Do I have a first rib subluxation – first rib out of place?

You have a first rib subluxation if you answer yes to any of the questions.


  1. Do you feel like you have some sort of pain on the shoulder?
  2. Or do you feel an agonizing pain around your neck with each and every movement?
  3. How about slight pain or soreness when you turn your head and trunk?
  4. Do you experience a tingly or numb feeling on your hands?


Then you probably have a dislocated first rib or first rib out of place (also known as first rib subluxation).

Due to the location of the first rib, its dislocation is rare, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility.  Frist rib subluxation can cause severe pain at the time of displacement, even more pain after a few days.

What is first rib subluxation – elevated first rib?

Subluxed first rib is caused due to a partial dislodgement of the rib away from its connecting joint (usually from the sternum)when the rib slightly moves out of place it is called rib subluxation.

Symptoms of the first rib out of place

First ribs are affected by our position and use of our neck and shoulders. In a case of an improper position of neck and shoulders, the first rib will bulge out f its place, the first ribs will suffer and can stay in permanently elevated position if a rib mobilization exercise isn’t performed or you see your chiropractor, (the elevation or bulging out of the rib from it’s socket is the reason some people describe this ailment as elevated first rib.) So, whatever might be the reason for the displacement of the first rib, symptoms will be:

  • permanently raised or elevated first rib.
  • pain and tightness on one side of neck and shoulder.
  • a possible limitation of arm movement on the affected side.
  • Tingling sensation on hands.
  • Neck pain.
  • Unexplainable Shoulder pain.
  • Patients with elevated first ribs also complain of constant headaches – only at one side.

So what is the treatment for a subluxated first rib?

The universal treatment for subluxated ribs, specifically an elevated first rib, is rest and sometimes coupled with some pain medications. But the case is quite different for a subluxated first rib.

If you think that you might have a subluxation of the first rib and experiencing ay of the dislodged first rib symptoms, then you must go and see your doctor for a thorough checkup.


It is advisable to visit an experienced physiotherapist/practitioner to help you get the first rib back in place.

It might be painful, but you should start seeing a drastic improvement once the rib/ribs have been adjusted back in position.


First rib mobilization

If a first rib injury is left undiagnosed/ untreated it will become fixated to its new found possible. At this point, your physiotherapist might guide you while you perform a series of exercise maneuver call the first rib mobilization.

Here’s as really good video I found on youtube about the steps for elevated first rib self-mobilization. 

You’ll quickly learn how to mobilize your first rib after watching this short bo educative video, hope it helps!


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