I'm most a commuter and ride all winter in Montreal and (hopefully) train about an hour a day during the week on a stationary trainer.
I either broke or bruised my lower ribs 3 weeks ago today - I didn't have an x-ray as the doc poked and prodded a bit, and as I'm not either expectorating blood or experiencing any abnormal physical effects, there was no point in confirming since there's no real treatment besides avoiding stress and strain. It's bad enough that it's greatly painful (though less and less daily) when I sneeze, cough or laugh, and I still can't lay flat on my back or roll over in bed, but I can now sleep on the "bad" side with a little strategic pillow and leg positioning. I feel tightness when I stretch or put stress on the area (e.g. bending over, lifting things like grocery bags from the floor), but generally am no longer experiencing pain, just a little discomfort.
I started using my trainer late last week, being careful not to stress my chest, or work hard enough that I couldn't breathe deeply and regularly, and I felt even better after two days on.
I rode in to work today for the first time since my injury, and I'm wondering if I'm pushing it - I certainly don't want to exacerbate the injury or prolong healing time, but taking the metro to work and getting essentially no exercise at all is no good either. It's not painful, but I have to admit it does feel a little tighter, probably because using the trainer I would alternate 5 minutes on the bars and 5 minutes no hands, and my commute is about 25 minutes going slow and easy.
Am I pushing it? The doc said to not do any physical activities until "it felt better". "When will that be?" When it doesn't hurt?" "What do you mean by doesn't hurt?" "You'll be able to do physical activities" "How long?" "oh, you know 3-12 weeks, or until it doesn't hurt anymore."