Rowing with Bruised Rib

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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stephparm
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Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by stephparm » September 11th, 2020, 7:44 pm

NY rower in search of expert advice.

I wish I was making this up, but one week ago someone hugged me and squeezed so hard that I felt a 'pop' in one of my ribs. It's toward the top beneath my right armpit. Must have got me at just the right (wrong) angle.

I was thinking a few days off the rower would be sufficient, but here I am one week later with some lingering soreness. It has definitely improved but I can still feel a twinge of pain when I press it or lie down on my right side.

As the doctor would say: "If it hurts, don't do it." But I have also read that rib fractures are not altogether unheard of in rowing and it is possible to return to training before it's made a complete recovery. I'm quite certain my rib isn't fractured, so what I'm wondering is this: would it be an incomprehensible idea to carry on and let the bruise heal itself as I continue to row? Does anyone have any advice or tips on a reentry plan? My last row was on 09/04 and I did 11K at 2:05.5. Any ideas on what pace to shoot for would be much appreciated. I'm antsy but I don't want to push it too far. If it's a terrible thought, I'll wait it out.
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New York State, USA
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mict450
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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by mict450 » September 11th, 2020, 11:47 pm

Never had the misforune of dealing with ribcage injury, so the following is generic. Whatever you do, be conservative. At least a chest x-ray, AP & lat. May need bone scan, MRI to definitely rule out fracture.

Rest is your friend. But if you decide to resume training, drag factor at lowest level (damper at "1"). Cut way back on duration & intensity & build back up slowly. Splits mebbe start at 3:00. This may be too conservative, but you'll be able to figure it out depending on how you feel. Monitor & speed up gradually if no undue pain/discomfort.

Post workout, ice & anti-inflammatory meds.

Stay away from friend with the over-enthusiastic bear hug. Best wishes on your recovery.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

mitchel674
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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by mitchel674 » September 12th, 2020, 9:26 am

Steph, I hate to say it, but rib injuries can often take 4-6 weeks to heal. The constant motion of your ribcage really delays healing. It's much different than other bony injuries where you can immobilize the injured area.

If rowing hurts, you shouldn't do it. Perhaps try significantly lowering your DF and see if you can row without pain. If it still hurts, I would switch to an exercise bike for training for 2 weeks and then try the rower again.
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lindsayh
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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by lindsayh » September 13th, 2020, 12:49 am

stephparm wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 7:44 pm
NY rower in search of expert advice.
I wish I was making this up, but one week ago someone hugged me and squeezed so hard that I felt a 'pop' in one of my ribs. It's toward the top beneath my right armpit. Must have got me at just the right (wrong) angle.
Have to say that you won't get "expert" advice in a Forum thread just anecdotes/opinions and the like.
You need proper medical examination and imaging (MD and physio) to get this right.
Lindsay
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PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

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stephparm
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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by stephparm » September 13th, 2020, 11:58 am

Thanks friends. I have a penchant for underestimating healing and recovery time. Hard to achieve that balance between pessimistic and pie-in-the-sky outlooks. I think everyone has brought up on-point suggestions: give it plenty of time, find alternate exercises (thank goodness the gyms have reopened), and go easy, if at all. A medical professional would (and has) given me the canned response: it's likely not broken, no sense in getting too worked up over it, take Motrin, and let it heal. They tell you what they "should" say, and for good reason. But I do like to consult with the experts (yes, you are all experts to me) because athletes have been in these situations before and I like to listen and learn from their experiences.
Did you know that if you hold a crab up to your ear, you can hear what it's like to be attacked by a crab up close?

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Franklin
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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by Franklin » October 20th, 2020, 11:18 am

I'm sorry about your injury, but believe me, there is no shortcut, you have to wait for the injury to pass, which will take 4 to 8 weeks, which is the time it takes the bone to consolidate. After that period, you can think about returning carefully to c2. I say this with my own experience as I recently hurt my rib rowing, and I know how difficult it is to have to stop, mainly it is evolving. One suggestion is that while waiting for the return to the C2 you do indoor cycling. Good luck in recovery.

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Re: Rowing with Bruised Rib

Post by Tony Cook » October 20th, 2020, 12:21 pm

You have had the sensible replies but if it was me, with experience of several rib injuries from collision sport, I would would row at easy pace within my threshold of pain.
I would also say it’s not broken. A broken rib only stops hurting when you stop moving and breathing, or dose up on high strength pain relief, and even then you know it’s there. If you can row it’s either light bruising or more likely slight inter-rib cartilage damage.
Only time will heal it and rowing won’t make it worse. Stretch the area as you heal to stop shortening in the area.
It could take 4 weeks it may take 12.
DISCLAIMER - I am not a doctor and have no medical qualifications. Listen to me at your own risk.
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PBs only from 2020 - 100m 15.7s - 1min 355m - 500m 1:30.0 - 2k 6:47.6 - 5k 17:59.4 - 6k 22:06.7 - 30min @ 20SPM 8,132m - 10k 39:47.3 - 1 hour 15,691m - HM 1:24:37.0

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