Causes Of Muscle Cramps In Rib Cage: How To Treat Cramps In Ribs?

Cramping of muscles is a common occurrence and can be associated with a host of etiological factors. One of the most common sites for muscle cramps is the rib cage. Muscle cramps in rib cage are commonly observed in athletes or individuals performing strenuous exercises using the upper part of the body.

Other causes that can lead to muscle cramps in the rib cage which include broken or cracked rib.

There are simple home remedies and natural treatment options available to manage the muscle cramps at home. This article provides simple tips on how to treat muscle cramps in the rib cage using these natural remedies.

Muscle cramps in the rib cage are usually severe to moderate and affect only the right side of the rib cage. The level of pain may vary depending upon the severity but usually is manifested in the form of stabbing, severe and sharp pain. In some cases, moderate pain in the rib cage may be experienced in the form of pulling sensation.

In a study conducted in Australia in 2000, it was found that about 30% of the cyclist suffered from muscle cramps in the rib cage. It is however important to differentiate between rib pains and muscle cramps as the previous may be associated with injured and bruised rib and may require immediate medical attention.

What Causes Muscle Cramps In Rib Cage?

The mechanism of cramps in the rib cage is not very clear; however there is a theory to explain the cramping pain. As per the theory, the muscle cramp in the rib cage is attributed to the contraction of the diaphragm, which is one of the most powerful muscles, which separates the thorax from the abdomen and is located below the lungs.

Any jarring movement (i.e. any up or down movement) can lead to cramping of the diaphragm. The cramping of diaphragm occurs especially when the muscle is stressed and as it cramps, it stretches the tendons and tissues attached to it, resulting in severe to moderate pain.

How To Treat Muscle Cramps In Ribs?

There are several different tips to treat and prevent the occurrence of muscle cramps in the ribs.

  • In order to prevent muscle cramps especially while performing a strenuous upper body workout, focus on taking deep breaths. Frequent and rapid breathing puts additional strain on the diaphragm.
  • Avoid eating soon after an exercise. Also drink plenty of fluids while exercising, especially to remain well hydrated. Dehydration can cause cramps.
  • Regular stretching exercises are important to strengthen the core muscles and reduce the possibility of cramps in the rib cage.
  • Massaging the chest and the back muscles with lavender or clove oil can help relive muscle cramps in the rib cage.
  • Ensure that you take adequate supplements of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can lead to cramps in the muscles.

However, if you suffer from repeated pain, with bruised and tender sensation in the rib, it is important to consult your physician. There is a possibility that the pain is associated with injured rib and not a result of muscle cramps.

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