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Common Causes of Rib Pain and When to Seek Treatment

Pain in or around your ribs can feel hard to pinpoint. Is it muscular? Is there a problem with one of your ribs itself? Is something going on underneath your rib cage that’s causing your discomfort?

Fortunately, figuring out what’s causing your rib pain doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge you take on by yourself. As a rib pain specialist, Jason Ablett, DC, helps patients at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic identify the root cause of their rib pain and find solutions for it. From our office in Kirkland, Washington, he and the rest of our team work with you to find relief. 

To get you started, let’s take a look at four of the most common causes of rib pain and your options for treating each. 

#1: Rib fractures or breaks

The bones that make up your rib cage are fragile. They can get fractured — or even broken — during a slip-and-fall accident, a sports injury, a car accident, or any other incident that applies force to your ribs.

If you think you might have a rib fracture or break, Dr. Ablett can stabilize the area using kinesiology tape and work with you to help the injured rib heal. It’s also important to get an X-ray to understand the extent of the damage. 

#2: Inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis, costochondritis (inflammation in your rib cage’s cartilage), and other forms of inflammation can cause discomfort in your ribs. Pleurisy, a condition characterized by inflammation in the lining of your lungs, can also cause rib pain. 

With regular chiropractic care, Dr. Ablett has helped many people with inflammation-caused rib pain — including people with arthritis — find relief. 

#3: A strained muscle

The intercostal muscles between your ribs play a key role in your body, attaching your ribs, helping you breathe, and supporting your torso. When you strain these muscles, you might feel pain in your ribs or tenderness when you touch the area. You might also have trouble breathing. 

Fortunately, the strained muscle will heal with time. To support and even shorten your recovery, you can get chiropractic care from Dr. Ablett. 

#4: Other conditions

Your rib pain might not be stemming from a problem with your ribs themselves, but from another underlying condition.

Medical conditions that commonly cause rib pain include:

If you’re experiencing rib pain, it’s a sign that something isn’t right in your body. Make an appointment at our office so Dr. Ablett can give you a thorough checkup and work toward identifying the cause of your rib pain. 

You shouldn’t have to live with pain in your ribs — and ignoring it could let a medical condition go untreated. To start the process of diagnosing the cause of your rib pain so you can treat it and find relief, call our office or schedule an appointment online today.

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