February 28, 2011

it's like my body's just mocking me at this point

in class last wednesday, i pulled my right trapezius. it was surprisingly painful, considering i hadn't done anything specific that i knew of - like, i didn't catch myself from a fall and jerk the muscle that way, etc. but partway through class, my trap was really starting to hurt, and by the end of class it was majorly sore and knotted. ah well. these things happen.

by the weekend, the knot was starting to dissipate (thanks to some excellent massage work by chris!) but the shoulder area was not actually getting any better. by sunday, the knot was completely gone and the muscle had stopped spasming... and the pain had migrated to the front of my shoulder, basically right on my collarbone. except the pain was.. weird. not sharp, not really affected by rotating my shoulder; just sort of a weird pressure where it felt like something was not sitting right in there. i knew it wasn't a joint issue, given my ability to rotate my shoulder without pain, and i knew it wasn't a muscle issue, since my trap was fine now.

does this remind anyone else of that time i pulled a muscle in my torso, except it was actually a rib stuck out of alignment?

me too! i was HOPING that was the case, actually, since that turned out to be a pretty easy fix.

except... i happened to already be seeing a physical therapist back then, which i no longer am. i would need to go to my normal doctor, get a prescription for physical therapy, and then get an appointment with my therapist before i could see her. and that's assuming that my normal doc chose to believe i actually had a subluxated rib, when more likely i'd be sent in for x-rays to check on the clavicle, and then probably referred to an orthopedist, THEN finally given a script for physical therapy. and i hurt NOW, darn it.

know what you don't need a prescription for? an appointment with a chiropractor.

so i got a referral from a coworker, called up a guy close to work, and got an appointment for the same day. i figured that if it WASN'T a subluxated rib like i hoped, i'd still get an adjustment out of it, so.. no harm, right?

at the chiropractor, i explained the progression of my symptoms, the fact that i'd had a subluxated rib last summer, and now the pain under my clavicle.

"yup, that sounds like the first rib, all right!" said the chiro. "let me feel your spine and shoulders and ....oh. hmmmm."

doctors keep making that noise when i see them. it is never good.

turns out? the first ribs on BOTH SIDES OF MY RIBCAGE were subluxated. both! sides! both of them! so off we went for me to lie face down on a table for my very first chiropractic adjustment.

a little pressure on my back... turn my chin this way... and CRACK! except it was really more of a whole freaking EXPLOSION, so loud and violent that i actually YELPED OUT LOUD in surprise.

because it ALSO turns out that my ribs have been out of alignment for AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. apparently the more explosive the crack, the older the injury - i'm guessing because it's more settled in place? i don't know. but the chiropractor was all "oh yeah, you don't get a crunch that loud with a recent injury. those have been out of place for YEARS."

so to sum up, BOTH OF THE RIBS under my collarbone, on both sides, have been stuck out of alignment for between 5 to 10 years. and whatever i did in class on wednesday just aggravated the one side enough for it to finally cause me enough pain to seek treatment.

i am very, very poorly put together.

(my mom begs to differ on this front, by the way; she maintains that i was put together just *fine* and that my injuries are due to user error.)


  1. Oh my goodness, HOW ARE YOU ALWAYS SO BROKEN? Glad the chiro was able to straighten you out. Um, literally. Hope you stay well. <3

  2. Okay, that last line? Totally LOL. But yikes, I thought I "broke" easily. :(

  3. I love your mom's reaction!!

    Sorry about your bones.

  4. I love your mom's response! (Maybe because I am a mom and feeling guilty about the way one of my kids is "put together" right now... Thanks, Alice's Mom, for the humor today!)

    Would you believe I have a knitting injury? Apparently I don't need to hit the pole to get hurt. Needles will do.

  5. Chiros are awesome (I couldn't live without mine!) and first ribs huuuuuuuuurt when they are out of alignment. I have a problem with my left one from carrying babies.

  6. Oh boy!

    I am impressed with your ability to function being so impaired!

  7. Oh my God. I can only imagine that noise when everything popped back into its rightful place. Yikes. Do you feel like a new woman now?

  8. trapezius...subluxated...

    Too many big words in this post!

  9. I love ya and all Alice but you are more fragile than Vince Carter.

  10. DUDE! I am dying to go a to chiropractor but am terrified at the same time. I know you are supposed to feel amazing afterwards but it's those loud noises and the discomfort while it's actually happening that scare the bejesus out of me.

    Glad you are better! How in the hell does someone get the ribs all in weird places like that? Ouch!

  11. (Wo)Man...I tore a trap way back in the day when I was playing rugby in the Marines (got my arm all twisted up behind me in a ruck). I hate to say this, but it took forever to heal right. I love your mom's comments on "user error" - I think that applies to all of my nagging little aches and pains.

    OK, don't normally do this, but my verification word is "balus" - hehe. You have such a naughty blog.

  12. Nik-Nak-ask if the chiropractor uses the activator method in his/her practice. Not all chiros are bone crackers and there is nothing to be afraid of. A friend of my parents is a chiro and I have gone to one for most of my 40 years on this earth. :)

  13. You know, I'm glad it worked for you.

    I've been to a chiropractor, and even worked with one for a couple years doing research work, and I think their practice can feel like a bunch of baloney.

    But that's my personal opinion. To each her own.