Home Forums General Karting Discussion Bruised Ribs Question

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Jean-Paul 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #6255

    Aaron
    Participant

    Hi – I apologize if this is a redundant question. I am new to karting and recently bruised my ribs while karting.

    I am looking for help on:

    1. The cause of the bruised ribs

    2. How to keep it from happening again.

    I am pretty sure the reason for the injury is that my seat was way too tight around the ribs (especially with my thick rib protector on). Is a seat that’s way too small a reasonable guess as to how my ribs may have been bruised?

    I have since bought a padded tillet seat that is 2 sizes larger. It’s still a bit tight around the ribs with my thick rib protector on. If I ran without the rib protector, would the padding be enough on the seat to protect from further injury? (Seat looks very similar to this image I found on Google: http://www.shkarting.com/photos/productsimages/fmedium692291266.jpg)

    Thanks guys! Loving the sport so far.

    Aaron

    #6257

    TJ Koyen
    Participant

    Karting is obviously super tough on the ribs. As you’ve found out, just driving can hurt your ribs. I’ve got a great fitting seat, great padding, a good ribvest and I’m fairly fit and have been racing a long time and I still get some pretty beat up ribs from time to time.

    Building up core strength can help a bit so you aren’t getting throw around in the seat too much. Honestly, your seat should be pretty snug on you around the rib area.

    What ribvest are you using?

    #6259

    Aaron
    Participant

    Thanks for the response TJ. I believe this is the exact protector I’m using: http://mkracewear.co.uk/image/cache/data/Arroxx/Pic%2054360-500×500.jpg (except mine doesn’t have that piece in the middle front, it’s just the velcro)

    It creates a lot of pressure on my ribs. I’m willing to do what it takes to prevent another injury. If that means a new type of rib protector and building core strength I’m on board.

    #6260

    Andrew Pachon
    Participant

    Aaron, what happened to cause the bruised ribs? Contact or off track event? Or just normal driving? Bilateral bruising or just one side? Does the bruising coincide with a specific area of your seat?

    ~A

     

     

    #6264

    Aaron
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,

    All great questions. I’m not exactly sure what caused it. I did go off the track a few times but it wasn’t major. I would guess that repetitive normal driving caused the bruising (combined with being really out of shape). Bruising is only on my left side. The bruising is where all the pressure was being created from the tight seat + rib protector (the previous seat was so tight I had trouble breathing in corners). The last time I drove was very painful and I was inflating my lungs and holding my breath through left handers to try and compensate for the pain.

    Thanks in advance for any experience you can share.

    #6269

    jim lewis
    Participant

    Aaron,

    Buy a Ribtec seat and your sore rib issue will no longer be a problem.

    #6270

    Andrew Pachon
    Participant

    Aaron,

    What are you doing to increase your core strength as well as your stamina?

    ~Andy

     

     

    #6272

    Aaron
    Participant

    Aaron, What are you doing to increase your core strength as well as your stamina? ~Andy

    <hr />

    <div class=”bbp-reply-signature”>Loving life in San Diego, CA</div>

    Just running & general strength training. Is there something you can suggest?

    #6277

    Nick Weil
    Participant

    I’ve suffered two different ‘bruised rib’ injuries in my 15+ years of karting.  Both times it was simply from too much grip and repeated bruising.  Also, of importance to mention BOTH times, my ribs were actually ‘cracked’ and when I originally went in for a check-up and x-rays, the films came back as negative for a fracture.  The reason being, they were stress fractures that weren’t detectable.  But several weeks later, during a follow-up x-ray you could visibly see the ‘fusing’ or healing that had taken place.

