How to tell if you have a broken rib

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.

Can you walk around with a broken rib?

Most broken ribs resolve within six weeks. You’ll need to take it easy during this time, but you should still be able to walk around and do your daily activities. If you find that the pain isn’t getting any better, see a doctor to rule out any additional injuries that could be causing your symptoms.

Can a broken rib heal on its own?

In most cases, broken ribs usually heal on their own in one or two months. Adequate pain control is important so that you can continue to breathe deeply and avoid lung complications, such as pneumonia.

Should I go to the ER for a broken rib?

If you’ve been hit hard enough in the chest to make you think you may have broken a rib or two, go to the emergency department or call 911. It’s especially dangerous if the patient has any of the following signs or symptoms: Severe shortness of breath. Coughing blood.

What does bruised ribs feel like?

The main symptom of bruised ribs is chest pain. This pain may feel worse when you inhale. It may also hurt when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. Bending over or moving into other positions may also cause sharp chest pain.

How long does it take for broken ribs to stop hurting?

It takes about six weeks for broken ribs to heal on their own. During this time, you should avoid activities that could further injure your ribs. That means sports and heavy lifting are off the table. If anything causes you to feel pain around your ribs, stop immediately and hold off until you’re healed.

Can you lie down with broken ribs?

Sleeping While Sitting Upright

Ideally, this is the best sleep position for patients with a broken rib. This position can help your ribs heal quickly than lying down on the bed. Sleeping while lying down may exert unwanted pressures on the spine, which might be transferred to the ribs.

When should I worry about a rib injury?

If a person with a recent bruised or broken rib experiences any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical attention right away: Severe pain that continues to get worse. Increasing shortness of breath or trouble breathing. High fever.

Will a heating pad help bruised ribs?

Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. After 2 or 3 days, if your swelling is gone, put a heating pad set on low or a warm cloth on your chest.

What helps broken ribs heal faster?

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.

Do Broken ribs get worse before getting better?

Recovery from rib fractures

The worst pain is usually the first 1-2 weeks and gets gradually better after that.