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Old 04-01-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
Dave de Vos
 
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Injured rib

Last friday I injured my rib (not during aikido training). I don't know if it's broken or bruised but it probably does not really matter much either way.

It was not that bad in the weekend. Only deep breathing and coughing hurt. So last tuesday I went to aikido training. I informed my sensei before training about my injury and he was ok with me training for as long as I felt comfortable. I was taking it easy, but breakfalls started to hurt more and more in the course of the training. After an hour I excused myself.

The days after it hurt more than before, so I started to take some painkillers and I skipped training on thursday. Today I went to see my GP doctor and she prescibed painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol).

I want to resume training as soon as possible, but I've been reading up about rib injuries and in general the message seems to be that it probably takes about two months to heal. I've only skipped one lesson before this and I can't bear the thought of having to skip 16 lessons!

Does it take that long to heal enough for resuming training aikido? Did anyone resume training sooner (with painkillers perhaps?) Did you regret it?
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
mrlizard123
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Last friday I injured my rib (not during aikido training). I don't know if it's broken or bruised but it probably does not really matter much either way.

It was not that bad in the weekend. Only deep breathing and coughing hurt. So last tuesday I went to aikido training. I informed my sensei before training about my injury and he was ok with me training for as long as I felt comfortable. I was taking it easy, but breakfalls started to hurt more and more in the course of the training. After an hour I excused myself.

The days after it hurt more than before, so I started to take some painkillers and I skipped training on thursday. Today I went to see my GP doctor and she prescibed painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol).

I want to resume training as soon as possible, but I've been reading up about rib injuries and in general the message seems to be that it probably takes about two months to heal. I've only skipped one lesson before this and I can't bear the thought of having to skip 16 lessons!

Does it take that long to heal enough for resuming training aikido? Did anyone resume training sooner (with painkillers perhaps?) Did you regret it?
Is there any scope for training with limited/reduced ukemi? I personally don't mind working in a three with someone and allowing them to skip taking ukemi to allow them to train whilst recovering. Depends on how things work where you train though I guess as to whether this is feasible.

I'd rest it completely for a short while then slowly work back up, don't rush too much to get back into full training lest you get yourself injured further and taken out of action for longer...

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
Takahama
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Last friday I injured my rib (not during aikido training). I don't know if it's broken or bruised but it probably does not really matter much either way.

It was not that bad in the weekend. Only deep breathing and coughing hurt. So last tuesday I went to aikido training. I informed my sensei before training about my injury and he was ok with me training for as long as I felt comfortable. I was taking it easy, but breakfalls started to hurt more and more in the course of the training. After an hour I excused myself.

The days after it hurt more than before, so I started to take some painkillers and I skipped training on thursday. Today I went to see my GP doctor and she prescibed painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol).

I want to resume training as soon as possible, but I've been reading up about rib injuries and in general the message seems to be that it probably takes about two months to heal. I've only skipped one lesson before this and I can't bear the thought of having to skip 16 lessons!

Does it take that long to heal enough for resuming training aikido? Did anyone resume training sooner (with painkillers perhaps?) Did you regret it?
I had the exact same situation last year. After about a week of no improvement I went for an x-ray. Sure enough, cracks in two ribs. There is nothing you can do apart from let nature take its course. 3-6 weeks is said to be the normal recovery time; I was swimming gentle lengths after 2 weeks and back on the mat after 4.

My advice would be to get yourself x-rayed asap so you know what you're dealing with.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
Is there any scope for training with limited/reduced ukemi? I personally don't mind working in a three with someone and allowing them to skip taking ukemi to allow them to train whilst recovering. Depends on how things work where you train though I guess as to whether this is feasible.
Good idea. Training in three would make it less unfair for my training partners that I would not take ukemi. I'll ask if that would be ok when I get back.

Quote:
I'd rest it completely for a short while then slowly work back up, don't rush too much to get back into full training lest you get yourself injured further and taken out of action for longer...
I'm hoping to get back on the mat in a week or two but indeed I don't want to injure myself further...
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #5
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

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Michael Lewis wrote: View Post
I had the exact same situation last year. After about a week of no improvement I went for an x-ray. Sure enough, cracks in two ribs. There is nothing you can do apart from let nature take its course. 3-6 weeks is said to be the normal recovery time; I was swimming gentle lengths after 2 weeks and back on the mat after 4.

