Skip to main content

5 Treatable Causes of Bothersome Rib Pain

5 Treatable Causes of Bothersome Rib Pain

Rib pain can stop you in your tracks, especially after an injury or when you're living with a chronic health problem. Although it's often not life-threatening, rib pain is usually scary and uncomfortable.

The only way to get the treatment you need is to get to the root cause of the problem. Did you sustain an injury recently, or is something else going on? When narrowing down the possible causes of rib pain, ask yourself these questions.

If you're stuck and can't figure out what's causing your pain, Dr. Jason Ablett and the team at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic can help. Dr. Ablett is an experienced chiropractor who evaluates your symptoms and tailors treatments to your needs.

Is it rib pain or something else?

Rib pain is a bothersome issue that affects many people, but it's not always a reason for concern. The area around the ribs contains muscles, nerves, and organs, which may all be the cause of intermittent or chronic rib pain.

The scary thing about rib pain is how close it is to your heart and lungs, unnerving most people when it strikes. However, most rib pain is not life-threatening and may worsen with deep breaths or movement.

Some cases of rib cage pain should be a cause for concern. It's essential to get help if you have rib pain with any of the following symptoms:

If you have any troublesome symptoms that coincide with rib pain, you must seek help immediately. Either call 911 or go to the emergency department for an evaluation to ensure the pain isn't due to a heart or lung condition.

Five common causes of rib pain

Rib pain may have various causes, some serious and others that we can treat through different therapies. In most mild to moderate rib pain cases, Dr. Ablett and the team can help with the reason.

Although many things can lead to bothersome rib pain, five of the most common treatable causes include:

1. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic medical condition that causes musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, especially in the ribs. People living with fibromyalgia may experience rib pain, mental fog, fatigue, and stiffness in the morning.

2. Injuries

Injuries are one of the most common causes of rib pain and may include fractures, dislocations, and bruising. Rib injuries often come on suddenly and take time to heal. However, if you suspect an injury, treatment is necessary to improve pain and decrease complications.

3. Costochondritis

Inflammation of the cartilage around the ribs is known as costochondritis. Some cases of costochondritis get better independently, while others require medical treatment. Costochondritis may also cause chest tenderness when touching the area of inflammation.

4. Intercostal neuralgia

Intercostal neuralgia causes rib pain from nerve impingement, often from an injury or shingles. It's a type of nerve pain that may be hard for doctors to diagnose, but you can get treatment to help relieve symptoms.

5. Rheumatoid arthritis

One type of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation and pain around the joints, including the rib cage. Rheumatoid arthritis typically responds well to lifestyle changes and regular chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care for rib pain

When you come in for rib pain, Dr. Ablett discusses your symptoms. When the pain starts, he gives you a clear picture of what may be causing it. He also orders an X-ray to look for any apparent abnormalities or injuries to the ribs.

After Dr. Ablett determines the root cause of your pain, he customizes a treatment plan for your needs. Chiropractic care is an excellent tool to manage chronic or acute rib pain caused by inflammation or injuries.

Manual chiropractic manipulations help keep your body aligned, promote blood flow to the muscles and tissues, and relieve tension, even on the ribs. Regular manipulations significantly reduce pain and improve overall functionality.

Dr. Ablett also utilizes other methods of treatment during each chiropractic session. Other therapies he may use include electrical stimulation therapy and myofascial release treatments.

A combination of regular chiropractic care, rehabilitative exercise, and stretching should all help manage rib pain, even in severe cases. For more severe cases, Dr. Ablett works with other providers to ensure you get the necessary treatment.

If you're living with bothersome rib pain, don't hesitate to call our office in Kirkland, Washington, to schedule an appointment or book a consultation on our website.   

You Might Also Enjoy...

Arthritis and Sciatica: Understanding the Link

Arthritis and Sciatica: Understanding the Link

Arthritis and sciatica are both conditions that may affect the spine – but do they cause the same symptoms? Keep reading to learn about the two conditions and how they could be linked to your back discomfort and symptoms.
How to Put an End to Your Frequent Migraines

How to Put an End to Your Frequent Migraines

Frequent migraines make it challenging to enjoy everyday activities and often disrupt your life – but what's the answer to long-term relief? Keep reading to discover how to end your migraine headaches with simple lifestyle tricks
5 Signs of Degenerative Disc Disease

5 Signs of Degenerative Disc Disease

Back pain and discomfort can mean many things, including degenerative disc disease. Keep reading to learn about this condition and five signs it could be affecting your spine.
Does Fibromyalgia Eventually Resolve on its Own?

Does Fibromyalgia Eventually Resolve on its Own?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that causes widespread discomfort throughout the body – but will it ever go away? Keep reading to discover if fibromyalgia resolves itself or if you require long-term treatment for relief.
 How the Graston Technique Helps When You Have Rib Pain

How the Graston Technique Helps When You Have Rib Pain

Rib pain is a drag, especially when you can't eliminate it alone. Chiropractic care can help, especially when it comes to the Graston technique. Read on to discover how the Graston technique reduces rib pain for long-term relief.