Bruised ribs can stem from a number of reasons. This includes lifting heavy weights or boxes, along with sports or work related injuries. Bruised ribs can also result from slips, falls, or physical encounters. With bruised ribs, people find it hard to breathe and have restricted mobility. However, this is very common and does not mean their ribs are cracked or broken.
This common issue is also synonymous with mild to excruciation pain – which can be radiating, shooting, or circular forms of tension. The first step in treating bruised ribs, of course, is to go to the ER or your primary care physician. They will check you out to make sure the ribs are not cracked or broken. This will be done via ultrasounds and x-rays and if no breaks or cracks are present – they will prescribe pain relief medication along with hours of bed rest until fully healed.
Heat and Ice Pads
Ice and heat pads are great in treating bruised ribs. They also reduce the inflammation and swelling – both inside and out. Ice and heat pad treatments, however, must be done in conjunction with doctor’s order. This means they must alternate, which allows the body to cool down after extensive heat therapies.
These home based remedies will expedite the healing process, and are vital in restoring proper mobility, endurance, and balance. As part of the treatment process, the ribs will also have to be rubbed and massaged a few times a day. This is usually done with pain-medication creams or Vicks vaporizer rub, which ensures optimal heat to treat hurt or damaged ribs.
Tape and Ace Bandages
In order for the ribs to properly heal, the torso or mid-section of the body will also have to be wrapped. This secures the right amount of tightness and tension needed to heal the ribs from within. Based on doctor’s orders, this is done via Ace bandages or body tape. These items, however, will have to be removed during the rubbing and massaging process.
Again, this allows the body to breathe – which is also vital in expediting the healing process. Once the bandages are restored, you must lie down for several hours per day. You should also avoid working for long hours, and absolutely no exercising or exertion is allowed. This means avoiding overly strenuous activities, including sex, jogging, running, or even performing light repairs and chores around the house.
Pain relievers also play a vital role in helping to tackle and combat bruised ribs. This includes Extra Strength Tylenol, along with Bayer, Midol, and even prescription pain relievers. To help the body and ribs breathe, doctors will also prescribe muscle relaxers. This helps alleviate the tightness, tension, and stress associated with bruised or damaged ribs.
Pain meds, of course, must be taken as prescribed and should never be overused. This can lead to pain med addiction – especially when it comes to morphine. The latter, however, is usually administered in hospitals and under strict doctor supervision. Still, pain relievers are a great way to restore the ribs back to optimal and proper working order.
In cases of extensive bruised ribs, rehabilitation exercises may be needed. This, of course, will be determined by your primary care physician. For home-based treatments, stretching techniques may also be prescribed. These are designed to secure optimal blood flow to the damaged area, which also help in healing. Stretching techniques are usually done while you are in bed, and revolve around lifting the arms back and forth.
Leg extensions may able be done, which offers the perfect balance for the routine. Again, these techniques are usually for those with mild bruised ribs and can help alleviate the inner tension and pain. Doctors may give patients several weeks of stretching and massaging techniques to foster great results within time.
Bed rest is simply paramount in treating bruised ribs. With sufficient sleep and rest, the ribs are able to heal faster. In fact, this is the number one remedy for damaged ribs, along with pain relievers. Doctors recommend that you stay off your feet for several weeks until the ribs are fully healed and back in working order. This will prevent any addition strain on the ribs, which can result in partial cracks or breaks.
If at any time you are experiencing an increase in pain, you must notify your doctor right away. He or she will meet you at the ER to see if a break or crack has occurred. Remember, with bruised ribs – the area is very susceptible to breaks and strains. This is why staying off your feet and remaining in bed is vital in preventing future problems and medical mishaps.
Proper nutrition is also important in tackling bruised ribs. In fact, doctors usually put patients on different diets during their ordeals. These are usually lighter foods, which are easy to consume and digest. Spicy food is usually avoided since they can cause indigestion and acid. This can overstrain the stomach muscles when going to the bathroom – causing additional strain on the ribs.
Foods like light soups, salads, and sandwiches keep the body full, along with drinking plenty of water. Doctors may also prescribe supplements to patients, which help increase bone strength and density. This is essential in strengthening the damaged ribs area, and result in complete recoveries over time.
With so many ways to treat and heal bruised ribs, patients never have to worry. In fact, worries bring additional tension and anxiety, which is not good for the healing process. Simply follow the doctor’s orders as prescribed and everything will be back in order at no time at all.
As always, stay in constant contact with the doctor to monitor changes in pain or movement. This is a vital part in securing timely and effective healing treatments and remedies. If needed, head to the ER if the pain becomes excruciating and simply unbearable. They will conduct more tests and scans to make sure no cracks or breaks are present.