons. Symptoms of floating rib pain may include:

  1. Localized Pain: Pain or discomfort is typically felt in the lower part of the ribcage, often on one side or both sides, where the floating ribs are located.
  2. Tenderness: The area around the floating ribs can become tender to touch or pressure, which can cause discomfort.
  3. Sharp or Dull Pain: Pain can vary from sharp and stabbing to a dull ache. It may be intermittent or constant.
  4. Pain with Movement: Certain movements or activities, such as twisting, bending, or deep breathing, may exacerbate the pain.
  5. Radiating Pain: In some cases, the pain can radiate to the back or abdominal area.
  6. Breathing Difficulty: Severe or persistent floating rib pain can potentially make it uncomfortable to take deep breaths.

Floating rib pain can be caused by various factors, including muscle strain, trauma, inflammation of the rib joints (costochondritis), or even conditions affecting nearby structures like the spine or kidneys. If you experience persistent or severe rib pain, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment or management. In some cases, imaging studies like X-rays or CT scans may be necessary to identify the source of the pain and ensure an accurate diagnosis.

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