Symptoms that indicate bruised rib
The rib cage of the human body consists of 24 ribs and they have the role to protect the lungs and the heart. In the greatest majority of the cases, bruised ribs are a result of some injury or blow to the rib or abdominal area, while it is also possible that whooping cough and constant coughing lead to this problem, too. What generally happens is that the muscles are injured and not the bones, and the blood vessels and capillaries break and leak, which actually causes the bruising. In more severe cases, the lungs can be injured as well, but the doctor will be able to identify that after listening to the lungs.
Even though the doctor is usually the one who will set the diagnosis, the signs that might indicate bruised ribs are tenderness in the injured area, pain particularly when trying to breathe deeply or trying to move in any way, shortness of breath, and sharp and continuous pain in the rib. The bruising is usually visible at or near the area of the injury, but to make sure (or to exclude the possibility of broken ribs), the doctor orders chest X-rays, and checks the upper abdominal area to see if the spleen or liver is injured.
How to treat bruised rib?
When it comes to ribs, the fact is that any injury to this part of the body is usually quite painful because of the breathing process, and another fact is that the process of healing cannot really be accelerated. It is important to follow the advice that the doctor gives, because sometimes the condition can complicate and develop into pneumonia or lung infection that might result in this disease. Also, it is possible that the ribs do not heal properly, which will leave the person in question with permanent pain and problems with breathing.
In order to treat the pain, medications such as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are usually given, although sometimes even narcotics are advised. It is important to take deep breaths from time to time, because it helps the muscles to stretch, while any wrapping should be avoided, in order to prevent pneumonia. Of course, any activity that might harm the bruised ribs even more or lead to another injury should be avoided during the recovery, which usually lasts from 3 to 4 weeks. Surely, if the lungs, spleen, liver or heart is injured, the treatment will involve them as well.