What is Rib Pain in the Mid Back?

Rib pain in the mid back is when there is dysfunction of the costotransverse joint (CTJ). The costotransverse joint is a cartilage-lined joint that it unique to the thoracic spine. It occurs at each level of the thoracic spine and is formed by the union of the rib and the transverse process of the spine.

This pain is often persistent and can feel sharp and stabbing at times or with certain movements and typically dull and aching when at rest. The most common symptom is pain, but you may also notice swelling, bruising, tenderness, and muscle spasms in the area. In some cases, you may feel some radiating pain to other areas such as around the rib cage, chest wall, shoulder blade or abdomen. The pain is often most noticeable with taking a deep breath or with twisting and you will often feel muscle spasms or tightness in the area.

What can cause rib pain?

-Poor posture

-Scapular Instability

-Lifting or picking something up wrong

-Muscle strain or spasms

-Ligament sprains

-Joint injury or dysfunction

-And even sleeping wrong


-A thorough and detailed evaluation

-Treatment of injured soft tissues (dry needling, A.R.T, class IV laser, IASTM and cupping)

-Restore joint mobility and increase range of motion

-Strengthen and stabilize (DNS and exercise rehabilitation)