Strained rib cage or oblique muscle injuries can be tricky things. Many times a pitcher tries to pitch through the pain and the results could lead to a player being on the disabled list for several months, or even the entire season. Trying to work it out on the mound is not the best way to treat muscle or tendon injuries. I tell players to run, stretch, and do any thing that will not irritate or strain the injured area more.
The Texas Rangers had one pitcher several years ago that missed the whole season with an oblique injury. I don’t know his rehab schedule, but I can only assume he kept trying to work it out by throwing. This is the worst thing you can do with an oblique injury.
Shoulder or elbow pain or soreness is the same. Do not try to work out soreness and pain by throwing. If your injury occurred while swinging the bat at a low outside pitch, don’t swing again until all soreness is gone. You want complete healing. The oblique muscles help rotate the torso. If a player is not in his natural throwing groove, or if he strains to hit a low outside pitch without a good shoulder and hip coil and rotation, he can strain the oblique muscles.
Below are a few MLB players that strained or pulled the muscles in the rib cage area or the obliques. The position they play does not matter. I am sure some may have been swinging the bat. Others may have been throwing or pitching. Others may have stretched trying to reach a ball when they strained their obliques. I have the dates of some oblique injuries, but all can be found on the Internet:
Affeldt, Jeremy RHP 6-27-04 till 8-11-04 Castillo,Jose 4-8-05
Field, Nate Hammond, Christopher
Harden, Rich 5-14-05 Hudson, Tim 6-17-05
Jones, Chipper 5-20-05 Kielty, Bobby 9-11-05
Kotsay, Bobby Lidle, Cory
Lieberthal, Mike Nevin, Phil
Salmon, Tim Sanders, Reggie
Surhoff, B.J. Sweeney, Mike 5-12-05 6-14
Quinlan, Rob Ward, Daryl - Pirates
White, Rick - Pirates
When you break a bone, it must heal without movement. When you strain or pull a muscle, or even have a sore elbow or shoulder, this must heal with movement, but not the same movement that caused the stress, pain, soreness or injury. Muscles, tendons and ligaments must heal with movement. If you can do nothing else, walk or run for muscle and ligament rehabilitation. You will probably want to stretch a lot, hang on an overhead bar.