Rib pain after coughing/sneezing during the long winter months in Maine

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January 11, 2017

Good ol' Maine. We love our beautiful state, but it can be a pain sometimes. Literally. Upper back, neck and rib pain to be specific. Most of the time, patients don't remember the exact time is occurred, but upon questioning, we're often able to connect it. We see a lot of this in our practice, and certainly have more recently. We really enjoy treating it, as it is typically fast to respond and easy to diagnose by the appropriate practitioner.  

At Portland Chiropractic Neurology, we see a tremendous amount of patients throughout the year with pain between their shoulder blades, rib pain that wraps around the side and into their chest and upper back/lower neck. These issues are typically caused by a rib fixation, or misalignment along with muscle tightness and/or spasm that is causing irritation to the intercostal (rib) nerve and general irritation to the soft tissue in that region. We see a surge of these types of issues in the winter time due to the majority of us catching colds and other sickness that results in constant sneezing and coughing. This coughing and sneezing requires our ribs and the muscles between them (intercostal muscles) to work harder than usual, and because we may be cold and stiff to begin with, easily strain those regions and results in injury to our ribs. This can be diagnosed as rib strain, intercostal pain, thoracic pain or costochondritis. It is very uncomfortable, so quick action is necesary and preferred. At Portland Chiroractic Neurology, we're able to utilize Chiropractic and Physical Rehabilitation to restore normal function as soon as possible for our patients. 

In review, the common complaints of rib strain/sprain are as follows:

- Pain underneath or between the shoulder blades

- Pain that wraps around the side into the chest

- Pain in the upper thoracic (upper-mid back) or lower cervical regions (neck)

- Pain that occurred after sneezing or coughing


Treatments offered at Portland Chiropractic Neurology:

- Chiropractic manual adjustments to remove fixation/misalignment of rib joints and allow healing to occur

- Active Mucle Release to treat surrounding muscle spasm/tightness

- Percussor therapy to treat surrounding muscle spasm/tightness

- Electrical Muscle Stimulation to reduce to muscle spasm/tightness

- Intersegmental traction therapy

- Kinesio taping to reduce muscle strain

- Graston technique to chronic areas of dysfunction

- Strengthening and stretching to reduce future occurrence 

- Lifestyle modification to reduce futre occurrence


Portland Chiropractic Neurology is located in Portland, Maine. We are one of the few Chiropractic Neurology practices along the New England coast and offer a variety of treatments for a multitude of conditions. If you should have any questions, please don't hestitate to email us at info@portchiro.com, or call us at 207-699-5600. Thanks and function well!