Treatment for Broken Ribs



Broken or bruised ribs can often be caused by a fall, blow to the chest, or sometimes a severe cough. They can be very painful, but they usually improve within three to six weeks.

If you think your ribs are hurt, you can often take care of yourself at home. The ribs are difficult to splint or support like other bones, so they are allowed to heal naturally.

Broken and bruised ribs are generally treated in the same way, only an X-ray is necessary to determine this type of injury.

You generally need to seek medical advice when conditions start to worsen or do not improve, or if you have been injured in a serious accident. For more information, keep reading till the end.

How can I tell if my ribs hurt?

A broken or bruised rib will be extremely painful, especially as you breathe out.

You may feel like you can breathe lightly and slowly but it is important that you breathe normally to remove mucus from your lungs and prevent chest infections.

Your chest may swell or become tender and there may also be skin rashes.

Symptoms of broken ribs

Home care for your injury

In most cases, you can take care of a broken or bruised rib at home. During the healing of an injury, pain relief is very important, as breathing or coughing can be extremely painful during this time. Breathing lightly to avoid pain and not coughing can put you at risk of developing a chest infection.

You can take care of yourself through the following measures:

  • Medications- Regularly taking pain-relieving medicines (obtained over-the-counter ), such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age. Kindly follow the instructions about the dosage on the packet.

  • Placing an ice pack on the chest- Do this regularly for the first few days to reduce pain and swelling. A bag of cold ice wrapped in a towel can also be used.

  • Taking a break from time to time- Take time off from work, especially when your work requires physical exertion.

  • Move between rest periods- Walking around and moving your shoulder from time to time can help you breathe and clear mucus from the lungs.

  • Take support- Support the chest with a pillow while coughing.

  • Breathing exercises- Taking slow, deep breaths every hour helps keep your lungs clear.
    Do not wrap the bandage too tightly around your chest as this will prevent your lungs from expanding properly.

Injury to ribs

  • Position- Try to avoid lying down or sitting still for long periods of time. For the first few nights, it will help you fall asleep right away due to medications.

  • Heavy objects- Avoid straining and lifting heavy objects until you feel better as you may injure yourself further and take longer to recover. If you smoke, stopping it will also help your recovery.

When to contact a doctor?

If the pain does not improve within a few weeks, contact your doctor. They can prescribe you more powerful painkillers or refer you to a hospital for further treatment as needed.

Get medical help right away if any of the following more serious signs develop:

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Increase in chest pain.

  • Pain in your stomach or shoulder.

  • Coughing up blood.

  • Coughing up yellow or green mucus.

  • High temperature (fever).

Treatment to broken ribs

The above symptoms suggest a chest infection or that a broken rib has damaged your lung, causing your lung to collapse or can damage the spleen or liver.

If you have been injured in a serious accident, such as a traffic accident, go straight to your nearest emergency department for an assessment.

We have given you all the information related to the treatment of broken ribs.

If you want to get treated for broken ribs, then you can opt for ASP cares, which ensures the best possible treatment for ribs related issues with good expertise.

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