    My first advice is to stay out of the kart for at least 4 weeks.  That might be a hard pill to swallow, but if you’ve only bruised them so far, you don’t want to fracture them completely.  Here’s a few things to consider:

    1. Doctors and modern medicine offer you NO TREATMENT for broken ribs other than painkillers.
    2. When you really do have broken ribs, it only hurts when you breathe, cough, or sneeze.  In fact, it hurts so bad when you sneeze, you can just start your tears prior to the actual sneeze.  Also it hurts when you recline at the wrong angle, bend over at the wrong angle, or lift anything you normally would.
    3. Everytime you get back in the kart, you just set your healing clock back another 4-8 weeks depending on your healing capacity.

    The Ribtech Seat is a great option as is the Ribtech Ribvest.  I have yet to see a customer reinjure their ribs after switching over to a high quality vest and seat combo (except for a few crashes).

    #6283

    Aaron
    Participant

    Nick

    That was fantastic information. Thank you

    #6284

    Aaron
    Participant

    Do you have any preference between the original ribtect vest vs the newer model 3?

    #6298

    jim lewis
    Participant

    Both vest work great. The key to protecting your ribs is the seat. Make sure you purchase the correct size seat and you will set.

    You will hear comments from some regarding the Ribtect seat changing the handling of a kart and potentially slows it down? Even if that is correct, it can’t come close to the amount of speed you loose if your ribs are sore.

    #6303

    Joe Morales
    Participant

    I have the same problem. I have the alpinestar rib protector and a free line seat. I went out with too much rear grip and cracked my ribs. I was snug in the seat and felt okay but just did not feel perfect. So i’m back at the beginning and don’t know what to do my ribs fucking kill me. I have been karting for 13 years and stock cars for 8 and i feel like a nub!!!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!!

    #6319

    Curtis Ruth
    Participant

    Get a seat that fits you well.

    Practice and don t push as hard for a few times to build a tolerance.

    RIBTECT BRAND VEST!!!!!!

     

     

    #6320

    Jim Derrig
    Participant

    Aaron,  whatever the cause of your rib injury, I doubt it was from the seat being “too tight” as you state.  The rib injury likely is from the g-force of cornering.  You will experience exactly the same g-force no matter how tight the seat is.  In fact, if your seat is too loose you will be thrown back and forth between the seat sides, increasing the stress on your ribs.

    The Tillet seat you have is very good.  I switched from one to a Ribtec for reasons unrelated to rib stress and the Ribtec was not a big improvement in that regard.  To the extent there was an improvement, it was because the Ribtec was a special “tall” model and at 6’2″ the extra seat hight has been helpful to me.  I doubt switching seats will help so long as the one you have is snug.

    In my limited experience rib bruising and cracking is the result of pressure points, where the cornering stress is focused on too small an area of the ribs rather than being distributed over the entire side of the rib cage.  In my case, an off-brand rib vest created a pressure point because it was too short.  Switching to a ribtec vest made the problem go away.

    #6334

    Ken Schilling
    Participant

    I would highly recommend both a RibTect seat & rib vest as they are designed to work together.

    My personal experience: I totally agree with the above comments about staying out of the kart until you TOTALLY heal.

    I used to use another brand of rib vest and seat and I bruised and cracked ribs constantly and almost quit karting. Once I switched to the RibTect seat & rib vest I no longer have ANY pain or discomfort whatsoever (I sprint race with SKUSA SoCal in S4 shifter). The ONLY disadvantages I find with the RibTect seat is that I can’t adjust the brake bias while driving or push start myself because of how you have to turn your upper body sideways to get in/out of the seat…

    When I switched chassis brands late last year it was recommended that I use the IMAF seat (similar to Tillet), which I did, but continued to use the RibTect rib vest. I ran the IMAF seat at the SuperNats, the ProKart Challenge season through the SpringNats. During the SpringNats I injured my ribs which brought back many bad memories. For the next race I switched back to the RibTect seat and continue to enjoy it and I won’t switch again. Also, I found very little difference in chassis tuning between the two seats other than using one seat strut per side with the RibTect vs two with the IMAF.

    I’ve personally seen Paul Bonilla (a top National ranked TaG driver), Curtis Cooksey (a top National ranked S4 driver), and others etc… have success with the RibTect seat as well.

