Most people diagnosed with a cervical rib will find their symptoms get better with time, without treatment.

Your GP may refer you to a physiotherapist for shoulder exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the neck region and correct any poor posture. The area may be massaged to release any tight or shortened neck tissues.

A referral to an occupational therapist may also be useful, for advice on techniques to protect your back and neck while at work.

To relieve any pain and inflammation, your GP may prescribe you an NSAID painkiller such as naproxen or diclofenac. .

If you develop thoracic outlet syndrome you may also be prescribed thrombolytics to break up any blood clots, and anticoagulants to prevent further clots developing.

If the above measures don't help and the symptoms persist, you may wish to consider surgical treatment to remove the extra rib, although this is often a last resort.

Your GP can refer you to hospital, at which point your consultant will be able to explain the details of this procedure to you.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018