Popped Intercostals (again)

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5 years 7 months ago #32795 by [email protected]
Has anyone else done this to themselves?

Two years ago on a big downwind, I felt a sudden pain in my side. It felt like a bad stitch and I ignored it, got the end of the paddle, waited half an hour and then started a race. Two laps in I powered up on the downwind leg and the pain got too much and I aborted. I had varied advice - apply heat, apply cold, do breathing exercises, don't do any exercise but everyone agreed that it would take 5-6 weeks to heal. At week 5 I was about to try it when (perhaps fortuitously) I caught a cold. When I finally got back onto the water at week 6, all was well.

On Saturday we had a hectic training paddle: 1h20 grinding slowly upwind into a 20-25kt southeaster. We did just under 9km in that time, then turned around and went downwind. Unfortunately (perhaps) one of my buddies was next to me and we diced our guts out to the finish... I probably overdid it because next day the wind had died and we went for a steady paddle on flat water. 5km in I felt that familiar pain in my side. I hoped it was something else, but clearly it wasn't and I had an uncomfortable slow paddle back to the beach.

So - now I've done this to myself twice. The Big O says it's clearly my bad technique and he'll show me what I'm doing wrong the next time he's here in Cape Town. A physio I know raised the suspicion that he may be right - she wondered why I was putting so much pressure on the intercostals...

Is anyone else doing this to themselves? Is this a common injury? I can't remember many of my friends doing it here...

Bloody painful, I'm fit and ready for our season which starts next week, the southeaster is blowing for the next four days and all my buddies are paddling their brains out on the Miller's Run AND I just took delivery of a brand new Epic mid-wing Pro-grip edition which I now can't use for the next five weeks. :(

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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5 years 7 months ago #32800 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
Had it once, I think it happened when I braced heavily on a huge run.

Paddling normally was no problem so I continued, only balancing to the one side caused a few issues. I must add I was on a very stable V10 Sport so the problem was not that severe and only slowed me down a smidge.

I spoke to an Olympic kayaker (gold medal) and asked him what it was and he explained it but also said he has had it before, so I suspect not all to do with stroke and more to do with a wrong move at some stage.

As for not paddling, not an option for me. Continued through and it came right. But a stable ski would be my suggestion.

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5 years 7 months ago #32801 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
Hey Rob,

Sorry you're having this problem. If it is anything similar to the subluxated rib issue I have from time to time I know it is very painful. I have a physical therapist that is marginally effective at getting mine back in place. I lived near a physician that was great at getting it back in place a few years ago and I really wish I had paid more attention to what they did to fix it. There is an art and science to the manipulation required. Good luck!

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5 years 7 months ago #32804 by [email protected]

As for not paddling, not an option for me. Continued through and it came right. But a stable ski would be my suggestion.


Thanks Ranga!

Yeah, I'm already on a stable ski (Swordfish) and I didn't do it while bracing, but rather while taking a stroke - and if I put any effort into the stroke, it's excruciating. So I'm walking briskly at the moment (even breathing hard is painful at the moment) and will move onto a stationary bike at gym as soon as I can.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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5 years 7 months ago #32805 by [email protected]

I have a physical therapist that is marginally effective at getting mine back in place


Hmm... My physio said there was nothing she could do - prescribed rest!

The forecast now says that out of the next nine days, we'll have downwind conditions on eight of them. Hahaha, these things are sent to try us I guess.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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5 years 7 months ago #32812 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
There definitely are treatments for this but I've found that my best success has been with doctors of osteopathic medicine that have done extra training in manipulation. My kids are both MD's and they went to medical school at the same university as the DO students, Michigan State University. Osteopathic physicians are regular doctors but with training in some physical medicine techniques. They all dont all know how to put a rib back in place but the really good ones can do it in one session. My current doctor is an MD, manipulative deficient. So, I'm stuck with my physical therapist who can at least help get it back in place, but it takes her a few weeks.

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5 years 7 months ago #32823 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
Sorry Rob. Gettin old 's a bitch! Good luck.

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5 years 7 months ago #32827 by Impala
Replied by Impala on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
Rob,

I had the same problem twice. The first time was years ago, and happened during my first successful attempts of rolling a wildwater kayak in the swimming pool. That stuff made paddling impossible and needed the said 6 weeks indeed to heal. The second time was a training session where I pulled too hard at the beginning without proper warmup. Not as bad as the first time, but also needed quite some time for recovery.

However ... I did not have the feeling that my ribs had popped out - it is not clear what exactly you mean by 'intercostals' because 'they' consist of muscle and sinew connecting the 'costals' (i.e. ribs), and can't dislocate in my layman's imagination. My feeling was rather that intercostal tissue was partly torn, and this sufficiently explains pain level and duration of recovery. The downside of my theory is that there is not much you can do to accelerate the recovery ... so maybe I should better not have posted this :unsure: so let's hope there was a dislocation nevertheless :whistle:

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5 years 7 months ago #32830 by manta
Replied by manta on topic Popped Intercostals (again)
Hi

I am a veteran at rib injuries. I have broken my ribs 8 separate times. Only say that to tell you I have a fair bit of experience when it comes to rib injuries.

An unfortunate side effect of any rib injury is it does not heal as strong as it was. The main reason is because as humans if we want to remain alive we need to breathe. Breathing, continuously expanding the rib cage means the affected area heals slower and never really completely heals to the same level as it was before.

However I am not one to buy into that kind of thing so there are a few things I do that ensure my ribs stay tip top. Stay away from any movement that severely compresses your ribs together. A good word picture would be if you are standing upright and were to lean to the right or left trying to touch the outside of your knee. That will compress your ribs now if you do that with power or added compression that would be bad. There are times when I paddle especially when pushing it I can feel my ribs start to hurt. What that means is that as I am pushing on the paddle I am compressing my ribs as per the word picture. I then will focus on my technique and make sure I don't do it.

What I have done to improve my ribs is a lot of deep breathing exercises. Making sure to initiate the breath with the diaphragm and then filling the chest. Then slowly but forcefully exhaling and focusing my mind muscle connection with my ribs and intercostal muscles. I do this while lying down. If you will do this for 10 - 15 minutes per day you will develop incredible breathing but also a very healthy rib cage and accompanying muscles and connective tissue. It is also really great for stress relief.

If you need anymore advice or want to ask anything for clarity you are welcome to PM me.

M
The following user(s) said Thank You: [email protected], Impala

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5 years 7 months ago #32831 by [email protected]
@Impala

However ... I did not have the feeling that my ribs had popped out - it is not clear what exactly you mean by 'intercostals' because 'they' consist of muscle and sinew connecting the 'costals' (i.e. ribs), and can't dislocate in my layman's imagination


Sorry, my bad explanation - it's definitely a tear/strain, it was just that the sensation felt to me just like a popping balloon... Pretty horrible sensation actually! The rib is definitely not dislocated, the tear/strain is about 4 ribs from the bottom of my ribcage, approx 10cm to the right of my sternum.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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