    The most important thing is to get the best and most comfortable rib vest and seat combination possible. Too loose is the worst, too tight almost as bad. You want to be snug in the seat with no slop.

    Regardless of the brand of seat or rib vest, make sure to use the RibTect seat mounting kit as it’s the best and lowest profile available and will eliminate pressure points, especially for the seat struts where they mount to the seat.

    #6357

    Andrew Pachon
    Participant

    Aaron,

    As many have stated, you have to let them heal. I’d check your diet to make sure you are taking in enough calcium so as to allow for proper recovery/repair of any possible osseous issues. As far as work outs go. Wait until you heal as any taxing movements can exacerbate an already problematic condition.

    ~Andy

    #6384

    Andrew Pachon
    Participant
    #6391

    Brian Degulis
    Participant

    When I started karting I had minor rib pain with a cheap vest. I switched to the Rib Tech and had Major rib pain. I was in horrific pain and didn’t know what to do. I went to a chiropractor friend and he took an xray to see if I had broken a rib. I didn’t but the xray revealed that I had one rib on my left side that didn’t line up. It stuck out past the others. Nothing really wrong just my anatomy. The Rib Tech vest which normally does a very good job of distributing the pressure evenly ended up being the worst thing I could have done because it was concentrating pressure on one rib. I found a K1 vest with more of a curve to it and I’ve been good ever since. My point is that the best vest may not be the best for everyone. If it doesn’t feel right don’t use it. As others have said stay out of the kart until your 100%. For me it took 5 weeks. The first 4 it felt like it was no better sometimes even worse. It seems to completely go away all at ounce in the 5th week.

    Brian

    #6419

    Bernard Muminovic
    Participant

    The best way to prevent rib injury is to become a smoother driver…the smoother you get, the less you will feel your ribs…For now you can get this rib protector, hands down the best in my opinion…look up Bengio Bumper rib protectors

    #6420

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Sorry you bought that seat, I almost quit karting because that style seat puts pressure on one particular spot. I still have scar tissue on my back bone because 2 of my ribs getting pounded from just driving smooth so take it serious. get rid of that seat and get a Deep Seat or a Rib Tech that fits properly.

    Gif

    #6504

    Troy V Smith
    Participant

    Aaron – I think you’ll find that allot of folks have had the rib issues and have worked through them differently. As each of or physical traits are completely different – each individual will find different variations of a ribvest/seat that suit them best. I fought and fought with rib pains for nearly an entire year, changing out seat after seat, trying this vest and that vest, and any combination of the two. I finally bought the ribtech seat and used with the ribtech vest only to find that the combination helped the rib issue, but created “pinch” and pressure issues. It was finally suggested to just “trust the seat” and try it without use the vest – which I did – and that was my personal comfort miracle! A proper fitting Ribtech seat and no vest – no pains for me anymore.

    #8248

    piotr krudysz
    Participant

    Question:

    I’ve bruised my ribs, because I used a rib protector, that was too soft.  Came back to track a week later, and went out with a proper stiff rib protector (but a bit too large).  My ribs however have gotten much worse, and now I have symptoms similar to what Nick Weil has described.  So the question is: was my 2nd rib protector also a wrong one, or is it that ribs will get in bad shape (regardless of the protector) until they fully heal?

    #8539

    TJ Koyen
    Participant

    Ribs will not get better until they fully heal. You’ll keep aggravating the injury until you allow some time out of the seat to fully heal. Probably didn’t matter what kind of rib protector you were wearing the 2nd time out, your ribs were still going to hurt if you only waited a week with bruised ribs.

    #8555

    Jean-Paul
    Participant

    I struggled through rib issues last year. I think my seat was too big. I read a post similar to this and saw many positive about ribtec and no negative comments. I put the seat in after a month of healing. I also use the matching vest. The seat is super tight and got some getting used to (maybe my old seat was just too loose).

    I never experience any rib issues any longer. I’m glad I switched.

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