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  1. #1
    Registered User paolo59's Avatar
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    Intercostal muscle pull?

    I seem to have pulled a muscle in the rib area, intercostal. It hurts like hell, sometimes like an icepick sticking in my ribs. Have any of you suffered a similar injury? How long does it take to heal? Coughing or sneazing is incredibly painful, and at the same time, certain excercises don't even make a dent. I would appreciate any feedback you all have. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Gettin Healthy Roger035's Avatar
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    I pulled mine on the leftside last year. It totally sucks. When I pulled it, it sounded like a rubberband snapping back. It took me approximately 3 weeks for recovery. What excersise did you do to pull your intercostal ? I did mine during heavy leg presses on the leg press machine.
    Last edited by Roger035; 11-21-2008 at 12:20 AM.
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    Average Joes DodgeBaller wide lats's Avatar
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    I know a guy who ruptured his on the right side from a truck accident, it took him 4 months to recover and could barely bend down, he had strong pain killers for his and he quit training for the 4 months, maybe a lay off will do you more help than training around it.
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    I have not completely recovered from mine. Guess I agrivate it somewhat every day. For about 3 weeks I limited my self to the machines in the gym, took Aleve and wore a heat wrap belt around the midsection.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Roger035 View Post
    I pulled mine on the leftside last year. It totally sucks. When I pulled it, it sounded like a rubberband snapping back. It took me approximately 3 weeks for recovery. What excersise did you do to pull your intercostal ? I did mine during heavy leg presses on the leg press machine.
    LOL That is exactly what I was doing when it popped. And you're right, it sounded like a rubber band popping. The thing is it didn't hurt. I did an entire leg workout after the fact before it started really hurting.
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    LOL That is exactly what I was doing when it popped. And you're right, it sounded like a rubber band popping. The thing is it didn't hurt. I did an entire leg workout after the fact before it started really hurting.
    Same here. I figured since it didn't hurt that much, I finished my entire leg workout as well. The next morning is when I really felt it. You should be all good after the 2nd week or so. When I started doing my leg session after the incident, I learned to push the weight up with the heels of my feet instead of the front portion of my feet. This helped alot when going heavy.
    Last edited by Roger035; 11-21-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User paolo59's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Roger035 View Post
    Same here. I figured since it didn't hurt that much, I finished my entire leg workout as well. The next morning is when I really felt it. You should be all good after the 2nd week or so. When I started doing my leg session after the incident, I learned to push the weight up with the heels of my feet instead of the front portion of my feet. This helped alot when going heavy.
    LOL Thanks for the input! I ripped a tendon in my left tricep some 13 years ago. It sounded much the same. You don't expect something internally in your body to have an audible "pop" sound. LOL I guess I'm just getting old and gray! But hell, you always want to maintain, and just perhaps get a little bigger! LOL I'll work around this thing, within reason, and just keep on keeping on.
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    I don't have any advice for you, but I feel for you. I broke a rib in a sledding accident a year ago last March. It hurt so bad that the first thing I did was to make sure nothing was sticking out of me. It felt like I had a steel post stabbed through me. It still bothers me if I put much preasure on it. I hope you recover quickly.
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    I twisted a couple of summers ago working around the house, trying to squeeze under the kitchen sink to do a repair. I don't know if it was a pull or a serious bruise, but it took weeks to clear up, and not without some serious chiropractic work. It hurt to breathe.
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    Registered User Stenn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    Have any of you suffered a similar injury? How long does it take to heal?
    Yup, twice. The first time, I got kicked in the ribs in tae kwon do. The second time, my lifting belt shoved into and displaced my lowest rib during rack deads. Each time, it took about a month to heal.
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    I'll work around this thing, within reason, and just keep on keeping on.
    Be careful. When I screwed up a rib during rack deads, I re-injured the damn thing doing leg presses. I took a narrow stance, went deep, and OUCH! I ended up re-setting my healing clock to zero.
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  12. #12
    Registered User paolo59's Avatar
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    I appreciate the input! LOL It's a bitch getting old isn't it? I do enjoy keeping in shape, reasonably so anyway. It's been some 5 days since the "snap," and I find sleeping, any movement, rolling over, quite painful. I did some tricep and bicep work today, and found that there was very little pain or discomfort. Lying on a bench, the simple pressure of a rather narrow back seems to aggravate things. I am going to take it easy for the next several weeks. Good for me it's Thanksgiving and quickly on the heels, Christmas. I'll be eating home cooking like a little pig, sleeping a lot, and looking for excuses to do as little as possible! LOL When I was a young buck it seemed that nothing seemed to fase me. I guess I need to take things a step at a time now. Happy Holidays to all of you!!! And I'm still going to put on some quality muscle, if it kills me! LOL
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    Just found this thread and thought I would chime in. I pulled an intercostal on my right side about 4-5 weeks ago and it hasn't healed. It started to feel better and I went back to the gym. A few dead lifts later I was in a lot of pain. It has been about 3 weeks since then and now there seems to be a lump on my rib and it hurts when I stretch up in the air. Coughing and sneezing hurts but not too bad. Anything I can do to speed up the healing process? I have a mate hounding to get back into the gym and this little thing stopping me is really pissing me off.
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    Originally Posted by deniall View Post
    Just found this thread and thought I would chime in. I pulled an intercostal on my right side about 4-5 weeks ago and it hasn't healed. It started to feel better and I went back to the gym. A few dead lifts later I was in a lot of pain. It has been about 3 weeks since then and now there seems to be a lump on my rib and it hurts when I stretch up in the air. Coughing and sneezing hurts but not too bad. Anything I can do to speed up the healing process? I have a mate hounding to get back into the gym and this little thing stopping me is really pissing me off.
    I am much better now, but still work around it. I've done some leg presses, but using particular gym equipment that doesn't cramp my torso in the performance of the excercise. I still haven't done a lot of abdominal excercises, that "crunch" movement can still cause some pain.
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    Originally Posted by Roger035 View Post
    Same here. I figured since it didn't hurt that much, I finished my entire leg workout as well. The next morning is when I really felt it. You should be all good after the 2nd week or so. When I started doing my leg session after the incident, I learned to push the weight up with the heels of my feet instead of the front portion of my feet. This helped alot when going heavy.

