Does Live Pain Hurt When you Move?

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Liver pain is unlikely to hurt you when you move; It is better to think of other causes such as muscle or bone pain.

Advanced or rare liver diseases cause liver pain that hurts when you move.

The following are five facts about liver pain and its relation to movement, coughing, sneezing, etc.

1 . Liver pain is a rare symptom.

Your liver is insensitive to pain. However, liver pain is known to result from the stretch of its capsule.

The liver capsule is like an envelope around the organ; pain receptors in the liver capsule respond to stretch, inflammation, or infiltration of the capsule (reference).

So, Most of the diseases affecting the liver are essentially painless. For example, patients with chronic viral hepatitis, fatty liver diseases, and even liver cirrhosis rarely feel pain from the liver.

The pain does occur with liver disease, but they have to be very severe (such as acute hepatitis) or in a very late stage (as with large-sized liver cancers).

As doctors, the liver is the last thing to mind when a patient complains of pain in the liver area.

Other causes that should be considered first include:

  • Gallbladder disease (such as stones and acute cholecystitis).
  • Muscle pain.
  • Bone pain (lower right ribs).

It is better to think of simple causes such as muscular pain when you experience pain in the liver area that hurts when you move, cough, or sneeze.

2. Pain, when you move, is more likely to be of muscular origin.

The liver is a rare cause of pain when you move. It is only considered when you have an advanced liver disease such as liver cancer or a hugely enlarged liver.

If you feel pain in the liver area when you move, cough, sneeze without over symptoms, think of a muscular origin.

Muscle pain is often due to strain in the right abdominal muscles or the right intercostal muscles.

Causes include:

  • Severe or chronic cough.
  • Trauma to the muscle.
  • Heavy workouts or lifting heavy objects.
  • Sudden twisting.
  • Wrong sleeping or working positions.

Muscle pain is often lowest when you stay still but greatly hurts when you move, cough, or sneeze.

3. Often, liver pain is not the first symptom of liver affection.

As a rule, pain is not the first symptom of liver disease. If you don’t have the liver disease before, it is unlikely for the pain in the liver area to be of liver origin.

General symptoms of liver affections (often appear before liver pain):

  • Jaundice: yellowish discoloration of the skin and eye whites.
  • Dark urine.
  • Light-colored stools.
  • Fatigue.
  • In chronic diseases, weight loss, vomiting of blood, swelling of the lower limbs and the abdomen (ascites).

Liver diseases often present with different symptoms and different spectrum of presentations such as:

  • Acute hepatitis: the first symptom are often jaundice, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever.
  • Chronic hepatitis: commonly due to fatty liver and viral hepatitis. Chronic hepatitis is often painless and may have no symptoms at all.
  • Liver cirrhosis: symptoms are swelling of lower limbs, ascites, weight loss, fatigue, and mild jaundice (it is often painless).
  • Advanced liver cirrhosis (liver failure): Advanced-stage liver disease can be painful (especially with cancers), deep jaundice, liver coma, massive abdominal distension.

4. The most common causes of liver pain.

CausesCommon symptoms
Acute inflammations of the liver (acute hepatitis):– Acute onset jaundice (yellow skin, eye whites).
– Dark Urine.
– Clay-colored stool.
– Nausea and/or vomiting.
– Low-grade fever may be present.
Liver congestion (often due to congestive heart failure or chronic chest diseases).– Symptoms of heart disease such as shortness of breath, inability to lie flat.
– Symptoms of chronic chest disease such as COPD (chronic cough, shortness of breath).
– Swollen lower limbs (right-sided heart failure).
Liver abscess or cysts.– Acute onset fever (which can be high-grade).
– Anorexia, Nausea, vomiting.
– Sharp pain in the liver area.
– Extreme fatigue and sickness.
Liver tumors (benign or malignant).– tumors of small sizes are essentially painless.
– large tumors cause constant dull pain; it becomes more severe when the tumor progresses.
– Weigh loss.
– Signs of liver failure in advanced stages (liver failure, itching).
Portal vein thrombosis.– Swelling of the abdomen (ascites).
– fever.
– Vomiting of blood or passage of black stools.
– symptoms of the cause (liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and blood diseases).
Budd-Chiari– massive distension of the abdomen (ascites).
– signs of liver failure (jaundices, dark urine, swollen lower limbs).
Perihepatitis (Fitz-Hugh-Curts) syndromes.– It is an inflammation of the capsule around the liver, mainly affecting women with pelvic inflammatory disease.
– severe liver pain while you move, cough, sneeze.
– fever may be present.
– Nausea and vomiting.

Important Notice: Chronic liver diseases as fatty liver disease, chronic hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis RARELY cause liver pain.

MORE: Sharp Liver Pain: 7 Causes & Mimics.

5. When does liver pain hurt when you move?

Yes, liver pain can hurt when you move. However, The majority of the cause of such cases are either due to advanced liver disease (other symptoms will exist) or a rare disease.

The list of diseases that cause liver pain that hurts when you move to include:

  • Severe cases of liver inflammations (acute hepatitis).
  • Very large being tumors or cysts (such as with giant hemangiomas).
  • Large-sized liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).
  • Metastatic liver cancers.
  • Budd-Chiari Syndrome.
  • Perihepatitis (Fitz-Hugh–Curtis syndrome).
  • Trauma to the liver (as with road traffic accidents).
  • Taking a needle biopsy from the liver.
  • Post-liver transplantation.
  • Retrocecal appendicitis.

See a doctor if:

  • The pain is significant and prolonged for days with no clear explanation.
  • Jaundice.
  • Dark urine.
  • Light-colored stool or clay-colored stool.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.