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  1. #1
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Advice on rib or muscle pull? Not sure what I did

    I was doing SLDL after squats last night when I felt pressure under my lowest rib on my left side front. The weight was fairly heavy. (7reps)

    It did not feel too uncomfortable and I have felt it before when squatting, combined with the fact that I still felt I had a lot in me, I kept going.

    On my second to last rep at the bottom, I felt a "pop" right in my rib area. I immediately let the weight down. It was not real painful but it got my attention. (no belt on FYI)

    I skipped my last set of sldl and finished up with leg ext/curls and even threw in a few sets of hanging leg raises without pain.

    If I push directly on the rib, it is quite tender. Also if I make twisting motions it is pretty sore. It also hurts if I bend over then lean to my left side.

    The pain is not horrible but I will definetly taking it easy for a few days.

    After doing a search, it seems several guys have experienced similar things, like when doing heavy leg presses. There was however little info on what it could have been?

    Anyone else experience anything like this?

    I dont think it is bad enough to go see a doc, but if it does not feel better in a few days or if it gets worse, I will definetly seek medical attention. Anyway, any ideas?.....pulled muscle...muscle / cartilage popping over a rib?

    I have only been back in the gym for about 3 months and over this time I have felt this nagging pressure in this area several times. I think I my have pulled something because of a relatively weak supporting muscle, while my strength has come back up relatively fast. It was not a ton of weight, but I was using 325 for 7 and on my second set when it happened and I had just finished 4 sets of heavy squats.

    It is directly under my lowest rib above my oblique and slightly to the front.

    Any ideas???
    Last edited by induced_drag; 06-23-2009 at 10:48 AM.
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  2. #2
    Jersey Strong Minotaur's Avatar
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    Possibly intercostal pull. I speak only from personal experience. Working around the house once I twisted to get into a tight space. The pain in my rib was so bad I could hardly breathe. Chiro said intercostal. Find a good chiro and explain what happened. It will take time to heal if that's what it is.
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    Registered User thomasale's Avatar
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    I am dealing with what I think is a similar injury from...you guessed it leg presses. when the weight comes down it presses your upper quads into that area and...pop. I too was able to finnish the WO. Several days later it was still nagging and it seemed every excercise involves that part of your core. It was pretty much gone and I did back yesterday and the dull ache is back. Gotta go easy for a while I am sure!
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    Registered User IronKarate1's Avatar
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    Ribs

    I had the same thing happen last year when doing leg presses. I wasn't doing heavy weights at the time, but I was going very low with them. It was noticible tearing feeling and popping sound. It didn't hurt too bad at first, but the next day it was worse, and the next day much worse. It probably hurt me for 4-6 weeks but after that I was fine. I was still able to lift in some cases, but I could stretch out, jump, lie down, etc without a lot of pain. I would say take it easy and in a month or so it will be better and clear up.

    I had a similar thing happen years ago from hitting too may golf balls. The pain felt the exact same and the doctor said it was either a hairline fracture or a muscle tear. In either case rest was the remedy.
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  5. #5
    Registered User kingwoz60's Avatar
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    Hernia? There's a bunch of different hernias, and they're not restricted to the groin area. Maybe do some research on hernias. Just a thought!
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    Registered User T.C.'s Avatar
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    I tore an upper rib muscle in my early 20s.
    Like Minotaur stated, the pain was pretty bad and got even worse as I inhaled..
    There was no way I could lift or do cardio for a while after this happened!
    Last edited by T.C.; 06-23-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered Chimer Inner taf1968's Avatar
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    I've "popped" ribs a few times in jujitsu . . . sucks. Sounds like you may have done the same kind of thing. It's kind of like a "dislocation"--a rib can pop out of the areas where it connects to the chest or on your back. Takes forever to heal, it seems.

    Is the pain in the front/back or is it right on the side in the middle? If it's front or back then could be a popped rib. I had to have my chiropractor set mine back in a few times until it finally just healed and seated more tightly again.

    Good luck with it. Mine hurt like hell--but sounds liek yours isn't as bad.
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  8. #8
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    The pain is fairly steady for today. Not bad, not worse, but I can definetly feel it is tender if I push on the rib as if I was trying to dig under my rib cage. Ouch! It is almost directly on the side about 2" to the front of being right on the side.

    I'm going to start a good ice regimen and see how it goes.

