Most of the time chest pain is not due to a heart attack
Having chest pain is not something that anyone takes lightly. Most people’s reaction to experiencing chest pain is that of a frightened response: a heart attack. However, most of the time the chest pain that is experienced does not come from having a heart problem. Instead, it is due to rib cage misalignment and muscular tension.
Today we are going to cover where this pain comes from and what we can do to not only heal it but prevent it from happening. Pain in the chest that comes from the rib cage usually presents in the front of the chest over the sternum, or on the back between the shoulder blades.
It can be scary to have these symptoms. One way to know if this pain is due to joints and muscles is that if you move in certain patterns the pain quality changes: it either makes it worse or better. If the pain is constant and no movement changes the quality of the pain then it can mean that is something more serious.
Important things to rule out with chest pain besides a heart attack are pulmonary embolism and aortic dissection. A heart attack needs to be ruled out when it comes to chest pain.
Many people end up in the emergency room but are told that they just have a muscle spasm. Patients with chest pain go home from the ER or hospital with no definite diagnosis. Although this is considered good news, the pain can persist and if not addressed it can become quite chronic.
Where does the pain come from?
Rib cage pain comes from poor breathing patterns most of the time. There are two primary ways we tend to breathe. One way is when we use our chest for breathing so we elevate the rib cage by using our chest muscles. This pattern of breathing is inefficient it results in minimum breath into the lungs because we use the small muscles between the ribs rather than the diaphragm.
Belly or stomach breathing is the most efficient way to breathe. It uses the diaphragm to expand space so that the lungs receive the maximum volume of air. Learning how to breathe into the belly instead of shallow chest breathing has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of asthma and bronchitis for example. It reduces the muscular tension between the ribs and therefore it prevents the rib cage from misalignment and therefore pain.
How can the pain be treated?
When the rib cage is misaligned it can be corrected through chiropractic adjustments so that the pain subsides. Many times soft tissue is used to release the diaphragm and therapeutic exercises are utilized to re-train breathing patterns.
In practice, we teach patients different drills so that their breathing becomes more effective.