My advice would be to get yourself x-rayed asap so you know what you're dealing with.
Thank you. Back on the mat in 4 weeks sounds a lot better than 8 weeks

My GP doctor did not think it was completely broken, but she did not advise me to have it x-rayed to be sure. Why is it important to know whether it is broken, cracked or bruised? (From what I read so far even with x-rays the diagnosis may be inaccurate and treatment and recovery seem very similar anyway.)

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 04-01-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #6
gregstec
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Re: Injured rib

Hi Dave,

I hurt my ribs over a year ago and sometimes I can still feel some pain in the same area when I bend or twist too much on my right side. My advise is to stop any movement that causes pain in the area - eventually things will improve and you will regain full range of movement without pain. And break-falls are a definite no no with a rib injury

Greg
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:02 AM   #7
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Re: Injured rib

If you want to get good advice, I suggest that you make your doctor fully aware of just what your training activities consist of. Most people who have broken ribs (or bruised or cracked or whatever) are not attempting to do breakfalls onto them, and you might find that a doctor who is fine with your pursuing "all normal activity" is not so fine with your taking ukemi.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:08 AM   #8
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Injured rib

Something to consider - how long are you planning to do aikido? Which is worse, waiting two months now, or finding out in a few years time that for the rest of your aikido career you're going to be hampered by a chronic injury that didn't have a chance to heal properly?

Pauliina
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If you want to get good advice, I suggest that you make your doctor fully aware of just what your training activities consist of. Most people who have broken ribs (or bruised or cracked or whatever) are not attempting to do breakfalls onto them, and you might find that a doctor who is fine with your pursuing "all normal activity" is not so fine with your taking ukemi.
I did tell my doctor that my aikido training on tuesday made it worse (I suspected she doesn't know exactly what aikido is, so I told her it is like judo). She did not warn me specifically to avoid this or other activities for some time (I also didn't ask specifically). Perhaps she assumes pain will be warning enough? My current plan is to refrain from training while I am on painkillers to be sure that I don't miss this warning.

I'm only a beginner so I don't take very hard breakfalls. Soft forward rolls mostly (but doing many of them, it still progressively hurt last tuesday).
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
Something to consider - how long are you planning to do aikido? Which is worse, waiting two months now, or finding out in a few years time that for the rest of your aikido career you're going to be hampered by a chronic injury that didn't have a chance to heal properly?

Pauliina
Indeed that is my fear. I want to keep doing aikido for decades to come. But I badly wish that I don't have to skip two full months now
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #11
C. David Henderson
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Re: Injured rib

Hi Dave,

About a week or so after a fairly serious rib injury a few years ago, I started feeling better and decided to go x-c skiing. I woke up the following day pretty much unable to move and suffering from spasms. To avoid pain when coughing I had to press my arms against my ribs and hold everything in place....

After massage, accupunture, chiro, and time, the back spasms eased up. Still, it was very challenging when I got back on the mat. It was also challenging the first time I had to take ukemi on a crowded mat during a seminar.

I'm pretty sure I set myself back weeks by pushing too hard; and I still can feel where the injury occurred -- adhesions -- even though it doesn't limit my movement much.

So, I'd say go slow and you may end up getting fully back to your practice sooner.

FWIW.

Last edited by C. David Henderson : 04-01-2011 at 10:49 AM.

David Henderson
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I want to resume training as soon as possible, but I've been reading up about rib injuries and in general the message seems to be that it probably takes about two months to heal. I've only skipped one lesson before this and I can't bear the thought of having to skip 16 lessons!
I am just now coming back to the dojo after a 2 month hiatus due to an injury. Listen to your doctor. If you can't train, go and watch. You will be amazed at the things you pick up on that you wouldn't notice otherwise.

Is it frustrating? Certainly. Is it worth it? I say yes. I trained almost four months with my injury and put up with the pain. I adjusted things so it didn't hurt as bad and just limped my way home and put ice on it. Was that the smartest choice? Looking back, I say no. Now I am trying to get over the strange habits I gained from not wanting to hurt my foot. It is harder to break those habits then I thought it would. If I had went to the doctor right away, my healing time would have been cut drastically, I wouldn't have been miserable and I wouldn't have these habits I am now trying to break. Not to mention, I still have pain!!!

