Rib pain


Rib pain can be caused by 'pulling a muscle' or direct contact causing bruising or even cracked or broken ribs. The pain may worsen with breathing and can interfere with sleep. Sometimes, you can have chest pain where the rib meets the cartilage which attaches to the breast bone. The latter is also known as costochondritis and can be caused by excessive coughing or straining with weight training or arthritic conditions.

Rib pain ranges from very painful or just an annoying ache. Although the rib cage is a stable structure to protect the heart, lungs and other organs, it is also a very mobile structure and each individual rib needs to be able to move. A lot of muscles attach onto the ribs, so if a rib stops moving properly, the muscle attached to it may go into spasm causing discomfort.

Rib pain may result from poor posture or sustained incorrect posture and when there is lack of movement over long periods of time.

The pain can be excruciating - as if being stabbed. It usually gets worse with movement including deep breathing, laughing and sneezing.

Long term reduction in movement of the ribs will affect breathing and breathing is sooo important not only for the oxygenation of tissues but also for energy.

If you have had an injury it is wise to get a medical opinion. There is no treatment, usually, apart from painkiller drugs so it is advisable to seek some manual treatment such as Osteopathy, Remedial and Sports Massage or even Reflexology or Shiatsu.
Shiatsu is a whole body therapy that works with the meridians of the body to ensure the free flow of energy. It is well worth trying as the practitioner assesses for blocks or congestion and presses on the relevant points to improve flow and thus, vitality.
  • encourages relaxation - so important for the body to heal itself
  • aids flexibility - by working on the muscles and joints of the body through  the feet, movement becomes easier and less painful
  • increases the circulation of blood with its oxygen, nutrients and healing  hormones
  • assists the removal of waste products from your exertions - this is done by affecting the circulation of venous blood and lymph through the body
  • decreases tension and those ‘uptight’ and anxious feelings
  • speeds up recovery time after surgery or injury
  • improves the repair mechanisms of the body and reduces inflammation