In August, I didn't realise it, but I popped a rib, which the doctor and physio failed to diagnose. After 7 weeks I went to a chiropractor who found it and put it back into place. Since then it has 'popped ' out again 16 times with ever increasing frequency. I am now averaging every 3 days.... I have to go to the chiropractor every time to have it put back again. I am getting increasingly depressed, broke! and in constant pain. Is there any surgery that can be done to hold the rib in place?
How old are you?
Any rib fractures when put back in place, given adequate rest, with immobility as maximums as possible heals within 3-4 weeks.
You may use OTC pain-killers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
Do not wear a rib belt or binder.
While rib belts or binders do control pain, they have been linked to hypoventilation, atelectasis, and pneumonia.
Have you got any imaging studies done? If yes, what is the report like?
If you are stressing out much while coughing, movements which harm rib fusion would lead to non-fusion of rib.
How is your calcium and Vit D status in your body?
Hope this helps you.
Keep me informed.
I've only just realised this is a US site and I am in UK, not sure if it is appropriate to put my question on here, as medical terms and treatments might be different...... but I am desparate so in case you can give me some advice anyway, I'll continue -
I am 43 years old, my rib has not fractured, but keeps coming out of the socket/joint? where it joins my backbone. I have not had any studies done as my doctor doesn't recognise the condition, so I am paying for my treatment all the time and cannot afford scans etc.
Coughing, sneezing, stretching have all caused it to pop out again, but however careful I am it still keeps happening.
Any advice gratefully received
I think you should be treating as follows:
-Avoid strenuous activity but exercise as tolerated.
-You may put an ice pack over the injured ribs for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to3 days.
-Coughing will be painful. Deep breathing and coughing is necessary to prevent pneumonia (lung infection). Use a pillow to support the area while coughing.
-You should continue to use the incentive spirometer at least 3 to 4 times a day.
-Do not smoke as this will inhibit bone formation and delay in fusion drastically.
-You can expect to have pain over the injured ribs for several weeks, which will improve over time.
-Try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen for pain
-Do not wear a rib belt.
-Adequate pain control, rapid mobilization, and meticulous respiratory care can prevent respiratory complications.
If you have breathing difficulty or high fever or worsening pain or vomiting, you can contact nearest hospital for further plan of management.
Hope this helps you.
I recently injured my shoulder and back and tore the ligaments. A few of my ribs popped out as a result. I didn’t realize that this was what was wrong at first because I don’t have medical insurance so I can’t see a doctor about it. One of my friends is a nurse however, and she was in a car accident a few years back and had ribs pop out too. I spoke to her husband (who had helped her pop her ribs back in) and he recognized my symptoms right away and told me how to fix it.
What you need to do is, in either a sitting or standing position (make sure your back is kept straight so everything is in alignment, this is very important so no slouching or laying while doing this) have someone stand behind you and put their left hand on your left shoulder to brace it, so your back can be completely relaxed, don’t push against their hand, their hand should push backward on your shoulder (this is if a rib on your right side is popped out, for the left side reverse which hand they use but they still stand behind you). With their other hand they should find where the pain is on your back (it’ll be where ever the rib is out) and push gently at first and add just a little more pressure until it’s enough to pop it back in, at the same time your right arm should be extended out to the side (like you would do if you were trying to create a “T” shape with your arms, but only use the arm on the side that the rib is popped out, the other arm should be relaxed at your side. From your shoulder, move your arm in a big circle (do this while the person is pushing on the spot on your back, remember not to push against their hand, they should do all of the pushing using their other hand to brace your other shoulder). You may or may not hear and/or feel popping; don’t be alarmed about this, it’s supposed to do that. That’s the rib(s) going back into place. This should also feel like it’s relieving pressure. Keep going until either the popping stops or the sharp pain feels a bit better.
This is what I’ve been doing for a few days now and it’s worked for me. The pain is no longer unbearable now.
I hope this helps and I hope your ribs heal soon. Good luck.
