Have you ever dislocated a rib? If you have, you know very well how extreme the pain can be. Even breathing is excruciating. You can’t even move or laugh, it is just unbearable. Your rib can get out of place in the rear as well as the side or front of the ribcage. A dislocated rib is sometimes confused with gastroesophageal reflux disease or heartburn. The area where this happens is very tender and it can swell and cause a lump over the joint. Chiropractic treatment can very a very effective way to treat this painful condition. Let’s learn a bit more about what dislocated ribs actually are and how Mauricio Chiropractic can help.

Rib Subluxation Chiropractic Treatment

Structure of the Rib Cage

A lot of people think that their ribcage is just a bone structure that stores and protects the heart, lungs, and other internal organs. But this is only half of what it is.

Our ribcage is flexible, feel your chest as it expands when you inhale. This is due to each rib being attached to the spine by three joints in our back and to the breastbone by one joint in the front. These joints are somewhat small but they do allow some movement and flexing. That way the ribs don’t impair breathing and they go up and down with each breath.

Unfortunately, these joints can become inflamed and that is where the issues begin. Given breathing is an involuntary response and absolutely necessary to live, it is impossible for these joints not to move. When one or several of them are inflamed, the pain can be severe.

Causes of a Rib Dislocation 

There are many factors that can cause a dislocated rib. Some people dislocate them by doing simple things like bending over to pick up something or even getting something out of the refrigerator. Some other common causes for rib dislocations are:

Extreme Coughing

When you have bronchitis or pneumonia excessive or severe coughing can put a great strain on the ribcage. But even, a simple cough from a common cold can cause a rib to dislocate.

Excessive Vomiting

Similarly, vomiting can also cause dislocation. Even if it doesn’t really involve lungs, the convulsive action of vomiting can make a rib pop out.

Sports Injuries

Working out can also cause the ribs to pop out. Even more so, if the person doesn’t have proper form. This is particularly true for people who work out with weights. The muscles used when lifting weights might not be too strong to handle the weight, and when you add the movement, it can cause a rib to move out of its place.

Bad Posture

Having a bad posture can put pressure on the back of the ribcage. Especially, the spine. Over time, this can also cause a rib to dislocate.


We all know how a woman’s body can change by the end of her pregnancy as her weight shifts to the front. This can cause her rib cafe to be continuously pulled downward, increasing the risk of dislocation.

Car Accidents

When involved in a car crash, depending on how hard the car was, it can cause a rib to dislocate. Sometimes, when the airbags go off they can impact the body with such an extreme force that it can dislocate your ribs. See how our chiropractors can treat car accident injuries here.

Symptoms of a Dislocated Rib

Some signs of a dislocated rib depend on how the rib was dislocated. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the chest or back
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Lump over the affected rib
  • Extreme pain and difficulty when breathing
  • Painful sneezing and coughing
  • Pain when moving
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Numbness on surrounding ribs
  • Tenderness 

Treatment for a Dislocated Rib

One of the best and most effective treatments for subluxated and dislocated ribs is chiropractic care. Once its certain that the rib is out of place, the chiropractor will begin performing various techniques to loosen the area, making the muscles more flexible.

This can be achieved by performing a soft-tissue massage. Then they will pop the rib back into place with a firm and gentle push. The treatment is usually not so painful, compared to the actually dislocated rib. 

Chiropractic Care For A Dislocated Rib in Florida

At Mauricio Chiropractic, we offer regular spinal adjustment and chiropractic care therapy sessions. They can increase the comfort and mobility that a patient has. We have nine chiropractic clinics based in Orlando, Kissimmee, and Melbourne, FL. Schedule an appointment today and consult with one of our highly trained practitioners.

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