    exactly the same thing happened to me...what is the fastest way to heal from this...are they any exercises I can do in the mean time..I don't want to be away from the gym for 3 weeks.
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    healing time

    Originally Posted by ytee View Post
    exactly the same thing happened to me...what is the fastest way to heal from this...are they any exercises I can do in the mean time..I don't want to be away from the gym for 3 weeks.
    I pulled one of mine when I had walking pneumonia.... It took about three weeks to heal but i was popping ibuprofin like candy... lol. I'm a competitive rower and I could still row during that time... No lifting though.
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    Just the same injury here - deadlifting.

    Can only breathe through diaphragm and not through lungs so I went to osteopath for the first time in my life today, worrying that I had torn Rhomboid. Anyway, she reckons that I should get back on the weights with just a couple of days rest. Of course I want to believe her, but do I risk doing myself more damage that way? I tore it about 2 weeks ago and each time I have trained since then I have only made it worse.

    Any advice, anyone? Thanks.
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    I feel your pain man. That's a tough one. I had the same thing about a year ago. Unfortunately, it's one of those things that takes nothing but time, time and more time to heal. Ice should be your best friend. It'll help out - a little.
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    I seem to have pulled a muscle in the rib area, intercostal. It hurts like hell, sometimes like an icepick sticking in my ribs. Have any of you suffered a similar injury? How long does it take to heal? Coughing or sneazing is incredibly painful, and at the same time, certain excercises don't even make a dent. I would appreciate any feedback you all have. Thanks.
    I think I pulled mine when I was doing flys. I'm not sure yet. Woke up Saturday with sharp pain on my right side under the ribs. Went to ER. The doctor told me it was something called "costochondritis" but not sure how I got it. Going to see my primary physician Tuesday and have him do an ultrasound. Then I should know what's going on. Hate the pain. Hurts when I breathe deep and sneeze. Damn! Doctor will probably tell me I can't work out for awhile.
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    I hurt mine a long time ago when I lost control of a barbell squat. Tough muscle to directly work by the way. Rest it up and then work it best you can. Deep breathing is a good way to get it moving by the way.
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    Saw this question asked of Mark Rippetoe on his site. Not sure if he is talking about prehab or rehab. Might be worth investigating.

    Have you ever had experience with an individual w/ intercostal rib-pain resulting from a spinal issue?

    Sure. Mine. High-volume chins make it go away. But your numbers indicate that you cannot do high-volume chins because you are not strong enough. But that might be the place to start.
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    All my PRs are history HoustonTXMuscle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    LOL That is exactly what I was doing when it popped. And you're right, it sounded like a rubber band popping. The thing is it didn't hurt. I did an entire leg workout after the fact before it started really hurting.
    Also feel your pain. Reading both your posts, it sounds exactly like what happened to me two weeks ago tomorrow except that it was on my right side while doing squats. Also continued my rest of my leg workout that day before it started hurting. You said "ice-pick." Have been complaining to my wife using the word "pitch-fork." Still hurts when I sneeze or cough. Decide that this would be a good week to de-load before the New Year.
    Inactivity Kills!!!