Hi, Just wanted to know how you were getting on? I have the same problem as you and i really need advice. I started with severe pain on the left side of my upper back and went to the docters, who said i had pulled a muscle, so i rested but it was still no better after christmas so i went to see a chiropractor 2weeks ago who told me i had lifted 3 ribs, he put them back in place then 4 days later they popped back out again, yet again i repeated the process and what a surprise they have popped out again! I am very frustrated, went to the A.N.E today to see if they would give me an xray but they wouldn't! I'm off work because of the constant pain so i need to get better asap. Can anyone help???
I feel very sorry that this is happening to you. It appears from your post that you are very young.
Your ailment has now become a chronic disorder.
You still need to avoid strenuous activity but exercise as tolerated.
You can continue cryotherapy on the injured part for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Deep breathing and coughing is necessary to prevent pneumonia (lung infection). Use a pillow to support the area while coughing. You should continue to use the incentive spirometer at least 3 to 4 times a day.
Do not smoke as this will inhibit bone formation and delay in fusion drastically.
You can continue to take analgesics different class from earlier one.
Do not wear a rib belt.
Adequate pain control, rapid mobilization, and meticulous respiratory care can prevent respiratory complications.
You can reach ER if you have any breathing difficulty.
Hope this helps you.
Hi, I went back to the chiropractor who put my ribs back in place but once again they have come out so I am in pain again! The chiropractor said i need to rest and give my ribs chance to settle into place and then i will be ok, I have rested as much as possible but they have still popped out again! I'm going to see the docter again, see if he will do some test's. I am getting very down about my situation and worried that i will loose my job. what do you mean by imaging? I am in England so don't really understand what this means? I tried to get an x-ray done but my hospital will not xray ribs!! Got an appointment at the Chiropractors on Wednesday. Thankyou for your help x
I think you should not feel down and out, as the more you feel like this, the more you would end up injuring yourself.
I think you should pump up yourself and give it a last try to take rest as advised by the chiropractor.
What I meant by imaging studies is whether you have got any X-ray chest or MRI done for this problem.
Keep me informed about your coming Wednesdays meet.
Hi, well I went back to see the chiropractor on Wednesday who put my rib back into place and I was fine, felt much better but now I am in pain, i'm sure the rib has come out again. Was supposed to be going back to work tomorrow. I went to see my docter on Friday who couldn't understand what I was talking about and he said that it is impossible for my ribs to pop out! However he has referred me for an x-ray so I am going tomorrow. My employer has told me that if this injury continues I may have my contract terminated because I am not able to carry out my job. I am getting increasingly worried, do you know of any surgery that can be done to keep the rib in place?
I am sorry to say but surgery is rare in case of dislocated ribs to restore the rib to its normal position and repair torn ligaments and tendons.
You can go through following URL which says little bit more about popped rib than what we have discussed.
Hope this helps you.
Keep me posted I would be interested to know the progress.
I know this thread is old, but maybe some people looking for info will see it and it may help. I do jiu-jitsu and had one of my ribs pop out about a year ago and after doing as much research as I could (did not have medical insurance either and use my hands/arms for my job), I found that doctors can't do much for you unless it is severely broken and puncturing something.
The best treatment to prevent it from continuing to pop out is the following:
DONT MOVE. Hire a servant. Sit there for 3-4 weeks.
Sounds kind of absurd, but I'm not joking. Once you have it popped back into place, you need to immobilize it and let the cartilage/ligaments heal and re-fuse your rib back in place. The only way to do that is to be COMPLETELY still.
In my experience, after my rib popped out, I rested and iced for a day our so and then when i coughed the next day, it popped back out. I was able to pop it back in using a method shown me by a friend, but after that, it was popping out more and more frequently. Eventually, any time I coughed, laughed out made any quick movement (or not), it would pop out. After a couple weeks of trying to be still (but not completely) then resuming activity, it was not getting better. It kept popping out. :(
Eventually, I decided to get in bed, and STAY there. While I had to take several weeks off work (frown), and it was a burden on my family and my wife, who was nice enough to help bring me things and basically do everything for me so that I would move less, this was necessary.
The first few days are the most important, and going to the restroom takes a while moving so slowly, but after 2 1/2 - 3 weeks of just sitting there, it hadn't popped out again. Then, I started work again but was VERY careful.
