Dr. Korey Jay, BSc DC
Have you ever had a severe pain that felt like someone was stabbing a fire-hot poker into the middle of your back, perhaps between your shoulder blades? You are not alone, as pain of this nature is one of the most common types with which patients present to Queen Street Chiropractic Centre.
Why does this pain occur? What structures are involved?
In most cases, barring any pre-existing medical conditions, pain of this nature is most often the result of a sprain/strain injury to one of the costo-vertebral joints.
What is a costo-vertebral joint?
As the ribs wrap around our mid-back, they angle in toward the thoracic spine and join onto the vertebrae of this region. The costo-vertebral joint forms between the angle of the rib its adjacent vertebra (costo is Latin for Rib).
While the costo-vertebral joint serves a defined and vital role for the support and structure of the rib-cage, it is often placed in biomechanically compromising positions. These positions/postures include but are not limited to;
– Overhead work (painting, drywalling, hanging art etc.)
– Holding weights away from your core (babies, dishes, flower pots etc.)
– Rowing exercises
Basically any and all activities that result in the scapula, or shoulder blade, winging away from the body’s core will place added pressure on the costo-vertebral joints.
When there is a sprain/strain type injury to the costo-vertebral joint, there will be a variety of different symptoms that may present. These include, but are not limited to, the following;
– Moderate to Severe “Burning” or “Knife-Like” pain over the rib-cage
– Reduced Range of Motion of the Mid-Back and Possibly the Neck as Well
– Tightness, possible swelling over the thoracic spine
– Difficulty in Changing Position (Laying down to Sitting etc.)
– Pain upon taking a breath
The nature of the symptoms of a costo-vertebral sprain/strain are such that they mimic far more severe injuries. The Doctors at Queen Street Chiropractic Centre are trained in taking a thorough medical history to rule out any more serious conditions. Upon ruling any systemic issues out, treatment involving Chiropractic care is indicated and the relief has been known to be almost instantaneous.
If you feel that you may be suffering from a costo-vertebral injury, or have any further questions, feel free to phone Queen Street Chiropractic Centre today to book an appointment to consult with one of our Doctors.