1st Rib Dysfunction - Fact Sheet

What is 1st Rib dysfunction?

1st rib dysfunction occurs when the muscles in the neck that attach down to the 1st rib are tight or in a shortened position, which pulls the rib upwards. This is generally as a result of poor sustained neck postures. This can compress sensitive structures in the neck, leading to thoracic outlet syndrome if untreated.

AC joint injury

Signs and symptoms of 1st Rib dysfunction?

• Neck stiffness or tightness, particularly on the side or front of the neck
• Referred pain to the shoulder or collar bone.
• No apparent history of acute neck injury (i.e. disc bulge)


Treatment for 1st Rib dysfunction?

Hands-on-treatment: mobilisation of the 1st rib, to improve the movement and biomechanics of the rib, particularly with overhead movement of the shoulders. This should not be solely relied upon, as evidence suggests this works mainly in the short term, giving 2-3days relief.

Exercise: Neck-specific exercises to help relax bracing neck muscles, and to get the correct stabilising muscles of the neck switching on. Exercise for the muscles in the upper back (postural muscles), particularly of the upper traps and shoulder blades. This helps take pressure off the neck and set your head and shoulders into a more stable position, reducing the compressive effect of the 1st rib.


Call Now Button