I was cautious for THREE MONTHS to be sure, but then I was finally able to go back to jiu-jitsu and not I have not had the rib pop out since. I am of course conscious of it when it gets hit or compressed while rolling and i try to relax and breath instead of tense up, and it hasn't happened again, even while wrestling with guys 50 lbs heavier than me.
I see it as being like glueing two things together. You can't just put glue on two pieces of wood and touch the ends together and expect that to hold. You have to let it dry. If you try to pull them apart before the glue is dry, they will just come undone and you will have to apply more glue and start all over again. Suffer a bit now so you don't have to suffer forever. Let your glue dry. You will be happy with dry ligament glue. :)
I hope that helps someone. I know it's not the remedy anyone wants to hear, but it is what works. I am now dealing with a similar issue with a torn AC joint and I have typed this whole thing with one hand because my other one is in a sling immobilizing my shoulder so that my ligaments can re-fuse themselves. It *****. Got any glue?
Please for the love of everything good and holy tell me what your friend told you to do to get it popped back in. I too was doing jiu-jitsu today when my rib popped out. I just got home from the ER. They were absolutely useless to me. They said go home and ice it and go see a chest specialist. Is there such a thing? Anyhow I'm sitting here on my bed doing many painful stretches in hopes that it'll pop back in. The best luck I've had all day is finding your post on here. I promise I'll hire a servant and be nice to my wife when she's forced to baby me. But I need to know what type of weird Mr. Miagi move you did to get that sucker back in there. Your help, or anybody elses for that matter, would be greatly appreciated.
It likely depends on the rib. A guy I know had his ribs high up on the sternum go out like that and had to have a chiro pop them back in, hurt too bad to do on his own. Almost everyone I know that does bjj has had at least one rib go out. I've blown two fighting against positions (spazzing out). The first one hurt *a lot* and I just left it there and it just healed out (looks weird, hurts once in a while if someone lands on it, I get thrown funny or someone punches it). I was able to jog after about 2 weeks, do yoga stances and other stand up exercises after about 3 weeks, and got back to bjj class after about a month / 5 weeks. I didn't roll for 6 weeks, and took it really easy for the first month after getting back. This current blow out is the insidious variety that doesn't hurt that bad, gradually pops out and then I can pop it back in on my own (kind of just hold the ridge of my hand against it and pull it in with the other hand, a little "giving way" sensation and rib pops back into place and quits hurting for a while). Probably needs the 3 weeks of not moving recommended by bzjits to let it heal into place. Of course, being a knuckle head I won't do that, and will probably do drills and keep working and hope I can keep it in place long enough to heal. My big problem as has been pointed out on this forum is I need to quit fighting positions to the point that I blow out body parts.
Hi. I also would love anyone that can offer advice. I have found out a few months ago that i've had some ribs out. The sad part is that they have been out for a FEW years. My pain doctors thought I had nerve damage. Now that we've got a diagnosis, i've had a ton of injections to help the ligiments stronger to hold it. Chiro only made it swell. They say they are stuck. Extremely painful. None of any of these things are helping. I have no idea anymore. thank you
i had the same problem. chiropractors, doctors, ibuprofin, pain killers, etc, etc. for a year and a half. they told me tendonitis, artritis, all kinds of guessing! i thought i was going to lose my mind from the pain and not being able to do the things i loved. nothing improved until i was recommended to see a rolfer by a friend. finally a correct diagnosis of a popped rib and after 2 sessions pretty much pain free. after 6 sessions, i no longer needed to go for tune ups and i am able to live without popping it out over and over again. if u dont know, a rolfer is kind of like a chiropractor for your muscles. you can reset the rib, but it will keep popping out if the muscles are aligned in a position where they will pull the rib out again. here is more info on it. it explains rolfing.
i saw both brooke thomas and jessa zin and they seriously changed my life. i hope this helps you as much as it helped me.
I am a competitive swimmer and since last spring I have had problems with my ribs popping out of place. The first time it happened, it eventually caused the entire left side of my body to shift...my hips, collar bone, chest and ribs, all moved out of place on the left side of my body. My trainers gave me muscle relaxants and i rested for about 4 days and it didn't happen again for the rest of the summer. Now, my ribs started popping out again. I already saw a doctor to pop the lower ones back into place and have my trainer frequently pop the upper ones back into place. And once again, the whole left side of my body shifted. There are days when I absolutely cannot swim through the pain and there are other days that are a little more bearable.
