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One month ago I sustained an injury surfing. I dont remember

falling or hitting anything but...
One month ago I sustained an injury surfing. I dont remember falling or hitting anything but my right rib area was suddenly hurting and sore. I should preface this by saying a few month ago I sustained a slipped rib on the opposite side.....so my initial thought was possibly the same. Only the first time I did hit the water with force whereas this time I have no recollection of that happening but being that I was surfing its not entirely impossible. Two weeks later it was feeling better and we had huge swell come in so I surfed. One night for about an hour and the next day for about 3. During the 3 hour session it became so painful I had to stop. It has been 10 days since this incident and it seems to be feeling better but since the initial incident I have noticed now that when I lay down there is a definite lump that pops out on my rib. You can run your hand over it when standing and it is barely there but laying down causes it to protrude. Its almost directly halfway between the bottom on my ribcage and my armpit. Also, pushing on this spot is slightly painful and sore but more so a creepy factor for me rather than extreme pain. It hurts to lift anything heavy, to hold my arm over my head and to do push ups. Sleeping on my back is uncomfortable but laying on the opposite side of my injury gives some relief although it feels funny.
I would really like to avoid seeing a doctor if possible as the last time I went they gave me an incorrect evaluation on my slipped rib and eventually a sneeze popped it back into place and caused the healing process to start over again. Also, I realize rib injuries are a long healing process with not much being able to be done other than rest. Im just wondering if by this description anyone can help me figure out if it could be a slipped rib or fracture, or if it is what I now suspect possibly a muscle tear/injury. Also, whether R-I-C-E would be helpful or if I do indeed to see a chiropractor for a slipped rib. Any help would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/13/2010
Celeste NP
Celeste NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,002
Experience: Family Practice with emphasis in Women's Health, Forensics, Urgent Care, for 14 years.
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Hello,

Thanks for your very good description of your pain.

It is impossible to tell between the slipped rib or muscle/cartilage injury without a chest x-ray. It is easier to tell if several ribs are fractured by the movement of the chest wall but that does not appear to be your case at all! Thank goodness!

I would continue RICE therapy but also see a chiropractor for treatment. since it has been this long and you are experiencing acute pain like that.

Also you need to give those muscles rest for at least 2 weeks then gentle strain for another 2 weeks until more healing can take place.

You are correct about the length of time it takes to heal being several weeks.

Even if it was a rib fracture then there would not be a lot that your doc will do other than RICE and limitations as described above.

Celeste NP
Celeste NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,002
Experience: Family Practice with emphasis in Women's Health, Forensics, Urgent Care, for 14 years.
Verified
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Experience: Family Practice with emphasis in Women's Health, Forensics, Urgent Care, for 14 years.

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