Pain in the ribs has many possible causes. It is important to eliminate problems with the heart or lungs as a first step. You can discuss this with your local doctor or health advisor.
Mechanical rib problems can occur anywhere in the ribcage. The ribs are suspended by numerous muscles above, below and in between them. Accidents or an imbalance in these muscles can cause a rib to become displaced, stimulating severe local pain and tenderness.
Ribs can become very painful as they attach onto the breastbone (sternum). This is known as costochondritis and causes severe pain at the front of the chest.
Symptoms of rib dysfunction:

  • Pain around the ribs, often focal.
  • Rapid onset of pain and swelling
  • Difficulty twisting or side-bending the spine

Rib problems require a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to stabilize structures, reduce inflammation, and facilitate the healing of the structures causing the symptoms.
Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.