About musculoskeletal rib pain

Musculoskeletal rib pain is pain that is caused from intercostal muscles, rib joint or bone, and can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It can be on both sides, one sided, dull, sharp, or aching - the main point is that you will feel it from your ribcage region. The rib pain can either localised or referring along the rib itself. Sometimes it may even refer to your back or the middle of your chest. These two points are where the ribs connect to the spine in the back and the sternum in front, respectively. We label these points the 'rib joints' and, like any other joint in the body, they can become fixated or stuck if there is a build-up of small traumas over time or a single, major trauma.

When the rib joint becomes fixated, it can be difficult for them to move without pain. Muscles around the joint have to work harder to move the joint in its normal range, and that may not even be enough sometimes. As a result, the muscles can tighten up from overuse, leading to a further source of rib pain.

Ribs are used for breathing, in conjunction with the diaphragm muscle. This means that if your ribs are fixated, you may also have pain on breathing. Of course, there are other causes for pain on breathing, some of which can be much more serious. This can include heart or lung problems; thus it is important for you to seek advice from a health professional if you are having pain on breathing. 

How can chiropractic aid musculoskeletal rib pain?

The chiropractors at Lakeside Chiropractic are trained to differentiate between the different causes of breathing pain, and are able to treat you if it is the rib that is fixated. Patients with rib fixations have found relief from adjustments (specific thrusts into the affected rib joint) and muscle release techniques.

What is costochondritis?

Costochondritis is one of the most common causes of mechanical chest pain. It is inflammation of the cartilage near the ribs that are attached to the sternum (breastbone). The cause can be from trauma, viral or from some types of arthritis such as rheumatoid. However, there is no known, singular cause for most people who suffer from it. The pain can be sharp and severe in some cases, and while it may go away by itself eventually, it is best to seek treatment early to manage and prevent it from becoming chronic.

A closely related condition of costochondritis is Tietze's syndrome. While similar in their inflammatory nature, Tietze's syndrome has swelling along the chest as well as the pain symptoms. Both may be managed at Lakeside Chiropractic in Perth.

How may chiropractic ease costochondritis?

​A 2011 study found that chiropractic thoracic spine and rib adjustments helped to relieve the pain of a 34 year old female presenting with Tietze's syndrome. A 2010 case study found that chronic costochondritis in an adolescent swimmer was managed well with chiropractic care - a combination of rib and thoracic adjustments, acupuncture, muscle release and scapular stabilisation exercises all helped to decrease the frequency and intensity of the patient's pain.

At Lakeside Chiropractic, we are able to adjust both manually and with the mechanical activator. We are also able to use other modalities such as acupuncture. Advice on exercises, posture and rehabilitation are also provided with our treatments.

We are also able to assist you on rib fractures or bruising using electrotherapy and strapping. 

If you have rib pain - visit Lakeside Chiropractic in Perth now for a full assessment. 

Lakeside Chiropractic is central to the northern suburbs of Perth located in the city of Joondalup. If you are in the surrounding suburbs such as Yanchep, Tapping, Carramar, Currambine, Wanneroo, Heathridge, Edgewater, Gnangara, Mullaloo, Padbury, Kingsley, Woodvale, Banksia Grove, or Duncraig please come and see our friendly and experienced chiropractors. They can further discuss the benefits of chiropractic for rib pain.

You can contact us on 9300 0095, or visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au to make an inquiry or booking.

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