Treatment of Slipping Rib Syndrome
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.
The Response of Modern Medicine
Since traditional medical physicians believe that slipping rib syndrome is caused by inflammation in the costochondral junction, the treatment of choice is NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The problem with this approach is that it does nothing to repair the weakened and injured ligaments and cartilage and, thus, does not alleviate the chronic pain that people with this condition experience. And although anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, they result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration. Plus, long-term use of these drugs can lead to other sources of chronic pain, allergies and leaky gut syndrome.
The Natural Medicine Approach to Slipping Rib Syndrome
A better approach is to stimulate ligament and cartilage repair with Prolotherapy since in many cases a rib has slipped out of place because of weak ligaments. Without muscles to hold the ribs in place, loose ligaments allow a slipping of the rib, which causes even further stretching of the ligament. Prolotherapy will strengthen the weakened ligament junctions that can cause slipping rib syndrome – the sternocostal, the costochondral or the costovertebral junctions. It will also strengthen the costal cartilage, another source of slipping rib syndrome pain, in this case more mild and intermittent.
Chronic pain is most commonly due to tendon and ligament weakness or cartilage deterioration. The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Prolotherapy. In simple terms, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments and cartilage. Since the body heals by inflammation, Prolotherapy stimulates healing.
Prolotherapy offers the most curative results in treating chronic pain. It effectively eliminates pain because it attacks the source: the fibro-osseous junction, an area rich in sensory nerves. What’s more, the tissue strengthening and pain relief stimulated by Prolotherapy is permanent!