The rib cage comprises twelve ribs on each side of the chest, to protect the internal organs of the thoracic cavity. Out of these twelve pairs, seven pairs are attached to the breastbone, while the rest fuse into the rib preceding them. The ribs may be bruised due to a variety of reasons and the bruise may be superficial or deep. Bruised ribs can be very painful, but in most cases they heal.
What Can Cause Bruised Ribs?
Ribs can get bruised because of the following reasons:
- Chest Injury: An injury to the upper abdominal area can lead to a bruised rib.
- Vehicular accidents: Most rib bruises are caused by a fatal vehicular accident. The high velocity impact can be too strong for the ribs. For elderly people, minor accidents such as a slip on the floor or fall from the staircase or violent and ceaseless coughing can bruise the ribs.
Bruised Ribs Symptoms
Both mild and severe bruise on ribs is accompanied with some distinct symptoms. These include:
- A feeling of pain or tenderness around the region.
- A sharp pain when taking a deep breath.
- Difficulty to breathe.
- Movement of the thoracic region is usually accompanied by pain.
- Swelling and discoloration at the site of injury.
- Difficulty in sleeping on the side of injury.
Home Remedies To Heal Bruised Ribs
Home remedies can be very effective in treating bruised ribs. The first thing that has to be done is to apply ice on the injured area. Next, you need to apply some home medications. Some well-known home remedies include:
- Apple cider vinegar compress: Apple cider vinegar can easily remove clotted blood from beneath the skin and accelerate the healing process.
- Epsom salt and lavender oil baths: Magnesium salts can reduce inflammation of bruised ribs. As Epson salts contain fair amount of magnesium salts, a warm water bath with dissolved Epsom salts can be extremely beneficial. Adding lavender oil to the bath water can promote muscle relaxation.
- Turmeric: For ages, turmeric has been used as a powerful natural remedy for the treatment of bruises. It comes packed with curcumin, which is renowned for its pain killing and anti-inflammatory properties. You can consume it and also apply turmeric paste to your ribs to cure the bruise.
- Blackstrap molasses tea: Blackstrap molasses is another traditional home remedy. It is known to give quick relief from pain caused by injuries. It can be effectively used to heal bruised ribs as well. Those who have a bruised rib can drink blackstrap molasses dissolved in water once daily. It can heal the pain and swelling within a fortnight.
- Besides these, people with rib injury need to take less physical strain, avoid sudden movements and keep away from smoking.
- Do take your pain relievers to avoid pain when you breathe or cough. Shallow breathing and avoidance of coughing increases your risk for lung infection.
However, before starting home medication it is important to identify the cause of bruised ribs and treat the bruise accordingly.