Cough is a symptom of diseases of the respiratory and heart organs, as well as blood vessels. Sometimes it occurs after injuries of the sternum, if the work of internal organs is disrupted.

Establishing the cause of the pain in the subcostal space when coughing allows you to correctly diagnose.

The reasons

If, when coughing, a person feels pain under the ribs, you should inform your doctor about this. He may suspect several diseases:

  • pneumonia;
  • pinched nerve;
  • pleurisy;
  • cracks in the ribs or damage to organs after injury.

If research does not confirm these diseases, the cause of the pain is looked for in the place of its occurrence. Pain on the right side under the ribs may indicate:

  • pneumonia of the right lung;
  • intercostal neuralgia, while the pain seems to cover the body in a ring, it hurts to inhale;
  • hypochondrium injuries, when pain is felt in the ribs, spasms are very strong;
  • pleurisy of the right lung;
  • liver problems, usually there is a fever and a bile taste;
  • inflammation of the appendix;
  • stones in the gallbladder;
  • kidney problems;
  • stomach ulcer, it hurts closer to the center of the sternum, the pain recedes if you press on the sore spot or change position;
  • pancreatic disease;
  • amoebiasis;
  • swelling in the chest.

If pain when coughing appears on the left, this may indicate:

  • heart problem;
  • bronchitis;
  • diseases of the stomach and intestines;
  • kidney problems;
  • diseases of the pancreas, especially pancreatitis;
  • diseases of the spine;
  • lung problems.

It is impossible to exclude injuries due to which the cartilaginous tissues on the ribs become inflamed, this condition is called Tietze’s syndrome.

It is easy to detect such damage, they heal quickly. The crack is visible on X-ray, but to confirm pneumonia, you will also have to pass tests.

Pain in the rib area can be a consequence of a viral or bacterial infection, and it can also report severe damage to internal organs.


To clarify the diagnosis for pain under the ribs during coughing, different methods can be used.

  1. The therapist collects a complete anamnesis, specifies the nature of the pain, the time of its onset, and other symptoms. He looks at the condition of the eyes, tongue and skin, can feel the stomach, looks at the card to see if it could be a chronic disease.
  2. After the person is sent for tests, primarily for general blood and urine tests. If the leukocyte count is elevated, then this may indicate inflammation.
  3. X-rays are needed to check the integrity of the bones, as well as the condition of the internal organs in the chest.
  4. An EKG may be done to rule out heart problems.
  5. Ultrasound diagnostics of organs. With this procedure, you can quickly identify abnormalities in the condition of the heart, lungs and other organs.
  6. Fluorography will show if a person has tuberculosis and kidney disease.

All these methods are not the only ones, the list can be supplemented by other means and capabilities of modern medicine. But usually this is enough to determine the disease.


Treatment of pain under the ribs when coughing is selected based on what was detected during the diagnosis. First of all, they try to remove unpleasant symptoms. For this, pain relievers, nitroglycerin and baralgin injections are used.

If, in addition to coughing, there is sneezing and fever, antibiotics, drugs for inflammation, immunomodulators are prescribed.

You can also relieve symptoms with physiotherapy. If there are serious illnesses, medications can be used along with the achievements of folk medicine.


Specific drugs are prescribed after a specific diagnosis has been established. In the case of diseases of the respiratory system, antibiotics and expectorants are used.

If the problem is in the cardiovascular system, drugs for thrombosis are prescribed. Medicines can be combined if you want to enhance their effect.

Antibiotics cannot be taken during pregnancy, so the treatment takes a long time, and due to the impossibility of carrying out diagnostic procedures, it is necessary to make a diagnosis at random.

Medicines are chosen carefully, like for a small child. In men, this process is easier, because they are easier to tolerate drug therapy.


To make life easier for the patient, until the diagnosis is completed, doctors recommend turning to traditional medicine. It makes life easier and reduces the risk of complications.

  1. The first remedy is honey with warm milk. It is especially effective for colds. Lemon juice can be added. You can drink several times a day, always in a warm place.
  2. Thyme and thyme tea. It is used instead of the usual one because it is less irritating to the mucous membranes. Herbs relieve spasm from the trachea, relieve inflammation, and facilitate the outflow of phlegm.
  3. Honey and pepper. Mix honey and pepper in proportions 2: 1, add one portion of water. the mixture is infused for 10 minutes, then they drink after straining. The main thing is that there is no allergy to the composition. After acceptance, it becomes easier to breathe.

Before any therapy, even folk remedies, it is better to talk to a doctor.

Other means

To relieve pain under the ribs, you can do compresses, massage, acupuncture. Some are helped by rubbing with goose fat and onion juice. Massage is possible if there is no temperature, diseases of the stomach and spinal cord.

If there are no other problems, you can take a warm herbal bath. For inhalation, potatoes and herbal preparations are used.

If coughing begins to hurt under the ribs, you should seek medical help. A full examination will help to avoid serious illnesses, and the treatment will quickly put you on your feet.