Many in the Rochester, NY area know the pain felt from a stuck rib. A sudden sharp and stabbing pain located somewhere in the mid-back and made worse when taking in deep breaths. It is common for this pain to be mistaken for something serious but it is actually something your Rochester, NY Chiropractor can easily treat. Let’s talk about the rib cage, how it can become restricted, and what the best course of treatment is to not only relieve the pain but keep it away.

It is easy to assume the rib cage is just a stationary cage that protects your organs, but that’s actually not true. The rib cage moves with every breath to make room for the expanding lungs in the chest. This is possible due to the joints connecting each rib to the spine. These joints don’t move a ton but allow just enough movement so the bones don’t inhibit the lungs from expanding. When these joints get stuck, every breath tries to force movement in those joints and that can be very uncomfortable and even painful. This constant stress causes inflammation that will get out of control quickly.

Rib joint restrictions are caused by a similar process as all other joint restrictions in the body; abnormal stress is placed on the joint and the joint will lock up. The most common cause of rib restrictions is sleeping posture. Side sleepers who place their down arm up over their head will place stress on the ribcage throughout the entire night. Rib restrictions can also happen if the joints get strained during exercise. Back exercises, such as rows, or twisting poses in yoga can cause the shoulders to pull too far forward and injure the rib joints. Even simple actions like sneezing or coughing can cause a rib to lock up!

Chiropractic adjustments are one of the best treatments for these conditions. An adjustment will restore movement to the joint and will relieve the sharp and stabbing pain felt with movement and breathing. After the adjustment, the area tends to still remain sore for some time. Even though the joint is moving again, the inflammation caused by the restriction is still present. Applying some ice to the area can help reduce the inflammation and pain after the adjustment. The next step is to ensure the joint does not get stuck again. Try to maintain proper posture and encourage rib movement by using a foam roller in the thoracic spine.

If you feel like you may be experiencing a restricted rib, schedule an appointment at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic. Your Rochester, NY chiropractor can locate the restricted rib, apply an adjustment to restore movement, and prescribe the appropriate stretches and exercises to help prevent the pain from returning. Give the office a call and get out of pain today.