It is a tough choice, but you have to think of things in the long run. What is going to be best for YOU in the long run? Do you want a chronic injury that never really heals? Mary and Janet really helped me put things in perspective and in the end.... they were right.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
Janet Rosen
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Re: Injured rib

If you have cracked a bone, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

If you have pulled or torn intercostal muscles, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

Every time you re-injure during that period, reset the clock to zero and start over plus add to the chances you are creating a chronic injury.

Dude, 8 weeks out of a lifetime is NOTHING especially when we are talking 8 weeks of zero to limited training (as opposed to, say, 8 weeks of chemo, 8 weeks of living in a tent in the snow, pick your personal or societal disaster).

Having said that.... you may check with your instructor about doing just the nage side of the training, moving very slowly focusing on breathing and fine details, doing weapons kata, etc. It need not be all or nothing.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #14
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Injured rib

I bruised my ribs when I first started aikido. I found that wearing a compression shirt with padding for the ribs helped quite a bit. They are made for football or lacrosse but it served its purpose quite well for aikido. Helped me get back on the mat sooner without aggravating the injury. See if you can find something like this local to you:

http://www.mcdavidusa.com/store/item...ARTMENT_ID=735

You should still give your injury the healing time it deserves. This is simply a training aid to help ensure that you don't reinjure yourself when you start taking ukemi again.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #15
Michael Hackett
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Re: Injured rib

The reason that broken or cracked ribs are more serious than bruised ribs is that the little beggers can displace and slice you up internally. That's what killed Lane Frost the bullrider (8 Seconds). The bull "punched" his rib cage while he was down and a rib penetrated his heart. Take it easy and heal completely. Good luck and good health.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:29 PM   #16
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

It will be difficult to resist the temptation of resuming too quickly. But it should help that I can reread all your good advice when my patience is faltering.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:38 PM   #17
Janet Rosen
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
It will be difficult to resist the temptation of resuming too quickly. But it should help that I can reread all your good advice when my patience is faltering.
And sometimes.... working on that patience...IS the training

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:07 PM   #18
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Re: Injured rib

You can still do 2 hours of wepons every day.

Nagababa

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Old 04-01-2011, 07:41 PM   #19
graham christian
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Re: Injured rib

Dave. Personally I would call sitting and watching an Aikido class without participation an essential part of training.

Regards.G.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:04 PM   #20
Walter Martindale
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Re: Injured rib

Yeah - I'm with a lot of the rest of these folks. You don't want to skip training but if you do train on a cracked rib, it won't heal.

6-8 weeks of no training versus the rest of your life. You get to pick, of course...

An anecdote... I can't remember her name, but a Canadian Olympic runner had a stress fracture in her femur (thigh bone). Took painkillers and kept training and racing. (this was in the 1970s, btw, and the sports med folks know a lot more about this stuff than they did then) Her running career ended when - mid race - her femur fractured in what they call a "complicated" fracture - bits of thigh bone sticking out through the skin - probably that one hurt more than just a little bit.

And - sorry Nagababa - weapons work is upper body work which stresses the rib cage. Bad idea. Unless of course you do two hours of prone 1000 yard/900 m rifle training a day - now THAT'S fun, (IMO), doesn't stress the ribs, and actually involves a relatively modern weapon - a target rifle, hunting rifle, or a "sniper" rifle.

Worst case scenario for your rib - keep training, ignore the pain (endorphins are wonderful) and then suddenly "snap" and you have a punctured lung.

Or you can take 6-8 weeks off and let the ribs heal.

For physical fitness - walk, briskly, for the same amount of time as you would practice aikido. You won't lose much.
HTH
Walter

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 04-01-2011 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:28 AM   #21
Diana Frese
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Re: Injured rib

I may be infamous for quotes from the old days by now, but I simply have to pass this one on.

Chiba Sensei was at many of the summer camps and seminars in New England. Later, my friend Ginny from Swampscott, Mass. ("Mr . Mulligan"'s dojo -- congratulations, Bernie on your well deserved promotion!) was wondering whether to go back to practice after a back injury. So she wrote to him for advice.

