It’s probably no exaggeration to state that broken ribs rank high on the list of most painful injuries you can suffer, including gunshot wounds or childbirth.
This article is intended to provide information on the causes of broken ribs, the dangers they pose, and on treating the rib pain they trigger.
When most other bones are broken, you can put a cast on them. This is not possible with rib fractures because it could restrict breathing and possibly lead to pneumonia.
Sleeping becomes a real challenge. So does sitting down, standing up, or twisting your upper body. Taking a deep breath can be painful. Normal exhaling and inhaling can also cause discomfort. Just touching the area near a broken rib can also hurt a lot.
There are many ways you can get broken ribs, but the most common happen from participation in athletic activity or motor vehicle accidents.
Broken Ribs Are Not Just Painful – They’re Dangerous
Ribs that are fractured can cause serious complications in several ways. Two are common.
First, when a rib is not just cracked, and the fracture splits the bone apart, it can when a rib is broken apart and the edges are separated, it’s a dangerous situation. The edges of the bone can be sharp and jagged, which poses a threat to nearby organs – especially the lungs.
Second, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, rib pain can compromise your respiration so seriously that you can get pneumonia.
How to Treat Broken Ribs
Even though broken or cracked ribs cause severe pain, they generally heal on their own. Doctors can only treat the rib pain that results from your fractures, while guarding against pneumonia or damage to nearby organs from jagged edges.
A cracked rib can sometimes heal in a few weeks, and it may take several months for the pain to completely go away. A break in which the ends of the bone are completely separated will take longer.
Recovery may seem to take a long time because of the nature of the pain. It will hurt whenever you move your upper body. Since the pain is with you constantly, time can move very slowly.
Most doctors will not hesitate to prescribe pain killers when you have fractured ribs. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you. There are also many good pain medications available over-the-counter that can also help reduce the discomfort as your recovery progresses.