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Flaring of Ribs: Effects and How to Treat

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Flaring of ribs occurs when your rib cage (chest) sticks out and makes your chest look wider. It can happen to both men and women and is usually because of bad posture or certain health problems. Flaring ribs can make you feel uncomfortable and make it harder to breathe properly. it can also cause back pain and shoulder pain as a side symptom. If you want to get aware with the knowledge of flared ribs, their effects, causes, and treatment, then you should read this article thoroughly, and go through the Frequently asked questions at the end.

Flared ribs and flaring of ribs

Pic by MARK WONG

What are Flared Ribs Causes?

Any problem related to your health doesn’t come out by itself, it always does have some causes. Let’s discuss what causes Flared ribs:

  1. Poor Posture: When you don’t sit or stand up straight, it can make your ribs stick out more and cause flared ribs.
  2. Weak Muscles: If the muscles around your ribs are weak, they may not support your rib cage properly, leading to flaring.
  3. Skeletal Issues: Sometimes, problems with the bones or the shape of your spine can cause your ribs to flare out.
  4. Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the growing baby can push against your ribs, making them stick out more temporarily.
  5. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, like scoliosis (curved spine) or Marfan syndrome (a genetic disorder), can contribute to flared ribs.

There can also be many other reasons that could have caused the flared ribs, so don’t get easy just on the base of the above causes.

The Effects of Flaring Ribs

It is not good to have flared ribs, there are some bad effects that should be removed as soon as possible. Some of the known effects of flaring of ribs on your body are:

Postural Imbalance and Back Pain

When your ribs stick out and become visible, it can mess up how your spine is supposed to be straight. This can make your posture unbalanced and put pressure on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine. As a result, you may feel pain and discomfort in your back.

Breathing Difficulties

Flared ribs can make it harder for your lungs to expand fully. This can make it difficult to take deep breaths. As a result, you may find yourself taking shallow breaths, which means you’re not getting as much oxygen as you need. This can make you feel like you’re not getting enough air and may cause breathlessness.

Digestive Issues

Flaring of ribs can also change how your organs are positioned in your belly. It can squeeze your digestive organs, which can cause problems with digestion. You may experience issues like bloating, acid reflux (heartburn) and feeling uncomfortable after eating.

Self-Consciousness and Body Image Concerns

Flaring ribs can change the appearance of your chest, making individuals self-conscious about their body image. This may impact their self-esteem and confidence levels.

These are some of the known effects, and there may be other effects of that, you should always consider the treatment for flared ribs whether you have any effects or not.

Treating Flaring Ribs

Flaring of the Ribs is considered a health problem, so it should not be taken lightly, and immediately go for treatment for it. There are many ways to treat it, let’s discuss each one in a brief style

Corrective Exercises and Stretching

There are some exercises you can perform for flared ribs fix. Though I have written the best one, you can try more after consulting the specialist:

  • Pelvic Tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Gently tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your lower back against the floor. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat.
  • Thoracic Extension Stretch: Stand tall with your hands behind your head. Slowly arch backward, stretching your upper back. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat.
  • Side Plank: Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground, elbow aligned directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your feet. Engage your core and hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Remember to perform these exercises and stretches gently and avoid any movements that cause pain or discomfort.

Posture Awareness

Paying attention to how you sit and stand can really help fix flared ribs. Try not to slouch or hunch forward. Instead, make sure to sit and stand with your shoulders pulled back and your spine in a straight line. It may take some practice, but being aware of your posture can make a big difference in improving flared ribs.

Flared Ribs Brace

Sometimes, wearing a special brace or using tape can be helpful for flared ribs. These braces or tapes can support your rib cage and help it get back into the right position. It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to find the best brace or taping technique for your situation. They can guide you and recommend the most suitable option for you and your flared ribs.

Manual Therapy

Seeking the assistance of a qualified manual therapist, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, can provide targeted treatments to address the underlying causes of flaring ribs. They can perform adjustments and manipulations to improve spinal alignment and relieve associated pain.

Medical Interventions

If your flared ribs are very severe or caused by a medical condition, you might need medical help. This could involve treatments like surgery or taking specific medications prescribed by a doctor. It’s important to talk to a specialist who can determine the best plan of action for your situation. They will guide you on the most suitable treatment options.

If you want to know a better representation of the exercise and treatment options for Flared ribs, read this article.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about flaring ribs:

What are the common causes of flaring ribs?

Flaring ribs can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, muscle imbalances, skeletal abnormalities, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions.

Can flaring ribs be corrected without surgery?

Yes, in many cases, flaring ribs can be corrected without the need for surgery. Corrective exercises, posture awareness, and manual therapies can often improve the condition.

How long does it take to correct flaring ribs?

The duration to correct flaring ribs can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s commitment to treatment. Consistency in practicing corrective exercises and maintaining good posture is crucial for achieving positive results.

Are there any exercises to avoid when dealing with flaring ribs?

While exercises may differ based on individual circumstances, it is generally recommended to avoid exercises that excessively arch the back, such as deep backbends or heavy overhead lifts. These can further exacerbate the flaring of ribs.

Is rib flare dangerous?

Rib flare itself is not typically considered dangerous. However, it can cause discomfort and impact your quality of life. In some cases, severe or prolonged rib flare can lead to complications such as chronic pain, breathing difficulties, or digestive issues.

Conclusion

Flaring ribs can make you feel uncomfortable and have problems with your posture and breathing. But don’t worry, there are ways to make it better! Doing exercises, being aware of your posture, and getting manual therapies can help a lot. If you have flaring ribs, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor for the right treatment plan. Taking action can help you feel better and have a more balanced and comfortable posture.

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