Belt/Slipping Rib (possible) issue Belt/Slipping Rib (possible) issue

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Thread: Belt/Slipping Rib (possible) issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Belt/Slipping Rib (possible) issue

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    I am trying to determine a course of action regarding a recent issue that has developed recently. About 2 week ago, while squatting (about halway on the way UP) I felt a pop in my lower ribs. The subsequent pain was moderate, but not enough to make me stop my sets. An identical pop was felt on each subsequent rep. At first, I feared a hernia. Upon inspection, there was no protrusions anywhere on my abdomen, and the pain felt afterwards was mild and dull. I continued on and felt no popping during my deadlifts.

    This popping has continued, and I have narrowed it down to what I believe is slipping rib syndrome. The popping is on the anterior of the ribs, at where I can guess is either the topmost false rib, or bottommost true rib. It is occurring within costal cartilidge right at the costal margin. If you're feeling your ribs, its right where the ribs that are below your sternum form a "point" and appear get shorter in length.

    Although I've read there really isn't anything inherently dangerous about the condition, it is very disconcerting during heavy sets. The popping feels like its so loud its audible, and the pain is also distracting from the set. In trying to alleviate the issue, I've tried all manner of form changes (changing my stance, wearing my belt lower/higher). The odd thing is NOT wearing a belt, seems to stop this from happening completely. No popping, no pain.

    Whether this is from the belt putting some type of pressure on the ribs, or my being able to create more intrabdominal pressure with a belt is a mystery to me, but it definitely coincided with using the belt regularly again. I did not start using it until the majority of my work sets were in the 275+ mark. Even more odd is that I have lifted with this exact same belt in the past for years and never had this issue (it is a 4 inch wide Bob's custom lifting belt) . I am almost the identical weight I was before (if not a hair lighter), and was lifting heavier in the past.

    What would be the recommended course of action? Should I stop using a belt and lose the strength benefit/safety it brings? I lose bout 10-15% on my squat not using one. Doing so makes most of my RPE 7ish sets feel more like RPE 9.

    I've read wrapping your ribs can help, but am wary to do so without feedback from anyone that has tried this as that would lead to more intraabdominal pressure.

    Doctors visits are not really an option as I am in CA (yes I know), and doctors arent really seeing patients for non-threating injuries. I can really push for one claiming something more major if this is recommended.

    38 yo Male current 1RM's@208 BW:
    Squat - 375 lbs.
    Deadlift - 430 lbs.
    Bench - 225 lbs.
    Press 135 lbs.
    Current Program: Garage Gym Warrior (week 4)

    Form (pain occurs at the 14-15 second mark, and same point in rep on each subsequent):

    Form check side - YouTube

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    I've never heard of this happening. Did you get any more info? Seeing someone about it is tough because they will just tell you not to lift
    Ryan Arnold
    Crossfit Solace

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017



    Sorry for the delayed response. For some reason when I originally posted this it did not show up in my updates.

    I'm now almost at the end of my GGW run. Same exact pain as before, only on the heaviest sets. No permanent issues, but extremely painful when it happens. It's really the oddest thing I've experienced. I checked with a remote health nurse and they recommended I just stop lifting .


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