I fight the adjustment ... Chiro can't pop it back, HELP!

by Stuck

Very helpful page. So basically after about 6-8 months of dull and sometimes sharp upper back pain on the left side of my upper back a little below my left shoulder blade, I have come to the conclusion that I have a dislocated a rib or have (slipped rib syndrome).

The problem is, even though I and a PT and a Chiro recognize this... NOONE can actually get it to pop back in. The most effective way tried so far seems to be the on your back, arms folded, chiro puts arm under area then comes down with their body weight onto your arms/chest as you breath out.

When done, i get thiiiiiiiiissssssss close to the pop but I fight it like crazy and tense up. (even though i don't want to). So it gets thiiiissss close to popping, but then it does not. This 1 or 2 quick seconds of force creates a major pain sensation and it just makes me wince up. I'm athletic and probably considered a lot more muscular then most people so this is creating difficulty in popping it back in. Every other adjustment my chiro does pops like a charm. This one.. i fight like a mother!!

Has anyone had this problem? How hard was it to pop it back in... even with a chiro? How painful was it riiiight before it finally clicked?

Any tips? How can i relax so that it gets smashed into submission. Like everyone else, we all know this can drive a person crazy!!

The tape that volley ball players use helps a little. Once i finally get it to pop back in I'm 100% going to use tape for a few days and always sleep on my back.

ED(itor) sez:
Um... assuming that the problem actually IS a misaligned rib-end, how do you KNOW that it isn't being popped back in by the chiro or PT?

Remember, what hurts is not usually the actual damage or misalignment, but the inflammation and overextension of surrounding tissue.

When the chiro does the body-drop on your folded arms over your chest, while his/her fist is under you against the trouble spot, it's possible that the misalignment (or, in chiro-talk, the subluxation) is - at least momentarily - corrected.

What they should be doing next is laying you back flat on your back and with your arms extended out to either side. Then, while you try to relax in that position, the chiro (or PT) should be groping under your upper back to determine if the misalignment has been corrected. If not, repeat. If so, then they should HELP you to sit up and stand up, so that you use the minimum of your own muscle to achieve getting off the table/bed.

It's critical in the first few minutes to not exert in any way that will encourage/allow the problem area to go back to the problem state. If you could get taped or strapped at that point, that would be great. Iced, too.

The injured area needs hours or days to settle into the correct alignment, and for the surrounding muscles to stop pulling in wrong ways as they've been doing while your bits were misaligned. If you twist or exert during that time, chances are the correction will be undone, yet again.

Just for fun, once you do get the problem resolved, try archery. But do it both sides, so that your upper back and shoulders are pulling evenly. You won't shoot as well on your off side, but it is considerable exercise to draw and shoot a 60 or 80-pound bow repeatedly. It's more exercise than pretty-much anything you'll be doing in daily life.

The point is that you do things all day that use your muscles just a little, but you tend not to be lifting and swinging heavy weights. So you have all these little everyday actions, BUT you naturally tend to favor your dominant side. So that side gets stronger over time. Unbalance.

You can't effectively decide to become a left-hander if you are naturally right-handed (or vice-versa), so that small imbalance of overall muscle usage is likely to continue in your every-day life. The way to overcome it, to some extent, is to perform unusual actions with heavy resistance - heavy enough to make the small every-day actions seem insignificant by comparison.

For the upper back and shoulders, archery would do that IF you practiced switching sides equally. A benefit of archery over, say, cable pulls, is that you are developing a skill and imposing fine control (a smooth aim and release) on a set of full-range major-muscle actions.

Just a suggestion. We don't have a bow ourselves, though we're seriously considering it. If upkeep on this darn website didn't demand so much time... :-)

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