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Thread: Cartilage issues in rib cage (I think) from BJJ? page

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    cantat's Avatar
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    Cartilage issues in rib cage (I think) from BJJ?

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    Hi all. I've been training BJJ for about nine months, and have periodically experienced a popping sound and feeling similar to what you get when you pop your knuckles or back, but in my sternum. However, lately, it's happening more frequently, and I have some pain on occasion in that area when I move my arm in a specific way (raised almost to shoulder height, bent at the elbow so my fingers are pointing towards the opposite shoulder, and angled slightly across my chest - almost like I'm trying to reach across and scratch the back of my other arm. So, compression.).

    I'm a short female and train mostly with guys, many of whom are much taller and heavier than me, so I've had guys who are 220 pounds kneeling on my rib cage. Also, of course, all the other stuff that goes with BJJ that could affect my rib cage. I'm guessing the cartilage where one rib meets my sternum has gotten fucked up, or perhaps popped out of place. Does anybody have any experience with this, and does that sound like it might be it? Do you know how it might be treated? It's not intense or limiting, but if it doesn't go away I guess I'll have to get it checked out...but I don't want to take a break from training! Thanks for any thoughts.
    Last edited by cantat; 02-19-2012 at 05:03 PM.
    29/F
    5'4.5
    Highest weight: 220
    Starting weight: 195
    Current weight: 179
    Goal weight: 127

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    Kakes's Avatar
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    I don't have BJJ experience, but I do have rib cartilage experience. I had 2 ribs separate from the cartilage in a car accident when I was a teenager and they popped in and out for years. My dad is a chiropractor and was able to put things back together over and over again until they healed. It took years, but after the first few months, they were only painful sometimes. That type of injury can take a long time to knit back together. I'd suggest at least consulting with a good chiropractor. It may be as simple as an adjustment if it isn't separated, or you could end up wrapped up and benched for a while. Good luck with it!
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    That kind of injury just takes time, all you can really do is try not to aggravate it too much. On another note, I've been involved in BJJ for over 8 years and my advice to you is, if you have 220lb men putting all their weight on you, then you need to find better training partners. People experienced enough to let you work your way out of positions without putting too much weight on you, and they should be giving you the chance to catch them in holds.

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    cantat's Avatar
    cantat is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks to both of your for your advice. I think I will take it easy and avoid having weight put on my rib cage and see if it feels better, and if not, go see my doctor.

    ackack, I misspoke, they don't put the entirety of their weight on me, and they always make sure I'm okay - this is generally during techniques, not so much drills and sparring. Unfortunately, in an effort to avoid being given much leniency, I often tell them it's fine and feel only discomfort, not really pain - or figure I can handle the pressure for the brief amount of time it's exerted on me. I suppose I should be more honest with myself that that's a great way to get injured...I just hate that additional precautions would have to be taken with me (in general, I mean, not because of this injury).

    Thanks again for the input, I appreciate it!
    29/F
    5'4.5
    Highest weight: 220
    Starting weight: 195
    Current weight: 179
    Goal weight: 127

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