Why Rib Pain

I became a rib pain specialist because it is something I have sufferred with over the years, so I am very familiar with how annoying and painful it can be. As a chiropractor, it is a problem I see regularly and have had great success treating. Doug Eldred

How do ribs work?

The ribs (12 in total each side) run from the spine around the chest to the breast bone or sternum. They have joints at the back that connect with the spine (costo-vertebral) and joints at the front that attach to the breat bone (costo-chondral) through a cartiledge joint or down low through a large cartiledge plate.

The ribs protect your important internal organs from injury and are used in respiration (breathing). It is the movement of the ribs outwards and upwards that makes your chest swell or contract.

Ribs have a nerve running from the spine around the length of the rib to the front.

Why Rib Pain

Ribs commonly get inflamed. The reason for this is due to our anatomy. They are designed like this to protect our vital organs (heart, lungs liver and spleen) and help us breathe. With increasing stability and protection comes decreased mobility. So if there is a slight twist in your spine, the ribs cannot move freely and in fact torsion slightly to accommodate the twist.

This torsion causes inflammation at the joints either at the spine or in the chest. Every time you take a breath your ribs are moving, the harder you breathe the more the ribs move. It is the torsion of the ribs and the constant moving through breathing that pre-disposes rib joints to pain & inflammation. This is why ribs ache so much when lying in bed at night trying to get to sleep.

Doug Eldred is our rib pain expert.

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