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Thread: Back/Rib Injury

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Round Rock, TX
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    Default Back/Rib Injury

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    For a long time I've been able to manage muscle tweaks and inflammation just from what I've learned here. However, this recent problem is giving me some trouble getting past it.

    About a month ago I was learning Jiu-Jitsu, and while I was bridging I felt a pop along my back at the lower left side of my ribs. It was immediately followed by a lot inflammation and pain and I initially thought I had tweaked a muscle. So, I kept moving as the pain allowed but certain movements were extremely painful. In the following weeks I continued lifting in the gym as the pain allowed. Squats, presses, and bench press were all tolerable, but deadlifts were a problem at any weight. Near the end of the first week of recovery, I could feel a strange clicking sensation in the affected area when I would breath deeply or apply external pressure, and after some research here I realized that I probably cracked a rib. I kept lifting as the pain allowed but laid off of deadlifts per Rip's instructions on a previous post regarding costal injuries. I eased back into deadlifts as the pain subsided.

    Since Monday, the pain has gone away and I believe the area has fully healed. However, I now have a second injury on the opposite side (my right side) and I'm not sure exactly what this is or if it's somehow related. On Monday I lifted heavy with no issues. Later in the day though, my toddler talked me into doing a somersault and when I did, I started to feel slight pain on my right side. I noticed the pain in that area was getting better, but was still slightly present until Wednesday when I was back in the gym. Just as I was warming up squats (empty bar) the area started getting inflamed. I stopped and waited as the inflammation continued and I moved onto bench. After bench, the pain had subsided enough to return to squats and I slowly worked my way up and performed a light day (80% of 5RM) with no problems. However, later in the day the inflammation started getting pretty bad and, over the course of the rest of the day I ended up taking 880mg of Aleve along with icing the area which all seemed to help.

    Today (Friday) I'm back in the gym and trying to be extremely careful as the pain was still slightly present, but it wasn't severe at all; just enough to let me know I wasn't completely over it. I warmed up with some machine rows for a few minutes, then I planned to slowly get under the bar and do a few sets of empty bar squats. After my first empty bar set, I reached by to touch the area and gently pressed with my thumb when I felt the sensation of something slipping (almost popping) under my thumb and I immediately knew I had fucked up. It was like a tightly stretched muscle had popped loose from over the rib. That's the best way I can describe it. The inflammation starting setting in pretty bad; enough so that it hurt to untie my shoes or just walk normally. I ended up just calling it a day. On my way out I reluctantly spoke to one of the "trainers" at my gym and they said they believe it's a displaced rib and I need to take time off and do "core work". But "core work" lets me know it's likely a load of bullshit.

    I just don't know what the issue is and whether or not I should take any time off. My past experience has been to keep lifting as the pain allows and manage it accordingly, but I've never had warm-ups and the empty bar cause problems like this. I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this, and especially any advice you may have to offer here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    1,782

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Snider View Post
    For a long time I've been able to manage muscle tweaks and inflammation just from what I've learned here. However, this recent problem is giving me some trouble getting past it.

    About a month ago I was learning Jiu-Jitsu, and while I was bridging I felt a pop along my back at the lower left side of my ribs. It was immediately followed by a lot inflammation and pain and I initially thought I had tweaked a muscle. So, I kept moving as the pain allowed but certain movements were extremely painful. In the following weeks I continued lifting in the gym as the pain allowed. Squats, presses, and bench press were all tolerable, but deadlifts were a problem at any weight. Near the end of the first week of recovery, I could feel a strange clicking sensation in the affected area when I would breath deeply or apply external pressure, and after some research here I realized that I probably cracked a rib. I kept lifting as the pain allowed but laid off of deadlifts per Rip's instructions on a previous post regarding costal injuries. I eased back into deadlifts as the pain subsided.

    Since Monday, the pain has gone away and I believe the area has fully healed. However, I now have a second injury on the opposite side (my right side) and I'm not sure exactly what this is or if it's somehow related. On Monday I lifted heavy with no issues. Later in the day though, my toddler talked me into doing a somersault and when I did, I started to feel slight pain on my right side. I noticed the pain in that area was getting better, but was still slightly present until Wednesday when I was back in the gym. Just as I was warming up squats (empty bar) the area started getting inflamed. I stopped and waited as the inflammation continued and I moved onto bench. After bench, the pain had subsided enough to return to squats and I slowly worked my way up and performed a light day (80% of 5RM) with no problems. However, later in the day the inflammation started getting pretty bad and, over the course of the rest of the day I ended up taking 880mg of Aleve along with icing the area which all seemed to help.

    Today (Friday) I'm back in the gym and trying to be extremely careful as the pain was still slightly present, but it wasn't severe at all; just enough to let me know I wasn't completely over it. I warmed up with some machine rows for a few minutes, then I planned to slowly get under the bar and do a few sets of empty bar squats. After my first empty bar set, I reached by to touch the area and gently pressed with my thumb when I felt the sensation of something slipping (almost popping) under my thumb and I immediately knew I had fucked up. It was like a tightly stretched muscle had popped loose from over the rib. That's the best way I can describe it. The inflammation starting setting in pretty bad; enough so that it hurt to untie my shoes or just walk normally. I ended up just calling it a day. On my way out I reluctantly spoke to one of the "trainers" at my gym and they said they believe it's a displaced rib and I need to take time off and do "core work". But "core work" lets me know it's likely a load of bullshit.

    I just don't know what the issue is and whether or not I should take any time off. My past experience has been to keep lifting as the pain allows and manage it accordingly, but I've never had warm-ups and the empty bar cause problems like this. I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this, and especially any advice you may have to offer here.
    What would you expect to be painful if you did displace a rib? I'd be willing to bet the personal trainer doesn't have the foggiest idea either. I have found virtually nothing in the clinic that has not responded well to continued training, as heavy as the pain will permit, with reduced in-set volume and building back your tolerance to in-set volume as opposed to starting with light weight and working your way back up like that.

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