I didn’t know I had ribs there!?!

So did you ever wake up in the morning and have trouble turning your neck one way and/or have pain right under your shoulder blade?

So that is what I like to call ‘rib pain’

Yes you have ribs there.

The rib cage is literally a cage that surrounds your heart and lungs.  The go from your clavicle or collar bone all the way to the top of your abdomen where you can feel them at the front of you.  They are in the front AND the back of you as pictured below.

Ok, so now that we have had a small anatomy lesson – why on earth does my rib hurt?

It doesn’t exactly.  Here is what happens: The ribs are supposed to swing up and down like a bucket handle gently with every breath. Up with breathing in and down with breathing out. For a number of reasons (lifting, sleeping funny, sitting, reaching driving, just merely existing…) one of your ribs can stop doing this and create irritation in the surrounding muscles, nerves, joints etc.

This tends to cause pain. It can be excruciating in the region of your shoulder blade and may make you want to lean against a door frame to put pressure on the area.  I have seen people with pain all the way down one arm or numbness and tingling in the arm, shoulder or flank, neck pain, headaches, jaw pain… all sorts of issues.

So what can you do about it? Well unfortunately not too much… it may go away on its own (but don’t count on it – I have seen people with this pain that has persisted 6 or more years before they came to see me). You can try lying on a stress ball or getting someone to massage it.  Generally though it will likely come back or only give you temporary relief until you get a chiropractic adjustment.

So there you have it. It is fixable.  I tend to do lots of muscle work surrounding the area and then do some adjustments, apply essential oils and sometimes kinesiotape.  We also give strengthening exercises and talk about desk ergonomics if needed to help make sure the problem doesn’t come back.

If you have this, or someone you know does, please come in and have it checked out or give us a call and we can chat about it.  It is something I have seen a lot in practice and had great success with – I tend to get this myself so I can really empathize with the irritation of this condition.