How Chiropractic Can Improve Rib Pain

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If you’ve ever injured your ribs or the muscles surrounding your ribs, you know how painful it can be. Ribs wrap all the way around our bodies, connecting to both the spine and the sternum, protecting our heart, lungs, and other vital organs with their cage-like structure. The ribs are made up not only of bones, but also of cartilage, which allows them to move slightly as we breathe and move around. When any part of the ribs are irritated, inflamed, or injured, the pain can be debilitating. Thankfully, a Charlotte chiropractor can help.

What Is Costochondritis?

One of the most common, albeit unknown, rib problems is called costochondritis. It occurs when the costochondral cartilage, which is located at the front of each rib, becomes inflamed. This inflammation may be the result of a trauma or injury, such as a car accident, sports injury, illness, or other physical strain. The pain of costochondritis can range from a minor ache and discomfort to a severe, sharp pain that may even feel like a heart attack. Sometimes the pain will wrap around the midsection to the back or radiate pain through the stomach and chest.

Because the costochondral cartilage is what allows your ribs to move slightly with each breath, even breathing can exacerbate the pain and make it difficult to go about your daily life. If you are experiencing this type of pain, it’s important to get treatment quickly since it can be so painful. While you may need to rule out a broken rib before getting a chiropractic adjustment, Charlotte chiropractor Dr. Grant Lisetor can help you find relief from this frustrating condition.  

Chiropractic Care for Rib Problems

If you’re experiencing something other than costochondritis but you are still dealing with rib discomfort, chiropractic care can still be extremely beneficial and effective. While most medical professionals aim to treat only the symptoms of a condition or general discomfort, chiropractors seek out the root cause of the discomfort or condition and aim to treat it right at the source. With many rib issues, the primary problem is a misalignment of the spine or another joint nearby. When the spinal vertebrae are misaligned, the ribs are, in turn, also misaligned, which can bring about the inflammation of costochondritis, as well as other rib issues.

Thankfully, chiropractic care has proven extremely effective at correcting rib issues and alleviating rib pain. Studies have found that chiropractic can help with costochondritis, such as one published in Canada that saw a 64-year-old man experience complete resolution of costochondritis pain after being under chiropractic care. Another study looked at a woman who had unexplained chest pain. After undergoing much testing, she was diagnosed with Tietze syndrome, which is an inflammatory disorder caused by swelling of the rib cartilage. While pain medication didn’t help this particular woman with her rib pain, chiropractic care successfully reduced her pain levels.

If you’re experiencing rib pain, whether new, rare, or chronic, schedule a consultation with Dr. Grant Lisetor. He and his team at Greater Life Chiropractic are passionate about serving the Charlotte area with honesty, care, and a commitment to true health and healing. Contact Greater Life Chiropractic today to set up your first appointment and to learn more about chiropractic care.


Gijsbers, E., Knaap, S.F.C. “Clinical presentation and chiropractic treatment of Tietze syndrome: A 34-year-old female with left-sided chest pain.” Chiropractic Medicine, 2011 Mar; 10 (1): 60-3.

Hudes, K. “Low-tech rehabilitation and management of a 64 year old male patient with acute idiopathic onset of costochondritis.” Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2008 Dec; 52(4): 224–228.


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