I recently (a week ago) got side-kicked with a heel in my sternum pretty hard, enough that it knocked me down (I weigh 215 lbs). Needless to say it was very painful and a week later it still kills if I try and do any pushups or move certain ways. There is no external bruising or anything; it's just very uncomfortable. Any idea how long this will take to feel better? Do I need to go get it checked out? Anything I can do to speed the process?

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    You should really go see a doctor. We are not necessarily medical professionals on this site, and I would hate to see any potential failure of responsibility on anyone here if your injury is serious. I'm closing this as off-topic according to the faq and this meta post. You are welcome to edit your question so that it fits in the context of the site's scope.
    – user15
    Apr 4, 2012 at 15:30
  • no problem, I just figured someone on this site might have been in the same situation since there will be common injuries that arise form people doing Martial Arts
    – Slee
    Apr 4, 2012 at 16:38
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    Thanks for understanding. Your question can always be reopened in the future. Why don't you help contribute to this meta discussion about injuries? It'd be great to get some community input on how to narrow this topic down for Martial Arts.
    – user15
    Apr 4, 2012 at 17:06
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    You got injured while training and did not seek medical help at the time, or within 24 hours, or even after that since it is still hurting. However, you gladly seek advice form utter strangers with (potentially) no medical training whatsoever? How does that make sense? Nov 11, 2015 at 8:17
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    @Sardathrion You're being uncharitable. Training produces all sorts of weird injuries that are new to people but that don't necessitate a doctor's visit—which, let's remember, costs time, money, and emotional energy. Asking one's peers (who are more experienced in these cultural practices) what to do about a small potentially-nothing, potentially-serious injury is the most normal response. If I went to a doc for every injury like this I would never get any work done and my doc would brand me a paranoid hypochondriac. Nov 12, 2015 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


I occasionally get what I think is a costochondritis flare up, so I can sympathize.

First: If you have any doubt on getting it checked out, even if you think it isn't that big of a deal, it is probably a good idea to do so. There are a host of things that a bunch of people on an internet forum won't be able to tell just by your description, and you shouldn't listen to our advice over that of a professionals anyways. So best practice: if you are still having pain a week after, it is probably a good idea to get it checked out.

Second, at the risk of being somewhat obvious: It will take substantially less time to heal if you just let it heal. It is amazing how many things can slow sternum healing, including doing things like pushups or even some stretching. Certainly things that activate the surrounding muscles, such as pushups, should be avoided.

The standard advice for most injuries applies: use ice and let it rest. Make sure you are getting enough calories (if you have been eating anything less than maintenance, stop that, and consider going beyond maintenance until you are recovered). Then ease yourself back into working out, generally starting with stretching until you are recovered. Avoid sparring or anything that is likely to get you reinjured.

  • +1 for "It will take substantially less time to heal if you just let it heal.". To finish your rhyme: but it is not what the op wants to hear :-)
    – Tomas
    Apr 17, 2012 at 17:29

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