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Thoracic & Rib Pain.

Does your pain move around to different areas of your body? Do you feel like you can’t pinpoint where your pain is coming from or feel like no-one has ever got to the root cause of your problem?

There are times when it is hard to determine exactly where pain is coming from.  Not all causes of musculo-skeletal dysfunction typically present as ‘painful’, but can feel uncomfortable or misaligned, and can even be without pain altogether.

An example of this may be a shoulder problem that is caused by dysfunction in the thorax (middle back) and the ribs (rings).

Using the Thoracic Ring Approach

The Thoracic Ring Approach provides techniques and clinical reasoning to determine if the thorax (middle back) is the primary driver of the whole body movement in a specific task.

Dysfunction in the thorax can be the underlying cause for low back pain, pelvic pain, groin pain, neck pain, foot pain etc.

The Thoracic Ring Approach is a new way of assessing and treating the thorax. The thorax is a ‘ring’ and specific manual techniques are used to asses ‘ring’ function during tasks then ‘ring’ treatment techniques work with other systems (articular, myofascial, visceral) to affect overall function of the area. (Lee &Lee 2008)

What We Do

Physiotherapists, Catherine O’Brien and Felicity Kantzavelos, have completed extensive training in the Thoracic Ring Approach. This approach looks at the body as a whole, rather than focusing only on one joint at a time

What To Expect

Your first appointment will be between 45-60 minutes when we will initially ask a series of questions about your current problem, your general health and any other pains or injuries in other parts of your body.

It is helpful to wear a tank top or loose t-shirt to your assessment so our physiotherapist can feel around your rib cage and even into your underarm during certain movements to determine if your ribs are functioning correctly.

We use a series of tests to assess whether dysfunctional and painful areas are linked then create a hypothesis around whether the thoracic dysfunction is contributing to the pain.

Following our assessment, if the thoracic rings are determined to be the driver of your pain, techniques will be used to release the muscles around the rings (ribs) and ‘restack’ the rings. We spend time re-training movement using verbal and visual cues to assist this and home exercises are an important part of the treatment process.

The frequency of treatment will depend on the severity of the problem and how easily the symptoms resolve. Initially treatment may be every 5-7 days but then extend to 2-4 weeks as a more ‘hands off’ approach is indicated.

How to Book

To book with Catherine, who both has additional training in the treatment of thoracic and rib pain, you can:

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