Ribs can be responsible for causing problems such as tight traps, chronic shoulder pain that has eluded other physicians, pinpoint sharp pain near the trap, and tingling into the arms.
The primary muscles that attach to the first rib include the scalenes, subclavius, and serratus anterior. It is commons to find these muscles tight in people who have developed rounded shoulders and increased curvature of their thoracic spine, usually from poor posture or prolonged sitting. The posture causes these muscles that attach on the rib to tighten and pull on it, causing a fixation. Arteries and nerves running through the scalene muscles get pinched and cause symptoms down the arms, felt as numbness, tingling, or weakness. Pictures are shown below of the muscles and their attachments.
Active release technique is the gold standard when it comes to treating the scalene muscle in order to allow the first rib to relax. Chiropractic adjustments also help to enable proper movement of the rib. Finally, the treatment is followed up with rehabilitation to prevent the fixations from recurring by promoting proper posture. To determine if you have a first rib fixation through a thorough evaluation of your condition, please call Denver Sports and Family Chiropractic Center to set up an appointment.