CL - 25 year old male, sudden rib pain
When I first met C, he was complaining of sudden pain on the right side that started the day previously. He noted that he had been coughing for the past week. On examination, I found reduced movement through the thoracic (mid-back) spine, and he was 'locked' in his 5th and 6th ribs on the right. It was a classic case of a rib misalignment.
He was extremely sore and tender; breathing caused pain, and laughing or coughing was unbearable. He didn't think he would be able to tolerate being touched or adjusted, but was willing to try - anything to ease his pain.
First I applied a bit of heat to soften the muscle spasms that had developed to protect the injured area. I then gently adjusted his spine, and was able to restore some movement and C was pleasantly surprised that this adjustment is very well tolerated with rib misalignements. The next step was to gently attempt to restore normal rib movement. C was a bit too tender to move this joint too much, so he was sent home with instructions to ice and do breathing exercises (the best way to gently move the ribs.).
The next day C returned, and reported that his pain was 60% better. Breathing was no longer painful, and he could move his body much better. This time we were able to properly adjust the rib - it moved easily and painlessly. This time the relief was instant - C could breath deeply and fully. A returned one more time to follow up, and I easily adjusted his midback to correct a bit of remaining tension there.
This is a very typical rib case - sudden and dramatic pain that responds extremely quickly and well to chiropractic care.