Laterally Flexed Ribs

by admin on February 24, 2014

Every now and then I come across a patient who complains of lateral trunk pain and it often turns out to be a structural rib dysfunction. The laterally flexed rib occurs with a sudden side bend movement away from the problem rib or with dancers who are lifted by their partners through the torso. Treating the rib is a 2-step effort. Identify the rib with palpation and motion testing. You’ll notice a wider space along the inferior rib margin and less of a space along the superior rib margin (in the mid-axillary line, of course). 1st step to treat requires translation away as you attempt to guide the rib downward toward the table. Using MET and resisting side-bending away for the problem side can be helpful. After 2-3 cycles of MET, translate the patient toward you while maintaining the new end range of the rib. Again use MET once you’ve reached the new barrier (now resisting side bending toward the problem side) and repeat 2-3 cycles or until your satisfied with the correction. (big thanks to my students for their help with the pics)

IMG_0631Step 1Step 2

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