What Causes Rib Pain?

What Causes Rib Pain?

Pain in any part of your body has the ability to affect your life. But when that pain is focused on your rib cage, it can be especially difficult to get anything done. There are a number of different issues that lead to rib pain, and understanding them helps you finally get the relief you need.

At Pinnacle Health Chiropractic, our team helps you when pain seems to be taking over your life. Heading up our expert team is Dr. Jason Ablett, who’s an experienced chiropractic specialist. Dr. Ablett is an expert in treating even the most complex cases of rib pain.

Symptoms of rib trouble

Rib pain is something that you don’t want to have to deal with. Unfortunately, it can happen pretty quickly, especially after a traumatic injury. If you’ve injured a rib, you’ll likely experience some type of pain. The pain may be constant, or come and go throughout the day.

But pain isn’t the only symptom that you can experience with rib problems. Often, you’ll suffer from other signs as well, some of which include:

Rib pain can also make it very difficult to get any sleep at night. The pain makes it hard to get comfortable and breathe properly without discomfort. 

When this pain persists for a long period of time, your mental health can also take a turn. Depression can come on when you’re dealing with chronic pain of any kind, especially when it affects your chest area.

Common causes of rib pain

Rib pain can be caused by a number of different issues, including injuries. However, an injury to your chest isn’t the only cause of this type of pain. Other common causes of rib discomfort include:


Rib fractures can occur from blunt force trauma to your chest. This could be from high contact sports, or a car accident. Broken ribs can be very painful, and be accompanied by bruising and tenderness in your chest.


This is an inflammatory condition that directly affects the cartilage around your ribs. The most common place to experience costochondritis is the area where your upper ribs join your sternum. The pain from this condition can range in severity, and is often paired with chest tenderness.


Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain throughout your entire body, including your rib cage. Although any part of your body can be subjected to the pain of fibromyalgia, the chest and rib area are a common complaint among many people with this condition.


Osteoporosis affects the bones throughout your body. It leads to weakness and fragility of your bones, which often causes fractures. This can affect your ribs and the vertebrae in your upper spine, which can make it feel like pain in your chest.

Muscle spasms

Pulled muscles are common in your chest when you play certain sports or lift weights. Muscle spasms affect the tissues in your chest that surround your rib cage, which can make it seem like your ribs are what’s causing your pain.

Another condition known as pleurisy can also lead to pain in your rib cage. This condition causes inflammation in your chest and lungs, which ultimately leads to pain. Although it doesn’t directly affect your bones, pleurisy involves your entire chest, which can translate to rib pain.

Therapies that can help you

When you’re suffering from rib pain that doesn’t seem to go away with at-home treatments, Dr. Ablett is able to help. He gets to the root of the problem, which allows him to formulate a specialized treatment plan for you.

The type of treatment that’s best suited for you depends on what’s actually causing your pain. To determine this, he often gets X-rays of your chest before starting any type of therapy.

If you’ve suffered a broken rib, Dr. Ablett offers several treatments to get you some pain relief. This may involve specialized tape to help keep the fracture stable, along with activity modifications.

For other causes of rib pain, Dr. Ablett recommends regular chiropractic care to restore your body’s normal function. This can help with muscle spasms and chronic pain conditions.

Electrical stimulation therapy and fascia release are other treatments Dr. Ablett uses to rectify your rib discomfort. He may use a combination of different therapies to get you the customized care you need.

If you’re tired of suffering from rib pain, don’t hesitate to call our office today to get treatment today, or you can schedule an appointment online using the booking tool on our website.

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