Robbie

Ouch, That F@%#*?^ Hurt!

23 posts in this topic

Having been practising yoga injury free for 3 years, getting quietly smug that every time my yoga teacher would ask, "Any injuries in the class tonight?" I would confidently shake my head No

But today I bashed my ribs up really badly while go-carting on a stag do (bachelor party) and I am paying the price for it. Should I stay off yoga altogether for a couple of weeks, or can anyone suggest some yoga ideas for having very sore bruised ribs?

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My father used to tell a joke...

 

A guy goes to the doctor and says "Doc, it hurts when I do this (he raises his arm)"

​The Doc says "Then don't do this (he raises his arm)"

 

Pain is nature's way of saying "give it a rest".

If you want some non-medically trained folk to weigh in on your recuperation, I'm sure you can find some who will tell you to do this...or that.

Me, I'll tell you...listen to the pain, give it a rest.

If you must exercise, do stuff that doesn't involve using your ribs (corpse pose?).

Then again, like most here, I'm not a trained medical professional, so take that advice with a grain of salt.

YogaByCandace and yogajedi like this

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The rib is broken. I have been in a downward spiral of pain for the last 2 days. I've answered my own question really. If I can't put on my own underpants then I'm not fit enough to do yoga.

I'm so sad about it, I was just starting to catch my balance in handstand

yogajedi likes this

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Oh man!!!! What a bummer, and how freaking painful that must be! What can you even do for a broken rib? Nothing, right? Just wait it out? Ok well stay positive, watch some good movies, eat popcorn, read. Yoga nidra for sure.  :smileys-flowers-719593:

Robbie and yogajedi like this

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Yeah, nothing you can really do for ribs. Luckily I have a really sympathetic wife, so I get to boss her around for a change :P

yogajedi likes this

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Update on the ribs - Delicious barbecued!  :3: Ahem, sorry.

Injury +10 days and the pain is really subsiding now. I am balancing the urge to do yoga with a cautionary voice not to push myself and risk relapsing.

I really didn't expect to have regained so much movement at this stage. I think having a good underlying core strength has really helped with a rapid recovery - thanks yoga!

 

I have been experiencing displaced muscle soreness due to other muscles having to take on the work of the intercostals. I have been focusing my yoga on these areas - lots of very slow cat/cows with very deep breathing has helped immensely. Rag doll and sphinx poses and helping keep my spine active without affecting the injured area. 

How do people who don't practise yoga recovery from injuries? It should be prescribed along with the painkillers.

 

Oh, and for the April project I have chosen reclining bound angle pose! That counts right? 

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So glad to read this update and hear you are well on your way to being all healed up! We should send you some ranch dressing as a get well gift for those BBQ ribs!  :3:

 

Out of curiosity, how long did the doctor say it generally takes to recover?

Robbie likes this

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The doctor gave a very vague 4 - 6 week healing time so I hope to be back doing handstands in a week!

Don't worry, I know I've still got a long way to go. I sneezed earlier, yelped like dog whose tail had been stepped on, and nearly blacked out from the pain.....so, baby steps!

YogaByCandace likes this

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So this injury has been quite a journey of discovery for me. The first was right at the start when I discovered codeine :blink:, and the second was today when I treated myself to a massage.

Part of the problem with having a rib injury is that you have to find 1 comfortable sleeping position and stay in that position for weeks. This led to all kinds of muscular discomfort for me, particularly in the back and neck muscles. I promised myself that when I was fit enough I would treat myself to a massage to get all the lingering knots out. Now, I hadn't had a massage for over 5 years prior to today. Coincidentally this is the exact same period when I started practising yoga regularly. During this time I seem to have conjured up the idea that I didn't need massage because I had yoga. Nobody directly taught me this idea, I seem to have concocted it myself. The reasoning goes something like this; Yoga gives my muscles a full workout in all directions and therefore I don't need to pay someone else to do the same job. It turns out I was wrong.

I asked for a deep tissue massage. The masseuse pummelled the :23:  out of me. She had all her fingers, hands and elbows going. At one point I think she had her feet up the wall so she could get ALL her weight into a particularly stubborn knot. I actually really enjoyed in a very masochistic kind of way - I felt it was the punishment I deserved for being so ignorant and negligent about my own body.

I think back to all the exercise I have done in those 5 years, all those occasion where I tweaked a muscle, all the strength work I have done in yoga, all those long distance bike rides, all that time sat at a desk....The masseuse told me my trapezoids were basically one big knot! The discomfort I was feeling as a result of laying in the same position for weeks, was actually the accumulation of 5 years of muscle abuse!

 

So that was a very valuable lesson. I have always considered myself someone who was in "good shape", and that would blinker me to the fact that I was carrying around all sorts of unnecessary tension in my body. I also believed that it was the responsibility of yoga to keep my muscles in tip top condition. It is clear to me now that it was a pretty foolish notion. Although the idea may have its origins in some of the claims made by over-zealous yogis I have encountered over the years, the conclusions were all my own. So I am appealing to all other yogis out there that may believe that yoga is all your body needs - go and have a massage, it may surprise you!

