At least once a week I get a person in here who presents with mid back pain that is dull and achy but can go really sharp. It is a stabbing pain that feels like a knife going right through to the front. Taking a deep breath is difficult and forget about sneezing, coughing or laughing. Often times they feel like they are having a heart attack because of the tightness, the altered breathing and because it can even refer pain into the arm.
That, my friends, is a rib subluxation. The worst part about it, besides the unbearable pain, is that unless you address the concern directly, it can linger for a long time and go chronic. It is also something that doctors, including chiropractors, don’t always look at and don’t always know how to handle.
Luckily for me (insert tongue into cheek), I have a rib that subluxates quite often and have had it since I was 20. It was the cause of of miserable pain and some nasty heart burn (another topic of conversation that we can address later). When I finally found a chiropractor who figured out that it was, in fact, a rib and not my neck or a thoracic vertebra that had subluxated, then adjusted it properly, it was heaven. Since then, I make sure to educate my patients that have a history of rib subluxtions to let me know if it is acting up before I get too far into adjusting the spine. Otherwise, we can keep adjusting and never quite see full improvement.