Why Does My Low Back Arch In A Swayback and My Ribs Pop Out?




Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Stephen Dunn from CORE Therapy and Pilates in Austin, Texas and today I wanted to just go over a quick question that I get in the clinic frequently. When we get into movement and exercise with our clients and we start to work on their postural muscles, their core muscles and what not, one of the common things that we find is that people’s ribs will flare out and they’ll pop out like this…

We noticed that when they are standing and we go through the postural assessment, I bring it up and we talk about it with clients. When people lay on the table it’s very noticeable and easy to see. What we really see is when people start exercising and moving is that they (the ribs) really pop up and folks have a real hard time of connecting to the ribs and bringing the ribs down.

So I want to go over just a little bit of a explanation of that, Why are the ribs popping?” So what I’m gonna do is bring my man Fred here into the mix, my skeleton. So what happens is there’s the muscle that’s underneath the ribs, it’s called the diaphragm. It goes into a position like this, where it’s kind of shaped like a tent and it’s going like this, or a dome right across there… Now what happens… is when the diaphragm gets imbalanced it gets tight, people start breathing improperly and they start using the accessory muscles up here and actually not the diaphragm for proper breathing. As that starts happening, it starts lifting everything up here and bringing those ribs up…

What we also see through this process is the low back, the lumbar spine sways a lot. As the lumbar spine, right through here, sways that’s a part of those ribs popping out as well. Then what’s going to be a contributor with that happening is the psoas is going to be tight, the hip flexors. That’s going to be the muscle sitting right here represented by this green band. Can y’all see that? Yeah and so that green band is the psoas and when it gets tight and pulls you forward you end up in this scenario… where the lordosis or the lumbar curve is excessive or arched so with that we end up with a swayback, we end up with the ribs popping…

That’s a common posture that we see our clients present with. So with that said, we have a program that’s designed to release the hip flexor, to release the diaphragm and then actually strengthen the core around it to actually create an awareness from your brain to those muscles to be able to use them properly. So the back is not so swayed and the ribs aren’t popping.

So that’s the answer to why are my ribs popping? It’s an imbalance of the hip flexors and the diaphragm and it leads to or it causes many breathing problems. It causes this to happen which is what we see all the time, so I hope that helps… I hope that makes sense, y’all take care, have a fantastic day and a fantastic week and we’ll see y’all on the flip-side… take care…

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Stephen Dunn

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