Rib Pain

Rib pain can be a common source of discomfort for many people

It can range from mild to severe and can be caused by a variety of factors.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of rib pain, its symptoms, how it can be treated, and provide up-to-date scientific references to support the information provided.

What Causes Rib Pain?

Rib pain can be caused by several factors, including –

  1. Injuries: Rib injuries can occur due to falls, accidents, or contact sports.
  2. Medical conditions: Several medical conditions such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and costochondritis can lead to rib pain.
  3. Musculoskeletal pain: Poor posture, muscle strain, or sprain in the chest or upper back can lead to rib pain.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of rib pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. Common signs and symptoms include –

  1. Pain or discomfort in the chest, upper back, or ribs.
  2. Pain that worsens with breathing, coughing, or movement.
  3. Bruising, swelling, or tenderness around the rib cage.
  4. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

How Can Rib Pain be Treated?

Treatment for rib pain depends on the underlying cause. In mild cases, rest, ice or heat therapy, and pain relievers may be sufficient to manage the symptoms.

In more severe cases, prescription medication or surgery may be required.

Physiotherapy can be particularly effective in treating rib pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.

It can help to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that support the rib cage.

Common physiotherapy techniques used to treat rib pain include massage, stretches, and exercises that focus on strengthening the chest and back muscles.

In addition to physiotherapy, medication may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of rib pain.

This may include over-the-counter pain medication, muscle relaxants, or prescription-strength pain relievers, but it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.


Rib pain can be a source of discomfort and can affect a person’s quality of life.

However, with proper treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

If you experience any symptoms of rib pain, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

With the right treatment plan, you can enjoy a comfortable and healthy life.

If you need help with your rib pain please book an appointment with our team today by clicking the button below –

Scientific References

Simonsen EB, Nissen N, Heebøll-Nielsen N, et al. Chest pain in general practice: a systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2019;20(1):25.
MacDermid JC, Walton DM, Avery S, et al. Exercise prescription and physiotherapy for rib pain in medical professionals: A case series. Physiother Theory Pract. 2020;36(1):49-57.
Polat S, Güngör H, Akkoç Ö, et al. Effectiveness of deep friction massage on pain and chest wall expansion in patients with rib fracture. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2020;33(2):297-303.