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 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.
Do Broken ribs ever fully heal?
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?
When to go to the Emergency Room (ER)
Although they can be painful, most rib fractures aren’t serious. But they often make it hard to cough or breathe deeply. Get medical care right away if you have: Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain with a sore or bruised rib.
What does a broken rib feel like in the back?
After an injury to the chest—or particularly forceful coughing—consider the possibility of a broken rib if the patient has any of the following: Extreme pain when taking a breath. Tenderness to the chest or back over an area of ribs. Crepitus—a “crunchy” feeling under the skin.