What is thoracic and rib pain?

Thoracic and rib pain is a pain sensation coming from the structures of the thoracic (upper back) and ribs or can be referred pain from the neck, chest and abdominal organs.

What causes thoracic and rib pain?

Thoracic and rib pain is usually as a result of overuse or overstretching injury to any of the structures of the thoracic spine and ribs or due to either direct trauma (motor vehicle accident) or as result of repetitive overloading the thoracic spine (repetitive digging, lifting, computer work with poor posture etc.).

How does thoracic and rib pain feel like?

The pain is often a dull ache, stiffness with some sharp pains felt in the ribs to the side or front of the rib cage. The pain is felt in the upper to mid back with movements that involve bending forward or twisting and at a time with deep breaths, coughing or sneezing.

What should you do?

If you have thoracic and rib pain due to direct trauma/accident you should consult your doctor/emergency department immediately to ensure it is nothing more serious. Otherwise, you should consult our therapists who will be able to help you in identifying the cause of your pain and treat the problem.

What should you not do?

If you have thoracic and rib pain you should not ignore the problem and continue with activities that will make it worse. Not treating the problem may lead to the pain getting worse and prolonging your recovery.

How much treatment will I need?

If your thoracic and rib pain is immediately diagnosed and treated appropriately, recovery will usually take a matter of days to weeks. If your thoracic and rib pain is not managed appropriately, it does have a tendency of re-occurring.

Treatment and Management of your thoracic and rib pain

Our therapists will help you with the treatment and management of your thoracic and rib pain. Our therapists can assist in diagnosing the problem, which may require a referral for further investigations and imaging. With the diagnosis, we will be able to determine the severity of the problem and the appropriate treatment and rehabilitation plan necessary for the pain to settle and to reduce the chance of the pain re-occurring.

Other conditions related to the elbow that we can also help you with include:

  • Scheuermann’s disease
  • Thoracic intervertebral disc bulge
  • Costochondritis
  • Kyphosis
  • Upper cross syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Facet Joint Inflammation
  • Rib Joint injury Inflammation
  • Stress fracture
  • Scoliosis
  • Fractured Rib
  • Muscular strains
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