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Pain in Right Ribs - Torn Intercostal Muscle?


Ash1974
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Thanks for posting this pic. That's exactly where it feels like someone punched me hard with their knuckle sticking out. Happened after a bootcamp workout, followed by 30 mins in a batting cage. It was a sudden discomfort that became worse after I cooled down and especially after waking from a nap. Then I was surprised for find that I felt it while breathing and certain movements reminded me it was there as well. I have no idea what I did but I'm getting a better idea after reading this and some other blogs and websites. It was the twisting of batting that did me in after simply overdoing it.

I did ice it and it felt better the 2nd night. At that time I hadn't yet done my research so I did some band exercises while at work. Nothing major. A couple hours later and I realized that was a not the best thing because the discomfort came back worse than before.

I have that area wrapped with a "Ion Band" (attaches with velcro) that's actually meant for lower back support. It does help a little but I'm really concerned about keeping my bootcamp workouts going!! I'm gonna try. I know the difference between discomfort and pain and I'll stop for the latter. I have a high tolerance and I'm focused on keeping my workout momentum moving forward.

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Docs are a waste of money when it comes to rib injuries.  All they will do is recommend rest......

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

Docs are a waste of money when it comes to rib injuries.  All they will do is recommend rest......

I agree completely, but in their defense, there's really not much to do about rib injuries.

To the OP: I understand your pain, I once tried to play with a broken rib and toe from an unfortunate Super Bowl accident with a foosball table, thinking it would be easy. After all, Tiger played with a broken leg, right? Wrong, It hurts like no other and I had to quit after maybe 4 holes.

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As a licensed massage therapist, I highly recommend pre-care before an injury. I don't know if the clubs have massage therapists, but they ought to. Stretching is great, but if you actually massage the tissue prior to activity you can often avoid injury. Pre-event massage warms the muscles and allows the fibers to stretch. The intercostals are short muscles that aren't exactly easy to stretch. Got a wife or a girlfriend? She can do the massage. Back and forth friction across the ribcage to heat and loosen the fibers. I have had an intercostal injury myself, so I know exactly what you are feeling and it takes forever to get better and to this day I still have a problem with muscle spasm/cramp. A rib cramp? YES. Horrible.

Oh, and when you stretch remember your body flexes both ways. Don't forget to stretch backward with your arms wide to fully open the ribcage. A trick to help with that is sitting in a chair with a low back. That way the back can support you as you let your upper body fall backward. If you try to do it standing up you will be working against yourself just to maintain balance.

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Guys, just to update you from my earlier threads - I had this injury last year, there is only one cure - complete rest and commitment to heal. Put your clubs away, and don't go near them for 12 weeks- find a new hobby, anytig but play golf.. Any deviation will just set you right back to the beginning.

Anyway, I'm all fine now and playing 3 times a week.

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I was trying to find out what this pain was on the right side under rib cage. When taking deep breaths it hurt a lot. Moving around in bed was a killer. I had been moving some very heavy furniture with a guy in my house thinking I could handle it, I'm a girl. We lifted very large TV's and couches that type of thing. After doing some research here on the internet it sound very much like the Intercostal muscle tear. When I looked at the picture with the X on his chest that is EXACTLY where it hurts.

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I'm going on week 8 of having this strain and I am still in pain. It's out of control. All was feeling well around week 6.5/7ish but last week I was playing Power Putt Live and sneezed heavily and now I am pretty sure I set myself back like 3 or 4 weeks. It just blows my mind.

My doctor prescribed me on 800MG Ibuprofen ,which helps tremendously, as well as some 10mg flexoril which is great for just trying to get to sleep while I am in pain. I am going to a chiropractor to help an out of socket rib (which I personally believe contributed to the injury)and he gave me an awesome ice/heat pack to ice my rib. I'm trying to sit around and just rest but it's so damn hard when I start to feel better. I need to constently remind myself to not do anything next time I get to that point.

I did manage to go to the spa at Mirage yesterday and sat in the Jacuzzi, wow did that feel great. I read somewhere that it's a good idea to completely submerge your body in a hot tub and do some stretching exercises. I did that and it was nice. Very relieving, though it was short lived. I have also experimented with having an ace bandage wrapped around my body to limit the lung expansion and that helps a lot too. All these are great for pain management but what is irritating is how slow this is seeming to heal.

Best of luck to all who have this bullshit injury, haha.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update on mine from over a two year period of on and off pain with this.

Currently oplaying 1-2 times a week with mild pain on and off.

Originally thought to be the joint in the back causing the nerve to pinch and radiate pain around to the front right hand side.

Physio helped a lot with this and I can perform certain release techniques on myself with some success.

