(Keywords: Rib pain treatment, chiropractic rib treatment, causes of osteoporosis, iatrogenic illness)
Care of the thorax in the chiropractic setting is adapted to the beautiful design of the ribcage. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made!
The ribcage was designed to give protection to the vital organs, in particular the heart and lungs. However, compromise was needed to enable us to breathe.
So these organs are surrounded by a cage of bone,
interspaced with small gaps filled with rib muscles (and some other
structures, nerves and an artery). The ribs have to rise, increasing the
space in the chest, drawing fresh air into the lungs, and then drop
again as we exhale.
The ribs have a 'bucket-handle' configuration, with joints in the front (with the breastbone), and at the back (with the spine), allowing the ribs to rise and fall rhythmically with breathing.
Rib pain treatment by
chiropractors was designed around this beautiful structure. Like
anything mechanical, the ribcage too needs maintenance. Both the joints
at the front (the costo-sternal joints) and the joints at the back (the
costo-spinal joints) can be injured by freak movements. For an
understanding of the anatomy of the ribcage follow this link.
COSTOSTERNAL ANATOMY ...
RIB PAIN TREATMENT
Rib subluxations can be exquisitely painful. Every breath may be a nightmare. However, the treatment, correctly done is not usually particularly painful.
Firstly your chiropractor will want to rule out conditions of the chest. For example, pleurisy also causes pain with breathing. So, too, a spinal infection. I've seen only one case in over thirty years... from a spinal anaesthesia, only 1/ 60,000 but it can happen. They key sign was inspiration pain, but bilateral - that was unusual.
Then s/he will likely use one of a number of loosening up techniques. This could be massage, or a vibrator, or stretching, or a mobilising technique.
"The Sprung Rib"
Each rib has three small joints which articulate with the spine. A good sneeze, primarily, but any unexpected movement too, can subluxate one of these joints causing extreme sharp pain. It is characterised by pain whilst taking a deep breath.
The chiropractic rib treatment is likely going to be a gentle thrust straight onto your back, whilst you are lying on your tum. Often the whole area, and your chiropractor will need feedback from you, making sure that s/he is on the correct rib.
OSTEOPOROSIS: If you know you have brittle bones, it is important to warn your chiropractor. Most chiropractors will crack a rib occasionally on an osteoporotic patient. It is a risk, but greatly outweighed by the enormous relief millions get, for every cracked rib. It is painful, and will remain so for a few weeks. You can expect a red-faced doctor and a vase of flowers!
The risks associated with Rib pain treatment
50 rib adjustments/week x 50 weeks = 2500 adjustments per year.
One cracked rib every six years (my record). That's one in every 15 000 treatments. 70 per million rib adjustments. That is VERY safe, much safer that taking pills for example, but indeed not perfectly safe.
I treat at least ten patients in their 80's every week, yet continue to hear that medical doctors tell their patients that chiropractic treatment is far too dangerous for elderly bones. Bunkum. But we are careful! And gentle with the elderly. But, yes, iatrogenic illness does occur in chiropractic clinics too.
IATROGENIC ILLNESS ... not unimportant is that whllst the pain of a cracked rib (by a chiropractor) can be severe, it's self-limiting, and the patient recovers completely within a few weeks.
FROM THE COAL FACE (I)
The good wife has had a cold for a few days. Yesterday she sneezed and within an hour was in severe pain between the shoulder blades. Every breath brought her close to tears, a sharp, stabbing, knife-life pain. It was so severe that she was unable to lower herself to the chair to eat lunch. She ate standing!
Unable to get into the car, we walked (with difficulty) to the clinic, about ten minutes away. (What a joy, it takes me literally two minutes on the bike!)
Isolating the rib was not difficult, the 7th on the right, it was exquisitely tender on palpation. She had significant immediate relief from my Chiropractic Rib treatment, and we walked home quite normally, and she slept well last night. It will take a few days to get over it completely.
I was given the task of making her favourite: Easy broccoli soup recipe @ BROCCOLI FACTS ... Did you know? Broccoli is the number-one anti-cancer vegetable, and has the double bonus of being very rich in magnesium, a deficiency of which causes chondro-calcinosis, a leading cause of arthritis. Every garden should have a few plants, and don't pull them when the head has been picked. The small florets that continue to come are even richer in those goodies. Perfect for broccoli soup. Healthy eating is a vital part of chiropractic help. After all, if you don't look after your body, where are you going to live?!!!
Rib pain occurs sometimes at the junction of the rib and sternum (breastbone). Right over the heart so, if it's on the left, the pain may be confused with a heart attack. The key: tenderness over the breastbone, and its joints with the ribs. This condition is called the Tietzes Syndrome ... If the subluxation is of the breastbone joint, then your Chiropractor will use a technique where the hands travel all along the rib, from back to front. His hands may lie close to the breast tissue, so if you feel uncomfortable bring a family member with you.
Rib pain treatment is not usually particularly painful.
Your chiropractor may also use a treatment where s/he stands over you whilst you are lying down, (or behind you whilst you are sitting or standing), giving a sudden vigorous thrust on your back.
FROM THE COALFACE (II)
'Doctor, what did you do to me last week?'
'What do you means, Mrs Jones?'
'I've had such pain here in my side. Every breath hurts!'
'Oh dear, I may have cracked a rib, Mrs Jones. Let me examine it ... yes, I'm sorry to say, I have done you a mischief.'
'Cracked a rib! How long will it be sore?'
'About three weeks. I'm sorry. I must have been a little too vigorous!'
'Will it remain weak?'
'Absolutely not. Within 3-6 weeks, the time it takes for bone to heal, the pain will be completely gone. It will be as strong as ever.'
'Should I sue you?' said Mrs Jones, with a laugh.
'You could, but then you will lose your chiropractor! Remember how many times over the years you have crawled into this office on hands and knees!'
'But it's so sore.'
'I'm afraid so. You are third person in twenty-seven years in practice. I'm sorry it had to be you. It will get better with no sequelae.'
'Now don't go using the long words again ...'
A bouquet of flowers arrived the following day at Mrs Jones's address! It happens with rib pain treatment. Three times in the 27 years. "Helaas", as we say in Dutch.
RIB PAIN TREATMENT CaseFile
A traumatic fall not only damages the bicycle but can also bend the
cyclist's chassis. Whilst bruised and even cracked and broken ribs will
heal, usually without great dramas, the simultaneous injury to the
rib-spine and rib-breastbone joints can continue for months and years.
Chiropractic RIB PAIN TREATMENT CaseFile ...
The artery to the arm, and the nerves pass through a narrow space in the neck known as the Inter Scalene Triangle - a triangle made up of two Scalene muscles and the first rib.
Whilst very occasionally something really serious (like a lung tumour) can invade this space, the usual cause of irritation of the artery and nerves is either a first rib subluxation, or Scalene muscle spasm. Often they occur together.Thoracic Outlet Syndrome ...
The neck vertebrae are not supposed to have
ribs, but 2/1000 people may have a cervical rib. Usually they are small
and of little consequence, but very occasionally a monster occurs. Read
more here at this
cervical rib casefile ... The result as the rib invades the "thoracic outlet" is pain and tingling in arms and hands ...
INTERESTING LINKS @ Rib Pain Treatment
I'm not looking here for funny stories. That we'll find a place for elsewhere, and you can find an abundance of them in my books at Bernard-Preston.com. James Herriott genre books.
Here I'm looking for things that you particularly love / hate about a visit to the chiropractor. Share it! If we get too many, and we probably will, we'll split them.
Are there things you hate about a Chiropractic consultation? Let's hear about it. Hopefully even more stories about things you love.
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