Our ribs help protect a good portion of our internal organs including the heart and lungs. Sometimes, while protecting these vital organs, the ribs can sustain damage that leads to pain. In this article, we are going to discuss the various types of rib pain, the related causes, and some treatment options.
Types & Causes of Rib Pain
Rib pain comes in many forms, and can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the potential types of rib pain and associated causes:
- Broken or fractured ribs
- Bruised ribs
- Osteoporosis and other bone diseases
- Inflammation of rib cartilage
- Lung issues and conditions
- Muscle spasms
Most of these causes will present with pain in the ribs and surrounding areas. If you notice any pain in your ribs after an injury, or pain that comes on without a clear cause, seek medical attention immediately. Rib fractures in particular need to be treated right away to ensure that no other bodily structures have been damaged. Seek medical attention right away if you believe you have sustained a rib injury.
First and foremost, treating rib pain requires an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause. In order to solidify a diagnosis, your physician will likely perform a physical examination, as well as various diagnostic tests like x-ray, MRI, or CT scans. Most rib pain is treated non-operatively with conservative treatment approaches such as rest, bracing, pain medications, and injection therapy.
If you are experiencing pain in your rib cage, make an appointment with a pain specialist today to talk about treatment options. The pain physicians at Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN have more than twenty years of experience treating patients for rib pain. Our doctors serve the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area and surrounding suburbs. Contact our office today to make your appointment!