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. You can’t put a cast on a broken rib as you can any other bone. Every time you breathe, pain in the ribs can be very intense. Even if the bone is not completely broken and is just cracked, it is called as a broken rib.
There is a definite difference in other types of pain as this pain is going to feel like a knife or skewer poking in the area of the damaged rib. When you move or spin your torso, pain can be intense. It can really hurt just touch a the rib. If you are experiencing this type of pain, you probably have a fractured rib.
There are many ways you can break a rib, but the most common happens during sports competition or vehicular accidents.
Why a Broken Rib Is Especially Dangerous
While a cracked rib is considered to be the same as a broken one, when the break splits the bone in half, it can pose a serious danger. Sharp edges of bone can move around and damage nearby internal organs and tissues.
Just trying to take a deep breath brings sharp and stabbing pain. Exhaling can be as painful as inhaling. Additionally, this breathing difficulty can complicate 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. It can take up to fifty days for a cracked rib to completely heal and for the pain to go away.
Because of the intensity of the pain, and the fact that it can hurt every time you move, recovery seems to take a very long time.
Most doctors will not hesitate to prescribe pain killers when you have fractured ribs. There are also many good pain medications available over the counter that can also help reduce the discomfort as your recovery progresses.