An individual with rib pain should consult a doctor first before resuming exercise. The discomfort might be due to various issues such as an inflamed cartilage, strained muscle, stress fractures, bruised or cracked rib, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs and rib cage or a slipped rib.
The pain might arise if the individual breathes deeply, lies in a prone position or twisting the body.
Bruised and fractured ribs
If the individual sustained a direct strike to the chest, he/she might have a bruised or fractured rib. These injuries are likely to occur from a fall during cycling or enduring a rough hit in a football game.
In such instances, the individual should avoid exercise for several weeks. Immobilization helps promote the healing of the fracture.
A rib sprain might occur if the individual twists abruptly or in an awkward manner such as during a hold in wrestling. The rib pain might be immediate and intense but can linger for several days or weeks.
Certain activities and sports can result to stress fractures in the ribs, thus resulting to rib pain. The injury is likely to occur when reaching up and overhead repeatedly.
The injury can only be diagnosed with an X-ray or MRI and often requires using a sling. The individual should avoid exercise for 8-10 weeks.
Lower rib pain might be an indication of a slipped rib which occurs if the 8-10th ribs are not securely affixed to the sternum. In such cases, the doctor will discourage the individual from engaging in exercises that led to the condition for several weeks.