Bruised Ribs – What you need to know

physio-rib-painA direct blow to the chest or to the ribs themselves may cause the ribs to bruise, break or separate from the breastbone. Whilst bruised ribs are extremely painful, in most cases they heal completely. The injury is referred to as bruised ribs but majority of the pain is caused by injury to the surrounding muscle and rib cartilage.

Symptoms will include:

  • Tenderness and pain over the injured area;
  • Pain when you breathe, move, laugh or sneeze.

Treatment for bruised ribs is:

  • Pain relief medication;
  • Ice over the tender area for 15-20 mins, 3-4 times per day in early stages of injury;
  • Avoid painful activities that cause rib pain, including sports.

You can treat the symptoms of bruised ribs as mentioned above, but the main thing that heals ribs is time. The average number of weeks needed to recover from bruised ribs is 3-4 weeks.

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