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Ribs, Back Pain, and Chiropractic

By Debra Rodzinak

The spine runs down the length of the body from the neck to the pelvis.  The ribs are attached to the spine in the thoracic area of the spine.  Since the ribs are attached to the spine, any dysfunction to this area of the spine can result in pain and discomfort in the rib area.  The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic can help relieve this pain with gentle spinal manipulations.

Injury to the Ribs

The ribs protect the vital organs of the body such as the heart and lungs.  There are 10 pairs of ribs that attach at the front to cartilage and 2 pairs that are “free floating” and don’t attach to each other.  Pain that occurs in this area as the result of injury can result in muscle strain, fractures, inflammation, or misalignment of the thoracic vertebra. 

Muscle Strain

When a muscle is stretched or overworked, muscle strain can occur.  Muscle strain is common when lifting a heavy object, such as furniture.  If the muscles that are located in between the ribs are tender to the touch, you may have pulled an intercostal muscle.

Rib Fracture

If the ribs are subjected to a blow to the chest, as during an accident or fall, breathing can be labored and movement can be painful.  A fracture of the thoracic spine can occur with compression and cause pain along the rib.

Cartilage Inflammation

If the cartilage on the front of the rib cage becomes inflamed, costochondritis can cause pain on the front or sides of the sternum.  Inflammation to one side only can cause pain also.  There is no definite known cause for this type of pain, but it is thought by experts to be caused by trauma to the cartilage that attaches the ribs in the front of the sternum.

Subluxation of the Ribs and Vertebra

If a vertebra becomes out of alignment with the ones above and below it, a muscle spasm can occur.  Decreased range of motion and irritation to the nerves can cause pain and discomfort.  When a vertebra cannot perform its normal range of motion or remain in proper position, the rib joint can become misaligned and result in rib cage pain.

If you have suffered injury or inflammation to any of your ribs or muscles of the back and are experiencing pain in your ribs, come by The Joint Chiropractic for a consultation with a highly qualified doctor of chiropractic.  With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, finding pain relief for your painful ribs is simply a walk-in away.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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