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Cracked Rib Pain Relief

When it comes to getting relief from cracked rib pain, you have very few options available, due to its intensity and strategic position. Read on to know more.
Shrinivas Kanade Apr 19, 2019
The rib cage that houses and protects vital organs like the heart and lungs is not a very sturdy structure. A normal human rib cage consists of 12 pairs of ribs. All of these are connected to the spine or the spinal column at one end.
At the other end, the first seven pairs of these ribs, known as true ribs, are connected to the sternum or the breast bone. The rest of them are either connected to the true ribs or hang free.

Cracked Rib Pain

An accidental impact is not the only reason to disturb the rib cage's consistency by fracturing or cracking a rib, but a severe coughing due to pneumonia or whooping cough, can also be enough to cause a cracked rib. You may have cracked or bruised ribs in the form of pain while coughing or taking deep breaths.
Shortness of breath may accompany the pain, preventing you from performing certain movements easily. The severity of pain depends on the type and the extent of your injury. If it is too severe, your doctor may advise you to obtain an X-ray of the affected area, which can be used to locate the cracked or fractured ribs, in order to administer treatment.


  • You feel the pain if the cracked rib is in the area that is in the back and to the side of the chest. The happens as the nerves that start in the chest-thoracic area of the spine split and travel just below the skin surface, and wind around the chest on the right and left side.
Both branches of nerves go back towards the side of the chest. Any discomfort or pain in this region manifests itself in the form of rib cage pain. Your doctor might offer a treatment in the form of painkillers to you, in order to lessen the pain.
  • Relief can also be obtained by taping your ribs. This is achieved with the help of strips of cloth or wraps used by athletes. Whatever you chose to apply, wrap it around your chest over the rib above the cracked one, take as deep a breath as you possibly can and then tie a knot. Repeat the process for the injured rib and the one below it.
  • Before tying a knot, make sure that you have enough breathing space in your lungs. Many experts don't approve of this treatment because it can lead to infection. If you cannot breathe properly and freely, it may prevent the movement of fluids in the lungs, which could lead to pneumonia.
  • There is a chance of your lungs collapsing, which can further add to your troubles. If you go for rib taping, don't keep it for long.
  • A cracked rib may cause costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilage in the breastbone area, osteoporosis and pleurisy. The doctor may advise you to undergo immediate surgery based on the information gained from X-ray.
Although, this is a painful and long-lasting condition, it is a benign one. The constant pain below the left chest can make your sleeping difficult, especially in case of pregnant women in the advanced stage of pregnancy.
However, after you have tried to cope with it with the help of home remedies and waited for three months for the pain to recede and fade away, it is time for you to undergo an MRI or CT scan. You may also consult a medical professional for the damage to the nerves or the possibility of cancer.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.