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    It could also be a rib head out of joint. done it several years ago, and my chiro adjusted me the next day but it took a week before it didnt hurt to take a deep breath. Light stretching and lighter, less intense training sessions were the order of the week and it was totally gone in 2 weeks. good luck with it though
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    strong bump

    hey guys im suffering/recovering from an intercostal tear diagnosed by a doctor

    pain is almost gone and it has taken over a month, almost two months

    but i really made some mistakes by going back and lifting a few diff times which really prolonged it

    in about 10 days i should be ready! cant wait
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    Woke up about a month ago with aching ribs that felt like I had cracked one, but I hadn't been hit or anything. Got worse over the next week or 2 and went to the doctor.
    He said "na mate if it was cracked or broken it would hurt when I do this, do you want some pain killers it must be a strain".

    This sort of diagnosing (palpation) really pisses me off seeing that previously I have been sent home with a broken wrist and told to come back in the morning; and with my broken leg they phoned me at work 4 weeks later and said "oh you probably should come back in to the hospital this afternoon".

    Though he probably was right about the rib pain, but it still plays up a bit but I don't know when I did it.
    Reading the above posts it could have been from wearing a belt during deadlifts (damn you over 35 deadlift comp).
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    I seem to have pulled a muscle in the rib area, intercostal. It hurts like hell, sometimes like an icepick sticking in my ribs. Have any of you suffered a similar injury? How long does it take to heal? Coughing or sneazing is incredibly painful, and at the same time, certain excercises don't even make a dent. I would appreciate any feedback you all have. Thanks.
    I think it was the intercostal that I pulled a number of years back, it made the rib injuries I got a few years later feel mild in comparison. The combination of the intercostal pull and an upper respiratory infection put me in the ER, shortness of breath + chest pain radiating to the left shoulder + history of heart problems in family = serious panic attack and getting through the line in the ER in a big hurry.

    It took about a month or so to heal fully, lots of stretching and it's not an easy muscle to stretch out. Heating pad over the ribs where it hurt seemed to help some. I used to go hang off one of the high bars on the apartment complex playground for a few minutes at a time, not pullups, just hang, that seemed to make it feel a little better.
    Now cutting: Got a little more squishy than I wanted, heading down to 160lbs and seeing how things look.

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    It happened to me before 30 years when I played soccer in cold weather without warming up and hit a header. Yes it sound like rubber belt. Doctor said me that muscle was "crushed" and it was possible to see at some special roentgen. In my case it come after me every a few years and last for a few days. At that time I can only lie at bed and barely bread. It lasted so for 20 years. So actually what I think it don't heal. Just body adjust somehow around damaged muscle. Very painful no talk about. To get that from gym exercise in warm condition you must do something very wrong.
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    I seem to have pulled a muscle in the rib area, intercostal. It hurts like hell, sometimes like an icepick sticking in my ribs. Have any of you suffered a similar injury? How long does it take to heal? Coughing or sneazing is incredibly painful, and at the same time, certain excercises don't even make a dent. I would appreciate any feedback you all have. Thanks.
    Professional triathlete Chrissie Wellington tore her pec and intercostal in a bike crash this year two weeks before the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Five days before the race she couldn't swim 1000 meters because the pain was so bad. She spent six hours in the hospital four days before the race looking for the source of the pain. On race day, she crushed it, finishing the race with a 2:52 marathon.

    HTFU
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    intercostal muscle pull

    Seeing this is common makes me feel better... just got my diagnosis today.... was deadlifting last night. First lift on back day... was 3 working sets in and snap heard the noise but unlike a lot of you I felt terrible pain as I was getting stabbed in. My ribs..... had hard nights sleep... couldn't breath good, can't cough to clear throat, and had a hell of a time going to the bathroom this morning... got into doc.... told him what I was doing and his hand went straight to the spot and he was able to pin point it almost instantly..... told me no weights for 3 weeks which blows because I'm in contest prep... he said if I do anything that bears down ill hurt again instantly.... I'm on a nasaid and said ice for next 72 hours then heat..... totally down because u all know how hard it is to stay outta gym, but I don't want to rehurt and turn 3 weeks off into 3 months off so I'm gonna grind out this off time and just keep telling myself its gonna make me stronger in. The long run.....
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    Bumping this for others to see...

    5 days ago I had felt some pain in my left side area after playing some ultimate frisbee. The pain just felt like a sore oblique.

    That day was back day and I was deadlifting 4x8. I felt very strong and everything was good. I got to my 4th set and hit 8 reps and decided to go for more. On the 9th rep my side gave in and I heard a pop sound. I dropped the weight and wasn't in pain but in shock.

    10 minutes later my side started to tighten and I felt pain in the area. I couldn't move around in bed and was in pain coughing or sneezing.

    The next few days I have continued to feel better. It is day 5 and I hope this heals.

    I hope it isn't a long lasting injury as I now scared to deadlift and it is my fav exercise.

    Also I immediately put ice on it after lifting. It seemed to help a lot.
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