Rib injury, popped rib? intercostal strain? Ahhh the mystery…

Well it was inevitable…I am back on the injured reserve list.

I was rolling with a particularly strong partner in jiu jitsu last night, he was attempting to grab my arm for an arm bar which I was fighting with my body with good positioning so I didn’t feel like I was in any real danger.  He was on his stomach trying to roll me over and I was half sitting up and feeling safe because I had a lot of leverage.  All of a sudden he stretched out against my ribs in an attempt to pull my arm free and I felt my ribs slide and pop.  It actually felt like one of my ribs were getting twisted around but I’m pretty sure that’s not possible.  I yelled out in pain and when my partner let go my it felt like my ribs flipped around a few more time before settling.  Needless to say that was the end of open mat for this guy.

On the drive home my ribs “popped” a few more times which took my breath away.  Of course I iced and took some ibuprofen and did a little “googling” before going to bed.

It looks to be a fairly common injury in BJJ, one that seems to take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks of rest before getting back to 100%.  I tried to test my limits this morning at the gym and found its really difficult to do anything with a rib injury.  I probably will not be going to the gym for the rest of the week.  I do not plan on going to the doctor because everything I’ve read says that a doctor cannot and will not do much for a rib injury unless it is really serious, plus my general practitioner gives me a really blank look when I explain my injuries  (I really have to find a sports medicine doctor!).

The rib has popped at least four times this morning, twice when I was trying to get into my car and twice at the gym when I was trying to get up from laying down on the ground.  I am continuing to ice and trying to move around as little as possible at this point in my rehab.  My plan is to completely rest for at least 2 to 3 days before going back to the gym and stretching and maybe doing a little light cardio to loosen up and test my range of motion.

I definitely don’t want to re-injure and have a long term injury with rib protrusions I have been reading on some forums!