But now after seeing another doctor it is thought to be "slippy rib syndrome"

So looks like I injured a rib muscle (golfing) and as a result the injured muscle is stretched allowing the rib to slip now and then, the pain is in right centre of ribs, I also now get some pain in center of chest as well that I can feel as tightness and this sometimes goes right through to the back (hence my revisit to doctors to make sure it as not anything serious) as well an inflamed sternum that clicks when I press it, so I am schedule to see a specialist again and see what he recommends.

At the moment it only flares up real bad when I am doing heavy practice (every day at the moment breaking in a new swing) but trying to swing within my self and in a different setup position seems to be helping, maybe my old swing was in such bad shape it was putting unneeded stress on my right side? (had a lot of swaying movement in backswing)

Anyway as said only true way is lots of rest, but I will update with what the doc says.

Stick with it guys :)

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Originally Posted by Ash1974

Update on mine from over a two year period of on and off pain with this.

Currently oplaying 1-2 times a week with mild pain on and off.

Originally thought to be the joint in the back causing the nerve to pinch and radiate pain around to the front right hand side.

Physio helped a lot with this and I can perform certain release techniques on myself with some success.

But now after seeing another doctor it is thought to be "slippy rib syndrome"

So looks like I injured a rib muscle (golfing) and as a result the injured muscle is stretched allowing the rib to slip now and then, the pain is in right centre of ribs, I also now get some pain in center of chest as well that I can feel as tightness and this sometimes goes right through to the back (hence my revisit to doctors to make sure it as not anything serious) as well an inflamed sternum that clicks when I press it, so I am schedule to see a specialist again and see what he recommends.

At the moment it only flares up real bad when I am doing heavy practice (every day at the moment breaking in a new swing) but trying to swing within my self and in a different setup position seems to be helping, maybe my old swing was in such bad shape it was putting unneeded stress on my right side? (had a lot of swaying movement in backswing)

Anyway as said only true way is lots of rest, but I will update with what the doc says.

Stick with it guys :)

I had a rib slipping out in the back too but going to the Chiro seems to have helped a lot. It doesn't slip as much or as easily now. I'm going on 11 weeks and tried to go to the range last Saturday and hit maybe like 35-40 balls before I decided to call it quits before I over do it. It felt like it was more of an annoyance rather than pain so that's always good. It's slowly subsiding and  hopefully I can get in at least one round before summer rates drop off the table.  I figure if all is well that ends well, and if luck is on my side, maybe another 3-4 weeks. (at least hoping as a worst case scenario)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have read every post on this thread and this is my situation--Played more than usual yesterday, no problem noticed for the first 18 holes. I'm 62 and walk, so I get the usual

aches and pains (left wrist has a little chronic tendonitis and a left knee meniscus with a slight tear) but nothing that would come close to making me sit out. So we decide to

play another 9, and 3 holes in, I hit one of my favorite shots, a punch 3/4 pw from about 110 and its like someone stuck an icepick in my ribs. The pain started on the downswing

and maxed out on impact. Full swings after that has a little soreness but nothing I couldn't handle. Subsequent 3/4 shots were painful and the results showed it.

So today I played again, and the pain has ramped up especially with the 3/4 shots and also feeling it with every full shots to the point that I had to quit after 9. Came home and found this

thread. Here's a wrinkle in my case though: two days ago, the day before I first had the first episode, I was hitting the 3/4 shot from under a pine tree and impacted a root that was barely

covered by soil. It probably was the hardest I have hit a root in years, maybe in my playing career--when it first happened I thought I had injured by hands, but any pain I had in

hands or arms quickly went away. What I am wondering is if that is when the damage was done to the rib area... It hurts when I inhale, not when I cough, and definitely to the

point where it screws up my golf game. I am wondering also if it was the root, the fact that it took a couple of days to show up might mean it is not very bad. I play at least 4 times a

week but have halted play for now and taking it day to day.  Does anyone think the root could be what started this?

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Originally Posted by Bayou Boogie

I have read every post on this thread and this is my situation--Played more than usual yesterday, no problem noticed for the first 18 holes. I'm 62 and walk, so I get the usual

aches and pains (left wrist has a little chronic tendonitis and a left knee meniscus with a slight tear) but nothing that would come close to making me sit out. So we decide to

play another 9, and 3 holes in, I hit one of my favorite shots, a punch 3/4 pw from about 110 and its like someone stuck an icepick in my ribs. The pain started on the downswing

and maxed out on impact. Full swings after that has a little soreness but nothing I couldn't handle. Subsequent 3/4 shots were painful and the results showed it.

