Rib Cage Pain

I wanted to talk about a condition we commonly see here in the office, which is rib cage pain. Rib cage pain may be sharp, dull, or achy and felt in the front, side or back of the rib cage. It is often described accompanying a feeling of not being able to take a full deep breath. Some people have reported they also felt chest tightness that “almost mimicked a heart attack” The pain may be felt at or below the chest or above the navel on either side. It may occur after an obvious injury or without any explanation. Rib cage pain can be due to anything from pulled muscles, a rib subluxation or even fracture. This pain may occur immediately upon injury or develop slowly over time. If the pain occurs immediately following an accident or fall, we may take radiographic imaging in office to rule out a fracture. Once we assess the rib pain, we can adjust the rib cage several ways. We can adjust the rib head manually by applying direct pressure on the rib head while the patient takes a deep breath in and out. Another way we can adjust the rib is with a low force tool called an activator. This can be done on the front, side or back of each rib that needs to be adjusted. Yet another way we can help with rib cage discomfort is by using massage tools that help relax the small intercostal muscles located in between the ribs themselves. If you are an athlete or have a very active job we can also apply KT tape to the area following an adjustment to ensure the rib stays in place following an adjustment. We always encourage patients to drink extra water following an adjustment, but even more so if we do any deep muscle work. Keeping the muscles hydrated will avoid any unnecessary muscle soreness following an adjustment and or muscle work. If you experience any rib cage discomfort and would like to have it assessed feel free to contact our office and book and appointment today 515-278-YOST

Dr. Kiya Ciecko



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