She showed me the letter and it was wise and also beautiful in the way it was expressed, and even funny. Of course he said it was important to have a teacher who understood, but for the injured person himself or herself it is important to "listen to your body." Many of us have heard that phrase but what he said next may be a bit startling in its bluntness.

Chiba Sensei said that the body is like a person's dog, if you mistreat yours it will bite you.

Wise and beautiful posts, everyone, thanks so much, I just added the Chiba Sensei story because many people on Aiki Web like Chiba Sensei stories.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:35 AM   #22
Hellis
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
If you have cracked a bone, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

If you have pulled or torn intercostal muscles, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

Every time you re-injure during that period, reset the clock to zero and start over plus add to the chances you are creating a chronic injury.

Dude, 8 weeks out of a lifetime is NOTHING especially when we are talking 8 weeks of zero to limited training (as opposed to, say, 8 weeks of chemo, 8 weeks of living in a tent in the snow, pick your personal or societal disaster).

Having said that.... you may check with your instructor about doing just the nage side of the training, moving very slowly focusing on breathing and fine details, doing weapons kata, etc. It need not be all or nothing.
Dave

You are looking for good advice ? Here it is from Janet, a person that knows what she is talking about...Take it from an old timer that ignored good advice so many times, remember one thing, as you get older all those old injuries will come back to haunt you..
Take time out and heal.

Henry Ellis
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:33 AM   #23
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Dave

You are looking for good advice ? Here it is from Janet, a person that knows what she is talking about...Take it from an old timer that ignored good advice so many times, remember one thing, as you get older all those old injuries will come back to haunt you..
Take time out and heal.

Henry Ellis
Aikido Controversy
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Janet and all the others for your good advice. Although it is not the advice I wished for, I will follow it (otherwise what would be the point of asking your advice). I am 41 years old now. I don't consider myself old yet, but I am old enough to believe what you and others are telling me. I'll take it slow. For the coming weeks I'll attend aikido lessons as a spectator only, leaving my gi at home.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:10 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I did tell my doctor that my aikido training on tuesday made it worse (I suspected she doesn't know exactly what aikido is, so I told her it is like judo). She did not warn me specifically to avoid this or other activities for some time (I also didn't ask specifically). Perhaps she assumes pain will be warning enough? My current plan is to refrain from training while I am on painkillers to be sure that I don't miss this warning.
Hi Dave,

Let me tell you a story about doctors and aikido. A few years ago I had laser eye surgery. It was one of those wonderful new surgeries where you get it done, walk home the same day, get great results and feel fine. The next day, at my followup appointment, my doctor looked at the eye and told me that I could resume all my normal activity. I was feeling cautious, though, and so I described ukemi in explicit detail and explained that that was a "normal" activity for me. The doctor's eyes got big as saucers. "No! Are you crazy?" he said. "You can't do that! Wait a month first." My eye is fine now, but I shudder to think of what might have happened had I not had that conversation.

Taking ukemi is not a "normal" activity, and who knows what your doctor is thinking when you tell her you do "judo"? Be explicit. Don't suspect. Don't assume. Don't play "you won't ask and I won't tell". The information that you don't share could be the information that your doctor must have to give you good advice.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:23 AM   #25
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Injured rib

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Hi Dave,

Let me tell you a story about doctors and aikido. A few years ago I had laser eye surgery. It was one of those wonderful new surgeries where you get it done, walk home the same day, get great results and feel fine. The next day, at my followup appointment, my doctor looked at the eye and told me that I could resume all my normal activity. I was feeling cautious, though, and so I described ukemi in explicit detail and explained that that was a "normal" activity for me. The doctor's eyes got big as saucers. "No! Are you crazy?" he said. "You can't do that! Wait a month first." My eye is fine now, but I shudder to think of what might have happened had I not had that conversation.

Taking ukemi is not a "normal" activity, and who knows what your doctor is thinking when you tell her you do "judo"? Be explicit. Don't suspect. Don't assume. Don't play "you won't ask and I won't tell". The information that you don't share could be the information that your doctor must have to give you good advice.
Thinking back about the conversation I had with my doctor, I think you are right that mentioning breakfalls like judo did not sufficiently convey information to my doctor about my normal activities. I could go back to her in a couple of weeks and show her some youtube clips when I ask her advice on further healing time before resuming that kind of activity.
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