People come in complaining of back pain, and after an exam we determine that the source of pain is the rib head articulation. When I explain that to patients they ask me how their ribs could be hurting. The answer is not simple just like any medical explanation, but I’ll try to simplify. Your ribs attach to your spine with 2 joints per rib. Those joint complexes just like any other joint can be sprained, strained, inflamed, irritated, or just plain sad. As with other injuries these can happen due to a trauma, or over time with repetitive stress. The joint attachments are not the only thing that can be injured, but that’s what we’re talking about so we’re going to rule out fractures, tumors, and scary stuff like that.
How do you know if you have an injured rib joint complex? The most important way would be to come see me (www.sandyutchiropractic.com) or another qualified doctor and get it examined. If you are wondering, “is my back pain a rib problem?” then you already have back pain and should see a chiropractor anyway, but here are some common symptoms to indicate rib joints. Rib dysfunction pain is usually a sharp stabbing pain, that you just can’t get rid of. It can affect everything you do. It hurts to take a deep breath, raising your hands over your head reproduces the pain. The pain can go all the way around the chest or to the shoulder.
The most common cause of these problems that I see are sneezing while in an awkward position (under a desk fixing wires), sleeping in a poor position, or trauma such as a fall or being hit.
The good news is that rib dysfunction is usually a very quick easy fix. You can often get immediate and complete relief with just one adjustment. AND, it feels so good when it goes away. I love fixing patients with this problem, because it’s one of those easy times when patients walk in with pain and skip out with a smile. So, don’t delay see your chiropractor today. :)