Not All Pain In the Back Is Back Pain – It Could Be Rib Pain
We had a patient recently how came in with mid-back pain just off to the side of the spine. He thought he strained a back muscle from heavy lifting over the weekend but it turned out that he strained his rib (intercostals) muscles instead. These are muscles between your ribs.
The patient of ours had gone for a massage earlier but it did not help relieve the pain. It hard to move – bending forwards, sideways and breathing deeply elicited the pain. Once we had diagnosed the problem, physiotherapy techniques of releasing the tight muscles and mobilising the affect stiff ribs (yes, we can mobilise the ribs) quickly helped relieved the pain. The pain disappeared by the next day.
Is It Possible To Strain My Ribs?
A strain commonly occurs when a muscle or its tendon is stretched or torn causing symptoms. Similarly, you strain your intercostals muscles if you perform exaggerated or forceful twisting of your body or swinging of your arms. Sports activities at risk for rib pain and strain include golf, tennis, and squash. A direct blow to your ribcage such as that occurs in a tackle in rugby may also cause stretching of your intercostals resulting in strain.
Symptoms Of Rib Pain
The symptoms of rib pain are usually a dull soreness that may increase to a constant ache and/or sharp stabbing pain with deep inhalation, twists or bending.
What Should I Do?
If the rib pain is mild, try stretching and breathing exercises. This will keep the intercostals, as well as the muscles attached to and surrounding the ribs, loose.
If these gentler methods are not working, try physiotherapy techniques. Examples such as postural assessment, manual manipulation (as in the case with our patient) and massage therapy may be effective. This is especially so in cases where pain is increasing or consistent. Massage therapy had not worked for our patient earlier as the initial diagnosis was wrong and the masseuse worked on the wrong muscles.
- How to give Massages for Neck, Back and Shoulder Pain
- Chronic Low Back Pain – The Psychological Factors
- Back Pain And The Rib Cage: A Case Study
- When to Worry About seeking Back Pain Treatment and When Not To
- 3 Common Leading Causes to Back Pain
- Back Pain Relief for when your back hurts so much you can’t get out of bed
- What Are The Most Common Causes Of Back Pain?
- Avoid doing these 3 Things if You Have Back Pain
- A Case Study On The Mal-Aligned Rib Cage
- Serratus Anterior and Side Stitches
- Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Low Back Pain (Part I)
- How You Can Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy
- How Can a Physio Help With Back Pain?
- Low Back Pain: Prevention Is Not Cure
- Back Pain Due To A Vertebrae Fracture?
- Multifidus – Smallest Yet Most Powerful Muscle
- Low Back Pain (LBP) Explained By Dr Mike Evans
- The Pelvic Cross Syndrome
- Did I hurt my back from that exercise or it is just sore?
- Sway Back No More