Yoga pose for a rib that keeps popping out of place

Yoga pose for a rib that keeps popping out of place


I had a question from one of my students that stumped me? She continuously has a rib that pops out of place. The chiropractor is able to put it back in place. She is wondering if there is anything I could recommend that would allow her to strengthen this area to prevent this from happening?

Answer from Justine

I have had a rib pop out of place before – no fun!!

First of all, I would suggest she be very cautious with twists (especially leveraged twists…supine twists can be risky due to the leverage of gravity) as that can be a culprit in the rib popping out. As far as strengthening, I would suggest rolling bridge, moving both ways on exhale, coming down on two full exhales – so she can really slow the movement down. The other thing that would be great is prone back bends such as cobra – doing this repetitively, rising on inhale and coming down on exhale for 3-6 repetitions, then holding the pose for 6-8 breaths. This will help strengthen the spinal erectors and hopefully get that rib more securely in place. (side note – deeper back bends might irritate it)

You might ask her to do a little self study – does she happen to notice what poses cause the rib to pop out of place? Does she take a day or two off practice after the chiropractor puts it in place? Does she happen to know which rib it is, and which side of her body?

After it has popped out like that, it becomes more susceptible to doing it more easily. The chiropractor adjustment can be painful (I STILL remember that, 10 years later!) Once, I just happened to mention it to my acupuncturist and she did ‘cupping’ on it – one treatment it was back in place and it wasn’t painful. That might be something for her to try. (My recollection is that mine didn’t go out again after that….but my memory might be hazy!!)

There might also be fascia adhesions causing this to happen repetitively…..perhaps a therapeutic massage, MELT class, Feldenkrais or Somatics would help.