Slipping rib syndrome, also known as Tietze's Syndrome, occurs when one of the ribs intermittently slips out of place, causing a stretching of the ligaments that support the front and back of the rib. The tenth rib is usually the culprit because, unlike ribs one through seven, which attach to the sternum, the eighth, ninth and tenth ribs are attached anteriorly to each other by loose, fibrous tissue. Although this arrangement provides increased mobility of the lower rib cage, it also results in a greater susceptibility to trauma in this area.
How does slipping rib syndrome develop? In many cases a rib slips out of place because the ligaments that hold the ribs to the sternum, the sternocostal ligaments, are weak. Without muscles to hold the ribs in place, loose ligaments allow slipping of the rib, which causes further stretching of the ligament, resulting in severe pain. A simple coughing attack due to a cold may cause the development of slipping rib syndrome. Conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, allergies and asthma cause additional stress to the sternocostal and costochondral junctions. Even sinusitis, with its associated nose blowing, can be the initial event that leads to chronic chest pain from slipping rib syndrome. Slipping rib syndrome can also be caused by surgery to the lungs, chest, heart or breast with resection of the lymph nodes, all of which put a tremendous amount of stress on the rib attachments because the ribs must be separated to remove the injured tissue. Referred pain, which occurs when a ligament injury or weakness in one part of the body causes pain in another part, may also be involved.
What are the symptoms of slipping rib syndrome?
Pain is usually experienced in the chest and often permeates to the back. For example, symptoms may include periodic episodes of severe pain and underlying chronic chest and/or upper back pain. The loose ribs can also pinch intercostal nerves, sending excruciating pain around the chest into the back.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of slipping rib syndrome, but they do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening structural weaknesses in the body, as natural medicine treatments like Prolotherapy do, pain associated with a slipping rib may be alleviated permanently.
The Prolotherapy treatment regimens suggested here are based on the experience of Caring Medical. They do not apply to every case or condition. A person using these recommendations without the aid of a personal physician does so at their own risk. This information is provided for informational purposes only. It is essential to have your condition evaluated by your own personal physician. For an appointment with either of our Prolotherapists, Ross Hauser, MD or Danielle Steilen, MMS, PA-C, please call 708-848-7789 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.