    Hope it does not require extensive rest, (which it probably will )the next two weeks are the heavy cycle of my workouts where the real fun is! Sucks to build up to set new PR's over 4 weeks and then have to not do it due to injury.

    If it does not get any better, I will pay a call to a good friend who is a sports injury chiro. I have been wanting a good popping anyway

    Will let you all know how it turns out!!

    Thanks
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  9. #9
    Registered User Klayfish's Avatar
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    I'm dealing with similar type pain right now, only from a different cause. Besides weightlifting, my other passion is cars and road racing. Don't have the funds right now to do my favorite racing, called HPDE (basically you take your car to a road racing track and run it under the control of a racing school). I got involved in an indoor go-cart racing series. These little go-carts can hustle. Anyhow, during a heat race, I went into a corner way too hard. My cart slid and slapped dead sideways into the wall. That hurt like I can't describe. I couldn't breathe for about 1/2 a lap, it made my eyes water. I wasn't about to pull off the track. I was in the lead and actually won that race! That night, I could hardly sleep because my ribs hurt so bad. They were very tender and it was hard to breathe.

    That was about 6 weeks ago. All of the sharp pain has long since gone away. But if I take a deep breath, or twist a certain way, I would describe it as "uncomfortable". It doesn't get in the way of my excercises any more, it did for about 2 weeks. But I do notice it and feel it at times. So I'm just assuming it needs more time to heal. Which sucks, because I want to go back to the track, but I want to wait for them to heal first.

    Damn things take forever to heal.
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  10. #10
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    The same thing happend to me today, although i was doing atg squats with light weight. its slight pain under my right rib hurts when bending down too.. what could it be ?
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  11. #11
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    I'm posting a follow-up as promised.

    The pain is still there but is not nearly as bad today. I dont notice it unless I push under the rib or if I bend over and twist left.

    I was supposed to do all of my upper body last night, but only did chest and tri's. It did not affect the workout and I did not feel any pain even oh heavy benching where you tighten your core a lot.

    Today I thought about doing my back that I skipped yesterday. (even though it should be a rest day) Not sure if I will be able to do bent rows or any type of exercise that has me bent over supporting weight.

    Might just do another light workout and only do chins for back. On the bright side, maybe I can break the 20 mark on chins doing them first instead of at the end of my workout when I am beat. (there is always a bright side ) Have not been able to do more then 20 in over a decade! Tonight just might be my night.


    Definitely no deads till the pain is all gone. Until then, I will work around it. Dont think a doctors visit will be necessary on this one....seems to be getting better by the day.

    Thanks for all the advice.
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  12. #12
    Gettin Healthy Roger035's Avatar
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    Intercostal pull. I did this doing heavy leg presses 2 years ago. My pull almost sounded like a rubberband being released. Painful for afew days for me, but I still managed to work around the pain through workouts. Goodluck.
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  13. #13
    Certified Football Nut Bamma's Avatar
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    This sounds very similar to what I did on leg press (and it happened to me twice...will never use that particular machine again, ever). Felt the same pop, at the bottom. It was an intercostal pull. Now, the pain was never terrible, like when I broke my arm, but it took forever to heal and was annoying as hell. Coughing, laughing, deep breathing, certain motions...all these caused me to hurt. I eventually had to quit lifting for a little while to let it recover, since I was constantly reinjuring it when working out.

    Best of luck in getting over this. Should not be too bad or take too long.
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    Kilroy Was Here JC480's Avatar
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    I popped a rib like this doing squats a few years ago. I think I was unbalanced or something...hurt a bit at the gym...hurt a helluvalot more later that night.

    Think it took me about 2-3 weeks to recover. I knew leaving the gym I did something bad cause the pain was getting worse and worse.

    Few weeks off fixed me up. Good luck, man.
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    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Wow, seems like a lot of people have had a similar thing happen!

    Funny thing is, I had never experienced this in my previous years in the gym. Even with very heavy lifting.

    I think the long layoff made my core weak. This time back, my strength is coming back very quickly, but my core must not be up to the task quite so quickly. I may need to back off a little on the weight I am working with and give my supporting muscles a chance to catch up. Too much too fast possibly???
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    Registered User rjhambone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thomasale View Post
    I am dealing with what I think is a similar injury from...you guessed it leg presses. when the weight comes down it presses your upper quads into that area and...pop. I too was able to finnish the WO. Several days later it was still nagging and it seemed every excercise involves that part of your core. It was pretty much gone and I did back yesterday and the dull ache is back. Gotta go easy for a while I am sure!
    I did this (on leg presses) while training in Iraq last year.
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    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    I did a quick google search on intercostal muscle pull and got lots of good hits. That is definitely what it was/is. Looks like I need to take it easy for a little while and let it heal. Probably around 4-6 weeks. No new PR's this month.

