Harlan Selesnick, M.D
 
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Chest

JOCK Doc's Chest Questions

Question

I'm in high school wrestling, and I got a rib injury. it it hurts to touch, and making the wrong movements and stuff like that, I think it is bruised or cracked. my question is, How long will it take to heel? Kyle

Answer

Since you are a wrestler and it is wrestling season I recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether you just have a bad bruise (contusion) or whether a fracture has occurred. If it is fractured it likely will take at least 4 weeks to heal and possibly longer till you can return to practice safely. If it is a contusion, although painful you could likely return to competition much sooner. The Jock Doc


Question

How much muscle gain can a healthy, active, 50 year old man realistically expect to gain with a regular workout schedule three times a week. I do weights, I am doing all the right moves and correct posture when lifting. Does muscle density diminish with age if one exercises regularly? 30" waste, 15 inch arms, 48 chest, look 40. I take a whey protein supplement (with lots of daily water intake). One thing, my ligaments and joints seem to be getting sore. Can you recommend anything for this? Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it. John

Answer

Even at age 50, it is likely you can improve your strength and conditioning. You also have to be careful that you are lifting correctly so as to not produce overuse type injuries. The exact muscular dimensions are not as important as your strength and endurance. Also, stretching and flexibility training should be added to your program to further decrease your risk of injury. I recommend you make an appointment to see a sports medicine physical therapist or certified trainer to go over your workout program to help establish proper goals for your training as well as to modify your program if any exercises are being performed incorrectly. The Jock Doc


Question

I am a 34 year old father of two. I work full time as a Firefighter/EMT. I am having a hard time recovering from what I believe to be a chest injury. I believe it occurred 2 years ago while hanging sheet rock. I have also had surgery to my right rotator cuff due to a baseball injury. My biggest problem is that I get a tremendous tightness on the front right side of my neck near my clavicle. It seems to radiate upward toward my right ear. There is also pain across the top of both left and right Pectorals. There used to be pain that radiated straight down my sternum also but that has since subsided. There is still mild discomfort there when lifting light weight as in a bench press form. I have been through 16 weeks of physical therapy with no improvement. No one seems to know what the problem even is. I've had a cat scan to check bone structure and all is O.K. All cardiac problems have been ruled out with stress tests etc... If I do absolutely nothing for a few weeks I can be pain free but the minute I do anything, that tightness or cramp feeling comes back. I am very confused as to what type of doctor I should see next. I have a local HMO. I am very frustrated and would appreciate assistance you could provide. Scott

Answer

Your problem is difficult to diagnosis without examining you. I recommend you get a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. If the orthopedist is not helpful, the perhaps a rheumatologist or neurologist can establish a diagnosis. There may be other forms of treatment such as medications, injections, or neuromuscular therapy that may help after a correct diagnosis is established. The Jock Doc


Question

I have two broken ribs (fall). I'm concerned that they are not healing. I'm getting more soreness as the days go by. What do you recommend? Jack

Answer

Most rib fractures will heal in about 4 weeks time. However, initially the pain may worsen due to increased activity or muscle spasm. In rare instances the rib fractures can injure other structures such as vessels, nerves, or the lung. If your symptoms continue to worsen I recommend you see your doctor promptly. The Jock Doc

 
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