Riding/training with a bruised or cracked rib
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  1. #1
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    Riding/training with a bruised or cracked rib

    I recently met an unforgiving curb crashed and burned; continued for another 38 miles and now two days later have lingering deep discomfort in part of my back rib cage, in addition to the healing scrapes and scratches..... the rib discomfort has subsided slightly though I have done nothing to really test it for a day and a half. I am a month away from a planned century which I have been training for for many weeks and really really really want to do it. I've been thinking about getting some kind of rib wrap and continuing to cycle through the the middle of next month..... If you had a rib inlury before how did you manage it and continue to bike? If you are a medical type what is your advice on how best to proceed? I can still do my stretches, slower than usual, and otherwise feel great.

    Any advice appreciated!

    Ride for the long haul,

  2. #2
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    They must not have doctors where you live.

  3. #3
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    P.S. My previous post was a little cheeky but still holds. See a doctor.

    I've bruised ribs before, the pain is very persistent. You should make a point of taking several deep breaths throughout the day in spite of the pain, to avoid pneumonia. But beyond that, the doctor gave me the green light, using pain as my guide. The pain goes away day by day, very gradually, kind of unique in that respect.

    Coughing and sneezing . . . ouch.

  4. #4
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    I rode through it years ago. It didn't hurt me to ride. It hurt to get on and off the bike. Sneezing and coughing were painful but riding hard didn't but my situation and yours may be very different. I wouldn't ride if it hurts.
    "The problem with losing your mind is that by the time you realize it's gone, it's too late to get it back."
    Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  5. #5
    In dog years, I'm dead.
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    The same thing happened to me last year, except I fell on a log during a mountain bike ride instead of a curb. The doc said they don't wrap ribs anymore - just take it easy. Wrapping doesn't help anything.

    Then he said "Well, lets get it X-rayed." I said if the treatment wasn't any different, what's the point of an X-ray? He agreed. So I've done my bit to reduce healthcare cost, but gave up the bragging rights to a cracked rib. It took almost 2 months to regain my full activity level, so I think it really was cracked.

    Oh, & the doc said the only thing to keep me from riding was the fear of re injury & the potential for a punctured lung. That was enough to keep my activity restricted to the pool for about 6 weeks.

  6. #6
    Rocket Scientist
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    I'm getting over two cracked ribs and broken collarbone at the moment. It happened 3 weeks ago and I had to race 5 days after the accident in the state championships to qualify for elite national championships and if it weren't a must, I would have gladly not gotten on my bike at all during that time. Even though I taped up the ribs, it was pretty painful to race and I ended up displacing one of the ribs and adding to the fracture in the collarbone (but I won my events so no complaints). I had to take some time where it was only short, light rides with no heavy breathing. However, now, two weeks after, I am starting to ride again and the discomfort is somewhat more manageable. X rays shows that the bones are probably together enough that unless I fall off, things will probably not get worse. I did put in some hard (99%) efforts a couple of days ago and it really, really hurt but by the next day, it didn't seem like anything was out of the ordinary from the usual discomfort. Ultimately, I am adding in about 65% of my previous training for the week to see how it goes but I won't race again for a little bit longer due to the unpredictability of going down. I can tell you that I can ride up to about 95% or a little more with nothing too unusual as far as pain goes. It always hurts but I'm used to it at this point. It's only when I really get going hard and have to take super deep breaths at short intervals does it approach being a problem.

    If there is one thing that I can suggest is to not take ibuprofen. I was taking 2400mg a day for the pain (as suggested by my regular doc) and only when I saw the orthopedist did he say to switch to Tylenol because a certain amount of inflammation is necessary for the bones to heal. the ibuprofen slows down the healing process. Look it up if you want but that's what the ortho told me.

    I"ve also put Kinesio tape on it and that has been pretty helpful.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa23
    I'm getting over two cracked ribs and broken collarbone at the moment.
    How did you break those bones? (Just curious.)

  8. #8
    Rocket Scientist
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    How did you break those bones? (Just curious.)

    Crash in a race. Landed on my shoulder/collarbone and then someone ran into me from behind and that's how I broke the ribs (one in the front and one on the side).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa23
    Crash in a race. Landed on my shoulder/collarbone and then someone ran into me from behind and that's how I broke the ribs (one in the front and one on the side).
    Crit?

  10. #10
    Rocket Scientist
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    Crit?
    Actually it was on the track. Fluke accident.

  11. #11
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    If you could ride another 38 miles, you're fine.
    I cracked (broke?) some ribs a few years ago when I landed on a guys pedals and bars. (big pack crash). I was able to ride again in three days. (slowly at first). After 10 days, I was able to ride at a training pace, and after two weeks I was able to ride without a great deal of pain. It took three weeks before I was able to do a full out of the saddle sprint.

    PS I busted the guys Top and down tube on his Waterford.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

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  12. #12
    I ride in circles..
    Reputation: ZoSoSwiM's Avatar
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    I bruised my ribs 2 years ago really badly mountain biking.. I finished the ride to the truck but it hurt. Later that day I could barely inhale a breath... Hurt so bad.. I didn't have health insurance.. No doctor. Went to my school athletic trainer and told her what happened. She told me there was nothing she could do. Told me to take it easy and I should see a doctor if the pain didn't start going away.

    I was scared to laugh... Horrified to sneeze.. and yawning made me want to cry.

    8 weeks later I noticed it didn't hurt when I took a breath.. The first 2 weeks were the worst. The next 2 were a little better.. but man did it all suck.
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

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