What can cause pain in the ribs?
DID you know your ribs can move? You probably did. But did you know your ribs are moving almost constantly? Upon learning they have a problem with a rib joint, most patients ask “how did I hurt a rib?”. The answer is by doing any movement that uses a rib. For example, breathing, coughing, sneezing, twisting, bending, laughing. Each of these requires at least a small, and sometimes quite large or forceful, movement in your ribs. How do you know you’ve got a problem with a rib? Pain somewhere along the path of the rib is the most obvious sign. It could be pain in your back, side or chest, or any combination of the three. Of course, chest pain is not something to be taken lightly but once serious causes have been ruled out, a frequently overlooked cause of chest pain can be rib dysfunction. As a chiropractor, I’m interested in joints that aren’t moving properly and the dysfunction or pain they can cause in the body. As your ribs have two joints, one at the back connecting to your spine and another at the front, when a rib becomes dysfunctional it can mean double trouble. If you’ve noticed pain in your chest, make sure you have it checked by a health professional. In the event you think your pain may be related to rib dysfunction, your local chiropractor is an expert in restoring movement to joints and can help. Dr Michael Osborne is a chiropractor at HealthGuard Wellness, East Toowoomba, and a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia.