The rib cage has a number of functions that affect the human body. It protects the vital organs, makes breathing possible, and supports the shoulder girdle, among many other important functions.
Many people who are preparing to undergo a gender transition will wonder if it’s possible to reduce the size of the rib cage. The size of the rib cage can contribute to the aesthetics of the entire body.
The following will help you understand the rib cage so that you make the right choices during your gender transition.
Understanding the Rib Cage
The rib cage consists of the ribs, sternum and spinal column. It surrounds the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, and other vital organs. Its tissues consist of muscles, tendons and ligaments that provide stability and movement.
Any trauma or dysfunction in the ribs can subsequently affect these organs and tissues. The fourth through sixth ribs are those that sit under the breasts, and the rib cage is movable.
During respiration, the rib cage expands and contracts as the lungs expand and the diaphragm contracts. There are muscles between the ribs that assist in this and other movements.
Chest binding is commonly used by trans men to make their upper body have a more male aesthetic by reducing the appearance of the breasts.
There are some long-term effects from binding that people must consider. Used over time, it can affect the elasticity of the skin. A binder that is placed too tightly may restrict your breathing and lead to secondary health issues, including physical injury.
Unsafe binding practices can bruise or fracture bones. It can bruise or tear muscles, cartilage, and connective tissues. Chronic irritation of the muscles can cause them to become inflamed as well. Lungs and other organs may be placed under stressed through unsafe binding.
Reducing Rib Cage Size
It’s not possible to reduce the size of the rib cage. Corsets and binding can give you the appearance of a smaller upper body, but they don’t lead to permanent changes. When done incorrectly, they may lead to other health problems that can easily be avoided.
Your abdominal muscles work as a corset to provide strength, movement, and stability to the spine. A strong and healthy abdominal wall can enhance the look of the upper body. Use exercises that safely and correctly train these muscles.
If you’ve had children in the past, your core muscles may have become weak if you never took the steps to retrain them after the delivery.
Taking a more health-focused approach will improve the look of your body and support your well-being over time.