Hi Laurel- I was surprised to see that you had described something that has plagued me for a long time! I have cervical, thoracic and lumbar disc herniations, and my md stated that the rib pain is caused by the herniated thoracic disc. The nerves for your chest/ribs/lungs run through your thoracic discs into your chest. If there is damage to that part of the spine, your body will try to stabilize or protect it by tightening the muscles around the herniation. unfortunately, the nerves also get squeezed and irritated. (makes sense to me, I am an RN) I also get pain in the clavicle and lung itself. I try to avoid pain meds if possible. When it is not too severe, I find that heat to the ribs along with stretching (stand- arms straight up- bend side to side, almost like a ballerina) helps. My md, a neurologist, is dead set against any surgery in the thoracic area- one slip of the scalpel and the breathing nerves can be damaged. He is also anti chiropracty. I also find that muscle relaxers along with anti-infammatories help.