Pain when Pressing on The Solar Plexus

The solar plexus is a vital network of nerves and special nerve cells located near the stomach. It’s deeply involved in many of my body’s functions. Whenever pressed on this area, the pain can be quite intense, ranging from a brief discomfort to a more persistent ache. I’ve learned that if I frequently experience pain here, it’s important to consult a doctor. There could be a variety of reasons for this pain, and it often requires a doctor’s care.

This guide will talk about what it means when you have pain in your solar plexus, what might cause it, and other useful information for people who are dealing with this kind of stomach pain.

Understanding the Solar Plexus: A Simple Guide

What is the Solar Plexus? The solar plexus might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but it’s a crucial part of your body! Imagine a busy traffic junction, but instead of cars, it’s where many nerves meet. This ‘junction’ is located right in your upper belly, just below where your ribs meet. more info here.

Why is it Important? This area is like the control center for many of your body’s automatic functions. It helps manage your ‘fight or flight’ response – that rush you feel when you’re startled or stressed. It plays a big role in things like your digestion, heart rate, and even how warm or cold you feel.

Why Does it Hurt Sometimes? Ever felt a sharp pain in your upper belly, especially when you press on it? That’s your solar plexus talking. Because it’s a nerve hub, it can be sensitive. If you’ve ever been winded, you’ve felt its power. This pain can be due to many reasons – maybe you had a little accident or your body is fighting an illness.

pain when pressing on solar plexus

Common Causes of Solar Plexus Pain

Pain in the solar plexus area is a common issue that many people face. It can feel like a constant ache or a sudden, sharp pain. The severity of this pain can vary from being mild to very intense, and it can be due to different reasons.

Let’s look at the most common causes of solar plexus pain and what can be done about it.


The most frequent reason for pain in the solar plexus or belly area is physical harm, like getting hit in the stomach. This can happen in various ways, such as during a car accident, a fall, or even getting punched. Our body’s structure, including muscles and bones, helps absorb shocks, but it can get hurt during everyday activities. Muscle strains or tears can happen from doing too much, and they often cause pain and tenderness in the belly area.

If your solar plexus pain is because of an injury, you might also see bruising if there’s internal bleeding. If you feel a throbbing, stabbing, or sharp pain in your abdomen, it’s important to see a doctor right away, as it could be a sign of a more serious problem.


While anxiety and panic attacks are often linked to solar plexus pain, various diseases, especially those affecting the digestive and heart systems, can also cause or worsen this pain. Here are some of these conditions:

  • Gastrointestinal Diseases: Problems in the digestive system like celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pancreatitis, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, and Crohn’s disease can all lead to pain in the solar plexus area.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: Apart from severe conditions like heart attacks, other heart-related issues can cause chest pain near the solar plexus. These include pericarditis, which is swelling of the heart’s outer layer, and costochondritis, which is inflammation in the small joints between the ribs.
  • Drugs/Medications: Certain medications, including some painkillers and diabetes drugs, can make muscle tissue more sensitive. This increased sensitivity in the muscles around the ribs can cause pain that feels like it’s coming from the solar plexus.
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It’s important to remember that not all solar plexus pain is due to serious medical issues. However, it’s crucial to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis before starting any treatment for this type of pain.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is a major reason for pain in the solar plexus area. The nerves in the solar plexus are responsible for sending electrical signals to the diaphragm (the muscle that helps you breathe) and other nearby organs. When these nerves are harmed, it can lead to pain in that region, along with muscle pain and a feeling of tightness.

This kind of nerve injury can happen due to several reasons:

  • Trauma to the Abdomen: A direct injury to the belly area can damage the nerves.
  • Repetitive Strain or Pressure: Activities that involve a lot of heavy lifting or repetitive movements can strain these nerves.
  • Compression of the Solar Plexus: Certain medical conditions can put pressure on the solar plexus, leading to nerve damage.
  • Medications or Toxins: Some drugs or harmful substances can also cause nerve damage.

Treating pain caused by nerve damage in the solar plexus usually includes:

  • Medication: To help manage pain and treat the underlying nerve damage.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises and therapies to strengthen the area and reduce pain.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Adjustments in daily activities to prevent further damage to the nerves.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan if you suspect nerve damage is causing your solar plexus pain.

Symptoms of Solar Plexus Pain

Solar plexus pain is felt in the middle part of the belly, right where the ribs end and the upper abdomen starts. The symptoms of this type of pain can vary, but they often include:

  • Burning and Tight Sensation: When pressure is applied to the solar plexus area, it might feel like a burning or tight sensation.
  • Soreness: There can be a general feeling of soreness in the area.
  • Feeling Unwell: Along with the pain, there might be a general sense of not feeling well.

Let’s delve deeper into these symptoms.

Pressure or Tightness

  • A common symptom of solar plexus pain is a feeling of pressure or tightness around the mid-back and lower rib cage area. This can range from a mild discomfort to severe pain.
  • The cause of this sensation isn’t always clear. Some people might feel it randomly or during normal daily activities.
  • In some cases, the pain can make it hard to take a deep breath. Others might feel nauseous or even vomit, though these reactions can differ from person to person.
  • The pain can get worse when several triggers happen at the same time, like during stressful periods or after eating a big meal.
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Other possible reasons for this pain include:

  • Tissue Damage: This could be due to an injury.
  • Digestive Issues: Conditions like acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause irritation in this area.

