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  1. #1
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    Anyone have experience with torn/strained intercostals (ribs) muscle?

    Trying to keep active as winter arriving here in South Dakota. I have bike trainer but not really what I like to do. Anyway after playing some Wednesday night pickup basketball and surviving, I was relaxed on my recliner with foot rest up and cat fell asleep on the comforter over my lap. House rule is that we try not to disturb sleeping cats!

    In trying to crawl out from comforter and keeping cat on recliner, I got in an awkward position and felt a twinge across my ribs. Very painful and sore at times now across my right outside ribcage. Worse time is coughing, getting out of car, or turning in my sleep. I try to be careful but I get some really sharp pains. In going through Internet I believe I have either a strained, pulled, or tore intercostals muscle around ribs. Anyone done this?

    I have been trying ice and intermittent heat over the last couple of days. Yesterday did absolutely nothing with complete rest and at night it seemed it hurt even worse when I turned over in bed. How can one not keep from re-aggravating so it can heal? Should one still do a little exercise but not extreme? Wonder how long before I can get back to normal activity and if my basketball days are over?
    Last edited by karjak; 11-22-09 at 05:02 PM.

  2. #2
    '47
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    Yes. A few years ago, at age 58, I tripped over some refuse in the backyard and that band of muscles over the ribs became very painful. Breathing deeply was out of the question for nearly a week. After that, healing was rapid. Mostly I just wanted to stand straight and not move around in bed. Me getting up from chairs was probably humorous to watch, but I wasn't chuckling at the time. Anyway, my sympathy....there was nothing for it but time and ibuprofen. If it is a muscle tear, it will heal. Maybe in time for that T-day ride....just no sprints! No residual effects for me...if like mine, you should be back on the court no problem. A freak thing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by '47 View Post
    Yes. A few years ago, at age 58, I tripped over some refuse in the backyard and that band of muscles over the ribs became very painful. Breathing deeply was out of the question for nearly a week. After that, healing was rapid. Mostly I just wanted to stand straight and not move around in bed. Me getting up from chairs was probably humorous to watch, but I wasn't chuckling at the time. Anyway, my sympathy....there was nothing for it but time and ibuprofen. If it is a muscle tear, it will heal. Maybe in time for that T-day ride....just no sprints! No residual effects for me...if like mine, you should be back on the court no problem. A freak thing.

    Thanks I needed the encouragement! Really is comical how easy one can get hurt this way. At least breathing gives me no problem, but if I feel a sneeze coming on it is a terryifying experience. I rested mostly all today with heat pad and it does seem better. If I don't keep moving in the winter I can easily put on 20 lbs.

  4. #4
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    There are lots of nerves in the intercostal spaces so any insult tends to be memorable. Use analgesics (e.g. acetaminophen, ibuprofen) until things cool down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    There are lots of nerves in the intercostal spaces so any insult tends to be memorable. Use analgesics (e.g. acetaminophen, ibuprofen) until things cool down.
    FWIW, aspirin worked a lot better that aceta for me (I'm allergic to ibu).
    As to the cause...I really like cats, and we always have a few around, but the little bastridges can get up and move if I want to get out from under them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    FWIW, aspirin worked a lot better that aceta for me (I'm allergic to ibu).
    As to the cause...I really like cats, and we always have a few around, but the little bastridges can get up and move if I want to get out from under them.
    Been tyriing both Tylenol and aspirin. Finally some improvement last night but still very tender to touch and movement. Changed house rule in regard to not disturbing cats.

  7. #7
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Yep, I just checked in with my wife and she thinks it's a total of eight times I've had this. (All related to injuries competing in martial arts). I think it's fewer, but then again I usually try to put painful event out of my mind and memory bank. Rest really is the best way to deal with it. However, I strongly encourage you to deal with the pain and make sure you take several very deep breaths a dozen times a day or more. I can remember one particularly nasty injury where I also fractured my skull and was in the hospital for four days (the rib muscles hurt much more than the head injury). I was told I was at risk of developing pneumonia if I didn't get in some deep breathing.

    Funny thing is with this injury is that the pain comes very quickly and intensely if you make the wrong movements. I found myself (after the first day or two) trying not to laugh when I got hit with a jolt of pain from something as simple as reach for a glass from the cupborad. I kept thinking to myself, "How stupid can I be. I know I'm injured, but keeping doing things that hurt like hell." It's really hard to not move around in a normal manner when it only hurts when you make specific types of movement. Hope you heal fast (about 7 to 10 days seemed to be the significant turning point for me).
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    I've lost count of how many times I've had this but it is always 3 weeks from injury to total healing for me assuming i don't re-tear it from sleeping or coughing or some other unthought movement.
    I've learned that ice right after to keep swelling down helps and I use a rib-belt when I sleep or have to do something physical.
    Has the pain moved from the front to around on your back yet? It will.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Yes. and most people think it's a side-stitch.
    It takes a long time to heal, about 4 months, during which it's hard not to re-injur if you're still exercising.
    Constant re-injury will result in scar tissue there, and be more prone to re-injury.

    As bad as it sounds, for me, the cure was simply 4 months of staying away from any activity that could injur it.
    It was frustrating as heck, since I was a marathoner, like to swim, triathlons, etc. Even brisk walking could make it smart a little.
    I finally stopped everything for 4 months, and it healed. No problems since.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    Perhaps you didn't really hear what you thought I said...
    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


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  10. #10
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    I first got it about 10 years ago.Never seems to completely go away.I'll move the wrong way or something and its back again.I get it mostly in winter which gets to -30 or worse.Cold not good for anything it seems with age.
    DVS yes it worked its way into back everytime.

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