If you’ve ever experienced any kind of rib pain you know just how surprisingly excruciating it can be. Normally when people think of “rib pain,” “broken ribs” is the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are many other conditions out there that can cause a substantial amount of pain in the rib cage area– so much so, in fact, that individuals sometimes find themselves in the ER because the pain can cause shortness of breath and even mimic the symptoms of a heart attack.
Now, obviously, if you slip and fall on the ice and “crack a rib,” you know that you’re going to have pain. But what about pain in the rib cage area after a bout of pneumonia or influenza– illnesses that cause a substantial amount of coughing? Can you sustain rib cage damage and pain then?
The answer is yes, you CAN experience both rib damage (in the form of a broken rib caused by prolonged and violent coughing spells) and pain. Even if nothing is broken, irritation and inflammation can occur. Since you can’t really “rest” your rib cage (because, of course, that would involve not moving the area which would mean not inhaling or exhaling) the healing process can be frightfully slow.
These types of “non-break” pains come have many different names, including costochondritis, intercostals neuritis, and costo-transverse. Costochondritis is “inflammation of the rib cage” while intercostal neuritis means that there is inflammation of the nerve(s) between the ribs. Intercostal neuritis is the term often used if you’re experiencing pain that radiates along the ribs around to the front of the chest. However, the term “costo-transverse sprain” is really probably the most accurate “official name” for the majority of rib cage pain, simply because the injury tends to respond quite well when treated in the manner that any other sprain would be treated.
If you’re experiencing chest pain, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. When it comes to your heart, you can never be too careful. Especially when caught early on, there are several interventions and treatments that are employed by physicians to help mitigate a heart attack.
Even if you’ve been cleared by your physician in regards to a cardiac and pulmonary issue and are sent home with a vague diagnosis of “rib pain,” “costochondroitis,” or any of the other terms mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. The physicians here at Fletcher Chiropractic are well versed in the treatment of all types of pain and inflammatory processes. Get on the (pain free) path to recovery with Fletcher Chiropractic today!