 

Anyway, the ribs are very much better now. I am going to my first yoga class in 5 weeks on Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to it! :24:

EricaKaye likes this

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Glad to hear you are healed up! Hope your first class back goes well! 

I hear you about massage!! I always felt like massages were a treat to get very rarely (pretty much never!) but I've changed my mind lately. Our studio has a masseuse that comes regularly and she has totally made me see massage as maintenance instead of spoiling! My husband and I both work out a lot and the regular massages have really helped us both. I'm always amazed at what she can tell about me just through what she feels in my muscles! I aim for once a month now instead of waiting and hoping for a gift certificate for Mother's Day or my birthday lol! 

Robbie likes this

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Robbie, I read through your comment and I am one of those over-zealous ones. Do you think that uncomfortable sleeping and an injury for a month made the tightness much worse than normal? Yoga really is suppose to undo all those bad things we do in life, old injuries, sitting all day long, pushing hard with exercise, too many things on our mind all the time. Yoga has been around for such a long time because it works.

 

I don't know what type of practice you do but maybe consider making some changes? Find the things that work for you and make yoga do what it is suppose to do for you. I have a very specific practice that works well for me. I have to adjust it everyday and over time to make it work really well for me. I don't want to make this sound difficult but I have pay attention and make sure that I adjust as I go along. If I don't get it quite right it is not terrible but I know that I should have paid better attention to my needs at that time.

 

 I hope you didn't find my comment intrusive. And I am glad to hear that your ribs are feeling better.

Robbie likes this

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No, you're not intruding at all, I welcome the discussion!

 

Yes, I do think the injury was a major contributor to my tightness, but I also now realise that much of it existed prior to the injury. I had been suffering from twinges in my neck and traps for years, and while yoga would help alleviate these to some degree, they would persistently return.

 

I spend a lot of time at a desk working on a computer making my body do things it really doesn't want to do. A also spend a lot of time on a racing bike in positions that put a lot of pressure on my neck and traps. I don't spend the same amount of time on my yoga mat correcting the problems that this lifestyle creates. Yoga has been incredible in alleviating the stiffness in my lower back. The masseuse was complimentary about the health of my lower back muscles! My problems originate in the upper back, traps and neck muscles. I think the years of abuse have left knots so tight that my yoga practise wasn't touching them.

 

I have given this a lot of thought recently and I realise that I have been avoiding certain poses that aggravate my neck. Shoulder stand always left dull aches and neck stretches would often start off twinges again, so in the interest of working within a "pain free range" I would often omit these from my routines.

 

I am in agreement that all things being equal, a solid yoga practise would be sufficient to alleviate the imbalances of my lifestyle, but in this instance I think the injuries I have been carrying around require more specific attention. I don't think yoga is going to cure them. I don't even think a course of massages is going to complete the job. The masseuse's verdict was that I go and see an osteopath. So while I am still a firm believer in the benefits of yoga, I don't believe it is a miracle cure and I think it has its limits...

YogaByCandace likes this

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Love the space hopper chairs! I could see myself bouncing around the office in one of those.

Good to see you are recovering from your injury too. Injuries are a bummer alright, next time we should be more careful!  :unsure:

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Thanks for keeping us posted on your healing process!

 

I can really relate to discovering crazy knots hidden over the years.

 

I am a side sleeper for over a decade, and now I am paying the price (I like to spoon my husband, or I can't fall asleep, so I am not changing this habit even though it's a contributor!). It's been 15 months now since I've had a "neck injury" - the kind when you sleep funnily and you wake up with your neck hurting, but this pain never went away and created trigger points all around my shoulder blades.  My massage therapist explained that sometimes one injury can tip over tension built up over many years. I also sleep with a neck pillow (u-shape) now - maybe that will help you while you heal?

 

I just discovered this recently. The weirdest things about our bodies is that the painful spots may not be the root cause.  My pain was always on my right side, so I kept focusing on making it feel better with stretches and laying on a tennis ball.  My left side appears to be more dominant with stronger muscles, but extremely tight. My left side is so tight that it's pulling against my right side of my body and overstretching it.  I didn't really believe this until my massage therapist took this picture of my neck.  You can see my left shoulder is higher up even though I'm laying down, "relaxed". Another interesting observation is that all of the deep tissue massage felt good on my right side, but felt unpleasant on my left.

 

So, I'm working on a lot of levator scapulae neck stretches, and I found the neck releases and shoulder shrugs in Forrest yoga really help. I "let my neck go" when we do side lunges or twists, but it does contradict with other styles that dictate where to gaze.  A book excerpt explains the neck releases in this  

 

I don't think it's a bad idea to avoid poses that put pressure on the neck.  Before I had this injury, shoulder stand felt bad on my neck, so I just avoid doing it.  I realized even bridge pose, if I am not active in my feet enough, puts pressure on my neck.

