rib pain / rib tissue pain


Rib Tissue Pain

Wellcome Images V0047802

“Rib tissues can be injured in a variety of ways.  Coughing and sneezing are a couple of common ones.  Throwing is also a fairly common way to injure these tissues (especially throwing something really heavy like a chunk of firewood).   As you can imagine, rib injuries are common in sports.  Not only are they found in contact sports like football, but they are also found frequently in baseball, softball, and even golf (swinging a bat or golf club can tear rib tissues and put even the “heavy hitters” on the D.L.).”  – Doctor Russell Schierling from Destroy Chronic Pain
If you have been following my piece-mealed series on the PROBLEMS WE SEE MOST FREQUENTLY here at Schierling Chiropractic, LLC, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with fascia (yesterday’s post on SKULL PAIN was yet another example of a problem that is often Fascia-related).  According to many experts, FASCIA is the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body, and has the ability to cause multitudes of problems due to the fact it cannot be visualized with even the most technologically-advanced diagnostic imaging techniques (i.e. CT & MRI).  As you might imagine, this is a snare that entangles millions of people in it’s clutches —- many of whom struggle with chronic, unrelenting rib pain (our RIB TISSUE PAIN PAGE is one of the top pages on our Destroy Chronic Pain website, with hundreds of comments).  This is not difficult to understand in light of the amount of meat seen on the ribs above.  Let me share a story with you.

About three years ago, Bryana was rock climbing and rappelling.  She fell, swung outward, and crashed back into a hunk of rock jutting out from the face, hitting her chest / ribs in the process.  Over the course of the past few years, Bryana has been through every test you can imagine (many of them multiple times) and seen a wide variety of specialists.  When nothing showed up on tests, it was believed that her problem might be cardiac (despite the fact that she was barely out of junior high school).  Yes, she was dragged through all sorts of cardiac tests, which were all negative. 


Although there are all sorts of reasons people end up with chronic, unrelenting rib pain, most can be solved with little fanfare.  Am I simply blowing hot air making a statement like this?  Watch the video above (or any number of others — HERE) and judge for yourself.  My goal with this post is to help you identify the source of your particular brand of rib pain, and put an end to it.  Here are some of the more common causes of rib pain in no particular order. 

  • INFLAMMATION:  Any time you hear the word “itis” you need to realize that you are dealing with a physical problem based on INFLAMMATION.  In fact, when it comes to causes of chronic rib pain, Inflammation is a common one.  Take, for instance, Costochondritis.  Costochondritis (costo / chondr / itiscost = ribs, chondro = cartilage, and itis = inflammation) would mean you are dealing with an inflammation of the rib cartilages — an extremely painful and miserable condition.  Other than the standard fare of NSAIDS, there a couple of extremely effective things you can do for this particular problem.  The first is to DRAMATICALLY CHANGING YOUR DIETThe second would be LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY.


  • DEPRESSION / STRESS / ANXIETY:  I included this one simply because so many people with chest pain or pain in the area of the rib cage are told that their problem is stress.  Don’t get me wrong; I very much realize that stress can be a serious problem (HERE is a wild example).  However, it can and frequently does become an easy scape-goat.  The same thing can be said about DEPRESSION and anxiety, which are both considered to be “Inflammatory”.
  • CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS:  This is one that cannot be discounted or overlooked.  Having a diminished blood flow to the heart can cause chest pains in the form of angina or even a heart attack.  Bear in mind that in many cases, Heart Attacks get undue credit for causing chest or rib pain (HERE is one such example).

  • RIB FRACTURES:  If you are having spontaneous rib fractures from things like twisting or coughing, you have a serious issue on your hands in the form of OSTEOPOROSIS or a similar systemic disease process. 

  • RIB SUBLUXATION:  SUBLUXATION is the chiropractic term used to describe bones that are not completely dislocated, but are not lined up correctly in relationship to each other (understand that the medical community uses the terms subluxation and dislocation synonymously).  Typically, if a rib is “out of place” you will have pain when you cough, sneeze, or breathe.  Although rib problems are not ‘dangerous’ in the sense that a Herniated Disc can be, they can be exquisitely painful to the point of making you think you are dying.
  • TEARS OR ADHESIONS OF THE RIB FASCIA:  Although this is not one you will find on the “Top Ten” lists of rib pain for popular medical sites like Web MD or Mayo Clinic, it is a major cause of rib or chest pain that can range from mild to SEVERE / DEBILITATING (click on link for a rib pain video from another young woman who was told her rib pain was cardiac-related).

Part of the problem is that most doctors don’t really seem to grasp the importance of FASCIA or understand how it can so frequently wind up involved in various CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES.  Throw in the fact that fascia is not easily imaged with MRI and you create the environment for unleashing CHRONIC PAIN’SPERFECT STORM“.  Fortunately, our protocols for detecting and treating SCARED CONNECTIVE TISSUES are, in the majority of cases, quite effective at getting to the bottom of things, finding the causes of Chronic Pain, and dealing with them in a timely manner.  To see how effective, take a look at some of our hundreds of VIDEO TESTIMONIALS.

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