It’s crucial to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis, as many different conditions can cause chronic pain in the upper abdomen.

Pain When Pressing

Feeling pain when pressing on your solar plexus is a key sign that you might be experiencing solar plexus pain. The solar plexus is located in your upper abdomen, just below your ribcage, and it’s a crucial area where many nerve pathways from your spine connect to other parts of your body. Damage or strain to this area, often caused by injury or inflammation, can make pressing on it quite painful.

Besides pain upon pressure, solar plexus pain can lead to other symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea: This can vary from a slight feeling of queasiness to severe vomiting.
  • Fatigue: You might feel unusually tired, to the point where even simple activities become difficult.
  • Digestive Issues: These could include problems like diarrhea or constipation.
  • Abdominal Swelling: This swelling can cause additional pressure and discomfort.
  • Urine Retention: Difficulty in passing urine or holding it in.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms can appear together or separately, and they might occur consistently or intermittently over time. Also, it’s crucial to understand that these symptoms can also be signs of other medical conditions. Therefore, it’s always best to consult with a doctor about any new or changing symptoms, rather than trying to diagnose or treat them on your own. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate course of action.


Nausea is one of the most common symptoms of solar plexus pain. It is thought to be caused by pressure on the surrounding muscles and organs, which causes sympathetic nerve fibers that pass through the plexus to be triggered.

In addition to nausea, other common symptoms include abdominal bloating, feeling full even after eating just a few bites of food, sudden loss of appetite, and heartburn. Some people may also experience increased gas or burping after meals.

Difficulty Breathing

Difficulty breathing can also be a sign of solar plexus pain and is often one of the earliest indicators of this condition. A physical examination might reveal tension in the solar plexus region, contributing to breathing difficulties. This tension can be felt as tightness, tenderness, or pain when the area is pressed.

Other symptoms that may accompany solar plexus pain include:

  • Sharp Pains: These can radiate out from the solar plexus area.
  • Deep Ache: A persistent ache in the abdomen or back.

If you’re experiencing difficulty breathing along with any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. These symptoms could indicate a more serious underlying condition that requires immediate evaluation and treatment by a healthcare professional.

Pain When Pressing On The Solar Plexus

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and treating pain in the solar plexus requires understanding its anatomy, potential causes, and appropriate treatments. Here’s a comprehensive overview:

Diagnostic Tests

To diagnose the cause of solar plexus pain, a doctor may perform various tests:

  1. Physical Examination: Checking the abdomen for tenderness, lumps, or other unusual signs.
  2. Blood Tests: These can detect inflammation, which might be causing abdominal pain.
  3. Imaging Studies: X-rays for gallbladder issues, CT scans, or MRIs for more complex causes.
  4. Ultrasound: Used to assess abdominal organs and identify abnormalities.
  5. Somatostatin Receptor Scintigraphy (SRS): Detects neuroendocrine tumors.
  6. Endoscopy: Views internal organs and takes biopsies, helping diagnose cancers or other diseases affecting abdominal organs or tissues.
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Treatment depends on the underlying cause:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or prescription drugs for inflammation or nerve pain.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Dietary changes (avoiding fatty or acidic foods) and exercise (like swimming or walking) can alleviate symptoms of GERD or gallbladder issues.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles, reducing pressure and protecting against further injury.
  • Surgery: Necessary in cases of severe discomfort or dangerous conditions like internal bleeding, hernias, or tumors.


Preventing solar plexus pain involves several steps:

  1. Exercise: Regular core-strengthening exercises (planks, crunches, yoga) to support abdominal muscles and manage stress.
  2. Proper Posture: Maintaining alignment of the spine and supporting muscles around the solar plexus. Avoid slouching and practice deep breathing exercises.
  3. Avoiding Injury: Practice proper form during physical activities, take breaks, use appropriate equipment, and warm up properly to prevent strains or tears.

Key Points

  • Always consult a doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have health concerns.
  • Recognize early warning signs of injury and respond appropriately.
  • Stay hydrated during physical activities.
  • Listen to your body for potential warning signs and seek medical advice if necessary.

By understanding these aspects, you can better manage and prevent solar plexus pain.

Pain when Pressing on The Solar Plexus

Solar Plexus Pain when Pressed

Pain in the solar plexus when pressed can be a sign of various conditions, considering the many important organs and systems located in this area. The solar plexus, or celiac plexus, is a complex network of nerves in the abdomen, positioned behind the stomach and just below the middle of the ribcage. It’s involved in many essential body functions, particularly those related to the digestive system.

The reasons for experiencing pain when pressing on the solar plexus can vary. It might be related to issues with abdominal organs like the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or intestines. Common conditions that could cause this symptom include gastritis, peptic ulcers, pancreatitis, gallstones, or kidney stones. Additionally, muscle strain or nerve problems could also lead to pain in this area.

Emotional stress and anxiety are also known to manifest physical symptoms, including pain in the solar plexus. Physical trauma or a blow to this area can cause pain too, due to its relative exposure compared to other body parts.

Given the wide range of potential causes, some of which can be serious, it’s crucial to seek medical advice if you have persistent or unexplained pain in the solar plexus. A healthcare professional can help identify the underlying cause and suggest suitable treatment options.

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