Rib Pain

“I had compressed my spine, causing one or two ribs to go out of place. This in turn locked up my diaphragm, threw my torso muscles into spasm, and caused severe pain. The diagnosis and treatment took less than five minutes, and the end result was an external force, delivered by the ‘old doc, ‘ putting my ribs back into place. ”

Health Alert, Vol. 18, No.9

Millions of people have ribs go out of place every year-from athletics, coughing, falling, injuries, osteoporosis, and more. Most get better on their own. Some get stuck and cause weeks, months, and even years of pain and suffering, finally ending up with an arthritic joint. The really unlucky ones go to their family physician, who has no idea that ribs can subluxate (go slightly out of place), nor how to put them back into place.

These unlucky ones will get a highly scientific diagnosis of costochondritis or neuritis. They will be subjected to x-rays, and possibly even an MRI (none of which will show anything). If the physician is really in the dark, angina will be the diagnosis, and invasive heart tests can be the order of the day – potentially ending up with angiography. Hence rib subluxations can end up costing from $250 to $50,000 dollars. And for this price you will not be cured, but rather given pain killers and told to wait it out.

Doctors don’t seem to understand that ribs subluxate or go out of place from time to time. It seems to be a big medical secret. If ribs get stuck, usually nothing less than an external force or adjustment will put them back into place, thus resolving the problem. It’s a funny thing in the world of health care. If all you have is a hammer, all you look for in your patients is a nail. The physician constantly looks for organic disease for which he can dispense powerful drugs, painkillers, and even surgery. The chiropractor constantly looks for something out of place, usually in the spine, which he or she can adjust.

A really good doctor will put his or her hammer aside and take an honest, inclusive look at the patient. If he or she suffers from a common rib subluxation, an adjustment is the first treatment of choice. Since 99% of cases of costochondritis are caused in this manner, you are saved from expensive and dangerous invasive procedures. And if a rib subluxation is not the cause, you will know it overnight because the adjustment will do no good.

Yes Doctor, Ribs Do Go Out of Place

Ribs can cause all kinds of back, side, chest, and torso pain. The ribs can get dislodged at their connection in the spine, at their connection at the breastbone, or both. The pain comes from inflammation of the cartilage, and even pinched nerves which lie immediately below the ribs.

There are many ways to correct these subluxations. When I was young as noted in the quote at the beginning of this article, the “old doc” was an old-time osteopath. He used an osteopathic adjustment that was swift, somewhat crude, forceful, and 100% effective. This be used for an older person with brittle bones.

Today there are non-force adjustments available. The most common and effective of these is the Activator Method. Used mostly by chiropractors, the doctor uses a little tool which delivers a tiny thrust which can hardly be felt. It can be directed precisely at the rib head and delivered precisely in the direction needed. The method is amazingly effective and relief is usually enjoyed overnight. One to six adjustments will usually quickly and effectively resolve costochondritis caused by rib subluxation. We can use the Activator Method on our patients if we feel a normal would not be tolerated well.

When you need an external force or adjustment, as in the case of ribs, hiatal hernia, or many other conditions, nothing else will suffice. All of the pills, potions, lotions, rubs, tape, corsets, orthopedic devices, heat, cold, meditation, positive thinking, or even surgeries won’t do any good. They will, however, help the people selling them to you. Keep this in mind when you are scared half out of your mind with severe chest or back pain and your doctor tells you that you have costochondritis.

A very small number (statistically zero percent) of all physicians knows that ribs subluxate, that this causes 99% of all cases of costochondritis, and that these problems are easily corrected. An even smaller number of physicians know how to make such a correction. Rather, an entire profession chooses to ignore a remarkably common condition because it just doesn’t look like a nail.

It is not the fault of the doctor. He or she is trained to behave in this manner. A few of the inquisitive will wonder how some of their patients were cured so readily by someone else. They may even learn how to treat these and dozens of other similar conditions. But 99.9% do not want anything to change. After curing some 20,000 to 30,000 people whose own doctors had given up, I am still waiting for one single note or call from a physician curious enough to find out how this was accomplished.

Just because the medical profession can only make money with hammers and nails doesn’t mean you have to be fooled. You are now armed with one more fact about health and how it relates to an amazingly common, misdiagnosed, and painful condition.


July 2003, Volume 20, Issue 7