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   Rib Pain - Why Do My Ribs Hurt?

There isn't a week that goes by in my office that I don't see a person who presents with pain through their middle back, painful breathing and discomfort with movement. The pain can often be very intense. Often they may mistake these symptoms for angina or a heart problem and go to the emergency room first.

Causes of Rib Pain

Often the cause of a fractured, broken, popped or cracked rib may occur with any known injury or trauma, but may have happened secondary to a bout of hard coughing, or movements that involve a repetitive stress to that region of the body, such as golfing or rowing. In other situations a person who has cancer or an infection could experience what is known as a pathological fracture due to a disease process affecting the bone. Older individuals or osteoporotic persons are also vulnerable or at higher risk of having what is called a fragility fracture, again due to diseased bone structure.

A person can also experience a cracked rib or popped rib from a high velocity impact, or a "crush injury." This is most common in injuries related to auto accidents and impact sports such as ice hockey, Aussie Rules football, gridiron and rugby.

Symptoms of Rib Pain

In most cases there can be intense pain associated with movement and with deep breathing. Bending and twisting can also be quite painful. Tenderness and pain over the area of involvement.

What To Do If You Have Rib Pain

In the immediate short term, rest and immobilisation are the best things which may provide relief. If you have been involved in an automobile injury, depending on the severity of the injury it is imperative to rule out injury to other organ systems, including the heart, aorta and lungs.

A persons medical history and physical examination will provide the doctor with the information necessary to make a presumptive diagnosis of a broken or fractured rib.

Radiographs (x-rays) can be used to identify a bone trauma. Cracked ribs, fractured or broken ribs are among the most commonly identified pathologies when dealing with chest injuries.

Once a complete diagnosis has been made, your doctor will be able to determine the appropriate treatment for your specific problem.

Chiropractic Adjustment for Popped Ribs

Depending on the severity of the injury, healing times can vary. Often with a "popped rib," conservative care can be quite effective for providing pain relief and restoring normal function. Low force, specific chiropractic adjustments can be a safe, effective and gentle approach to correcting a misaligned rib-spine problem, or a popped rib. Chiropractic instrument adjusting can be a very beneficial approach to providing relief in individuals who may not be candidates for traditional manual chiropractic techniques, such as elderly people, or people who may have other health issues involving their problem. We utilise an instrument based approach in many circumstances.

Any treatment recommendations would be based on an accurate diagnosis of your problem. Your chiropractor will conduct a thorough medical history, including ongoing medical conditions, current medications, traumatic/surgical history, and lifestyle factors. Examination may include orthopaedic and neurological tests if necessary depending on the level of pain, and also x-rays or other advanced imaging such as magnetic resonance (MRI). Most episodes of popped ribs respond favourably to chiropractic care and resolve quickly.

As I mentioned earlier, this article is meant as a guide and anyone experiencing severe pain should consult with their doctor immediately for a complete and thorough assessment.



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