We have seen ribs that tend to be protruding or bulging may be known as flared ribs. Flared ribs may affect our capability to breathe correctly and affect the body’s functionality as a whole. Flare ribs happen to be caused by several things, including ineffective breathing, weak abdominal muscles, and hyperlordosis, a condition in which the back muscles become overactive and exceedingly tight, causing rib flares.
The most basic ways of fixing rib flares include pilates which may be a physiotherapeutic process, uses of flare braces and straps, breathing exercises, and stability exercises, among many others.
In a state of total exhalation, your ribs are supposed to look considerably even and flattened. In the event when the ribs, especially the lower ones, look protruding and bulging out during exhalation, you may be experiencing rib flare.
Table of Contents
- What is rib flare
- What causes rib flare?
- How to fix flared ribs
What is rib flare
Rib flare may inhibit your capability to breathe effectively and, in the process, end up affecting the entire functionality of your body. The same can be dire to people whose effective and efficient breathing is all they rely on, such as sportsmen and athletes.
This condition results from altering the position of the ribcage in some way. You may have the ribcage tipped upward, wide and flattened, or both conditions. Most people who suffer rib flares get diagnosed with weak abdominal muscles.
Rib flare may affect very many other parts of the body. The stomach muscles, rib muscles, pelvic muscles, and the lumbar spinal may be just a few of the different body parts whose functionality is likely to get offset by rib flare. You need to understand this medical condition to get an effective corrective measure.
What causes rib flare?
There may be several causes of rib flare. So, we will discuss some of the major causes of rib flare and fix these flared ribs.
1. Ineffective breathing
Breathing gets primarily controlled and supported by the diaphragm. The diaphragm works as a muscle film that divides the abdominal cavity from the thoracic cavity.
When breathing becomes ineffective due to the diaphragm, other compensatory muscles get recruited to assist in respiration. The recruited compensatory muscles may lead to a case of over-activity, which in turn may lead to flared ribs.
2. Weak abdominal muscles
The abdominal muscles have been considered responsible for tilting the rib cage both downwards and inwards into a position that gets regarded as neutral. If someone has flared ribs, they may have weak abdominal muscles.
Weak abdominal muscles may eventually lead to the loss of integration between the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles. Such an occurrence makes the state of the flared ribs even worse and very uncomfortable.
The condition named above or hyperlordosis happens when the muscles of the back, especially those aligned with or attached to the vertebral column, may become overactive or even tighter to compensate for weaker abdominal muscles.
That over-activity or excessive tightness of muscles on the back may cause an arch in the lower back, leading to flared ribs. If such happens, it may also be possible to experience back pains and tons of discomfort due to the arched lower back.
How to fix flared ribs
Even though rib flares may be common, it might be essential to understand that it necessarily may not be a permanent problem. It may also not be a cause for alarm or emergency medical attention. The uncomfortable feeling and sometimes associated pain will prompt us to look for a treatment plan.
Most people get misdiagnosed and may end up treating entirely different diseases. These scenarios make it essential to get a doctor who diagnoses you correctly and advises on the perfect way to deal with a flared rib. There may be several ways of fixing rib flares that address the imbalanced muscles that cause your ribs to pop out.
Such methods of fixing flared ribs may include physical programs to improve core strength, breathing, stretching, and massaging tight muscles, among many other methods.
We will discuss some physical programs that may help fix flared ribs.
In the 19th century, a particular physiotherapist invented pilates, named after him, which turned out to be a series of mind-body exercises that, when applied, could fix them in the case of flared ribs. Pilates improves the breathing system and helps facilitate muscle integration, eventually correcting the flared ribs altogether.
Most Pilates exercises start with you sleeping on your back, placing your hands to the hip bone, keeping your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the mat and your hip distance apart.
Assuming the above posture, you may practice some combinations of arm motions, leg motions, and breathing exercises that might eventually fix the rib flare.
2. Bracing treatment
In several cases, some treatments may include combining physical exercises like pilates with rib flare straps for milder cases or, for the more extreme cases, rib flare braces.
The brace and straps for correcting rib flare are usually fastened around the chest so that they won’t inhibit with normal respiratory but will assist in remedying the rib flare.
3. Breathing exercises and stability exercises
Breathing in itself may be instrumental in restoring the balance between the abdominal muscles and the chest muscles, whose absence has led to the flared ribs.
One of the very basic breathing exercises may be a very lengthy exhalation as if trying to blow out a candle or even inflate a balloon. Once you have reached the point of total exhalation, you may find it easier to establish normal breathing, which might later fix the flared ribs.
Several exercises whose continued repetition may reinforce good rib positioning and the right pelvic tilt assumption. When the rib positioning gets returned to normal and the pelvic tilt, it may be probable that the rib flare may disappear as well.
Why are my ribs flared?
There might be various reasons for having flared ribs. Flared ribs may be inherent genetically to become a menace to people sharing the same genes.
In other instances, the causes of flared ribs may get isolated, such as ineffective breathing, weak abdominal muscles, and hyperlordosis, among other probable causes.
How do you realign your ribs?
Realigning flared ribs may not be easy, as they entail several physical and medical exercises. Pilates, bracing treatment, breathing exercises, and stability exercises may be some of the many physical therapies to fix flared ribs.
Can a waist trainer help with a flared rib?
A waist trainer may be very instrumental in reinforcing rib positioning and helping maintain the correct pelvic tilt. Both proper rib positioning and pelvic tilt help very much to fix flared ribs. So is a waist trainer may serve the purpose of rib and pelvic reinforcement, it may probably help with a flared rib.
Rib flares are bound to occur to any of us. The same will take a greater toll on sportspeople and athletes who seem to depend on extensive physical activity. I once saw one of my close friends get disqualified from joining the Olympics team because of rib flare, which made his training difficult.
If rib flares happen, we should take the correct measures and eventually fix the problem.