I don't know what to do to keep this from coming back. I can't be out of the water too long because our meets start this week. I need some advice on what to do because my trainers and doctors have no idea. Please help
I am 19 years old and i play college volleyball, i dove for a ball and got pain in my side, it hurt to move, breath and i went to my trainer and he said that i popped a rib out and he popped back in but the next day it came out again, is there anything i can do to keep it from happening again???
I have chronic rib problems as well. Luckily for me, my dad and two of my uncles are chiropractors, so fixes are usually right at hand. They use a technique where you sit against their knee on a bench, and as you clasp your hands behind your neck, they reach under your arms to hold your wrists and then with a metered pull, use the knee to set the rib. I am 38, in the military, very active and fit, so it is almost constantly popping out. As this is an extremely common problem, all three have had ribs "pop out" of socket. The only one to have beaten it semi-permanently does prolotherapy (http://www.getprolo.com/), rather expensive (3-400 per) injections shown to actually rebuild tendons and ligaments. My uncle had 5 shots totaling about $1800, and says it's the best money he ever spent. That is my next step.
i popped one of my ribs out a few days ago and my dad popped it back in but i have to go to school in a day and i need to make the pain stop can someone please tell me what i can do to staop the pain before monday morning. im 16 and in highschool
I have the same issue. My doctor is a D.O and has no trouble putting the rib back in (it's always one of the first 3ribs on the left) but who can run to the doctor constantly? I use a tennis ball or one of my kids play ball to lay on and hold the rib back in place. The pain goes away almost immediately and I can tell its in place. I follow with ice and more ice to reduce inflammation and help the rib stay. Ibuprofen also.
Hi. I'm 44 and I'm going thru the same thing you are with ribs popping out of place. I go about twice monthly and it's always 2-5 ribs popped out of place. I don't know what causes it either. If you ever find out please post it so you can help MANY others. I actually never hears of this phrase "popping out" until about 6 months. It seems like this is a new thing. My chiro doesn't know what causes it, but she sure fixes it every time! It has become a frustrating pain in the (you know what).
I hope there is a solution out there some day. Keep your chin up!
In reply to JainMD: it appears that you did not really read the problems that you had commented on in this forum. Jo was describing a problem with a rib head that had come out of position... Not a fracture! And Kelly even mentioned that the problem she was having was not a fracture. However, you were giving care instructions for a fractured rib which is a completely different diagnosis and treatment. Please carefully read (and understand) a post before making a comment.
Doc Jain, I would like to get in touch with you. I have the same chronic head of rib popping out and need help ASAP. I don't want to live like this the rest of my life. Please let me know which state/country you live in. I am very desperate.
It's now 4 and 1/2 years since I started this thread and I am still suffering! My ribs are fine for a few months and then will 'pop out' again many times before they settle down again (I've not managed to last a whole year yet!) The medical profession still refuse to recognise this condition (I have seen several doctors, physios and an orthopaedic consultant - all refuse to even investigate the ribs and insist it must be a trapped nerve or muscular........) so over the last few years I have spent a lot of money at the chiropractors getting fixed!!!!!!!!
Have you found out anything new lately that helps. I have this same problem where dull pain is constant in mid/upper back and under my armpit towards the lower outside corner of my shoulder blade. I have to manipulate my ribs several times a day. Usually I can place my opposite palm under my breast or on the pointy part of my collar bone and push up and back and the first couple of ribs crack deep and loud. Other times I need my wife to stand on my chest and place both feet in-between my the corner of my arm and my pec muscle and then lean back on her heals and the rib will pop back in fairly loudly. As someone already mentioned a laying face down on a tennis ball works at times as well.
Seats with high backs are very bad to sit in for me as I always feel the need to lean back in a low back chair to pop the back in place. Some chiros have helped by adjusting the hips, ribs, neck, and back during the same session but is does not last long. Sometimes I am so out of wack from it, my left leg is 2" longer than my right leg. I have had this for almost 10 years now. When it's really really bad I take a benzo and it settles down for a couple of days.
