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
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
What To Do If You Have Rib
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
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
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
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
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