Chiropractors/3 year old with "popping" rib



My 3 year old daughter has been experiencing issues with her lower left ribs. Whenever I pick her up I feel a "popping" or "cracking" sound. It also happens if she moves certain ways. If you rub your fingers over her rib cage area you can almost feel it sliding in an unusual way. This doesn't seem to cause her any pain at all, but I was wondering what might cause this. It's only on the left side, and it's been happening for about a year now. She has no other health conditions except for asthma and an allergy to pets. Should I take her in to see an orthopedist? What might be causing this?



With no obvious pain symptoms, likely it's benign joint noise that is not uncommon in loose-jointed individuals such as kids.   There is more stuff holding ribs on the right and not the left, i.e. the liver.   Nevertheless, it might be worthwhile to have her checked for scoliosis or hyperkyphosis to see if there is any notable asymmetry.   Asthmatics, usually severe asthmatics, will develop stiffness and increased curvature in the middle back.   While this is a possibility depending on her level of asthma, it doesn't equate to rib joint noise.    It is also reasonable to have her checked by a chiropractor to see if she has any joint stiffness on one side of her torso (spine and ribs) that might lend itself to increased or compensatory mobility on the opposite side.  If so, then a few treatment sessions of joint manipulation to free up the stuck joints would be good to try.  

'Hope this helps.

Dr. G'


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Scott F. Gillman, DC, DACBSP


21 Years in practice: I can answer any question regarding chiropractic and sports medicine treatment. Mostly, I can help the unknowing public understand what is safe, valid, reasonable and evidence-based, and what kinds of unscrupulous chiropractors and fraudulent methods to stay away from. I have an advanced specialty degree in Chiropractic Sports Medicine. I have experience treating elite and Olympic athletes.



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Doctor of Chiropractic Diplomate: American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma

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