I was wondering if you may new the awnser. i have a spinal hematoma according to the hospital you dont get severe back pain with that do you ? the pain is top right under under shoulder blade, middle right side of back to the side of spine and lower left, then inbetween shoulders at top of spine, and middle left of pain its acute and constant. then it hurts lower left and right of chest under breasts. ivr been referred to physio for this back pain. when i do get an appoint through to start, is itveorth mentioning ??? im taking ibrebrufon but not helping
I am 40 now & have been dealing with ribs popping out for over 7yrs now. Chiro puts them back, but never lasts for more then a day or 2. Use to be left side only, but now its both sides & multiple ribs. I have been told its my job, I work on a farm. However I took 3mo off & nothing got better. I did get some pain relief when they injected 3 ribheads but didn't fix anything. Only lasted 3 mo then pain came back with a vengence~! No insurance so I suppose I will live with this pain & not being able to breath for the rest of my life!
I have tried taping, therapy, chiropractors, braces, & injections. Nothing helps for more then a couple days. Good luck, I have just about given up all hope.
My husband has had his lower rib on both the right and left side towards the back, pop out of place at least 2x/day. He just started a new job as a welder at a recognized company. Been there for almost 3 months when it started. The pain he feels while working is unbearable and he has come home 4 times because he cannot perform his job. We even took a week off work with no pay with hope that the ribs would be put back in and properly heal without him working. Even that did not work, because from doing nothing the ribs still popped out of place. He has seen 2 chiros..the last one did Electrical muscle stimulation which seems to help hold the ribs into place for 1 whole day. But he is in danger of losing his job! They told him he has 1 week to prove that he is of value to the company or they have to let him go..so they gave him easier things to do, to see if he can do it. He can do the easier jobs but he is still in so much pain, and is ribs are popped out while at work. We have been told to see a specialist. But our family doctor said there is nothing you can do about ribs that pop out. He pretty much said you have to tough it out, which is what the chiros told us too. But to satisfy his boss, we are scheduling to see a orteopedic sports medicine specialist to maybe get some more answers?? We don't know what else to do! And his ribs did not start popping out until AFTER he started this new job, he's a welder so he does alot of repetitive movements again and again, the doc said that could be one of the reasons they popped out or because of his age and his sleeping pattern. So he was put on anti depressants that have muscle relaxers, that kinda seems to help, but the ribs will not stay in place for nothing. If anybody has any suggestions or anything it would be greatly appreciated!!!
I am in Jiu Jitsu as well... popped an old injured rib one week, got prolotherapy and fought in ibjjf a week later just fine.... however two weeks later I was rolling and defended an arm bar and popped another rib on the other side.... I popped my own rib back in place and now I can't pop it back in a week later... difficult to breath... thank God I'm going back to my doctor for prolotherapy on Monday! Dr. Hauser in Oak Brook, IL http://caringmedical.com He also treated my torn ACL, which is almost 100% recovered without surgery.
I have been dealing with rib dislocation for roughly 18 months now and have had no relief save for a handful of hours here and there after having a chiro pop it back into place. The ribs will come back out of socket within hours with a new wave of vengeful pain. I have had one treatment of prolo (which I found disconcerting and painful) with absolutely zero success. My chiro wants to try another round with me and I'm disinclined to acquiesce. The prolo procedure ***** to receive and feels like a freshly broken bone immediately afterward.
I am prepared to go to a surgeon to see what can be done about a permanent solution. This thread has given me very little hope that there is one.
I too have been suffering from this mystery rib problem. It has been almost 4 years and it has caused a drastic lifestyle change for me. I am no longer able to go to the gym or exercise ( my main stress relief), I toss and turn all night, it hurts to lift or push anything, and it has effected my relationship with family, friends and husband. I have tried everything in the book: massage, rolfing, chiropractor, physical therapy, MRI, X-ray, cortisone shot, prolozone shots, muscle relaxers, 800 mg ibuprofen, etc. I am currently taking an anti-depressant as an alternative for the pain and because I have been so down and blue from this pain.
