View Full Version : Broken Rib (Again)

October 7, 2006, 12:45 PM
So I was sparring with my buddy Jason "Man-Mountain" Weaver a few nights ago and, as usual, the 3/4-speed warmup routine quickly degenerated into an all-out scrum.

The result: cracked rib (mine)

Obviously I will be out of commision for a few weeks, but I am looking for some low-impact training methods for when we start again. We use those red foamy-plastic (approx. 3/4" thick) gloves, mouthpieces, and usually nothing else although we do have a few sets of head-gear and lower-leg foam things laying around.

The last time this happened I jumped back into things too quickly and re-broke the offending rib. If anyone knows of a good method for getting a cripple back in the swing of things, let me know. I have trained in a lot of different styles, but I am always willing to learn something new...

October 7, 2006, 01:59 PM
Sorry to hear about your injury. In its way, there's nothing quite so painful, because the only way not to move the break is not to breathe (which does have it's own drawbacks...:D )

I don't think either of my martial artsy sons has ever used anything like a chest protector or such. Time may be the only thing that is going to keep you from rebreaking this thing again. Might talk to a physical therapist or sports trainer...they may have some specialized equipment they use for such things.



October 7, 2006, 02:24 PM
I feel your pain man. I've had two cracked ribs in my life. Hope you feel better soon.

As far as low-impact training and gear I might stay away from sparring for awhile and if you do look up a company called Century. They sell Martial Arts gear and have chest protectors,etc.

October 8, 2006, 02:30 PM
what kind of fighting style are you practicing? If it's not a grappling oriented one, maybe a step up to 16oz gloves for the both of you would be a smart move.

October 8, 2006, 05:28 PM
I primarily trained in Moo Duk Kwan (blend of Eastern Chinese Karate and Korean street-fighting styles) but have been picking up a little Eastern-European-style Judo over these last few years in informal sessions. Neither one is an option until I am 100% again.

October 8, 2006, 09:02 PM
My personal rule is never to face off against people named Mountain Man, Ironhead or Titanium Crotch.

It's almost always a bad idea.

October 8, 2006, 09:25 PM
When I was much younger a biker type called me a sissy
I told him if he saw a sissy kick his butt for me (have I dated myself)
This little foray into the world of macho posturing got me two cracked ribs and my first broken nose

As SpringMom said the only thing to do is not breath so much.
Codeine helps also

October 9, 2006, 08:38 AM
Broken ribs are NO FUN!!! I once cracked out my entire sternum. It was weeks before I could breathe normally again!

Sounds to me like you guys are going ENTIRELY too hard. If you want to get in a fight every week, then you'll get banged up, battered, beaten, and eventually broken. The trick to effective training is to not REALLY beat up the other person. Pull your punches. Pull your kicks. If you can't, then work on control.

That needs to happen first. Second, if you want, you can try some better armor. Try the black Tiger Claw brand sparring gloves. They're big and bulky, but they work to soften a punch. I'm a big fan of Tiger Claw's full-face wire cage mask. They lash onto a regular sparring helmet, and they really help reduce the broken noses and black eyes.

For your body... I'm not a real fan of the commercial chest protectors. They are bulky, heavy, and they don't seem to work really well. You can try to reinforce your torso with a compression wrap of either linen bandages or athletic tape (or both). That will help to more widely dispurse the force of a punch across your entire body. (Make it tight!)

But, the wrap will take a lot of time to put on before each practice, and it'll probably get expensive having to keep buying all those bandages. Really, the best thing to do is to slow it down. If your partner gets too rough, stop for a second and calm down. Tell him to back it off. And, generally, learn to control the technique and not pound each other to death.

Good technique is NEVER practiced at full speed, or even 3/4 speed. Good technique is practiced SLOW.

Get some rest. Alternate hot and cold compression wraps. And, let it COMPLETELY heal, this time...


October 9, 2006, 08:39 AM
Huh... Had some kind of problem with that first post...

Oh well...

October 9, 2006, 08:44 AM
I've suffered fractured ribs AND cartilage separation in the rib cage in the past. They are NOT "minor" injuries, and you can't just "wrap them up" or wear body armor!

