Laughter is the best medicine, unless you have a broken rib!

Funny but true…unless you’re the one with the broken rib. There is another condition that is very similar to a broken rib that many patients refer to as a “rib out”. Having a “rib out” basically means a rib has slipped out and stuck in the wrong position.

This can occur after sneezing, laughing, or coughing too hard. It is also quite common this time of year when people tend to catch more colds. Having a chronic and lingering cough causes the majority of “rib out” cases that I see in my office.

How do you know if you have a rib out? Typically, the pain is noticed in the back and wraps around to the front of your chest, following the anatomy of the rib. Sometimes the pain is only on the side of the rib or on the front where the rib attaches to the sternum.

Another indication of having a rib out is significant increased pain with taking a deep breath. Breathing in causes the lungs to inflate and the rib cage to expand and therefore aggravating the problem.

How do you fix this problem? Call the office and schedule an appointment so that I can examine your complaints. In the vast majority of cases, a rib out can be fixed with one simple adjustment. Patients almost always feel immediate relief and are pain-free before they even get off the table.