Movements such as deep breaths, rotating, turning in bed and coughing are all aggravating factors of the very tedious rib pain. The ribs are bound by muscles that assist in breathing and diagonal movements of the spine. Direct trauma to the ribs, injury to the surrounding muscles or dysfunction in the rib to spine junction can all cause problems with the ribs which might easily become a two to three month affair.
The thoracic spine, consisting of 12 vertebral bodied with 12 pairs of ribs attached, can also be involved and is often overlooked as the source of problems radiating into the ribs. Many of us today work in the sitting position which, over time, can result in stiffness of the thoracic spine. Regular stretching of this part of the back can help maintain a flexible and healthy spine and rib cage. Problems that arise may need hands on physiotherapy, taping and carefully directed exercises to encourage proper healing and minimize sharp pains that will otherwise persist for weeks on end.