Important Information About Having A Ribcage Injury
A ribcage injury can occur in any one of the 24 ribs that are present in the human body. You technically have 10 pair of ribs that attach to your spine and then wrap around to the front of your chest to attach to your sternum. The lower two pairs of ribs only are attached to the spine on your back.
Your ribs serve a very important purpose and that is to protect all of your important organs from injury, including your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen. Rib bones have a substantial amount of nerve endings so when you are injured, the pain that is resulted is quite significant.
An individual that has an isolated ribcage injury typically has been struck by some sort of blunt object. Other causes can be from leaning over a very rigid edge or suffering from a violent cough. The initial pain usually goes away for a few hours after the damage has occurred. Then, a few hours later, pain increases substantially, being aggravated by movement and becoming severe with deep breaths or coughing. Extreme tenderness is usually felt over the injury area.
If this type of injury was sustained somewhere else on the body, treatment would include putting the bones back into place and allowing healing time by using a cast to stabilize the area. A ribcage injury cannot be treated the same way because ribs are not able to be immobilized without inflicting serious lung problems. Therefore, they usually just have to be left alone to heal which means a great deal of pain while this takes place, especially since your ribs move every single time that you breathe.
A rib separation can be caused by a severe blow to the ribcage. This is depicted by the rib being torn away from the cartilage in the front. Severe pain is present with this type of ribcage injury and it is usually quite painful to even breathe. If you happen to bend over or twist the top part of your body, you may even hear a popping sound and you might even need help moving from a lying down position to sitting up.
A rib belt is usually used for this type of injury. It is an eight inch wide elastic strap that is placed around your ribcage. It stretches quite tight and closes up in the front of your body. The belt holds your ribs in place to help alleviate the pain that is caused by simple movements.
A fairly hard blow to the ribcage or running into something, can cause a bruise. Rest and ice are generally all that is needed to help with this type of ribcage injury. If you play sports and have a bruised rib, you probably want to wear some sort of pad that is designed to protect the rib area. These are usually available at sporting goods stores and they will prevent any further injury and help to decrease pain if you are hit in the area.
This is the worst ribcage injury to have and depending on where your rib is broke, you may feel pain in the whole ribcage area. It is also common to have two or more ribs broke from one injury. Pain is severe and you should have an x-ray taken to be sure that there are no sharp pieces of bone in a position to puncture your lungs.
You will need to rest for around six weeks and wear a rib belt in the beginning while the pain is severe. An x-ray should be taken approximately a month after the injury has occurred to see how the healing process is coming along.