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I know it’s not a heart attack – but why do I still have this chest pain!?

By February 15, 2024No Comments

In practice, chiropractors often see people with chest pain who have been through a full cardiac work up, with no indication that there is a heart or vascular problem. To be honest, this is a great circumstance for a chiropractor, because the most ominous diagnosis has already been ruled out.

One of the most common causes for chest pain (other than the ruled out heart problem) is called a costosternal subluxation. You may have heard it referred to as a “rib irritation” or a “rib out of place”. While not strictly accurate, I understand why the condition is referred to in this way. The pain fibres are so activated because of a problem with how the joint works, it does feel out!

Chiropractic adjustments can be very beneficial in helping someone feel better from this condition. Often the question comes up as to what caused it (and how can I prevent it in the future?) There are many causes; sometimes a sneeze or a cough in an awkward position is to blame. More often though, the problem comes on gradually, with no particular starting point. Is it that we’re crouched over keyboards for so much of the day? That could be part of it. What we do know is that quite often, this condition responds well to chiropractic care. We also know you should use ice where the pain is to reduce local inflammation. Finally, limiting your overhead reaching can give the body the rest it needs to see lasting improvement.

If you know it’s not a heart attack, it could be a rib irritation. If it’s at the front, it’s where the rib attaches to the chest plate. If it’s at the back (“shoulder blade” area), it’s where the rib attaches to the spine. Either way, chiropractic can be the solution you’ve been looking for!

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