The rib cage, also known as the thoracic cage, is a vital structure comprised of the vertebral column, ribs, and sternum. Its main function is to protect the heart, major blood vessels, and lungs from potential damage. With 24 ribs in the human body, the rib cage is supported by various muscles in the neck, thorax, abdomen, and back, and it is covered by both fascia and skin. Rib cage pain can occur in different forms, such as sharp, dull, or achy sensations, and can be caused by heart and lung conditions, rib fractures, and other bone-related issues. Understanding the underlying causes of rib pain is crucial, and consulting a doctor is recommended. In some cases, rib cage fascia inflammation and muscle spasms are responsible for the discomfort.
Muscles Attached to the Rib Cage:
Intercostal Muscles: These muscles are located between the ribs and play a crucial role in the movement of the rib cage during breathing. They consist of three layers: external, internal, and innermost intercostal muscles.
Serratus Anterior Muscle: Situated on the side of the chest, this broad and curved muscle aids in stabilizing the scapula and assists in movements involving the arms and rib cage.
Pectoralis Minor Muscle: It is one of the two muscle sets connecting the bones of the chest to the shoulder and upper arm. The pectoralis minor muscle contributes to the movements of the rib cage and shoulder.
External Abdominal Obliques: These muscles have their origins along the lateral ribs (5 through 12) and are part of the abdominal musculature. They provide support to the rib cage and assist in trunk rotation and lateral bending.
Muscles Attached to the Sternum:
Sternocleidomastoid: This muscle runs along the side of the neck and attaches to the sternum. It aids in neck movement and plays a role in the elevation of the rib cage during inspiration.
Pectoralis Major: Situated in the chest region, this muscle attaches to the sternum and clavicle. It is responsible for movements involving the arms and contributes to the elevation of the rib cage during breathing.
Sternohyoid and Sternothyroid Muscles: These muscles are located in the neck region and attach to the sternum. They primarily assist in swallowing and other neck movements.
Xiphoid Process: The xiphoid process is the lower end of the sternum, and it serves as an essential attachment point for the tendons of the diaphragm, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis muscles. These muscles play a crucial role in respiration and core stability.
Acupuncture for Rib Cage Pain and Muscle Spasms
When it comes to rib cage pain and muscle spasms, acupuncture can provide both local and systemic benefits. By targeting acupoints near the affected area, such as the intercostal muscles or the chest wall, acupuncture helps to stimulate blood circulation and release endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals. This localized effect can ease pain, reduce inflammation, and relax tense muscles, allowing for improved mobility and function.
A leading acupuncture specialist for pain relief, vulvodynia, fertility and miscarriage, facial rejuvenation, stress and anxiety. This blog introduces acupuncture research update to help you understand acupuncture.
Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju
Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Rib cage pain and muscle spasm, acupuncture can help
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