Recovery time for bruised rib (costochondritis)

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Recovery time for bruised rib (costochondritis)


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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Scrappper 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #255688

    I went down a week ago riding a trail called The Grudge in Simi Valley and bruised my rib cage pretty bad. I thought it was broken but X-rays were negative. I guess it’s something called costochondritis, when the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum are injured. I was just wondering if anyone has also had this and how long it took to be able to ride again.


  • #255700

    Did the doctor give you any guide lines? That would be a good place to start. That said, I have had either broken or bruised ribs at least twice (one time I clearly heard and felt a snap, leading me to believe it was a fracture), though I did not see a doctor to check. Both times I continued to ride ~4 days a week; but I will say, it was “uncomfortable” for a few weeks. There is not much that can be done with rib injuries (can’t put a cast on it!), and they are very well supported by the intercostal muscles, so the bruised/fractured ribs are not moving much more than normal.

    • #255706

      Yah, the doctor just said to give it a few weeks and see how it feels. But I’ve heard that ribs can take much longer to heal enough to start downhilling again. I don’t want to aggravate it or injure it again from riding rough terrain. I guess I just need to feel it out and wait. But I’m chompin at the bit to get back on the trails, and it’s only been a week! I’ll probably start with mellow trails after a few weeks.

  • #255724

    If its not broken you can ride no problem. Might want to stick to less bumpy trails to avoid unnecessary pain. I would recommend road or gravel grinding for another week. It will take about a month for pain to fully go away. Happened to me many times. Get G Form t shirt. Makes a big difference.

  • #255726

    I’ve had this twice. You can ride, but at first it will hurt like hell. the pain goes away a little bit every day, but it will be maybe 4-5 months until you don’t notice it anymore. Mellow trails are good to start–it’s the loading and lifting for getting over obstacles that’s the worst in the first weeks. I hate to say it, but sleeping will be tough for a while.

  • #255877

    As others stated, it’s fine to ride but may hurt like hell.  It’s a pain tolerance issue.  Take some aspirin (or not) and get out and ride… preferably something more XC-oriented that may be less jarring/painful.

  • #255900

    Feel your pain, a few weeks back I had most of my ribs broken during CPR and have just returned to the bike.  Lifting my wheel over obstacles or hiting bumps at speed sends a chill through my whole body.  But… the joy of riding keeps me coming back.

  • #255952

    Did the same thing last year, took about a month before sleeping and doing real activity was comfortable. About 2 months till 100%.

  • #256135

    I crashed and broke 2, maybe 3 ribs back on Sept 28th, 2018.  It was 6 weeks before the stabbing pain of the fractures moving went away, even longer before sneezing wasn’t traumatic.  It’s been 4 months now and I still have pain if I stretch/arch backwards too far (broke my left ribs, right in the front).  I have ridden once, and fell (managed to roll that time), but didn’t suffer much more than dull pain/achy from hard breathing.  Winter is upon us with a vengeance, so I’m not riding for awhile.

    Twice in the past I have dislocated a rib, separating them at the cartilage.  A right rib in the front, and a left rib in the back.  The right one was from full-contact, no gear football on the beach.  It took years before it “stuck” back in place.  Hiccups were the worst, as was stretching.  I still occasionally feel a twinge from it, 19 years later.  The left one was from using a giant pry bar to try and move a cement parking block back into position.  Was pushing upwards and it just popped.  After a few weeks it rarely hurt at all, other than when my chiropractor would attempt to adjust my back right next too it.  Has taken a few years for it to stick back and not be bothered by adjustments, although I do feel resistance in it at the time.

    When I had mine x-rayed, they could not confirm that I had broken them, told me that unless the ribs are displaced, it’s less than 50% of the time that the breaks are actually visible.  Going by symptoms, and that I could pinpoint the spot where the stabbing pain was, along with rib movement, they were diagnosed as broken.

    Good luck with sleeping and such!


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