Bruised / Broken Ribs

I fell over during Majorca half marathon and the Doc believes i've cracked a rib - he wont xray me because he says it will all be cured the same way - rest.

Any ideas on any exercise I can do and how I can keep up my fitness level



  • I've suffered bruised / broken ribs a couple of times in my martial arts days.
    It was painful just to breathe at times - so running was out.
    Depends how bad the pain is really - the only thing that does sort them is rest.

  • Ow, that hurts!
    As your doc says: no real point in exposing you to x-rays if it won't alter the treatment.
    Bruised ribs =rest and painkillers, takes about 3-4 weeks
    Broken ribs = rest and painkillers, takes 4-6 weeks. So you'll know eventually!

    Exercise? Not for the 1st week or so. After that do as the Ironman says, whatever you can manage. Exercise bike, aqua-jog, long walks?
    It's very sore whatever so let yourself heal and if it gets worse rather than better then back to the doc.
    Good luck with it
  • Can I dissent (mildly) from the above?

    Don't think I'd chance **broken** ribs - but, with/without painkillers, I've certainly done it (at least twice) on **bruised** ribs (having being whacked on the chest while playing cricket - batting).
    Not an enjoyable experience, to be sure - the pain forces you to keep your breathing quite shallow - but if you're keen not to lose fitness, it's perfectly possible, and won't do any damage.
    Be prepared to live with it for a good 2-3 weeks - whether or not you decide to run on it.
  • Been running since New Years Eve i.e. 3 weeks, after a cycling mishap with the Humber Bridge (they should label things so you can see them) with a cracked or bruised rib. Getting bit easier but just won't go away. Strong breathing or jolting around from running makes it uncomfortable, but I'm too daft to stop. Area of minor pain is to the outside of my heart. Perhaps proves should have rested longer first. Was excerbated by swimming 3 days after! but cycling in the saddle is OK.
  • This happened to me a week ago. I been to the Doc and posted a couple of threads / questions on here. The adice is the same.

    I went for a run yesterday and woke up this morning with a chest that felt like it was in a vice.

    The answer is rest unfortunately. I am not sure about the painkillers, I've never used them (and I have had some good bicycle accidents over the years) they are only a mask anyway and the pain is there for a reason - to slow you down.

    Be careful if cycling as the leaning forward on the handlebars can upset things a little, try to sit upright if you can.

    Hurts though doesn't it?
  • I got back to running after three weeks. It still hurt at night when trying to sleep but was ok with light breathing when running. Still feel occasional pain now 6 weeks later if stretching or breathing deeply.

    Dont know if it helped buf for two days before I ran applied ice every 6 hours, alternating with heat pad I bought from Argos for £16 - havent used the heat pad since
    good luck Nitram
  • I have managed a 10 and two 12 mile runs since, so I think as long as you feel comfortable the more miles the merrier.
  • I think I broke a rib a couple of weeks back , elbow in the chest playing football ,
    have not really stopped running since , mainly short runs 4/5 miles , no great pain, really the only pain is sleeping on it , or should I say waking up on it.

    I know it can take many weeks to heal , but can you actually do any damage by running with a broken rib?
  • Get it Xrayed.

    If its just cracked you'll be OK. If its properly broken you shouldn't. If you have a fall theres a possibility you could puncture your lung - and you really dont want to do that.

    TBH I'd say you've probably just cracked or bruised it. The difference between a cracked rib and a broken one in terms of pain is on a scale of about a million (Yes I've done both). Trust me - you wouldn't breath unless you had to with a properly broken rib.

  • i once dislocated my bottom rib falling off a horse, and the horse stood on me (yes apparently, it is possible) and didn't realise what I had done. After 10 days it was still as painful as the day I did it so I bizzarely went for a 2 mile run. The pain after half a mile was indescribeable but I carried on. When I got home, I got into a hot  bath, leant forwards, heard a crack, felt something move and was in the worst pain of my life. My rib had popped back in and I never had a problem with it again

    I wouldn't recommend doing any exercise as the pain I was in on my run was awesome. Rest and painkillers I'm afraid!

  • thanks for the resposes

    I was trying to avoid the X ray , dangerous things x rays , always been unnevered by the fact the operator stands behind a lead shield and then fires the rays straight at you!

    Anyway I think you are right and the pain would be much worse if actually broken , I have had a few reluctant days away from the running and resume after a week or at worse two.

    thanks again for the advise
  • Quite right to avoid the x-ray if you can for a rib injury which is going to heal by itself. Good luck with the recovery.
  • broke 2 ribs left side on the 12-12-12.have had x.ray.doing a spring marathon' when will i be able to run again.was told at hospital 4-6 weeks

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