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Stabbing Mid-Back Pain? Pain on Deep Breathing or Coughing? Heart Attack or Rib Pain?

Stabbing Mid Back Pain

The Sub-Acromial Bursa

Have you ever experienced mid back or chest pain with twisting, deep breathing or coughing? You might feel like you are having a heart attack or you might just have a stiff rib!

When a rib is stiff we can feel rib pain in our mid back where it attaches to the spine or even radiating around the front of the chest.

Image source: www.functionalmovement.com

Ribs are located in our chest from the collar bone down to our waist. They join at the spine and slope forward and around to the front.

The rib cage is from collar bone to upper waist.

Image source: http://v--v.top

When we breathe the ribs need to move up and down to allow the lungs to expand with inhalation and to shrink with exhalation.

Ribs move as we breathe and when we twist our middle back.

We can cause pain in the rib joint by, for example:

What does Physiotherapy do?

We determine the specific rib involved and the direction it is stiff. We then mobilise and sometime manipulate (the cracking sensation) to reduce stiffness and restore normal mobility.

Once the pain has settled it is important to examine why that movement caused pain and fix problem to prevent reoccurrence.

In Summary

Rib stiffness is a very common cause of chest and mid back pain. It is often caused by forward bending/twisting and lifting with an outstretched arm.

Rib pain doesn’t often go away on its own. It might settle but as soon as you put pressure on that rib again the sharp pain will hurt. It is very successfully treated by physio mobilisation/manipulation as usually it is simply a stiff joint not moving as it should.

Click on the links below to book online for a physiotherapy assessment and treatment or give us a call on 0438 648 884.

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