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You are here: Home > ORTHOPEDIC SUPPORTS & BRACES > Rib/Abdomen
The three natural curves of your spine (at your neck, chest and lower back) are supported by the abdomen, back, buttocks, and thigh muscles. These important muscle groups must be kept strong and flexible to support your body and maintain a healthy back.
Your rib cage is a very important structure that protects your vital internal organs such as your heart, lungs and liver. Twelve pairs of ribs attact to the spine in the back and wrap around towards your sternum (breast bone) where some attach in the front. Damage to one or more ribs can cause damage to the internal organs.
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Abdominal Strain- a mild injury to the abdominal muscles or tendons resulting from trauma, overuse or a sudden increase in use. The abdominals tmay be tender to the touch and/or hurt when coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
Abdominal Weakness-when muscles are weakened by strain, pregnancy, repeated surgery or inactivity, causing tenderness and pain.
Intercostal Strain- usually caused by excessive exertion or twisting motions, such as the movements in baseball, tennis and golf. This mild injury strains the intercostal muscles, located between the ribs. Tenderness and possible swelling may be experienced, though breathing should not be painful.
Rib Contusion- the result of a direct blow to the ribs causing tenderness, inflammation and bruising. Breathing should not be painful.
Rib Fracture- a crack or break in a rib due to a direct blow or forceful compression of the rib cage. Symptoms include severe pain in the area and pain during deep breathing, sneezing, or coughing.
Sternum Fracture- a crack or break in the sternum (breast bone), resulting in pain and tenderness.

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