Rib pain

Slipped Rib

Are you Suffering from a Slipped Rib?

Have you ever felt a sharp pain in the upper or mid area of your back, between the shoulder blades? Moreover, have you ever experienced this sharp localized pain while taking a deep breath? Has this pain ever gone from being localized in the back to referring to the side and front aspect of the torso? These are all symptoms of what has been referred to as a ‘slipped rib’ or ‘slipped rib syndrome’.

A “slipped rib,” also known as a subluxated rib, refers to a condition where the costal cartilage, the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum (breastbone) or vertebrae (back), are displaced from its normal position. This displacement can cause pain and discomfort, often felt as a sharp or stabbing sensation in the chest or upper abdomen.

Common symptoms of a slipped rib include localized pain, tenderness, and discomfort, which may worsen with certain movements or activities. Coughing, sneezing, or deep breathing can exacerbate the pain, and the affected area may be sensitive to touch.

Treatment options for a slipped rib typically involve conservative measures, and most cases do not require surgical intervention. Here are some common approaches to manage and alleviate symptoms:

Rest and Avoidance of Aggravating Activities:

  • Rest is often recommended to allow the rib to heal and reduce inflammation.
  • Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms, such as heavy lifting or strenuous twisting movements, can help prevent further irritation.

Pain Medications:

  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Heat or Ice Therapy:

  • Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Some individuals find relief with one over the other, so it may be a matter of personal preference.

Physical Therapy:

  • Physical therapy exercises may be recommended to improve posture, strengthen the muscles around the ribcage, and promote proper movement. A physical therapist can provide guidance on specific exercises tailored to the individual’s condition.

Chiropractic Care:

  • Individuals with a slipped rib seek chiropractic care. Chiropractors may use manipulative techniques to gently realign the rib and surrounding structures.

Breathing Exercises:

  • Learning and practicing proper breathing techniques can help reduce strain on the ribcage and minimize pain during respiration.

Supportive Measures:

  • Wearing a rib belt or brace may provide support and compression, helping to stabilize the affected area.

It’s crucial for individuals experiencing persistent or severe pain to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and to rule out other potential causes of chest or abdominal pain. In rare cases where conservative measures are not effective, a healthcare provider may consider more invasive interventions, such as corticosteroid injections or, in extreme cases, surgical options.

As with any medical condition, it’s important for individuals to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment recommendations based on their specific situation. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment may not be appropriate, particularly if there is uncertainty about the underlying cause of the symptoms.

What are my treatment options for a Rib Issue?

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor) and assosicates of health therapists can help you rehabilitate your muscles after a rib injury via both active exercises as well as passive treatments. Our extensive passive treatments include laser therapy (healing), ultrasound (healing), electrotherapy (pain), hot/cold therapy and soft tissue therapy. Treatments are usually booked two to three times per week for six to eight weeks. Full recovery varies from individual to individual.