The Right BC Pattern
The Right BC pattern is a position of torso counter-rotation to the left in response to the Left AIC patterned pelvis found below it.
When your pelvis orients to the right, your torso, from about T8 up, rotates back to the left in order to keep your line of sight straight ahead. Prolonged left counter-rotation leads to tightness of the brachial chain of muscles and this tightness establishes the right BC pattern.
So we have a Left AIC pattern which orients our pelvis, sacrum and lower spine to the right, and a compensatory Right BC pattern that forms as we counter-rotate back to the left so that we can keep straight.
Keep in mind that another pattern, this one consisting of neck hyperactivity on the right side called the Right TMCC, can also develop above the right BC pattern.
Many years ago: my right shoulder compression due to right BC pattern
Online Client: typical right BC presentation of left shoulder higher
For PRI People: The Gritty Details
The Right BC pattern is all about the position of our ribs: it positions the left and right side of our ribcage differently. What we need to focus on is the anterior aspects of the ribcage. The posterior aspect of the ribcage is important to understand when you are correcting the Right BC pattern, but to understand the pattern, just focus on the anterior ribs.
The anterior right side of our ribcage is positioned in internal rotation. Internal rotation means they are down! (Down, back, and in, to be tri-planarly correct)
The anterior left side of our ribcage is positioned in external rotation. External rotation means they are up! (Up, forward, and out)
To have any chance of understanding the Right BC pattern and the importance of the left ZOA, you have to memorize what I put in bold.
Our right ribs are internally rotated and down.
The left ribs are externally rotated and up.
The ribs get stuck in this position due to our body attempting to remain straight by rotating to the left on a spine that is still oriented to the right, and thus the right BC pattern is established.
The Brachial Chain Muscles
For the most part, it isn’t that important to know all the individual muscles of the brachial chain, you just have to know its influence.
The muscles are located on the front of the neck and chest and they serve to limit torso rotation to the same side. So the right brachial chain limits torso rotation to the right and the left brachial chain limits rotation to the left.
In the Left AIC Right BC pattern, we are very good at standing on our right leg and rotating our torso to the left (that is what the pattern is), but we are not good at standing on the left leg and rotating our torso to the right.
The brachial chain consists of anterior and lateral intercostals, deltoids, pectorals, Sibson’s fascia, triangularis sterni, sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, and the diaphragm.
Breathing's Influence on Rib Position
PRI often talks about the physiologic states of inhalation and exhalation.
What this means is that when we inhale and exhale, our ribcage should be in a particular position.
When we inhale, our ribs should externally rotate and move up. This upward movement of the ribs should occur as the ribs externally rotate during ribcage expansion. This is not the same as the ribs moving straight up towards your head. A ribcage that moves straight up, rather than expand, is one that is being drawn up as a compensatory breathing pattern. Your body is attempting to “pull” your ribcage up to facilitate air flow into your chest. It uses your anterior neck muscles and upper traps to do so.
Upward rotation should occur due to ribcage expansion.
When we exhale, our ribs should internally rotate and move down.
An overactive Right BC chain of muscles, due to our torso’s need to counter-rotate back to the left on a right oriented pelvis, messes up this positional relationship.
Our ribs get stuck in one position.
On the left they get stuck in external rotation. They are elevated. They are up. They are stuck in a state of “inhalation”.
On the right they get stuck in internal rotation. They are descended. They are down. They are stuck in a state of “exhalation”.
Here is a visual of what this looks like.
In the picture above, you see ribs on the left in an elevated externally rotated position. They look more prominent than her ribs on the right.
When a torso rotates to the left, the left ribs externally rotate (move up) while the right ribs internally rotate (move down). This is what you see in the picture.
In summation, the Right BC pattern is created by the upper body’s need to stay straight on a pelvis that is oriented to the right. This leftward counter-rotation of the torso results in externally rotated ribs on the left, and internally rotated ribs on the right.
While the left counter-rotation is mostly provided by our back muscles, the right BC plays a critical role in allowing that to happen and also restricts our ability to rotate our torso back to the right.
Both brachial chains also provide an anchor that allows proper movement of the neck and cranium. But it’s the right BC that becomes the big player in limited neck and cranial movements.
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