How many times have you heard someone with a “rib out”?
Ribs can move and shift to a slight degree – generally it’s a combination of factors that lead us to saying a “rib is out”. (muscles / ligaments injured, decreased awareness between the brain/body, possible muscle spasm)
I’ve done this before myself. And it stinks. Especially if you have little people to care for or a demanding schedule 🙂 Last time I did it, it was difficult to breathe and I had difficulty just picking up our first daughter into a car seat.
What can you do?
- Garbage out, Groceries in. Maintain your usual activities as best as possible (at a lower intensity of course). Now, don’t go back to the exact same activity where you got injured right away. However, if you injured yourself at work or while weightlifting… (do indirect exercises) be sure to walk, get the groceries, and move around the house. Sitting perfectly still can become a bad thing. As the injured tissue is broken down and new tissue is replaced (we call this healing) you can help this normal process by acting as a pump every time you move with intent.
- Perform soft tissue work above and below the painful area (video here I put together). This can help you move better and improve function. Working
upstream and downstream from the injured area can be of great benefit. Some areas you may want to address in the picture (black arrow).
- Perform some soft tissue with a foam roller or lacrosse ball on the area after a few days. It can change the sensitivity of the area and help improve movement (function). Don’t overdue it and be sure not to aggravate the area.
- Move the injured area. After a few days have passed – start moving the area. Remember, the first few days are critical for the scar to form and things to begin to “patch up”. After the first few days have past – start doing some more direct exercises with a band or simply moving your arm through a range of motion while breathing properly. See video here for band pull-aparts which I really like. Remember most of the areas around the rib heads are more endurance like muscles – so you can train them for higher reps while they stabilize the area (12 – 30 reps).
- Be consistent. You have to be regular with your mobilization work, stretches and activity. Don’t perform it a few times and expect an optimal result. This may take weeks to months of regular work. Don’t get discouraged your body is amazing you just need to give it the requirements for health to help it heal.
- Don’t forget your spine and nerve system are involved. As soon as you are injured or have function problems… there’s a drop in information between the brain-body. [Remember the nerves send messages from your brain to your muscles AND organs]. You want to help restore that. If your spine is SHIFTED it may be impacting your recovery and health in ways you may not feel. The only way to know if it’s a factor is to have a conversation with a Family Chiropractor who focuses on proper structure and function to review your case.
Some helpful info here in this video:
If you have questions let me know? Or find more useful information on my Instagram profile: @MattBradburyOLF
Disclaimer: Of course – this blog is intended as a health information resource only. Always visit a health professional for a proper diagnosis before beginning a new health regimen.