T Nation

Rib Subluxation?

I was recently doing some OH BB military presses when I felt a pop under my right scapulae. The entire right side of my upper back and neck musculature tightened up and prevented me from turning my head to the right. Although the explicit tightness has subsided, there’s still a number of lingering effects that I can’t seem to fix with some DIY soft tissue/mobilization work.

(1) Tightness and discomfort in right pectoral: sharp pains, especially after waking up
(2) Dull, nagging back pain: under right scapulae in the area of the “pop,” tenderness in the teres minor/infraspinatus area
(3) Popping under right scapulae during retraction: anytime I pull the shoulder blades back and down, I feel a discomforting pop underneath in the area of the original injury
(4) Extreme tightness in the long head of the triceps

The onset of (1) and (4) led me to believe that it was a rib subluxation/dislocation (perhaps caused by poor breathing patterns during my pressing). As mentioned previously, soft tissue and mobility work helps alleviate the symptoms but hasn’t stopped them from returning. Does anyone have any insight as to whether this is subluxation (or something else), and whether this requires professional treatment? Thanks.

Sounds like slipping rib syndrome, yeah.

The ribs attach in the front to your sternum, and in the back to your thoracic spine. It looks like yours are unstable on both sides (muscle spasms in your pecs and your thoracic complex, even down your tris). The muscle spasms are your body’s way of trying to protect the area and let it heal. Rather than trying to work them out so you can get back to training asap, rest it and let it heal for a while. If you don’t, it’s very easy to end up with chronic thoracic and chest pain.

Really try to minimize the number of times you make it pop.

If nothing else works, look into prolotherapy or PRP injections to stimulate healing and strengthening of those connective tissues that keep the ribs in place.