How Can I Tell If I Have a Broken Rib?
- If you touch the spot where your rib is broken, it will hurt more.
- Your chest will hurt more when you take a deep breath.
- The pain will get worse if you twist your body.
- Coughing or laughing will cause pain. There may also be bruising, depending on the cause.
How to tell if you have a broken rib?
- The symptoms of your rib pain while stretching will vary depending on the injury. If a rib is broken or cracked, it will hurt to take deep breaths. If you place your finger on the rib, it will be tender and you may hear a crunching sound if you try moving the bone. Your ribs may look deformed.
How do you tell if you have a cracked rib or pulled muscle?
Tips for identification
- Pain: You may feel a sharp pain at the time of injury, or it may come on more gradually.
- Tenderness: The area of the strain between your ribs will be sore to the touch.
- Difficulty breathing: Because it’s so painful to breathe, you may find yourself taking small, shallow sips of air.
What happens if you leave a broken rib untreated?
When untreated, rib fractures will lead to serious short-term consequences such as severe pain when breathing, pneumonia and, rarely, death. Long-term consequences include chest wall deformity, chronic pain and decreased lung function.
Should I go to the ER for a broken rib?
Anyone who suspects that they have a broken rib should speak to a doctor. If the person has trouble breathing or severe chest pain, they should call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.
How long does it take for a broken rib to stop hurting?
The amount of pain you feel and how long it may last for will depend on the type of injury you have and how badly you have been hurt. As a rough guide, fractured ribs and sternums take about 4-6 weeks to heal and it is usual to still feel some discomfort after this time. Bruising can take between 2-4 weeks to heal.
What does a rib stress fracture feel like?
The pain associated with rib fractures tends to worsen with time. You may experience sharp pains, particularly when coughing or breathing deeply or after particularly vigorous training. You might have swelling or bruising around the ribcage. This is not as common in an overuse injury, but it may be present.
Is bed rest good for broken ribs?
If you’ve broken a rib (or several), one of the best things you can do is simply rest. This will not only reduce some of the pain but also help your body navigate the healing process.
How do you fix a broken rib at home?
What’s the Treatment?
- Take a break from sports to allow yourself to heal without hurting yourself again.
- Put ice on the area to relieve pain.
- Take pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Take deep breaths to avoid pneumonia.
- Don’t wrap anything tightly around your ribs while they’re healing.
What will a Dr do for a broken rib?
Depending on your pain level, your doctor might prescribe something you can take for pain relief. In the first few days after a rib is broken, an injectable form of anesthesia may help numb the nerves directly around the rib. You can also apply an ice pack to the area to reduce pain and decrease swelling.
When should I be concerned about rib pain?
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain when breathing in or moving your body into a specific position, or if you have any difficulty breathing. If you feel pressure or have pain in your chest along with rib cage discomfort, call 911.
Does broken rib pain get worse before it gets better?
Recovery from rib fractures
Rib fractures can take weeks to months to heal, depending on how mild or serious the fracture is. In general, any broken bone will take 6-8 weeks to heal. The worst pain is usually the first 1-2 weeks and gets gradually better after that.
How do you cough with a broken rib?
To help prevent a collapsed lung or lung infection, do slow deep-breathing and gentle coughing exercises every 2 hours. Holding a pillow or blanket against your injured rib can make these less painful. You may need to take your pain medicine first.
How should you sleep with bruised ribs?
Try to sleep in a comfortable semi-upright position for the first few nights. You can do this by placing a few pillows under your neck and upper back. This position will help you breath more comfortably. Begin to sleep on your unaffected side after the first few days of injury.
How do you sleep with a broken rib?
A person may even sleep a few nights sitting up in a chair to ease the pain. In addition to helping with discomfort, upright positions can also help with breathing. When coughing, some people find it helpful to hold a pillow against their chest to absorb the sudden movement and steady the torso.