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  1. #1

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    BJJ rib injuries

    Over the past year I've picked up a couple of annoying pains from BJJ training that I can't seem to shake. I've got two rib injuries that just won't go away and I'm wondering if you guys have experienced the same and if so - how long did they take to heal?

    Injury 1: where one of my ribs joins the sternum roughly in the middle of my chest. After hard rolling this area hurts when I breath deeply. It takes a few days for the pain to wear off but comes back again as soon as I roll - I took a month off over the Christmas period for a program of drinking and couch potatojutsu, it felt like the injury cleared up over the holidays but it came back as soon as I started training again.

    Injury 2: Floating rib, right side. I'm not sure if this is the rib itself or the connective tissues from upper abdominals. This one hurts from any direct pressure and usually gives me trouble if someone passes guard and drops their body weight straight down on it, or if I take a knee ride to the side. Again, it takes a few days to wear off but comes back every time straight after training.

    I've had both injuries now for about 4 or 5 months and they don't seem to have improved at all. I know the sensible advice is to take a break until they heal but there's no way I'm quitting training for something that is not life threatening.

    Have any of you guys successfully trained through rib injuries like these? If so, how long did they take to clear up? Quiet a few other guys in the club seem to have similar injuries so I'm just wondering if this is par for the course for BJJ in general?

  2. #2
    judoka_uk's Avatar
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    Your problem is your BJJ training. BJJ makes you weak, it turns you soft. That's the cause of your injuries.

    I recommend an immediate cessation of Zhoo Zhitsu.

    You need to start training something that will make you strong, like Judo.

  3. #3
    syberia's Avatar
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    You could always, I dunno... consult a physician...

    Did these injuries occur sponanteously, or did they have an instigating factor?

    Edit: dislocating of ribs isn't unheard of in BJJ.

    I've never had an issue and I'm 60kg's and often get knee riden by people 130kg's who think that breathing is overated.


    Chaos? Panic?... Disorder??
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  4. #4
    Certified Personal Trainer and Drinker of Coffee supporting member
    CoffeeFan's Avatar
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    I've had the pleasure of dealing with rib injuries before, in fact, I have one as we speak. The problem is the ribs take a while to heal and the grappling will just make it worse. One occasion I was able to have a chiropractor pop my rib back into place and it fixed it up fine. The rest of the time I just had to wait until they healed and learned to move slowly back into grappling.

  5. #5
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    Goju - Joe's Avatar
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    Take time off, or go to lala land and get the magic unicorn doctor to whip up a spell to heal you.

    Or just be constantly hurt and let your injuries slow down your learning and training

  6. #6

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    I had an osteopath look at it and he said they weren't breaks but could be pain resulting from stress applied to previously healed breaks (I broke a few ribs sparring years ago). It's more than likely some kind of muscle/cartilage tear. The osteopath said it's going to happen with that degree of contact but he also didn't have much experience in treating that type of injury (seeing as manipulations don't do anything to resolve it).

    I really don't want to take 3 or 4 months off training - yes it's uncomfortable but training is the one constant that keeps me from going off the rails. It's not getting worse but it's also not getting any better. I was just wondering if anyone here has managed to train through this type of injury and come out the other side with it healed? If so how long did it take? I admit it's kind of ridiculous to fly in the face of sound advice like 'take time off to heal' but that's not something I'm willing to do.

  7. #7
    Kintanon's Avatar
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    I also have your Injury #1. It has slowly improved over the last 6-7 months despite me continuing to lift weights and train as if nothing was wrong. After about 4 months it rarely hurt anymore beyond a slight ache or some pain when I poke at it. At this point it only hurts if I manage to prod the exact right spot on the rib. So, time will heal it, eventually, seeing a doctor and getting a bunch of rest might heal it faster.

  8. #8
    jnp's Avatar
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    I separated two intercostals in my ribs early last year, and continued to train. Even though I tried to be careful, I irritated the injury about every third training session.

    I ended up just working on drilling for six weeks in order to heal up. That way I got some mat time and avoided further injury.

    You can also look into rib belts, a compression band that helps support your ribs during exercise.

  9. #9
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    Goju - Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Vlad View Post
    I had an osteopath look at it and he said they weren't breaks but could be pain resulting from stress applied to previously healed breaks (I broke a few ribs sparring years ago). It's more than likely some kind of muscle/cartilage tear. The osteopath said it's going to happen with that degree of contact but he also didn't have much experience in treating that type of injury (seeing as manipulations don't do anything to resolve it).

    I really don't want to take 3 or 4 months off training - yes it's uncomfortable but training is the one constant that keeps me from going off the rails. It's not getting worse but it's also not getting any better. I was just wondering if anyone here has managed to train through this type of injury and come out the other side with it healed? If so how long did it take? I admit it's kind of ridiculous to fly in the face of sound advice like 'take time off to heal' but that's not something I'm willing to do.
    I cracked my sternum it took about 2 months before I could train again, your injury's sound less severe I think a few weeks would make a huge difference and then light drilling.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Vlad View Post
    I had an osteopath look at it and he said they weren't breaks but could be pain resulting from stress applied to previously healed breaks (I broke a few ribs sparring years ago). It's more than likely some kind of muscle/cartilage tear. The osteopath said it's going to happen with that degree of contact but he also didn't have much experience in treating that type of injury (seeing as manipulations don't do anything to resolve it).
    Sounds like you might have something known as a costochondral separation; best to have it diagnosed by a sports medicine physician to be sure, though.

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