Twisted Rib Pain Treatment
Recently I was diagnosed with having twisted rib pain after I spent a month suffering with debilitating pain which wrapped around the left side of my chest, through the left side of my rib cage, and into my left upper and mid back (two very distinct spots). At one point the pain became so excruciating, I made a late night trip to the hospital emergency room, unsure if I might be having a heart attack. It was that severe, and the fact that I had a crushing pain around my heart, and into my back was very frightening, given that this is what a heart attack often feels like. It took more than a month to discover that what I was experiencing was twisted rib pain. If you have, or think you have, a twisted rib, read on for an effective twisted rib pain treatment plan.
If your ribs are even slightly twisted (i.e. subluxated rib), the pain can be excruciating at times. A twisted rib will rub against the nerves that run between the ribs every time you move, and sometimes even as you breathe. Can you imagine the sharp, stabbing pain and spasms?
Every year thousands of people are attended to by emergency room physicians with symptoms resembling a heart attack, when in fact what they have is twisted rib pain.
After excluding the possibility that they are having a heart attack (by way of an EKG and blood tests), doctors often prescribe pain killers for the twisted rib pain – not realizing that the pain is from a twisted rib.
While pain killers may help dull the pain temporarily (and often, the pain is so severe that even pain killers won’t temper the pain), this is not the appropriate twisted rib pain treatment. Until the actual problem is addressed – the twisted rib – the pain will continue, and in fact will get worse and the rib becomes locked into the wrong position.
Moreover, the longer the rib remains twisted, the more difficult it will be to get it back into the correct position. If left too long, the rib can literally become “stuck like a rusty hinge”, as my chiropractor explained it to me.
This can lead to long term debilitating chronic pain that is very resistant to treatment.
Your best bet for twisted rib pain treatment is to see a chiropractor. Generally a twisted rib will not even show up on an x-ray (even a fractured rib will sometimes not be seen on an xray). So the fact that a doctor xrays your chest and finds nothing of concern most definitely does not rule out the possibility that you have a twisted rib. It will often require a chiropractor to diagnose twisted rib pain.
A few chiropractic adjustments may return the rib to its correct position and prevent a chronic pain condition from developing. The longer the rib has been twisted out of position, the more difficult it will be to get it back into place, and the more chiropractic treatments you are likely to need, and the longer it will take to become pain free.
So if you are experiencing what sounds like twisted rib pain, get to a chiropractor as soon as possible. Don’t tell the chiro what you think may be the cause of your pain – just describe the symptoms. Let the chiropractor do his assessment and tell you what he believes the problem is (there may be other chiropractic causes of this type of pain as well and it will take a proper chiropractic examination to get an accurate diagnosis).
Do not rely on an emergency room doctor or your family physician to suggest you see a chiropractor. Often they will not – most doctors still do not have the level of regard and respect for chiropractors that they truly deserve.
What can you do in the meantime for twisted rib pain treatment? Alternating between using a heating pad or hot water bottle on the area of the pain, and then an ice pack can soothe the pain somewhat, but is not likely to get rid of it. I personally found that keeping a hot water bottle or heating pad on the affected area much of the time was helpful in allowing me to bare the pain to a degree, and on occasion I would using the method of alternating between hot and cold.
Pain killers are a necessity to try to deal with twisted rib pain, but if the pain is severe, as mine was, over the counter pain killers are about as effective as eating candy. I’m sure they must have done some good, but the pain never went away and constantly remained very difficult to deal with, so they certainly weren’t a solution. Ultimately, once I was diagnosed by the chiropractor and I knew exactly what I was dealing with, I needed a prescription pain killer (Tyelonal 1) to help get me through while I was undergoing treatment, and even the Tyelol 1 prescription was not enough to completely cut the pain – it simply made it a bit more manageable. I personally prefer to stay away from strong medications, so I did not request a stronger medication – the chiropractic treatments, combined with the pain killer allowed me to make it through the day and night, and I that was a huge relief from the many days and nights I spent wondering if I was dying.
The chiropractor gave me a stretching exercise called the cat and camel to do to help gently ease the rib back into position over time. Its very similar to “the camel” yoga exercise. Its not a cure – certainly not in a severe case of twisted rib pain like mine; but it is helpful in gradually getting the rib to move back into place, along with chiropractic adjustments. This 30 second video shows how to do it – – its very simple:
I felt immediate improvement with the first chiropractic treatment – but that’s not to say the pain went away. Not by a long shot. It took numerous treatments over several weeks, but with each treatment there was a gradual improvement. I can truly say the chiropractor saved my life.Prior to treatment, the pain was so excruciating and debilitating it would wake me from a sound sleep at night, or prevent me from falling asleep at all. It made me feel sick to my stomach and unable to eat for weeks. The pain was so severe that I would frequently feel like I was going to pass out. It would make me dizzy, and at times cause me to shake and tremble. That is the level and severity of pain we are talking about.
I honestly don’t know what would have happened if I had not gone to the chiropractor and undergone twisted rib pain treatment. I was unable to work or function. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand. It hurt to lie down, it hurt to move, it hurt to walk. It hurt to talk. It hurt to breathe. It was so severe, I honestly felt like like I was dying.
I have a home therapeutic massager than my husband will often use on my back if I am having back or neck pain. It usually provides some relief. It was having little to no effect on the pain I was experiencing. Nothing helped.
I resisted going to the chiropractor for quite sometime, until finally I could not take it anymore. It was such a relief when he was very clearly able to diagnose me. He could feel the rib twisted out of place and was able to determine the exact location of the source of the pain, so I knew he’d found the cause.
In hindsight I now realize that chiropractic treatment was the only route out of what I came to learn was twisted rib pain. My family physician gave me 2 prescriptions for antacids (which I did not fill), and tried to tell me I simply had indigestion. Clearly not!
If you are experiencing pain similar to that which I describe, or if you already know you are experiencing twisted rib pain, get to a chiropractor as soon as possible. In my experience, and having done considerable research on this as well, chiropractic adjustments are the only effect twisted rib pain treatment.
I have also read that the herb Boswellin (available at Iherb.com at discounted pricing) can be very effective in dealing with body pain, including rib pain, and arthritis. I have only learned about this very recently, so did not have the opportunity to personally try it, but I intend to get some Boswellin and give it a try as I still work on chasing down what remains of this painful condition.
At this point, I am feeling much less pain than I had been over the last month and a half – but I am not yet pain free, and the chiropractor reports that although the rib is loosening up, it is still at this time locked into its twisted position. We are hopeful that with a few more treatments it will finally be able to revert to its proper position.
Last but not least, below are a few videos that show different exercise treatments you can try at home for treating twisted rib pain – they may provide some additional level of relief. Just be sure to go gently, and stop if you feel an increase in pan.