Your best bet is to have a sports physician look at you. He/she will probably prescribe some sort of muscle relaxants and heat packs. They'll also suggest that you do some sort of breathing exercises, to press outward on the rib cage.

A friend of mine fractured two ribs several years ago. He "thought" that by wrapping his chest with the widest "Ace bandage" was the way to go. What he found out, the hard way, was that the tight bandage was causing the fracture point to rub against several vital organs! He eventually had to have surgery done, for there was internal bleeding!

When I separated the cartilage between three of my ribs, my physician told me to "lay low" for awhile. When I asked him what "awhile" meant, he said that it might take as long as 6 or 8 months! He also told me that the cartilage separation was WORSE than having a fractured rib, for the "floating" ribs might actually puncture a lung or other organ! I did EXACTLY as he prescribed, took the muscle relaxants, heating pad and "lay low". After about 4 months, I was feeling a lot better, but not at 100%.

Hey, you only get ONE body! Take care of it, and don't over-do any sort of "rehab" program to get back in shape faster!

October 9, 2006, 09:10 AM
No, no! Desert Shooter is quite right! And, let me clarify, because I don't want to be misunderstood...

You don't do the compression wrap armoring to protect an already-existing broken rib! (That'll actually only make it hurt worse.) You can do the compression wrap while you spar to help keep from getting another one. But, DEFINITELY wait until this one heals before you try to armor up and go again.

Sorry about the misunderstanding.

October 9, 2006, 12:48 PM
Just follow the advise a wise old doctor gave me once when I hurt my elbow. I went to see the doc for an elbow injury while moving a gun safe. He asked does it hurt. I said when i turn it like this. He then said dont turn it like that and it wont hurt and dont move gun safes by yourself. He then said I would be fine. Then he charged me $20.00...lol

T. O'Heir
October 9, 2006, 11:15 PM
"...the 3/4-speed warmup routine quickly degenerated into an all-out scrum..." Go back to school. Evidently whatever training you did didn't take.

October 9, 2006, 11:53 PM
My training took fine, it's Weaver's training that is the problem. He always forgets his own strength as soon as I land the first good one on him. I would spar with someone else but he's the only one that is game for training on a regular basis.

This martial arts stuff is dangerous, I guess I should start wrestling gators or something:)

October 13, 2006, 10:35 PM
I ended up with mono when I was in the Navy(bad enough that I ended up in Bethesda Naval Hospital because my throat was swelling shut). After the doc released me to full duty I went back to boxing. The week I went back to full duty I had to go back for a broken nose because I started boxing again, the doc freaked out because one of the side effects of mono is an enlarged spleen. Because he did not want my spleen to rupture I was banned from boxing or sparring for 6 months. The moral of my story is that you should really see a doctor and lay off of the sparring, you don't want a punctured lung or organ from having that rib punched into something vital.


Adventurer 2
October 13, 2006, 11:04 PM
Check out this site: http://www.ringside.com/DETAIL.ASPX?ID=24807
I used to use an older version of the Super Body Protector for training boxers. Never used one sparring just with punch mitts. Sometimes you can still feel a good body shot through the protector but it will provide enough protection to prevent a break.

October 14, 2006, 04:51 PM
The old style umpires chest pads were how we started to learn. they are a little hard to find but you need to find something with mass and cushioning.

Unless you go to the redman suits, I do not think there is anything that will let you take and give hits.

October 14, 2006, 09:03 PM
Check out the redman suits or Tony Blauers weirdly over priced stuff.

If you like going full force its cool. No need to go slow all the time, you do need to look into letting the ribs heal properly or they will just keep going.

October 15, 2006, 12:24 AM
That is for dang shure. I have been more or less a couch-vegetable since this happened and I am not going to do anything rigerous in the way of training for a few months probably. Luckily my doctor has been generous with the pain-relief so this ordeal has not been as bad as it was last time.

I'm going to have to figure out some way to exercise, though. I get fat in a hurry when I don't burn off calories on a regular basis.