I want to give you all HOPE. I recently went to a Pain Management clinic here in my town. After hearing ALL of my stories and pain and a few tests the Dr. believes that I have loose ligaments, which can be hereditary. I had a shoulder injury that caused me to stop using my left arm for almost 3 years. My muscle became weak on that side. To the point where I could barely blow dry my hair or put it up in a braid. She believes that my already loose ligaments are not holding the already weak muscles in place properly and therefore my rib is not held in place so it and a few others keep popping out. Because my muscles are overworking to try to stay in place and keep the rib in they are spasming and that is some of the excruciating pain I am feeling.
I have been instructed to work that muscle either with physical therapy or on my own. I am also going to be starting prolozone shots in the ligament area to help tighten it back up. I have HOPE!!!
I have seen first hand prolotherapy/ sclerotherapy injections working. I have a third rib that continually pops out of my sternum. I am currently looking for a DO ( doctor of ostopathy) to do the injections. insurance doesn't pay for them.
I've had ribs popping out time and time again and the only thing that has helped me is swimming. Not long at the start 10 laps in a 25m pool I started with. I would do 2 laps the rest 30 sec. I found breaststroke to be the best and swimming got the muscles moving and exercising. It also helped with the pain. I got up to 50 laps, then decided to go back to martial arts and what do I do, I popped 3 ribs out and had to start again.
I loved your analogy concerning let an injury like this rest and 'reglue'. I feel this is very good advice. I just dislocated my right floating rib 5 days ago. I didn't know this had happened. I thought it was pulling my lower lat and intercostal. It was a strange pain I had never had in decades of lifting weights. It was not the weight lifting that caused it. It was breaking up soil in the vegetable garden, which I hadn't done in a number years. The impact with the shovel caused it.
I went and had a massage yesterday and it felt better. This morning while Foam Rolling my back I was letting the force of foam rolling sit on the spot for 20 seconds there was a huge pop. That is when the light came on in my head.
I am icing it, it now really hurts. I am also wearing an large ACE bandage around my lower chest area to prevent it from popping out of place again. It also lowers the pain when moving during regular activities of daily living.
I have ribs that pop out occasionally both in the front and back. I saw advice in a comment to not use a rib brace or support because of possible ill effects. I'm glad I didn't see that comment before I went and bought a wrap around back support last week because it is the best thing I have ever found to help once the rib is back in place to keep it back in while the ligaments are healing and prevent from re-occurence. It's ike an elastic corset with velcro that wraps around and comes together in the front. It sits above my abdomen, but is longer than most rib braces I've seen pictures of. It also has additional elasticized velcro adjusters that can make the support even tighter. I tried about five different supports on in the medical supply store and they were all too weak in the support they offered, and said "mild support" on the box. Only when I found medium support with the extra adjustment straps did I find something I felt would prevent my rib from popping out when I got up from the bed or sofa, bent over etc. I wore it for two days straight, and it felt amazingly good--you can breathe easily because it's made of firm elastic. And I'm surprised it wasn't hot as I was expecting--it's summer in Texas. After my husband popped my ribs back in for the umpteenth time, I carefully put it on, and wore it, and then the third day wore if for half a day, and so far, a week later my rib hasn't come out again. It was coming out every day, multiple times per day before that. Hope that helps. By the way, I think the type of rib belt that there might be warnings about could be the old style rib belts that were not made of elastic, just regular fabric and were very restrictive.
I have had trouble with upper ribs dislocating for most of my life. I have usually been able to relocate the rib by relaxing/repositioning, but as I grew older it became harder and harder. Then a massage therapist told me how to do fix it and it works pretty much every time: Roll up a towel lengthwise into a long tube and lay it on the floor - it should be about 2" across (I now use a swim noodle for this). Lay on the towel/tube so it runs length-wise down the side of your spine that the dislocation is on, just nestled into the groove next to your spine. I position myself so that the end of the tube stops just below my waist. Relax into the roll - you have to relax those muscles! Now roll slightly side-to-side, just work it a bit until your rib pops back in. It's not always immediately obvious that it has relocated but sometimes it is. Sometimes I have to repeat it a couple of times, other times it pops right back in. Good luck!
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