Is Your Neck, Jaw or Shoulder Pain Caused by a First Rib Subluxation?
The first rib is the most superior of the twelve ribs. The first rib is short and thick travelling from the first Thoracic vertebrae forward wrapping to either side of the neck. The first rib is fairly mobile as it has many muscular attachments that pull it up or down. The main “movers” of the first rib are the Scalene muscles which connect the first rib to the neck. When a Scalene muscle becomes shortened it can “pull” a first rib upward causing such symptoms as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (numb or tingly hands) as well as a sore neck, shoulders or jaw.
The most common causes for a first rib to become subluxated (moved) are when people sleep on their stomachs or with one hand above their heads, repetitive computer and mouse use as well as any overhead repetitive movements. Also, golfers have an increased chance of developing first rib problems due to the repetitive motions of a golf swing.
There are many treatment options available to help with the pain caused by a subluxated first rib. However, the best results are seen when a combination of the following therapies are employed. Chiropractic adjustments which help to realign the first rib to the proper position which relieves the stress placed on the Scalene muscle. Ultrasound therapy which helps to promote a “deep heat” in the scalene muscle. This causes the muscle to become more elastic therefore allowing the benefits of the chiropractic adjustment to last longer. Exercises and stretches should also be prescribed to deal with the tight muscles associated the first rib (muscles such as the Scalene and Pectoralis). Massage therapy and Acupuncture treatment should also be used when suffering from a first rib dysfunction to reduce overall pain as well as to help relax the affected Scalene muscles.
If you believe you suffer from a first rib dysfunction please call Hands on Chiropractic Oshawa to schedule an appointment.