    Oh well....it works out good because I have a few trips to take so I wont feel as bad about missing the gym.

    I will have to take it a little easier when I come back and let my strength build more gradually rather then upping it every workout. I think my strength was coming back too fast in my legs and back (if that is possible) I dont think my support muscles were up to the task yet. That is what I get for getting all gung-ho again
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  18. #18
    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    I did a quick google search on intercostal muscle pull and got lots of good hits. That is definitely what it was/is. Looks like I need to take it easy for a little while and let it heal. Probably around 4-6 weeks. No new PR's this month.

    Oh well....it works out good because I have a few trips to take so I wont feel as bad about missing the gym.

    I will have to take it a little easier when I come back and let my strength build more gradually rather then upping it every workout. I think my strength was coming back too fast in my legs and back (if that is possible) I dont think my support muscles were up to the task yet. That is what I get for getting all gung-ho again
    Unfortunately, due to the type of tissue involved, this injury heals slowly.

    I'd also say you're correct about your strength coming back quickly in your legs and back; for the same reason ligaments and tendons heal slowly, they also get stronger slower than muscle tissue.
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    I did a quick google search on intercostal muscle pull and got lots of good hits. That is definitely what it was/is. Looks like I need to take it easy for a little while and let it heal. Probably around 4-6 weeks. No new PR's this month.

    Oh well....it works out good because I have a few trips to take so I wont feel as bad about missing the gym.

    I will have to take it a little easier when I come back and let my strength build more gradually rather then upping it every workout. I think my strength was coming back too fast in my legs and back (if that is possible) I dont think my support muscles were up to the task yet. That is what I get for getting all gung-ho again
    This place is terrific this is definitely what it is...thanks alot
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    Dont hold your breath!!!

    Just a quick follow up. It has been just over 3 weeks since my initial injury.

    I have continued to lift during this time, except no squats, SLDL, bent rows or deadlifts.

    For my legs, I have just done extensions and curls. (yea....I know...but better then nothing)

    The pain is much less now, but if I poke my finger under my rib, I can definitely still feel where it is tender. (much less though)

    Today I decided to work some light squats back in. I started warmed up with 135 and went up to 225 with a total of 4 sets. I stayed high reps 15+. No pain at all. I just needed to really focus on breathing right. (more on that later) If I started to hold my breath at all out of the hole, I could feel it.

    I also did some lighter bent rows yesterday with no issues.

    I think I will just keep it light for another couple weeks maybe more and slowly work back up to some heavy lifting.

    Anyway.... I think bad technique attributed to my injury. I have been out of the gym for a while....and I forgot some of the cardinal rules....one of the most important....do NOT hold your breath! I think when I was doing SLDL, I was holding my breath as I started to pull at the bottom, rather then slowly breathing out. This can increase abdominal pressure to the point of causing injury. (which is what I think happened)

    I just wanted to share a little info on my recovery...and hopefully keep people from making the same mistakes that I made. DONT FORGET TO BREATHE PROPERLY!!! I know this might sound stupid.....but I forgot this being out of the gym for a decade....so I hope is saves someone else the injury.
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    Glad to hear you're doing better. Your progress since coming back to the gym is inspiring.
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    Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    Possibly intercostal pull.
    I had one a while back, take some anti inflammatory, REST IT and put some heat on it. Mine was bad enough it was painful to breath if I laid a certain way. Go ahead and take 2 or 3 days off, thats not always a bad thing anyway!! Sometimes the rest is just as important as the workout.

