Rib pain can be intense. It can make breathing agony and sleeping impossible. We can help, but how depends on the cause of the pain. There are several reasons your ribs might hurt. Such pain can be a sign of bronchitis. Or cancer. Or pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs or chest. Or it could just mean that guy you hoop with cracked one of your ribs running over you in the lane.