Broken Ribs

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  • Broken Ribs
  • Premier Icon timraven

    About 6 weeks before I could laugh comfortably. I think I took about 3 weeks off the bike and then went gently for a while. Just need to listen to your body, it’ll scream when you’ve done too much 😆

    Hope it’s over quick


    was 1 week off road bike , but 5 weeks off the mtb for me … the jarring made it very sore .

    Prepare to feel the cold in your broken ribs from now on … i did mine last august and still twinge in the cold now.

    bottom 2 on the left hand side for me , landed chest first on a log at selkirk merida

    as for pain = LOTS


    Oh god I had only just got back on the bike properly, broke my wrist over 1 year ago, 3 operations later I was back to fitness, Yep I cannot laugh or cough, sleep or do anything … been very close to passing out with the pain! Cannot beleive I did 2 runs of cwm carn with them broken…. Oh to be young and bounce again! oh well that’s solds lore getting a new bike and the weather being better. Back to being the film crew!

    Yup, afraid it hurts. It will continue hurting for a while yet. Make sure you pain killer yourself up before you try to sleep as thats when i found them most uncomfortable. Be prepared for waking up when you accidentally roll on them in your sleep.

    Broke 2 of mine and popped 2 more of the sternum (broke the cartilage) in canada and rode for another 5 days on them using painkillers. About 6 weeks of painful to sleep on and ached when i rode. 8 – 10 weeks to pretty much fully healed and able to sleep on them – but then i wasnt exactly taking it easy.

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    I have cracked mine two or three times. Just do what you can. If cracked I would expect to be back off road in a couple of weeks (riding gently) and going hard after 4 or 5. You will however be well advised to take it gently on the descents and not fall off for some time.

    You will be occasionally reminded of them for 12 to 15 weeks or maybe longer no matter what damage you have done.


    I did wake up 12 times last night… when I finally dropped off the baby woke up crying……god im tired


    dont worry, you will get the hang of rolling out of bed pretty fast 🙂

    I had about 10 days off the road bike the last time, a week the time before. You will know when you can get back on the MTB, you wont be riding around any little bump in the road anymore and you will be able to manage it without pain killers.

    as for laughing, sneezing, sleeping that will all take longer I’m afraid. Then you will find wierd stuff that hurts. Last time I did mine it was a 3 hour trip back in my mate’s car with bucket seats, try getting out of those! or putting the hand brake on properly (lucky I dont live on a hill)

    it does get you out of putting the dishes away in the high cupboards though!

    oh and anything between 8 and 12 weeks before they are 95% again


    I’m afraid you’ll just have to tough it out with painkillers and anti-inflammatories. I broke 5 at once a few years ago and it took about 6 weeks before I felt well enough to get back on the road bike and I left it another month or so before getting back on the MTB as I wanted to make sure they were strong enough to survive another stack.

    If you can sleep on your back then get one of these as it will stop you rolling over onto your ribs- worked well for me.

    Oh and if you want to cough or sneeze wrap a towel or blanket tightly round your torso to support the ribs. Make sure you take at least 10 deep breaths every hour to oxygenate your lungs- taking shallow breaths because of the pain is a recipie for a chest infection.


    So far the worst was getting locked in the loo at work, I could not pull the handle without sceaming like a girl, took 10 mins to get out 🙁


    Sympathy spankmonkey. I only cracked mine and was two weeks off the bike and ached at least once a day for six months, especially when rolling onto them. Lots of milk and gentle exercise.


    very, very painful, sorry to hear that. I got on the turbo 2 days later but the mtb was a very painful experience even 2-3 months later


    Hurts like a beeatch doesn’t it? Reckon you’ll be riding after about 6 weeks.


    Anyone had broken ribs? How long to recover and stay of the bike, the hospital said 4-12 weeks.. seems a bit vauge to me. Also how much pain were you in? Even on painkillers (codeine & Diclofenic) I am in excruciating pain with sharp pains like I have been stabbed every few mins. Any experience or advice appreciated.

    Premier Icon Russell96

    About 4 weeks before I could go for a gentle road ride, at 6 weeks I tried Llandegla and that smarted a bit, pain went after 9 weeks for me. Best thing to get a good nights sleep is a large bean bag to use instead of a pillow, stops you rolling about as much and as uponthedowns suggests try to avoid shallow breaths.


    When I was 10 I got hit by a 7.5 tonne truck doing over 40mph. How I survived I don’t know but amongst my injuries were broken ribs, 3 of them. A month after the life-saving op I left the hospital and after a couple of days I was doing all the kids’ stuff like running, tree climbing and playing out.

    When I was 33 I went over the handlebars at 0mph, again unsure how, landed on my chest, cracked just one rib and it took an absolute age to be able to laugh or ride off-road.

    IMO it changes with age. If you have pubes it takes longer. Good luck!


    Spank, that initial ‘stabbing pain’, which if it’s the one i’m thinking of is like a spasm eases after a few days.

    Now, assuming you don’t overdo it, you get a fibrous union of the ribs at around 10 days. After that it’s a hardening off process.

    So take it very easy for the first couple of weeks. After that, back on your bike, and ride within what’s comfortable. But FFS do not crash! innit?

    From my experience, after the two-week rest, and gradual, careful resumption of exercise, some clicking is normal.

    Bon recouperation,

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I’ve only ever cracked mine (twice…), the second time I did it was far more painful and I had a lump on my ribs for ages after that.
    Listen to your body, don’t try and do too much too soon or it’ll all get really ainful again! See if you can get the doc to prescribe something stronger for the pain.

    Get well soon!

    Well,you’re in good company! It does hurt! i’ve done mine umpteen times,various motorbike accidents,football and a nasty beating outside a night club. I’m self-employed(window cleaner),so never had any time off.Lifting a ladder on and off the car made my eyes water!
    Sleep is the key,strong pain killers and an A pillow ,do help. Still get twinges now..and I always give ’em a smack when I fall off me mountain bike.
    You have my sympathy.


    I too was advised to do deep breathing excercises by my GP to keep the muscles from tightening up. I tried but the pain was immense so I avoided it, everything seemed to heal nicely in the following month, but over the next two years I was frequently caught off guard when reaching out, turning or stretching, by incredibly sharp pains in the lower rib area. Think i’ll perervere with painful exercises next time (and I don’t doubt there will be a next time).

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