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  1. #1
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Unhappy OK, so what exercises can you do with broken ribs?

    Well, I was hoping they were not broken, but this is much better than a torn muscle...

    Boring background: Over the holiday weekend I was water skiing, having a blast... first time on one ski in quite a while... then, while pulling pretty hard to the left, the tow eye pulled out of the boat... I hit on my left side pretty hard, did not roll at all, just dug in. All the energy was absorbed by my rib cage. The initial X-Ray showed no breaks or cracks, but it hurt really bad, so much that I could hardly breath. (Today I am still not sleeping in bed, have to use a recliner, but it is getting better.)

    I finally convinced my Doc to take another X-Ray (next she was going to take an MRI). This time when the tech was about to click the picture, I inhailed deep and flexed my back, I was hoping that the "clunk" I felt in my back when I do that was the rib moving out of place... Well, yeah, it worked. I have two broken ribs that showed up really nice on today's pics.

    So, as far as exercising, for the last week I have been doing some elliptical bike, a couple times some leg extensions, and twice now I have done bench presses with my cable machine. (BPs Only at certain angles and with high reps, low weight.) Have also done a kind of shrug/lift with light dumbells. Sunday I did some isolation on arms too, but had to be careful how I got the dumbells into position.

    Anyway, have not talked to the doc yet since the X-Rays, so he may say don't do anything, but I am thinking it will be OK to do what does not hurt much. (It all hurts a little, but so far when I have worked out I haven't done anything that caused the "clunk".)

    What worrys me is that I have not yet healed enough to keep the rib from displacing when I flex (that tech said it was very clearly broken on the picture). Does that mean I am still at "day one" as far as healing the bone?

    The other question is, if an exercise hurts at all, does that mean I am keeping myself from healing? The good side of this is the tendonitis is just about gone! Maybe I should have taken a couple weeks off a long time ago!

    Any suggestions for exercises? Thanks for any responses!

    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
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  2. #2
    Banned hapkido's Avatar
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    I have had several, takes alot of time to heal up, if it hurts to do a excercise do not do it. Go slow and steady!
    I would take a few weeks off.
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  3. #3
    Registered User pict's Avatar
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    I broke 3 ribs and punctured a lung, in March of this year. Almost everything hurt when I started working out again. I now know how much your core is involved in most lifts.

    I had to start off with modified (girl) push-ups and hindu squats. Everthing else was to painful. I only did 3 to 5 reps of the push-ups, and 25 reps to start on the hindu squats.

    I am currently lifting 80% of my pre-injury weights, and I lost some size during the healing process. I didn't push my self to hard as I was coming back, but I made steady progress. I hurt during every workout, for the first 2 or 3 months after my injury (I didn't do anything for the first 3 weeks).

    Good luck, your body will tell you what's too much.
    "two things only the people anxiously desire-bread and circuses" juvenal(100-128ad)
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  4. #4
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    If the movement does not cause pain, you can do it. If it causes pain do not do it.
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  5. #5
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hapkido
    I would take a few weeks off.
    Yeah, that is what scares me... not too thrilled about gaining any weight back. So far though, I am reasonably convinced I have changed my metabolism enough that I won't gain it back overnight, even if I did keep eating like I was working out every day.

    Thanks for the input!
    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
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  6. #6
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=pict]I broke 3 ribs and punctured a lung, in March of this year. Almost everything hurt when I started working out again. I now know how much your core is involved in most lifts.
    QUOTE]
    You are right about the core being involved in most everything... At first it just hurt like heck to lay on either side. Felt like my guts were coming through the bones! Still can't lay that down in bed more than a few hours and only on my back. Funny thing is, bending down for me hurts. There is no way I could do push ups at this point, just because of the way everything hangs on my ribs, even though I can do a "sort of" bench press.

    Just got off the phone with the doc... He says to go ahead and "exercise". (I am not sure he knows what kind of exercises I am doing.)

    Thanks!
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  7. #7
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fitnessman
    If the movement does not cause pain, you can do it. If it causes pain do not do it.
    Makes sense, I guess I just have to test everything out. Little at a time.

    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  8. #8
    StlBarbies b*tch fitnessman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hey-Iwas51
    Makes sense, I guess I just have to test everything out. Little at a time.

    Dan
    I had to learn this one the hard way
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  9. #9
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    If an exercise hurts, don't do it.... with broken ribs you won't be doing any exercises. Every thing hurts, I don't know a single movement that doesn't involve tightening up your core.

    I explained to my doctor what kind of lifting I did. He seemed pretty confident, I wouldn't re-injure myself. I recall he told me the pain would hold me back enough. He was right, I couldn't do much. The pain wasn't the kind I could push through (if you can, my hats off to you!).

    Start light, the bar was hard at first! The first night I didn't wake up was a big deal. OW! OW! OW! Good luck, it just takes time.
    "two things only the people anxiously desire-bread and circuses" juvenal(100-128ad)
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  10. #10
    Tao of Iron wild1poet2's Avatar
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    I broke 2 ribs. It hurts to just breathe. Coughing or sneezing will make you see stars. Listen to your body.
    That which does not kill you makes you stronger.
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  11. #11
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wild1poet2
    Coughing or sneezing will make you see stars.
    Tell me about it... for the first week or so, every time I would have to cough I wanted to just die. And the first x-ray showed my lungs were hurt enough they were collecting some fluid, so they told me to be breathing deep.

    Luckily, I did not have to sneeze for the first few days. Seem to have something at work that causes sneezes though... I am learning to stop sneezes by rubbing my nose.

    Wifey yesterday said, "promise me you won't water ski again", I didn't. See how I feel next spring.

