Although not all rib and chest pains stem from the joints in and around the ribs, often they do. As such, chiropractic care can be your best line of treatment once you determine what is causing the pain. In this blog, you’ll learn about kinds of rib pain and whether chiropractors should or should not treat them, then dive into some rib issues to see how chiropractors can help relieve the pain.
“Rib pain commonly shows up as a sharp, stabbing pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades,” notes Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic. The pain can be a dull and constant ache; it can be sharp, tearing, and stabbing like a muscle spasm; or it can be tender to the touch like a bruise.
The pain flares with sudden movements involving the upper chest area, and it can worsen when inhaling and sometimes exhaling. Dr. Gross adds, “Typically, it’s worse with deep breaths, coughing or sneezing, reaching for something, or turning your head to the side or looking down.”
The pain’s location can be localized, or it can feel as though pain is wrapping around the chest. It often is triggered by positions like lying on your side during sleep. In some cases, a constant or intermittent tingling and numbness is felt in the chest or ribs over a period of time.
Rib and chest pains happen for various reasons. Dr. Gross advises, “Because of the overlap of heart and rib problems, we don’t recommend diagnosing yourself from an internet search. It’s better to get a proper medical evaluation. The most important part of the diagnosis is making sure it’s not a heart attack since pain from ribs can be in the chest and feel very intense.”
Because rib and chest pain can stem from direct trauma, infection, or heart-related issues, Dr. Gross states, “Most of our patients go to the emergency room or urgent care first to confirm that their heart is not involved. Then we can begin chiropractic care to fix their problem.” It is important to make sure it isn’t any of the following before consulting a chiropractor:
After all the trauma-, infection-, and heart-related issues can be ruled out, “The most effective treatment for rib pain is a chiropractic adjustment,” says Dr. Gross. “The ribs are connected with small joints that easily shift out of place and cause intense pain. Adjustments can fix the problem very quickly. Because this is a functional problem, muscle relaxers and pain medications typically are not as effective, especially long term.”
Strains and Sprains: With adjustments, chiropractors can help alleviate the pain of the following common strains and sprains:
Chronic Conditions: Sometimes the pain is generalized and caused by chronic conditions. For these, chiropractors can better align the affected body areas and help manage the pain.
Misaligned ribs can be extremely painful, making it difficult to twist or reach or even breathe because the sprain or inflammation affects the soft tissues and the surrounding muscles in the upper back and neck. Medically termed costovertebral or costotransverse subluxation, the joint where the rib head joins the spine isn’t moving as designed and causes the rib to be stuck in an extremely painful position, shifting slightly outward and upward.
The good news is that a subluxated rib is usually a relatively easy fix with chiropractic care. Chiropractors help allay the effects the misaligned rib has on the spinal cord and nerves by rectifying the body’s alignment to return proper range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments address the misalignment, so our bodies can heal properly.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from rib or chest pain and other medical issues have been ruled out, contact us at Quality Care Chiropractic in Aurora, IL, at (630) 499-2225. We can answer your questions and help you on your way back whole-body health.Schedule an Appointment