T Nation

Injury - Bruised Ribs


Had a fluke accident at BJJ and ended up injuring my ribs. I was relieved when I found out they were just bruised, but after a few days the pain is still intense and I have difficulty taking deep breaths or doing simple tasks. Anyone had bruised ribs before, and when were you able to get back on the mat or in the gym? I just got over a back injury and patience is running thin...


Bruised ribs suck.

I'm sure they heal faster if you stay off them, but I've never been able to make myself stay off the mat for that long, and can attest to some pretty bad bruised ribs healing on their own while still training pretty intensely. Sounds like they weren't as bad as yours. I could feel it with deep breaths, but it didn't bother me doing simple tasks.

Sorry to hear about it and best wishes.


I have to admit- to wearing a shit ton of tape.
not the best plan but its what I did.

they are painful- and take some time to heal.



Last time I got them they took AAAAGES.
Not feeling too bad after a week this time. Hope to be back after 2-3.


last time I bruised my ribs i used taping too to keep it very warm around the rib area and was very conscious about any type of work that would involve them.(lol, that would mean all)


Don't laugh, cough, or heaven help you sneeze. Use tape and grin and bear it.


I got some bruised ribs from a takedown with the guys hands locked behind me. I felt OK for the rest of the session but by the time I got home it was hurting something awful. It took about 2 weeks before I could do a lot of simple things and about a month before I felt comfortable training.


thanks for responses, going to give them another week and then try light training with tape. one rib is still sticking out a bit but i'm guessing that's from bruising/inflammation.


Apologies for being late to the dance.

I am sorry to hear about this.

I will assume that the injury was evaluated and fracture and separated cartilage was ruled out.

Where the injury is has a lot to do with what helps/hurts recovery.

Rest is usually advised, but if breathing is aggravating you can't very well stay off your lungs.

If you practice any kind of breathing exercises it is a good idea to start with that as soon as possible. Zen breathing/japanese breathing exercises are usually pretty compatible with judo training. Proper breathing, "abdominal" breathing, is necessary for all kinds of muscle function and stabilization and rib injuries can screw with it pretty badly. Make sure this isn't happening, plus it gives you something to work on while you are down. Any pre-hab/re-hab that you "know" you should be doing but brush off for harder/cooler training is also a great idea. Catch up on it now so you can hit randori with a vengeance when its time.

If the bruise is more anterior foam rolling your spine/back muscles can help mobilize your ribs and may speed healing, or at least speed getting back into form later.

I am a big fan of using liniment to help with bruises because it both relieves pain and increases circulation to the injury. Of course bones are deep to the skin so this may not be of much value other than as an analgesic.

Tape/ wrapping the rib before provocative/pain causing activities is an old stand by.

General rule is to not push any activity that makes you suffer for longer than 10 minutes after you stop. So if you are still in more pain after resting for ten minutes, go easier or do something else. If it only sucks more for 5 minutes after you are done than you are probably ok.

Once again I am taking you at your word that nothing more serious is causing the pain. Nothing I wrote is a substitute for actual medical evaluation and advice.


Robert A