    Thanks to all for the experiences!
    Dan
    Last edited by Hey-Iwas51; 09-21-2006 at 06:48 AM.
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    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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    Originally Posted by fitnessman
    If the movement does not cause pain, you can do it. If it causes pain do not do it.

    You got that right you don't want to over do it at all. Take it slow and easy.
    Cancer survivor since 1999 and still going strong!
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  13. #13
    Registered User Capt. America's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good time to take some nice long easy walk's.....with Autum setting in find a nice park, beach or mall even and walk! After my RC surgey, herniated disc's, I found that walking will help you keep the weight off and keep your muscles and cardio sytem in shape for when you return to the gym.
    Also increasesing your blood cirrculation should help you heal faster.
    A coward dies many deaths, a Soldier dies one.
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  14. #14
    Registered User ladym's Avatar
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    I reinjuried a rib in July. I'm just now going to start my training again.

    I made sure my diet was adequate to heal the injury. To keep the weight down, I cut out as much starchy carbs as I could or limitied my portions, increased my fibrous vegetables, drank a gallon of water each day and reduced my total calorie intake by 500 calories so that I wouldn't gain too much.

    I'm happy to say I haven't gained any weight, I actually lost 5 pounds. My muscles went a bit soft but once I get back after the training that will change.
    Last edited by ladym; 09-20-2006 at 12:07 PM.
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  15. #15
    Master of Reality FlyingV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hey-Iwas51
    I am learning to stop sneezes by rubbing my nose.
    Try a little acupressure for this, when you feel a sneeze coming on: firmly press and hold directly under your nose, in the vertical groove (philtrum) of your upper lip. This is acupoint Du 26. Works every time.
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    I wish I had known that 2 months ago!!!
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  17. #17
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Capt. America
    Sounds like a good time to take some nice long easy walk's.....with Autum setting in find a nice park, beach or mall even and walk! After my RC surgey, herniated disc's, I found that walking will help you keep the weight off and keep your muscles and cardio sytem in shape for when you return to the gym.
    Also increasesing your blood cirrculation should help you heal faster.
    Sounds like a plan to me... just around the neighborhood works great. maybe I was looking for permission here to do that!! Like I said, I have been on the elliptical, and that does not seem to hurt the ribs. I did over do it yesterday though, and I didn't even work out. Not sure what I did, but later in the evening I was hurting.

    Thanks.
    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  18. #18
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FlyingV
    Try a little acupressure for this, when you feel a sneeze coming on: firmly press and hold directly under your nose, in the vertical groove (philtrum) of your upper lip. This is acupoint Du 26. Works every time.
    Wow... I am with Ladym... wish I had known...

    I will be trying that today I am sure. I sneeze at least twice every day at work.

    Thanks!

    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by ladym
    I reinjuried a rib in July. I'm just now going to start my training again.

    I made sure my diet was adequate to heal the injury. To keep the weight down, I cut out as much starchy carbs as I could or limitied my portions, increased my fibrous vegetables, drank a gallon of water each day and reduced my total calorie intake by 500 calories so that I wouldn't gain too much.

    I'm happy to say I haven't gained any weight, I actually lost 5 pounds. My muscles went a bit soft but once I get back after the training that will change.
    Thanks for the suggestions... interestingly, I am thinking I have maybe been successful in changing my metabolism. So far I have not gained any weight above what I was when I got injured. I had just a few weeks earlier decided to switch over to 5 x 5's and let myself gain about five pounds and see if it turned out to be lean/muscle mass. I was up maybe two or three of those five pounds when it happened. That is exactly where I was this morning on the scale, and have worked out, as I said above, very little.

    Maybe that explains why you lost the five pounds. You had actually adjusted your metabolism, and really didn't need to worry at all, at least for a while.

    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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    Registered User ANGEL8484's Avatar
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    I broke two ribs about 5 weeks ago..im wondering what kind of exercise can i do?? I been doing some dumbells work out for biceps n triceps but with light weight and i feel its not enought weight. Can i do push ups or?? Ribs stil kind of hurt well more like discomfort than pain.
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    Originally Posted by ANGEL8484 View Post
    I broke two ribs about 5 weeks ago..im wondering what kind of exercise can i do?? I been doing some dumbells work out for biceps n triceps but with light weight and i feel its not enought weight. Can i do push ups or?? Ribs stil kind of hurt well more like discomfort than pain.
    Wow! Strong six-year bump. I've not broken a rib, so I don't personally know; but nobody's complained about the advice given six years ago, so maybe it's sound. It seems to make good sense. It might not hurt to take your doctor's advice into consideration. Good luck.
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    I have two fractured ribs and I'm wondering the same thing. Upper body workouts are out of the question due to pain and the fact that it'll clearly make my recovery time longer.. but any suggested leg workouts/ specific machines to isolate muscle groups w/o affecting the effected area?
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    fitnessman was right: let the pain be your guide for how/what to limit your lifts and activities.

    Once the fracture has occurred, it is rare for it to cause additional injury (such as punctured lung) days later. The main issue is the pain of those broken ends of bone grating against each other as you move or breathe.

    If the movement doesn't hurt, then you're OK. It will hurt to take deep breaths and/or to cough, but it is important to do this from time to time to keep the lung fully inflated. When you need to cough/sneeze, hold a pillow or cushion against the injured rib(s) to help keep them stil/stable, and this will reduce the discomfort. As for lifting, just hold off on anything that is too painful. Within several days, an early bridge of bone begins to form between the broken fragments, and over time, this strengthens and thickens. At some point, that bridge (called a callous) will be able to stably hold the broken ends in place as you move, and your pain will diminish, allowing you to do more activities.
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