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    I had an intercostal muscle pull back in January. I was doing heavy leg presses, it wasn't particularly the weight, but rather the constricted and cramped position of knees/ legs, to torso on the low end of the movement. I literally heard a pop, felt a twinge, but was able to continue through a whole lower body workout of some 45 to 50 minutes. It didn't really start to hurt until the last excercise of the workout. I had to lay off leg presses, etc. for a good month or so. It healed by itself. But it was certainly painful for several weeks.
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    Originally Posted by paolo59 View Post
    I had an intercostal muscle pull back in January. I was doing heavy leg presses, it wasn't particularly the weight, but rather the constricted and cramped position of knees/ legs, to torso on the low end of the movement. I literally heard a pop, felt a twinge, but was able to continue through a whole lower body workout of some 45 to 50 minutes. It didn't really start to hurt until the last excercise of the workout. I had to lay off leg presses, etc. for a good month or so. It healed by itself. But it was certainly painful for several weeks.
    When I did mine, I thought at first I had broken a rib, just from the pop. But then the pain was not all that severe. In fact, I would not say it ever hurt a whole lot, just more of an annoying moderate pain that got worse when I did certain things (laugh, cough, breathe too deep, get into certain positions, etc.). Took me a while to recover, I was doing the same exercise as you, btw. In fact, it was the reason I quit lifting for a long while (the 4 weeks I took off to recover ended up being an extra 8 months of me being lazy).
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    Originally Posted by Bamma View Post
    When I did mine, I thought at first I had broken a rib, just from the pop. But then the pain was not all that severe. In fact, I would not say it ever hurt a whole lot, just more of an annoying moderate pain that got worse when I did certain things (laugh, cough, breathe too deep, get into certain positions, etc.). Took me a while to recover, I was doing the same exercise as you, btw. In fact, it was the reason I quit lifting for a long while (the 4 weeks I took off to recover ended up being an extra 8 months of me being lazy).
    I worked around mine; leg extensions, utilizing other pieces of equipment, etc. Anything that put pressure on my rib cage, standing calf raises for example, would cause a good deal of pain. It is always alarming when you hear popping noises from inside your body! LOL I tore a tendon in my left tricep some 12 years ago or so, the audible pop was frightening. I knew it was something rather serious immediately. Within 20 minutes I had a balloon of blood on my left elbow. Not a pretty sight!
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    I think this is likely what I did to myself at gym. I was doing the leg press on my second set, came down, and felt a sudden pain on my right side. My left need was a little sore so likely was favouring it a bit, plus I think my breathing was off too. I immediately stopped, but tried again after a little break then gave in. I just had my abs to do for the night but decided against that, just a little cadio then left. A few days later still hurts but can function fairly well. I guess I will be taking it easy at gym for a few weeks, at least on my leg days.
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    Dang! I just had the exact same thing happen to me on the leg press (which I was using mainly because of a deadlift injury 3 weeks ago!!). I was making special efforts to tighten my ab muscles to make sure my "core" was doing it's part. Next thing I know is there's a little pop in my lower left rib area. I finished my weights and did 30 minutes of cardio. Not painful at all unless I apply pressure to it, but I'll take it easy on things that involve ribs/legs in the coming weeks (which is almost everything - gah!).
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  28. #28
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    Originally Posted by vooper View Post
    Dang! I just had the exact same thing happen to me on the leg press (which I was using mainly because of a deadlift injury 3 weeks ago!!). I was making special efforts to tighten my ab muscles to make sure my "core" was doing it's part. Next thing I know is there's a little pop in my lower left rib area. I finished my weights and did 30 minutes of cardio. Not painful at all unless I apply pressure to it, but I'll take it easy on things that involve ribs/legs in the coming weeks (which is almost everything - gah!).
    It sounds like you popped a rib cartilege. It hurts, but it heals in about 4-6 weeks. Don't go too low on leg presses to the point where your hips begin to rotate forward. This will prevent the rib problems and potential lower back problems.
    Back into the green. Thank you all that helped. :)

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    Originally Posted by vooper View Post
    Dang! I just had the exact same thing happen to me on the leg press (which I was using mainly because of a deadlift injury 3 weeks ago!!). I was making special efforts to tighten my ab muscles to make sure my "core" was doing it's part. Next thing I know is there's a little pop in my lower left rib area. I finished my weights and did 30 minutes of cardio. Not painful at all unless I apply pressure to it, but I'll take it easy on things that involve ribs/legs in the coming weeks (which is almost everything - gah!).
    I did the same thing a few weeks ago too on leg press. It's still sore, but I can do everything except leg press. I just swapped it for hack slides.

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    i think this is what happened to me las week while do ATG squats.

    Do the symptoms include pain resurfacing after a heavy meal? When u breathe in to your stomach it hurts?
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