Here I sit, with an ice pack on my back, hopped up on muscle relaxers, and chewing Aleve like it's my favorite candy. Whatever did I do, you ask... well, your guess is as good as mine, but my massage therapist and chiropractor both think I have a dislocated rib.
This is my first experience with a dislocated rib, and if you've never had one, consider yourself lucky and pray that it doesn't happen to you! I can't even take a breath without feeling a sharp, stabbing pain in my mid-back. I can't put on socks, tie my shoes, or go about my daily routine without periods of excruciating pain.
I have been sore since Saturday after my horse took me for that crazy ride. All the cantering made my back and shoulders very sore. Then I showed all day Sunday, and I know for certain I was holding tension in my shoulders and back because that's just what I do on show days. I remember forcing myself to take some deep breaths and relax, but who knows how long that worked. I didn't ride Monday, but I did ride on Tuesday... at that point, I was feeling okay. Sore, but okay.
Tuesday night at work I was adjusting my chair and remember feeling some pain in my mid-back, on the left side. I felt it right around my shoulder blade, which is near-ish to rib number seven. When I got home, I took a muscle relaxer I had leftover from my previous muscle related incident.
I slept like a baby!!
When I got up and started getting ready for the barn is when the pain really started to take hold. I really wanted to ride, though, so I got in the truck and started driving to the barn. OMG was I in pain... leaning up against the seat and having to turn the steering wheel caused my back muscles to spasm like nobody's business. I could feel the spasms coming on and they started out dull and achy, and then for about 5 seconds the pain was unbearable, and then I felt them loosen up and the dull, achy pain came back.
Pain or no pain, I finished my drive to the barn, still planning to ride. (I really wanted to ride!!) It was when I couldn't open the gate to Lilly's pasture without a spasm that I decided riding might not be a good idea. So I gave her some hay, got back in my truck and screamed in pain the whole way home. I'm surprised I didn't punch a hole in my console, because it was taking a beating!
I described my symptoms to my fiance and he told me I needed to go to the doctor. I hate the doctor, because they never know what's wrong. They just prescribe meds I have to wait around for, and tell me to come back later if I'm not better. So since I still had pills from the last time, I took another muscle relaxer. After about an hour, I could feel it kicking in, so I went to work.
I could tell the pill was wearing off around 9pm that night, so when I got home, I took another pill. I slept like a baby AGAIN!
This morning the pain was still intense, but the spasms didn't last as long. The pain was more like knives being plunged into my shoulder, which was painful, but I was thankful they weren't lasting as long as they were yesterday.
It just so happens that I had an appointment with my massage therapist today. I told her what was going on with my shoulder and she noticed that my left shoulder was about an inch higher than my right shoulder. That usually means the muscles on the higher side are contracted, causing the shoulder to sit higher. After doing an examination of my back, she said, "I bet it hurts right here." After catching my breath, I told her that's exactly where it hurts. She said she couldn't actually diagnose me, but she was pretty sure I had a dislocated rib. After the hour long massage, I felt like a million bucks, but I called my chiropractor to see about getting an appointment.
Luckily, I have an amazing chiropractor and he was able to see me today before work. By then the heavenly feeling I had from the massage therapist had worn off. I was back to having spasms and shooting pain. He loosened up my muscles with his funny looking vibrating machine and then told me to take a deep breath... I popped like crazy and held in the tears as much as I could. He did some more twisting and manipulating and I heard three different pops, which he said were the ribheads that were out of alignment. Sometimes they can lay against nerve pathways, which will cause more pain and spasms. Then he had me lay on my side and once he twisted me in the middle, I couldn't help it, and the tears came. Pain like I've never felt... When he was done with me, the assistant came in to do some ultrasound therapy and rub on some Biofreeze.
I don't feel even the least bit better, but the cold pack should help. He said it'll take some time for the inflammation to go down and for the muscles to relax. If I'm not feeling any better tomorrow, I should call him again.
I sure hope I'm better tomorrow... otherwise I guess I'll have to skip Saturday's show, which is really going to suck.
So I don't know how or why this happened... my massage therapist thinks it's stress related. She said because of all the riding, and with the show this past weekend, it's possible that I've just been holding a lot of stress in that area of my body. Finally my muscles just got so tight that they pulled my rib out of place. Once the rib was out of place, the muscles started to spasm, which is what I've been feeling.
I know horses will sometimes have ribs out of place... I hope this isn't what it feels like to them!!