How to Deal with a Wide Rib Cage: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Wide Rib Cage

A wide rib cage is a condition that affects many people, especially women. It can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance and cause discomfort in your chest and back. But what causes a wide rib cage, and how can you manage it? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and provide some tips on how to deal with a wide rib cage.

What is a Wide Rib Cage and What Causes It?

A wide rib cage is when the circumference of your rib cage is larger than average. This can make your waist look wider and your hips look smaller, affecting your body proportions. A wide rib cage can be caused by various factors, such as:

  • Genetics: Some people are born with a wider rib cage due to their family traits. This is more common in women than men, and it can be inherited from either parent.
  • Posture: Poor posture can lead to a wider rib cage over time. Slouching and rounding your shoulders can cause your chest muscles to tighten and your ribs to flare out. This can also affect your breathing and spine alignment.
  • Weight gain: Gaining excess weight can also contribute to a wider rib cage. Fat can accumulate around your ribs and abdomen, pushing them outward. This can also put pressure on your organs and affect your metabolism.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions can cause a wider rib cage as a symptom or a complication. For example, scoliosis, pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, or Marfan syndrome can affect the shape and size of your ribs and chest.

What are the Symptoms of a Wide Rib Cage?

A wide rib cage can cause various symptoms, depending on the severity and the underlying cause. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing: A wide rib cage can restrict your lung capacity and make it harder to breathe deeply. This can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, and anxiety.
  • Chest pain: A wide rib cage can also cause pain in your chest area, especially when you cough, sneeze, or exercise. This can be due to the pressure on your ribs, muscles, or nerves.
  • Back pain: A wide rib cage can affect your posture and spine alignment, causing pain in your upper or lower back. This can also affect your mobility and flexibility.
  • Clothing issues: A wide rib cage can make it challenging to find clothes that fit you well. You may have trouble finding bras that support your bust without digging into your ribs. You may also have trouble finding tops and dresses that flatter your waist without being too tight or too loose.
  • Self-esteem issues: A wide rib cage can affect your body image and confidence. You may feel insecure about your appearance and avoid wearing certain clothes or styles. You may also compare yourself to others and feel unhappy with your body shape.

How to Treat a Wide Rib Cage?

If you have a wide rib cage and want to reduce its size or improve its appearance, there are some options that you can try. However, keep in mind that these options may not work for everyone, and you should consult with your doctor before trying any of them.

  • Exercise: Exercise can help you tone your muscles, lose excess fat, and improve your posture. Some exercises that target your core muscles, such as planks, crunches, or twists, can help you create more definition in your waist area. Some exercises that target your chest muscles, such as push-ups, chest presses, or flyes, can help you tighten your chest area. You can also do some cardio exercises, such as running, swimming, or cycling, to burn calories and improve your overall health.
  • Diet: Diet can also help you lose weight and reduce the fat around your ribs and abdomen. You should eat a balanced diet that includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and water. You should avoid processed foods, added sugars, saturated fats, alcohol, and soda. You should also eat smaller portions and avoid overeating or skipping meals.
  • Clothing: Clothing can help you disguise or enhance your wide rib cage. You should choose clothes that fit you well and flatter your body shape. For example, you can wear tops with V-necks or scoop necks to draw attention to your bust and away from your ribs. You can also wear tops with ruffles or patterns to add some volume to your chest area. You can wear dresses or skirts with belts or cinched waists to create more curves in your waist area. You can also wear jackets or cardigans that are fitted at the waist and flare out at the hips to balance your proportions.
  • Surgery: Surgery is the most invasive and expensive option for treating a wide rib cage. It involves removing some of the ribs or reshaping them to create a smaller rib cage. This can improve your appearance and reduce your symptoms, but it also comes with risks and complications, such as infection, bleeding, scarring, or nerve damage. You should only consider surgery as a last resort and after consulting with a qualified surgeon.


A wide rib cage is a condition that affects many people, especially women. It can be caused by genetics, posture, weight gain, or medical conditions. It can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, back pain, clothing issues, and self-esteem issues. However, there are ways to deal with a wide rib cage, such as exercise, diet, clothing, or surgery. If you have a wide rib cage and want to reduce its size or improve its appearance, you should consult with your doctor and try some of the options mentioned in this blog post.

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