Chiropractor for Rib Pain

A natural solution to relieve and manage rib pain

Chiropractic And Rib Pain

If you are or have experienced rib pain you will know how uncomfortable it can be and if you haven’t then you are very lucky. Due to their location, attachments and size, injuries to your ribs can be quite painful and most of the time they come out of “nowhere” i.e. there was no trauma that caused it – however from my clinical experience there are lots of reasons why ribs subluxate.

I remember years ago I spent the day out in the garden pulling out weeds and tidying things up. I felt fine that night just very tired but when I woke up the next morning I was in a lot of pain through my back and struggled to take a deep breath in without shooting pain. Turns out I had sprained 2 of my rib joints whilst gardening.

As a Female Chiropractor in Diamond Creek I see a lot of people with rib pain due to our love of gardening and other outdoor activities. 

Anatomy of the Ribs

Let’s take a quick look at the anatomy of ribs as I find in practice that people are surprised how far up your back ribs come up and don’t realise that their ribs are the cause of their pain.

You have 24 ribs all up with 12 on each side of your rib cage. (Fun fact is some people have an extra rib at the top of their rib cage!). Your rib cage plays an important role in protecting vital internal organs such as your heart and lungs as well as providing movement to allow for breathing. The rib cage is also an integral part to correct spinal movement due to its intricate relationship with the spine.


chiropractor for rib pain

Rib 1-7 form 3 joints – 2 with the vertebrae at the back and one with the sternum at the front. Ribs 8-12 still form 2 posterior joints at the spine but instead of directly attaching to the sternum they attach to the cartilage of the rib above at the front. Like all joints in our body the rib joints are surrounded by a collection of ligaments which help the joints stay where they should be. In Between each rib are the intercostal muscles, nerve, artery and vein. There are many other muscles that attach to the rib cage including the pectorals, scalenes and serratus anterior. The diaphragm also attaches to the inferior ribs and is an important muscle to assess for anyone with mid back pain, rib pain or even low back pain.


Symptoms Of Rib Pain

Due to the location of your ribs a lot of people confuse their rib pain for mid back pain or chest pain. While these can definitely be the cause of your pain I find a lot in clinic that ribs are the main culprits. As they attache to the spine at the back and the sternum at the front I find rib dysfunction also causes a wide range of other issues such as spinal dysfunction, a tight diaphragm and shoulder blade dysfunction. 

Symptoms of rib pain can be quite varied and hard to self diagnose. That is why a thorough examination is needed to determine if and what ribs are causing your pain and to rule out other more serious causes. 

Common symptoms of rib pain include:

  • Pain in the back (often underneath the scapula, or shoulderblade)
  • Pain in the neck/shoulder region
  • Pain slightly lateral to the spine
  • Pain when breathing, either in the chest, side or back
  • Pain that wraps around from the chest to the back, or vice versa
  • Pain with breathing or the feeling of having difficulty breathing
  • Tingling or burning type pain in the back or chest
  • Tingling/pain down one, or both of the upper extremities (arms/hands).
  • Pain that increases when coughing, sneezing or straining


If you are experiencing severe cough or breathing difficulties accompanied by frontal chest pain you should consult a medical practitioner.


Rib Pain During Pregnancy

Many women experience rib pain during pregnancy – especially in the later stages of pregnancy. As your baby gets bigger it takes up more room in your belly and the lower ribs have to expand to make a bit more room for bub. As they expand the can stretch through their ligaments and become more unstable. This means they are prone to more movement then normal and can surcumb to ‘injuries’ more easily. Not to mention most babies in utero have a tendency to kick their mums in the ribs at one stage or another. Seeing a Chiropractor for rib pain during pregnancy is a great option in helping relieve your rib pain. Through gentle mobilisations and soft tissue release we can safely ease your discomfort whilst at the same time making sure everything is moving correctly.

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What Causes Rib Pain?

Rib pain is usually caused by the restriction of either the costosternal Joints (joint between the rib and sternum) or the costovertebral joints (joint between the rib and spine). If any of these joints become restricted it may cause pain in the chest or back and quite often can refer to different places along the rib cage. When one of these joints become restricted it can cause the intercostal muscle to tighten which can also cause radiating pain and tightness through the rib cage.


Are you experiencing Pain in the mid back or ribs? Want to do something about it? Call to see if Chiropractic Care is for you!


Rib pain can be quite varied in its presentation and therefore can be difficult to identify. It can be a dull ache all the way to a sharp shooting pain. Due to the ribs attaching to the sternum some people may mistake rib pain for a heart attack.

Rib pain can be caused by obvious reasons such as whiplash injuries, a fall or a direct hit. However, a lot of the time rib pain is caused by everyday actions such as prolonged positions (sitting at the computer or driving a car), gardening, sneezing, coughing, twisting and other activities. Every so often it can just comes without warning and this tells me that something hasn’t been moving properly in the spine and/or rib cage for some time.

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Can Chiropractic Help With Rib Pain?

When treating rib pain, it is first essential to rule out more serious issues such as cardiovascular issues. If the cause of the rib pain is coming from a muscular issue such as a subluxated joint then seeing a chiropractor for rib pain is a great choice.

At InnerBloom chiropractic it is my aim to not only help relieve your rib pain but also to find the true reason for why it has occurred in the first place. To do this I take a detailed history of not only your rib pain but we also discuss things such as your occupation, lifestyle, hobbies and any previous injuries/medical history to get a full understanding of what has happened and how I can help. I pride myself on not only helping you with your rib pain but putting things in place so that it doesn’t come back.

After our detailed history we will then go through a thorough examination where we look at things like your posture, range of motion and a bunch of other tests that help us identify what is causing your rib pain. If need be I will refer you for further testing such as an X-ray.

Depending on what is causing your rib pain will determine how we treat it. I tailor my treatments to each patient so that you get the best care possible. Some treatment options include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments for rib pain
  • Chiropractic mobilisations for rib pain
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Rehabilitation exercises
  • Posture advice
  • Lifestyle advice

I feel it is improtant to note that I find in practice that rib pain can take a few visits to settle down. I believe this is due to their intricate relationship with so many different strutures in your body and the fact that we move them every time we breathe so they don’t realy get a rest and time to heal. So while rib pain is very frusturating and can stick around for a period of time I do find that with consistency chiropractic can help with your rib pain.


If you are in the Bayswater or surrounding suburbs and are experiencing rib pain in any way then why not get assessed and treated by a chiropractor here at InnerBloom chiropractic.

Not sure if we are the right choice for you – our front desk staff are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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