If you’ve ever had a dislocated rib, you might know pretty well the extreme pain it can cause. Every breath can be excruciating. Moving and laughing can also be unbearable. It can get out of place in the back, side, or front on of the ribcage.

It is often confused with other conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, a heart condition, pleurisy, or even heartburn. The area is usually very tender, and sometimes the area will swell, and a lump will form over the joint. 

Chiropractic care has been proven to be a very effective treatment for this painful condition. Let’s learn first about dislocated ribs and how Mauricio Chiropractic can help.

Rib Subluxation Chiropractic Treatment

Structure of the Rib Cage

Many people believe that the ribcage is just a skeletal structure that houses and protects the heart, lungs, and other internal organs. This is just about half of what it is

The ribcage is somewhat flexible. Notice how the chest expands when inhaling. This is because each rib is attached to the spine by three joints in the back, and to the breastbone by one joint in the front. These joints are small but do allow some movement or flexing so that the ribs do not impair breathing; instead, they rise and fall with each breath.

However, these joints can become inflamed, and that is where the problems start. Because breathing is an involuntary response, and wholly necessary to live, it is impossible to avoid movement in these joints. When there is inflammation in one or several, the pain can be unbearable.


Causes of a Rib Dislocation 

There are many reasons for a dislocated rib. Some experience it by doing simple, everyday things like bending over to pick up your shoes or putting the milk in the refrigerator. 

Some of the more common causes of rib cage dislocations include:

Extreme Coughing

Excessive or severe coughing when it is associated with bronchitis or pneumonia puts a great deal of strain on the ribcage. However, even coughing due to a common cold can add enough stress to cause the rib to dislocate. 

Excessive Vomiting

Much like coughing, vomiting can also cause this condition. While it does not necessarily involve the lungs, the convulsive action of vomiting can cause a rib to pop out.

Sports Injuries

Working out can cause the ribs to move out of position, particularly if the person has inadequate or improper form, or if they do a lot of work with their arms extended in front of them. This is especially true when weights are involved. The muscles involved in the movement may not be strong enough to handle the added weight and movement combination, causing the rib to move out of place.

Bad Posture

Poor posture puts stress on the body, including the spine which, in turn, puts pressure on the back portion of the ribcage. Over time, this can cause ribs to dislocate.


As a woman’s body changes toward the end of her pregnancy, her weight shifts to the front. This can create a continual downward pull on her rib cage, increasing her risk of rib dislocation.

Car Accidents

Being involved in a car accident can cause a rib to dislocate, depending on the nature of the crash. Sometimes, even the deployment of airbags can impact the body with extreme force, creating a dislocation.


Symptoms of a Dislocated Rib

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

  • Pain or discomfort in the area of the chest or back.
  • Swelling and bruising in the affected area.
  • The formation of a lump over the affected rib.
  • Extreme pain and difficulty when breathing, trying to sit up, or while straining.
  • Painful sneezing and coughing.
  • Pain when moving or walking.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Numbness or paralysis in nearby or surrounding ribs.
  • Tenderness in the affected area.


Treatment for a Dislocated Rib

Chiropractic care is considered one of the best, most effective treatments for dislocated or subluxated ribs. Once the chiropractor has determined that the rib is out of place, he/she will often begin by using various techniques that will loosen the area, making the muscles more pliable.

They may do this by using stretching, massage, or a vibrator. They will then use gentle but firm pressure to pop the rib back into place. In some cases stabilization may be used after to keep the area protected, allowing it to heal. The treatment for a rib out of place is usually far less painful than the condition itself, and some patients report not experiencing any pain at all.


Chiropractic Care For A Dislocated Rib in Florida

At Mauricio Chiropractic, we help several patients that are diagnosed with a dislocated rib. Regular spinal adjustment and chiropractic care therapy sessions 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.