Hot room confessions

a snapshot into my Bikram yoga world

My McRib

I’ve been battling an ongoing injury since mid January. First I thought I pulled an intercostal muscle, then I thought it was a lat.  I had no idea what I had done. It hurt to move, to even breath deeply!  Man did it hurt! The only thing that made it feel better was yoga and epsom baths.  You never realize how often you use your back until it hurts (remember this is allergy season and sneezing was the WORST).

Then I did it again in mid March! More  of the intense pain for about a week that improved with yoga.

The THIRD time in late April was the last straw. I clearly had a issue that I was unable to resolve on my own. I made an appointment with a friend’s orthopedic doctor but couldn’t get an appointment for several days.  In the mean time  my lovely friend D came over and gave my back a rub and to hopefully relieve some pain. As she was rubbing she actually popped something. Something in my back popped  like a knuckle would pop. Immediately I could take a breath without serious pain. She could visibly see my rib lay back down with the rest of them. My back was still in pain, but I could at least breathe!

A few days later (and feeling less awful) I  finally had my appointment with the orthopedic doctor. He told me I had a dysfunctional thoracic rib. This evidently means my rib was popping out of it’s joint with my spine. Which means that pop was D popping my rib back into place- GROSS. The Dr wasn’t interested in answering any of my questions as to how I’d done this or how to prevent it. He slapped me with orders for physical therapy and sent me on my way.

Thank God PT has been able to answer all of my questions AND help me get a plan together to fix this! The injury confirmed my belief that everything in my body is connected. The left side thoracic rib issue is related to my left hip tightness which is related to my tweaky left knee.  All these little issues I’ve been having really boil down posture and thoracic spine/hip flexibility.

I’ve always had below average posture; I blame it on being 6 feet tall. My mom would be giving me a big I told you so- good thing I’m not going to tell her 😉

I’ve only been three times and here’s what I’ve learned:

First Trip: My left hip is tight- tilts forward and upwards. This causes a twist in my lower spine. This leads to my ribs being more twisted or pulled apart on my left side = McRib! The physical therapist worked on evening out my hips and loosening my thoracic spine.

Second Trip: More hip leveling but also more focus on posture. I need to strengthen my mid back and lower abs. Ugh ab exercises.

Third Trip: More posture but I also worked my gaining flexibility in my thoracic spine. I’m really flexible in my lower and upper back, so most of the hour was spent trying to keep upper and lower back still and trying to isolate my mid back. I had an epiphany!!! The reason I can’t touch my chin to my shoulder in standing bow pulling pose  is my mid back inflexibility!?!?!

Standing bow pulling pose has been one of ‘those’ postures for me for quite a few months. It’s that posture I’m hating right now (I know I know, that means I need to do it most….). It’s so freaking hard to get right!! I feel like whenever I get my hips level I can’t go down very far. And then I try to touch my shoulder to my chin I go all crooked. Let’s not talk about forgetting to lock my knee!! For the love of GOD I can’t get it right. Which means I’m always getting called out in class in this posture. Standing bow my arch nemesis.

I have a new goal: get my freaking thoracic spine moving more so I can conquer freaking standing bow!



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5 thoughts on “My McRib

  1. Don’t think about your hips in standing bow! Everyone’s hips react differently to the posture – just get the knees together to start and kick straight back and up. Things to look for: two feet in one line, two shoulders in one line, and make sure you are bringing your shoulder to your chin – not the other way around (chin to shoulder – which would create a crooked look). Hope this helps! I’m sure you’ll make friends with Standing Bow once again 🙂

  2. Oh wow! Those are the same two issues I’ve had going lately too… But never considered they might be related. My hips (really SI joints) rotate, and my ribs pop out… Well, everything kind of pops out. I brought pictures of standing bow that I took at nationals, and a list of the corrections I get during class to my chiropractor, and she has been helping.

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