Do you feel like you are being stabbed in the chest? Finding it hard to get a deep breath or is it painful to breathe?

Rib or chest pain can be extremely concerning just because of its location. Thoughts of heart attack or lung problems spring to mind. Any serious conditions, cardiovascular or respiratory, should be ruled out by your doctor, but there are quite a few possible causes of pain in your chest and rib cage.

Costochondritis (inflamed cartilage), strain of the intercostal muscles or diaphragm, and fractured or bruised ribs are all possible causes of rib pain. The type of pain you experience may vary from very sharp and acute to dull and can be felt either at rest, only when you move or when you take a deep breath.

As primary health care practitioners osteopaths and acupuncturists are trained to diagnose many conditions and recognise when your symptoms require further medical attention.

Management of rib and chest pain first involves thorough history and examination and then treatment using soft tissue and mobilisation techniques to address tension and restriction throughout the rib cage. Advice and exercises to improve your breathing are also part of osteopathic management of rib pain. Your traditional chinese medicine practitioner will use techniques including needling, moxibustion and herbal medicine prescription to treat rib and chest pain.