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What You Need to Know About Rib Pain

Blog by Dr. Michael Horowitz | March 18th, 2017


Imagine this: You sneeze and suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your chest. You don’t think anything of it, but then gradually throughout the day the pain continues, but this time it happens after you simply take a deep breath in. You could be experiencing rib or chest pain caused by costochondritis or a costovertebral joint sprain.

Costochondritis, broken down to mean inflammation (-itis) of the cartilage (chondr) of the ribs (costo), is just that: inflammation or irritation of the areas where the ribs connect with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone. This condition causes localized chest pain that can be brought on by applying pressure to front of the chest. Costochondritis may be caused by trauma to the chest wall, overuse of the arms, a respiratory infection, or as a result from chest surgery, but often times the exact cause is unknown. Often, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to those with costochondritis, as well as heat and ice therapy. However these are temporary forms of pain relief that may or may not offer a solution. Those with chronic costochondritis may never fully recover, but chiropractic treatment has been proven to help immensely with pain management by using a combination of spinal adjustments and myofascial release techniques.

Costovertebral joint sprains cause
similar symptoms to costochondritis, such as acute pain when sneezing, coughing, deep breathing, or pain felt when twisting or bending at the spine. Costovertebral joints are joints located along the spine, connecting the thoracic vertebrae (the bones ofthe middle spine) to the ribs. As result of trauma or an injury, these joints can become damaged, compressed, or strained causing pain. Much like costochondritis, pain medications and heat and cold therapy may be prescribed, but it too can be effectively managed with chiropractic care and massage therapy. If you want to get to the source of your rib or chest pain caused by costochondritis or costovertebral joint dysfunction, give us a call today or make an appointment online.

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Hycroft Medical Building, Vancouver ChiropracticHycroft Chiropractic & Massage
#114-3195 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC V6H 3K2

Phone 604-733-7744



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