Have you ever experienced a painful rib out of place? Why did it happen to you?
Chiropractors are the best-qualified health practitioners to help someone with rib pain. Here’s why.
A brief Anatomy lesson
We have 12 ribs. The first 7 attach to the front of the chest into cartilage and then into the sternum which is a large bone in the center. The next three ribs attach to cartilage and the bottom two are free-floating and can easily be displaced with enough force.
The rib cage is responsible for allowing us to breathe along with the diaphragm. The muscles surrounding the rib cage are also part of this breathing mechanism including the serratus anterior, and posterior back muscles.
To make things even more interesting, the fascia and muscles from the lower body affect either positively or negatively the way we move and function.
The core muscles are affected by breathing and breathing are affected by the core muscles. Perhaps, this is why so many exercises require breathing as a part of them.
The brain controls breathing through the nervous system as well.
Essentially, the ribs and the surrounding muscles create a negative pressure on the lungs allowing them to expand. If the ribs are malfunctioning, then so is the surrounding musculature and it affects the way you move.
Many conditions such as asthma affect the stiffness of the surrounding muscles and the musculature in the shoulder can make breathing more difficult and be part of why asthma is often relieved with a chiropractic manipulation of the spine and extremities with a loosening of the surrounding muscles.
How can I throw a rib out of place
The typical rib dislocation is secondary to how we move. Often, stretching tissues that are straining can dislocate the floating ribs which are the last two ribs under the rib cage. These insert into the transverse processes on the lateral side of each vertebra.
Breathing is an integrated system of movement relying on the rib cage, the nervous system, and the surrounding muscles to assure air gets into the lungs and feeds the tissues in our body.
Open heart surgery will cause rib problems due to how they have to crack open the rib cage to access the heart. Even though the sternum is put back together at the end of the surgery, rib positioning is frequently a complication. The person may experience stiffness rather than pain in the neck, shoulders, and even the lower back afterward which they may get used to.
Yoga may displace a rib if the person overstretches an area.
Rib pain can be in the center of the back, the chest, or in the lower back by the kidneys or be by the neck by the first rib. The symptoms may vary although almost always, the problem is secondary to other parts of the body not functioning properly.
Chronic tightness in the pelvis and legs may also result in costal chondritis which will be painful in the front of the chest along the sternum and may be associated with these bones popping as well as shoulder pain and neck tightness.
A fractured rib on the other hand is acutely painful and can take up to 6 weeks to heal properly. The pain experienced is sharp and it will affect breathing. A dislocated rib will be less painful with movement than a fractured rib which can be diagnosed by Xray.
Chiropractors are holistic meaning they will look at everything including your posture, body style, how you move, and then also look at the area of pain. Attempting to treat a rib out without understanding why it is under tension or why the rib became displaced often will result in pain that returns quickly.
Your first visit will include a full exam, x rays if necessary and an explanation by the doctor of the problem and why it exists. If a medical condition is underlying the rib pain, your chiropractor will refer you to the most appropriate medical provider.
The chiropractor will use methods such as spinal and extremity manipulation, exercises, and muscular treatment methods such as myofascial release, Graston, or other methods to improve your mobility and flexibility. Exercises are usually given to retrain an area and if there are postural problems in the feet, foot orthotics may be recommended.
Feel better in as little as one visit. Charschan Chiropractic and Sports Injury is a one-stop destination for problems in the musculoskeletal system. We help people with problems such as rib pain, foot pain, back pain, sciatic pain, shoulder pain, elbow and wrist pain, and even neck pain. You can begin the process of feeling better by clicking on this link to schedule an appointment today.