Why Does it Hurt in My Chest When I Inhale?
We’ve seen many people in our office that ask us why their chest hurts when they take in a deep breath. The pain is usually very localized and the patient can put 1 finger right on the spot. Many times, these patients have gone to the emergency department because they feared they might be having a heart attack. The pain can occur in either the chest of upper abdomen.¹ Luckily, in most cases, the cause is less ominous.
What is this Rib Pain Called?
In layman’s terms we say a ‘rib-head went out‘, but the medical term would be a rib-head subluxation, or acute rib joint dysfunction. Either way, the pain is usually sharp, localized and often in the mid-back adjacent to the shoulder blade (scapula)¹. The pain can radiate to the front of the chest, and may feel like it’s wrapping around the chest from the back to the front. Less often, most of our patients present with rib joint dysfunction originating in the front of the chest.²
How Do You Treat Acute Rib Joint Dysfunction?
The good news is, rib joint dysfunction is usually one of the problems that is helped rather quickly. Oftentimes, the patient has immediate and complete relief after our treatment. Other times, it may take a few treatments but the pain is less severe following each chiropractic treatment. The technique we use is dependant on whether the rib-head is out or if the problem is where the rib meets the sternum. The sternocostal joint, where the rib meets the sternum is harder to treat, and may take more time.
How Do I Get a Rib Head Out?
This is usually an acute injury that occurs with poor lifting technique, auto injury, sneezing, coughing or even while rolling over in bed while asleep.³ If you are subject to frequent attacks of your ‘rib going out’, then we will also prescribe certain exercises for you to do to help stabilize the area.
If you’re looking for a chiropractor with experience treating painful ribs, rib subluxations or rib dysfunction, call today to set up an appointment. You can call our office at 860-583-4346 or fill in the online form here.
¹ Slipping Rib Syndrome – physio-pedia
² Rib Dysfunction – spineuniverse
³ Slipping Rib Syndrome – healthline