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What should you do when you have a cervical rib problem


Neck pain is a common problem of people .one rare reason of neck pain is cervical rib, a congenital disorder. About .5 % to 1%people have cervical rib .In early age people don’t feel any problem for cervical rib, but later like people more than 25 years old develop different sign symptoms so that their activities of daily living is disrupted. Within time people may develop thoracic outlet syndrome. Female are more prone to cervical rib.

mayfair.com.bd cervical rib

Cervical rib is an extra rib that arises from 7th cervical vertebra above the first rib. It may be unilateral or bilateral.

Types of cervical rib:

  1. Complete cervical rib
  2. Incomplete cervical rib

Clinical features:

People with cervical rib continuously or frequently faces different problem in their daily living like-

  • Neck and shoulder movement restriction of the affected side
  • Neck and shoulder pain radiates to the whole upper limb
  • Sometimes pain persist with swelling
  • Numbness, weakness or tingling sensation at wrist , finger
  • Temporary inability to carry out fine movement of hand
  • Discoloration or blueness of affected limb due to obstruction of blood supply.it is called ‘Raynaud’s phenomenon’.
  • Breathing difficulty due to neck, shoulder, pectoral muscle tightness



  • Radio-logical Imaging such as X-ray, musculoskeletal USG, and MRI is a confirmed diagnosis procedure of cervical rib.
  • Adson Test is another clinical procedure to identify cervical rib, in this test radial pulse is diminishing in shoulder abduction.



  1.   Physical therapy is the first treatment to minimize sign symptoms
  2.  Botulinum toxin injections are sometimes effective
  3. Surgery may be recommended in chronic condition.


Physical therapy includes electrotherapy, manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. More beneficial if taken in early stages. By physiotherapy treatment we correct posture, Improve muscle strength, range of motion & prevent further injury. It’s better to take suggestion and proper treatment plan from a physiotherapy specialist to get rid of pain and sign symptoms of cervical rib

Dr. Rebeka Sultana

Senior Physiotherapist, Mayfair Wellness Clinic

Rebeka is a Registered Physiotherapist with degrees from BPT, Faculty of Medicine, DU (NITOR),Pediatric physiotherapy(BCCW), Tapping in Orthopaedic and Sports injury, Physiotherapy and corporate Health. She has worked in a variety of settings, encompassing Orthopaedics, Neurology,Pediatrics, Geriatric,Sports and Gynaecology Physiotherapy through Mayfair Wellness Clinic.

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