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A Misaligned Rib is Not Uncommon

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If you are experiencing paid between or around your shoulder blades or maybe in your chest area, you could be suffering from a rib head that is out of alignment. You may have woken up with these pains after sleeping or you may have been suffering with this type of pain for some time.

Ribs attach to your thoracic vertebra (the area at the top of your torso). The main function of the ribs are to protect your internal organs like your heart, lungs, and kidneys. Ribs are unique in that they are constantly in motion. They move every time that you breathe. Your ribs are what allows your chest to expand and contract when you breathe. This is a main reason why the problem is so common, your ribs are moving every minute of every day. It is just a matter of time before there is a moment of weakness in one of your 24 ribs and a misalignment occurs.

I usually see a few common things that predispose people to rib subluxations.

1. Pregnancy: During pregnancy, especially the later part of pregnancy, a woman’s body begins to release a hormone called Relaxin. This hormone does just what it sounds like, it relaxes the ligaments in the body so that they can expand. Pair this with the changes in proportions in a woman’s body, with more weight in the front pulling down on the rib cage, the chances are greatly increased that a rib will move too far and out of proper alignment.

2. Sickness Where You Cough & Sneeze A Lot: When you get sick, your body focuses a lot of its energy on fighting the infection. This puts your muscles in a somewhat weakened state. If your sickness results in a lot of coughing and sneezing, you are placing an excessive amount of pressure on your rib cage. The excessive force paired with the unusual position can cause the rib to move unnaturally and become misaligned.

3. Poor Posture Or Working With Your Arms Out In Front Of You: Poor posture results in rounding out your mid back. This places excess strain on the back of the ribs. Pair this with doing a lot of motion and lifting with your arms out in front of you and the ribs are primed to move out of position. This may not be a sudden dramatic pain, but rather a process that happens over time until a specific situation pushes it over the edge.

If you address rib misalignment quickly, it is relatively easy to adjust the rib back into the correct position. Regular adjustments can also help to prevent rib subluxations. When we assess the thoracic spine, we are in effect addressing any rib misalignments. Adjusting the thoracic spine also aids in proper rib position.

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