During the recent seminar I ran, we met Nicole. Nicole has given me permission to write this blog because of the beautiful illustration of how various parts of the body interact and can cause pain.
Nicole has been chasing her pain around for a while. It started with some ankle soreness which became back pain which became right hip pain. Looking down the barrel of an MRI for a labral tear...but no incident or accident. She couldn't squat or move well because of the pain. The standard hip tests seem to indicate pain in the anterior hip like a labral tear.
But what I do is a bit different. I look to see how she squats and what moves well and what doesn't...and I discovered that her ribs aren't working well...don't know why yet, just that they aren't working properly - we were in a seminar remember, not in a consultation 🙂
Anyway, I found where her movement first deviates from normal...and it was in the left side of her ribs...The term "Thoracic Ring" was coined by Linda-Joy Lee (www.ljlee.ca), probably in a similar way to how the pelvis is called the "Pelvic Ring" - if you think of the 2 ribs and 2 spinal bones and the breastbone or cartilage the ribs join onto, they form a ring...what you do to one side affects the other side. But most people know what ribs are so I still persist with that when speaking with the general public 😉
So back to Nicole...
When she squats, you will see that the first 2 squats show her shifting off her sore right side. When she "corrects" the rib on the left, she squats better and accepts weight onto the right side. There is a bit of a pause in the video because I am asking her to squat "evenly" - the fact that she can't tells me that there is a bit more work to do to unravel why she is doing this.
What you don't see in the video is that by **THINKING** about supporting that rib, she can take that pain in the right hip away. When she lay down to do some "quadrant testing", her pain was there without the "correction" and when she or I "corrected" the rib, the pain went away. So to my way of thinking, is it really a torn cartilage? I didn't even touch the hip itself!
There aren't that many people who can assess this way...I was luck to be among the first in Australia back in around 2006/7...there are a few more now since then...but, as always, the proof is in the results...
I also like to show videos like this because quite simply, I expect results like this every day I am with my clients. I love the challenge and the pressure to "get it right".
So the take-home message is this: Just because something hurts, it doesn't have to be the REASON why it hurts. Nicole's hip hurts but there isn't something "wrong" with the hip...it seems like there is something wrong with the coordination in her ribs!
If you have an interesting story to tell, please let me know below.