Bruised ribs - recovery tips and time?

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Bruised ribs - recovery tips and time?
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Posted: Apr 29, 2021 at 8:37 Quote
Beginner-Intermediate rider in my 40's here (mostly ride blues).

Come from a road cycling background but absolutely loving this sport.
Well, I had my first bad crash about a week ago. Going over some uneven rooty/rocky terrain while standing, my wheel jammed hard right, and I basically slammed into my turned bars predominantly with the right side of my chest. Then fell and slammed my head on the ground. Thankfully was wearing full face protection but man, my chest is killing me, even a week later.

X-rays showed no broken ribs or collar bone, so there's likely just internal bruising/inflammation and muscle strain, but just curious if anyone has had a similar injury, and if so, how long took for you to feel reasonably better where you could ride intermediate trails comfortably. Feels like someone stabbing me in the side when I sneeze or cough hard. Otherwise, I'm dealing with just mild discomfort.

I can now ride on smooth ground, but drops/jumps (albeit small ones) are still pretty painful. Doc said there's not really much to do besides rest and advil. Hoping someone here might have other ideas (ie breathing exercises, stretches, or is that doing more harm than good?) I'm basically frustrated and impatient! Big Grin

Posted: Apr 30, 2021 at 8:23 Quote
It sounds like you got a pretty standard mountainbike injury there - welcome to the club!. I've been in some ugly wrecks in which I didn't break a major bone and kept me off the bike for a few weeks, but we are all different.
Not sure how much damage you actually suffered, and i am no doctor, but soft tissues can take a helluva long time to feel right again - especially as we age. In some cases you may never be absolutely pain free. So it's really impossible for anybody to tell you how long it'll take for you to get back on your trail of choice.
So my advice is to listen to your body first.
Doing something - even walking or going for a hike or taking the stairs instead of the elevator - is usually better therapy than just sitting on the couch, but listen to your body and stay positive (that can be tough if all you want to do is ride, but you can't - I know).
When you feel like getting on the bike then do it in increments until you feel confident again.
Good luck and get better soon.
* edited to correct for the time I did break a major bone in a bike wreck.

Posted: May 4, 2021 at 8:43 Quote
I currently know your pain. Injured myself at the local bike park and only after taking 30 minutes to lie in my bed and another 30 to get out, extreme pain when coughing, etc I realized it was a bruised rib. Back, top left rib to be precise (yes, that's the technical term). It's been around 2 weeks and I now I can finally get back on a bike and do light jumps. Nearly full range of motion, minor static discomfort. It gets better with time and a lot of massages! Save yourself some money and find a great girl to do them for free Big Grin . Keep moving, keep stretching, eat well, sleep well. You'll be fine in no time!

P.S. I might also add it's important to take deep breaths (even though it may hurt). Though controversial, pneumonia may set in. Deep breaths are good overall, can't hurt to stay safe. I mean it can, but you get it lol

Posted: May 8, 2021 at 8:17 Quote
Thanks for the advice and opinions.
The progress and return to a life without searing pain when I cough or sneeze is slow but notable.

I'm thinking this is going to be a 6-8week healing process - advil helps, icing helps, massaging unfortunately makes the pain worse, not better, lol.

Been riding greens and blues with minor discomfort but keeping away from jumps, skinnies, rocky terrain, just to be extra cautious while still getting some exercise.

Fingers crossed the progress continues!

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