So today I played again, and the pain has ramped up especially with the 3/4 shots and also feeling it with every full shots to the point that I had to quit after 9. Came home and found this

thread. Here's a wrinkle in my case though: two days ago, the day before I first had the first episode, I was hitting the 3/4 shot from under a pine tree and impacted a root that was barely

covered by soil. It probably was the hardest I have hit a root in years, maybe in my playing career--when it first happened I thought I had injured by hands, but any pain I had in

hands or arms quickly went away. What I am wondering is if that is when the damage was done to the rib area... It hurts when I inhale, not when I cough, and definitely to the

point where it screws up my golf game. I am wondering also if it was the root, the fact that it took a couple of days to show up might mean it is not very bad. I play at least 4 times a

week but have halted play for now and taking it day to day.  Does anyone think the root could be what started this?



From what I read, the intercostal muscle strain is from jerking twisting motions. So I would say the root probably didn't cause this. I would lay off golf for a week or two and slowly get back into it like with  slow motion swings and what not. I'm going on week 12 or 13, forget exactly, and still not 100% healed but I pushed and pushed when I was aching. I continued to play until I was to the point where if we hit a bump while riding the golf cart, it hurt like HELL. If you lay off early before it gets any worse you should be okay.

When my strain first started I thought I maybe slept wrong. I remember when it started, the day prior, I had had my clubs fitted and was doing swings indoors. He did have hit on this plexiglass like surface. Maybe that originally cause the strain but personally I don't believe so. I think something just got tweaked in the motion from a lack of pre-game routine.

Good luck.

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Originally Posted by robrey85

From what I read, the intercostal muscle strain is from jerking twisting motions. So I would say the root probably didn't cause this. I would lay off golf for a week or two and slowly get back into it like with  slow motion swings and what not. I'm going on week 12 or 13, forget exactly, and still not 100% healed but I pushed and pushed when I was aching. I continued to play until I was to the point where if we hit a bump while riding the golf cart, it hurt like HELL. If you lay off early before it gets any worse you should be okay.

When my strain first started I thought I maybe slept wrong. I remember when it started, the day prior, I had had my clubs fitted and was doing swings indoors. He did have hit on this plexiglass like surface. Maybe that originally cause the strain but personally I don't believe so. I think something just got tweaked in the motion from a lack of pre-game routine.

Good luck.


I agree that it seemed like I would have noticed something early in my 27 holes the day after the root impact, and it would not have taken 20 holes to feel pain. I have probably played

more golf the last week (wife has been visiting relatives out of state for the same period ; ) than in a long time so that could be it. I noticed one of the posters said something about  holding

your breath while swinging , it helps, but not enough. As of yesterday, no full swing or impact and plan on not doing anything that causes anything more than minimal discomfort.

My other sports is bowling, which I do left handed (play golf righty) and tested a ball release in the yard and no pain. Its a poor substitute, but I may have  to be satisfied with the

lanes for several weeks.  Thanks for the post.

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You got it. I think it's going to be week 14 this weekend and I think I'm going to try again to go to the range and see what happens. The last time I went to the range was around week 9-10 and I was hurting after around 40 balls. I'm getting ansy as all hell and would REALLY like to get back on the course if I could so hopefully all goes well this weekend!

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Originally Posted by robrey85

You got it. I think it's going to be week 14 this weekend and I think I'm going to try again to go to the range and see what happens. The last time I went to the range was around week 9-10 and I was hurting after around 40 balls. I'm getting ansy as all hell and would REALLY like to get back on the course if I could so hopefully all goes well this weekend!


I am only in 10 days, but still the most I can hit a pitch without feeling significant pain is 30 yards. The lack of progress is suggesting I may be looking at a month or more. I have not tried to do any more than the short pitch for fear of re-injury. Talked to the two pros at my club and they haven't heard of hitting a root causing the rib pull, but I still have my suspicions.  If I hold my breath

while pitching it doesn't hurt nearly as much but I wonder if that is masking the potential for over doing it.

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I have had the same pain over the past few weeks - now Im worried!

 

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My chiropractors were the US olympic team chiros back a few years ago or something like that and when I told them about my strain immediately they said it's going to take a long time to fully heal and to do A LOT of resting. I can assure you, you're not helping the healing process by trying to swing the club and continue to practice. I looked EVERYWHERE for explanations and possible things I could do to help the healing process and everything I found was just, rest, ice, meds with the occasional PT.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welp, went to the range last weekend and playing a round on an executive course this past weekend and felt great. I took an 800mg ibuprofen prior to playing just incase but felt good afterwards and I think I am okay to return to the course though I am not 100% because I can still feel it. As long as it doesn't get aggravated, I think I'm okay!

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After a 3 week lay off, I returned to the course. Full swings were better than punch wedge shots but none were very painful. I applied ice after, and have played 3 rounds since going back.

Still feel some soreness, but it is getting better each time I play. My ribs would hurt when I hiccupped, hardly at all when I sneezed or coughed. I think my pull was on the minor side compared

to some on here--I was lucky.

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  • iacas changed the title to Pain in Right Ribs - Torn Intercostal Muscle?

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