 

I've gone to physical therapy for about 10 sessions last year and try to still do the exercises from that.  Looking back now, one advantage with a massage therapist is the time spent. In physical therapy, they can only spend 20 minutes max doing deep tissue work. I have improved from last year; my neck range of motion was more limited and had pain when I turned. I think I have to accept that I can't make the pain go away entirely, but I have to actively manage it, such as doing stretches and taking breaks often from computer work. After yoga class, I experience some brief joy when my muscles are warm and nicely stretched so that I don't feel the pain anymore when I rotate my neck. Not permanent, but, I do think it's part of actively managing so that it doesn't get worse.

 

What other things do people do, yoga or other, to manage chronic tightness or pain?

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Robbie likes this

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I can see so many similarities between your account and what I'm going through at the moment. I have been getting a rather persistent neck twinge on my right side. I am also a spooner in bed (Big Spoon!), but I actually end up sleeping on my front with my neck twisted which can't help. The masseuse mentioned a similar imbalance to the one in your picture where one half of my body was higher than the other, although I don't think it's as pronounced as yours.

 

Thanks for the advice! I am going to look into u-shaped pillows and read up on the Forrest yoga neck releases which I haven't heard of before. I have an appointment with a physiotherapist on Monday and I'm having a work station assessment for my desk. I'm declaring war on my injuries!

 

Sorry to hear that you can't make the pain go away entirely. If I come across any helpful advice on my journey I'll be sure to share it with you...

MrBalloonHands and yogafire like this

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So funny, we even have the same twinges on the same side!

 

Actually, I have to admit that I wasn't technically spooning, I was laying across my husband's chest while on my front, so my neck was twisted - similar to how you described.  But now I try to sleep on my side with the u-shaped neck pillow (and I end up being the big spoon!).  

 

If you are sleeping on your front, the u-shaped pillow won't help because it would constrict your throat with the extra pressure.  I also realized recently (after I Wrote my original post) when I was sleeping on my back, the u-shaped pillow would push my neck up too far, so, some nights I woke up with the neck pillow at the foot of the bed, tossed away while in my sleep.

 

So when my neck was bit sore, I used this soft neck support collar that my husband bought when his neck was strained. It worked pretty well in keeping my neck aligned without pushing my neck too forward while on my back. But it wasn't necessary for the entire sleep cycle because in the middle of the night, I ripped it off because it got too warm and my neck felt too stiff!  

 

So, see if any support items like these can help "train" your neck to not tilt or get weirdly out of shape while sleeping.  The past two nights after I used the support collar, I've been more comfortable sleeping without anything at all.  I always felt like I needed the support before, so, hopefully this might be indicative of some improvement, or that I was able to train my neck after all that time.

Robbie likes this

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Robbie, just wanted to give a warning with my last advice on the neck support collar / cervical brace.  Last night my neck muscles were yelling at me, so I took advil and wore the brace, and I do feel relief today.  But, I looked up this scientific study that cites the wearing of a cervical brace for neck pain as controversial - if it's done on a regular basis, it may cause atrophy in the neck muscles. I skimmed it but read that "Animal experiments have shown that structural changes can be detected in healthy muscle tissue after an immobilization period of only 1 week ."  It's not clear to me if it were worn 24/7 or just at night, though for the experiment.  I think once in awhile is fine when flared up, but I wanted to make sure you knew potential downsides of relying too much on a support device.  I think neck pillow or some other pillow that has a dip is OK because it doesn't restrict the neck movement as much.

Robbie likes this

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Oh no, that sounds dangerous! Thanks for the warning. Fortunately I haven't had to resort to a neck brace, or any kind of support device. I haven't flared up so badly that I would need to go down that route.

I've had a couple of sessions with a physiotherapist now, and I've been learning so much about my own body that I never knew! The physio has been poking around in my neck and showing how my stiff neck joints are triggering off my shoulder spasms. She pokes in one place and the twinge appears in a different place!

I've also been introduced to the joys of the foam roller which I am really enjoying, and I have been prescribed some very yin yoga type exercises to do with it. Not really a style of yoga I have ever practised before, but I will certainly be doing more of in the future - those chest openers feel so amazing afterwards!

 

I did also take the opportunity to discuss neck pillows and desk layouts and other potential triggers. She was sceptical about spending lots of money on pillows with orthopaedic claims. Her advice was "keep it simple", keep you neck as neutral as possible, in line with you spine both horizontally and vertically and this made me think of your u-shaped pillow experience!

My desk layout on the other hand was awful. Everything I was doing was contributing to poor posture and poor alignment. I often sit with a leg under me, my screen was too low and my mouse hand was pulling my right side forward.  She explained to me that the body is amazing at compensating for all these errors, but if you then suffer a trauma that puts more stress on your posture (like a broken rib), then the compensating mechanics are thrown out and something has to give. So I am working on the causes and alleviating the effects and training myself to get into better habits. This worries me because I'm very stubborn about getting into new habits, it takes lot of time and effort to change old habits...

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