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TJ Koyen

Bruising isn’t the worst thing, that probably just means you have a pressure point somewhere. As soon as you start separating ribs, that’s when you start to have real issues.

When you separate your ribs, you actually are tearing the muscles that hold your ribs together, and every time they “heal” they fill in with scar tissue, making them weaker than before and easier to injure.

That’s what happened with me. I tore my intercostals and every time I got into a kart from that point on, I was re-injuring myself because they kept getting weaker and weaker as the scar tissue built up. So now, it takes about 1-2 sessions before I’m in serious pain because I have no muscle holding my ribs together, just scar tissue. Doesn’t matter if I take 2 weeks or 6 months off.

This past weekend was my first event using a standard OTK seat and my new Bengio Bumper and I experienced zero pain all weekend.

Another thing that I’ve found helped me was going to the track twice a week and pounding just enough laps to feel some pain and then going home and icing my ribs. I did that all year last year and I think it helped break down the scar tissue. Every time I went, I was able to do more and more laps without pain. By the end of the year I was feeling much better and was able to get back into a standard seat. I know going to the track that often isn’t a possibility for everyone though.

Nick D.,

Regarding your bruising… I wore a Ribtect vest last year, coupled with a Ribtect seat, and actually cracked a rib on the front right, where the vest edge pressed into my ribs. I think this was mostly because I was leaning off my left side, where my separated ribs were, and putting more pressure on that area. I added some padding into the vest in that area but it was too late at that point, the damage was done. But those hard plated rib vests can really dig in and hurt if you find a pressure point. The Bengio seems to have good padding all around and doesn’t dig into the ribs as hard. I don’t think my cracked rib was a reflection of the Ribtect vest or seat, I think it was just a weird freak incident because I was leaning strangely to get off my already injured left side.

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