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Chest Pain after crash

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Chest Pain after crash

Old 12-25-14, 08:00 AM
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hi_flora
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Chest Pain after crash

Hi guys,

I crashed in a race about a week and a half ago and had reoccurring chest pains as a result. Before anyone points me to the doctor, I did go to an urgent care facility a week later and was told I had inflamed rib cartilage and that it would just heal on its own. I'm taking ibuprofen occasionally for the pain. I did ask the doc about how much I should be riding, but he was rather vague about it. My question to you guys, would you try to train through this? As of now I'm only putting on base miles and occasional SST, but in the recent days I reduced the hours and slouched around all day. However, if it takes many weeks for the cartilage to finally heal itself, I don't know I can last that long without going crazy.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:04 AM
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Subject to your doctor's final say, the question is (i.e., one to ask your doctor): Will riding further inflame the injured area, slow up the healing process, or have no impact on the recovery? If the answer is yes to either of the first 2, stay off the bike. If the answer to the third is yes, enjoy your riding.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:24 AM
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Rest up for two weeks.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:27 AM
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I'm not a doc, so take this with a grain of salt. As long as your riding doesn't cause too much discomfort and your goal is to get base miles, then continue to ride. Don't dial up the intensity for the first week or so and listen to your body. I'd suspect it would be most comfortable riding on the tops and when you go down in the drops you feel the pressure. Whether its deep bruising or fractures of the ribs, doesn't matter much since they both have to heal on their own. Both take several weeks to heal so be patient. I had 5 broken ribs along with other injuries about a year ago and was warned the recovery process is painful and slow. They were right.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:37 AM
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I deal with this kind of stuff by listening to my body. I'd go off the ibuprofen for a day or two and note the actual pain level. If it felt OK to ride, I'd ride and see how it went. It might be that it's fine as long as you avoid the bouncing around so look for better roads. Also heavy breathing where you lift your ribs might bother you, so avoid the hardest hills and sprint intervals.

It's not all or nothing, so use your common sense and see how it goes. I don't think it's a question of causing re-injury as much as dragging out the healing process so you're at 80% for weeks or even months, vs. being 100% after a few more days of complete rest.

BTW- that's not a edical opinion, just how I handle similar stuff, ymmv.
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Old 12-25-14, 02:26 PM
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Did you get an xray? Could be fractured.
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Old 12-25-14, 02:56 PM
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Went down hard some months ago and did someting nasty to my ribs. Quite painful and lasted well over a month before it was completely OK again. I try to avoid taking painkillers and this allows me to go ride mildly injured because I feel how my body really reacts. I could ride slower and as long as I did not push I was fairly Ok. Much worse at night
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Old 12-28-14, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the replies! Forrest, I did get an x-ray and everything checked out okay. I have been just taking it easy, riding on the rollers, outside for a bit but nothing extreme. Still feel the pain and am trying to wean off the ibuprofen but patience seems to be the key here.
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Old 12-28-14, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by hi_flora View Post
Hi guys,

I crashed in a race about a week and a half ago and had reoccurring chest pains as a result. Before anyone points me to the doctor, I did go to an urgent care facility a week later and was told I had inflamed rib cartilage and that it would just heal on its own. I'm taking ibuprofen occasionally for the pain. I did ask the doc about how much I should be riding, but he was rather vague about it. My question to you guys, would you try to train through this? As of now I'm only putting on base miles and occasional SST, but in the recent days I reduced the hours and slouched around all day. However, if it takes many weeks for the cartilage to finally heal itself, I don't know I can last that long without going crazy.
Describe the pain. Where is it, what does it feel like, when did it start, immediately with accident or day or two later, what makes it worse, what makes it better.
I assume no broken bones or ribs. I also assume urgent care visit was day of accident which would make the diagnosis given unlikely.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:05 AM
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I suspect you feel the pain riding or not. It was caused by an impact not normal riding so riding is unlikely to make it worse. If certain types of riding (for example, sprinting) make the pain significantly worse then obviously you should be limiting that type of riding.

For these types of injuries normally your body is self limiting and will let you know when you should back off. Riding is unlikely to delay the healing process and the extra blood flow might speed it up.
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Old 12-28-14, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Describe the pain. Where is it, what does it feel like, when did it start, immediately with accident or day or two later, what makes it worse, what makes it better.
I assume no broken bones or ribs. I also assume urgent care visit was day of accident which would make the diagnosis given unlikely.
It mostly is from the center of my chest, around my sternum. It seems deep to it though, not superficial. It doesn't radiate or anything. It doesn't hurt to touch the area but it does to press. I actually noticed it one or two days after the crash, but I may just have not noticed it and was focused on the road rash rather than the chest pains. I can definitely feel the pain when I push or pull against anything. For example, doing a plank or pushup is impossible at the moment. I slept on my side for a while since sleeping on my back felt worse, but now it's okay. I actually visited the urgent care facility about 6 days after the crash since I was concerned that I was still feeling the pain. It was pretty bad the day I visited though - probably because I didn't give myself any rest and was running on 3 hours of sleep and also had a hard ride.
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Old 12-28-14, 04:32 PM
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2 full weeks off for you sir!
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Old 12-28-14, 04:55 PM
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I
Originally Posted by hi_flora View Post
It mostly is from the center of my chest, around my sternum. It seems deep to it though, not superficial. It doesn't radiate or anything. It doesn't hurt to touch the area but it does to press. I actually noticed it one or two days after the crash, but I may just have not noticed it and was focused on the road rash rather than the chest pains. I can definitely feel the pain when I push or pull against anything. For example, doing a plank or pushup is impossible at the moment. I slept on my side for a while since sleeping on my back felt worse, but now it's okay. I actually visited the urgent care facility about 6 days after the crash since I was concerned that I was still feeling the pain. It was pretty bad the day I visited though - probably because I didn't give myself any rest and was running on 3 hours of sleep and also had a hard ride.
Okay, so what you are describing is typical for costochondritis and is very commen after blunt trauma of less serious levels. The intersection of the rib and cartilage at the sternal area is a region of stiffness/ the bone, joining the softer/ the cartiledge. The transmission of force from bone to cartiledge aggravates the area causing inflammation and subsequent pain. It can be quite severe and can last weeks. The best treatment is to avoid doing what makes it hurt, pretty obvious, and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin/ibuprofen.
The mistake people and doctors make is taking this for pain symptoms- don't. You are taking it for the anti inflammatory aspect of the drug and this should be done with a scheduled dose every 8 hours not on an ad needed basis. Instead take 800 mgs every 8 hours Whether you hurt or not for 2 weeks. If smaller, less than 150, take 600 instead. Be on the alert for GI upset, bleeding etc etc.
in between doses take Tylenol for pain.
Heating pads may be of some help.

Last edited by surgeonstone; 12-28-14 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 12-29-14, 09:49 AM
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I had a crash about a week ago(clipped by a car and went down hard) landed on my side and have bruised ribs/chest pain.

From what I have read the only thing that heals this is time. I'm still riding but more at a relaxed pace. Just take it easy, lots of Vitamin C, Zinc, and COQ10 helps too.
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