Man clutching his side rib while wincing in pain

Ribs Misaligned? Chiropractic Helps

Having a “rib out” can be a real pain, in more ways than one. The discomfort rib pain causes makes even the simplest tasks challenging. Sleep becomes elusive because you can't find a comfortable position. Moving hurts. Even breathing is painful. Chiropractic care can help you say good-bye to that troublesome pain-in-the-rib and get back to living the life you love. 


What does it mean to have "a rib out"?

When you have a rib out, it means that one of your ribs has become misaligned or moved from its normal position. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • Sudden impact or injury
  • Repetitive movements
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle imbalance

When your rib is out of place, it can put pressure on surrounding tissues, muscles, and nerves. This pressure is what causes your discomfort, pain, and restricted movement.


What are the symptoms of having a rib out?

Having a rib out of place can cause a range of symptoms that vary in intensity. Signs of a misaligned rib include:

  • Localized pain or tenderness around the ribcage
  • Rib pain pain when laying on your back in bed
  • Pain from the weight of your breasts when laying on your back
  • Pain when you move 
  • Pain when you take a deep breath
  • Discomfort when you twist or bend your torso 

In some cases, a misaligned rib can lead to referred pain, where you feel discomfort in other areas, like your chest, back, or shoulder. 


How do chiropractors diagnose a misaligned rib?

During your examination, we'll palpate your ribcage to identify areas of tenderness or misalignment. We may also assess your range of motion and ask about your specific symptoms, as well as when they started. 


In some cases, we may refer you for X-rays or other imaging tests to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. 


How do chiropractors treat misaligned ribs?

Generally, we treat misaligned ribs with chiropractic adjustments. Using gentle and precise manipulation of the ribcage, we'll guide your misaligned rib back into its correct position. This will help relieve your pain, improve your mobility, and restore proper function to your ribcage.


We may also recommend massage or stretching exercises to support healing and help prevent future misalignments.


How long does it take for chiropractic to heal a misaligned rib?

The time it takes for chiropractic treatment to work for a misaligned rib can vary from person to person. Some patients may experience relief after just one to three chiropractic adjustments. Others may require a series of treatments over a few weeks.


Your progress will depend on the severity of your misalignment, your overall health, and how well you follow your care plan. We will track your progress and adjust your treatment as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.


What is the best self-care for a misaligned rib?

Self-care for a misaligned rib can help promote healing. Here are some self-care tips we may recommend for you:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that worsen your pain. Give your body time to heal
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce inflammation and ease discomfort
  • Gentle Stretching: Gentle stretches and exercises improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension around the rib cage
  • Postural Awareness: Being mindful of your posture can help you avoid putting more strain on your rib cage
  • Breathing Exercises: Expanding your lungs can help ease rib pain
  • Supportive Garments: A supportive rib belt or compression garment may help stabilize the area and reduce discomfort
  • RockTape: a specific taping application for rib support could also help with stabilization
  • Avoid Heavy Lifting: Refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous activities that can exacerbate the misalignment
  • Sleep Position: Find a comfortable sleep position that supports your rib cage and reduces pressure on the affected area. We often suggest sleeping on your side while hugging a small pillow

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any self-care measures. Proper self-care can help speed up your healing process, but only if it's right for your specific condition.


Think you have a rib out?

If you're dealing with a misaligned rib, you don’t have to endure the discomfort! We are here to help you get back to your favorite activities pain-free. Book an online appointment. Our Aptos chiropractors will create a personalized treatment plan to get you back on track and enjoying life to the fullest.


Want to learn more about rib conditions?

Learn more about rib pain here. 



Contact Information

 9053 Soquel Dr A
Aptos, CA 95003


(831) 661-5577
 (831) 851-3502

Opening Hours

Monday Closed

Tuesday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Wednesday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Thursday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Friday 09:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed

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