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How Chiropractic Can Help Alleviate Costochondritis

At Van Every Family Chiropractic Center, we often hear the following from patients: “I have a sharp pain in my left chest and a sharp pain behind my left scapula. I think I’m having a heart attack!” After heart issues have been ruled out by a battery of tests and a normal EKG, then a person will get diagnosed with costochondritis.

It’s important to note that children and adolescents also can get costochondritis.

What Are Some Causes?

  • Coughing
  • Damp and windy weather
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Sneezing

Costochondritis may also occur as the result of a lung infection or as a complication of surgery on your sternum.

What Does It Feel Like?

Those with costochondritis often experience tenderness in the chest, painful breathing or shortness of breath. Patients also may say that they feel a sharp, shooting pain in the back.

How Chiropractic Can Help

Every time you breathe, your ribs are flexing in the front and the back. That’s how your ribcage moves. Ribs connect in the front at your sternum and then will join in the back at the vertebrae in three different ways. Your ribs are all movable and they can be in the correct position or out of place.

For ribs that are out of position, we use gentle KST adjustments from the front and the back. Adjusting the sternum is beneficial as is adjusting the muscles around the rib cage. The tool we use gently taps the ribs into the proper position. An attachment also can be used that glides over the ribcage to address both the front and back of the ribcage.

The objective of chiropractic in addressing costochondritis is to allow your ribs to move and glide effortlessly, particularly when you’re breathing.

We also may recommend using heat or ice to help alleviate pain.

If you are experiencing rib pain, and heart disease or a heart condition has been ruled out, contact us today. You may have costochondritis and we can help. We also invite you to check out Dr. Saylor’s video on how chiropractic can address costochondritis and rib pain.

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