Could the pain in your back be coming from your ribs?

Berwick Family Osteopathy

What is a rib joint sprain?

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A rib joint sprain is an overstretching or tearing of the ligaments that surround the joints, either the costovertebral or costotransverse joints, between our ribs and our spinal column. It is important to recognise that we aren’t spraining the rib itself, but either the ligaments that connect the rib to the spine, the joint capsule, or cartilage which leads to inflammation. 

Sometimes this happens for what seems like no reason, we might roll over in bed, get out of the car or we might be coughing and end up putting too much pressure on the area. But often, the tension might have been building over a period of time, and without intervention (either by yourself or with hands on treatment) this can lead to dysfunction and injury. It can also occur with trauma such as a big hit on a footy field or a car accident.


What does a rib joint sprain feel like?

  • Upper back/shoulder pain and tightness
  • Sudden/acute back pain
  • Sharp pain when deep breathing 
  • Pain along the length of the rib, sometimes coming into the front of the chest


How do you treat a rib joint sprain?

Using a variety of techniques we will try to release muscular tension around the area, increase movement at the joint and surrounding joints, and then strengthen the muscles around it to offload the joint.

Usual healing time is 2-4 weeks for an acute injury. Depending on how bad your injury is and reasons that lead to why it occurred may influence this timeframe.


Berwick Family Osteopathy

Photo Source: Picture


If you are suffering from any type of musculoskeletal pain and are wondering if an Osteopath can help you, give us a call at Berwick Family Osteopathy and Spinal Clinic on (03) 9702 0094, or make an appointment online.

We can’t wait to see you in the clinic and help you with your health.

Blog written by Dr Tom McKenna – Registered Osteopath.
Berwick Family Osteopathy & Spinal Clinic

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