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Rib pain

Did you know your ribs come all the way to the back behind the shoulder blade? Sometimes you might feel that annoying pain - it may be intense like a stabbing feeling between the shoulder blades or a constant ache that can’t be stretched out. Sometimes you can feel a pinch in your middle back when you rotate your neck. It's probably a rib issue!


Our rib cage has quite a few important functions

  • It's our knight in shining armour - it’s our protector of all things vital

  • It assists us with breathing (also important!)

  • It connects the shoulder girdle to the body

  • It has our sympathetic nervous system (SNS or the “fight” nerves) ganglions near the rib heads - our SNS system generally is in overdrive of our stressful lifestyles!

  • It has very essential muscle attachments of the neck, shoulder, low back and diaphragm. Even the stomach and hip flexors attach to the ribs!


Rib injuries can be acutely painful (the stabbing pain) or constantly annoying and more postural strains (chicken wing postural arm).


A lot of our daily tasks involve our arm out forward (like a chicken!) - holding laundry, lifting kids, housework, mouse and desk work, carrying groceries - you name it! Due to reduced shoulder blade strength and control, this means our ribs and muscles of the shoulder blade are getting pulled forward with these postures, can give aching to the middle back and possible headaches stemming from this.


We can talk for hours about the ribs - their neural supply, respiration pump and breathing functions as well as its mechanical purpose. Your osteopath can treat acute or chronic rib issues, its something we see daily and treatment can give some good relief.

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