I’ve been treating a few rib injuries lately. Wayne copped one in the ribs sparring. He treated it himself with herbal plaster and Yunnan Bai Yao for a few days, then started taking the herbs I prescribed for him. After six days he was pain free. A week later he was in the ring and, hopefully, not dropping his guard too much for being worried about body shots.
Treatment was based on a Shaolin remedy for rib injuries from a punch:
cu ru xiang, cu mo yao, dang gui, cu zi ran tong, hong hua, chi shao, su mu, yu jin, xue jie, gan cao.
The original instructions for this remedy required adding infant’s urine to the mix, I didn’t have any on hand so I added more medicinals to course qi, remove blood stasis, and repair tendons and bones. The medicine was a very ‘funky’ brew, perhaps the urine would have made it taste better.
Arthur had a BJJ training partner fall into his ribs with his knees. His injury was probably worse than Wayne’s and took longer to heal. At first I got him to use San Huang San on his ribs and to take a similar herbal prescription to Wayne’s. Later I added Du Zhong to improve the formula’s action of strengthening tendons and bones. This is Du Zhong, the bark of Eucommia trees, it even looks like ribs with sinewy tissue between them.
Blows to the ribs may fracture the bone, tear or strain the rib cartilage or the intercostal muscles. GP’s could get X-rays taken to find out if the bone is fractured, but it makes no difference to treatment as there is nothing they could do to help the injury heal anyway. My first rib injury came from someone driving into them when I was on the side of a maul playing rugby. My GP second-row partner told me that aspirin was the best pain killer for rib injuries, and that he had some local in the car when we played the following week just in case the excitement of playing wasn’t enough to dull the pain. Since then I’ve re-injured them boxing, falling off a bicycle riding down a sand-dune track at Rottnest in the dark, and practicing judo. Unfortunately I had always used ice straight after the injuries, and didn’t know how Chinese Medicine could help the injuries repair so that they wouldn’t recur.