In human there are 12 pairs of ribs. Because of these ribs, we get the shape of our chest. Ribs play a very crucial part in human body as they protect some of the vital organs like heart, lungs, kidneys etc. But a crack in this area can really cause discomfort.
Let us see cracked ribs symptoms and causes as it is very crucial to know what exactly is this problem.
Before jumping to the symptoms we shall first discuss few necessary things about ribs. Ribs in human can be classified into three main categories. These are
- Upper ribs
- Middle ribs
- Lower ribs
Upper ribs are supposed to be the safest bone as these are protected by clavicle i.e. the collar bone and the shoulder blade. In general these does not get hurt easily but if get a brutal hit then they can lead to very dangerous situation. They can expose aorta. Aorta is one of the most crucial blood arteries that supplies blood to complete body. If aorta somehow gets hurt, it may result in instant death. Injuries to middle ribs can lead to puncturing of lungs. If lungs get punctured then all the pleural fluid may be out let and because of it, there may be collapsing of lungs. The lower ribs also help in protecting various organs like liver, spleen, kidneys. Hence you can yourself judge what important role ribs plays in the body. They act as a shield that takes away all the pressure.
Below are some of the main causes of cracked ribs.
There are many causes by which our ribs can get cracked or bruised. Breaking of ribs is extremely common in sports persons and athletes. Rib fracture can occur due to sprain or tear due to some kind of physical activity or not warming up prior any weight training. If a person gets hit, on the rib region then also he may suffer form a cracked rib. Osteoporosis is another reason of breaking of ribs in elderly people and female after menopause. In case of certain deformity, ribs can also get broken.
Cracked ribs symptoms
Rib pain is one of the most obvious symptom of Rib Fracture. Below are some of the very important cracked ribs symptoms.
- Chest pain – chest pain is one of the main symptoms of cracked ribs. It is extremely important to get a proper diagnose done of a chest pain as if there is a fracture then, it may lead puncturing of lungs. If lungs somehow gets collapsed then it may lead to grave situation that may even be fatal.
- Breathlessness – breathlessness may also be another situation that can again be a major symptom of cracked ribs.
- Pain during movements – there can be a great pain whiles any kind of movement. Even following the daily routine can also be a hassle as it can contribute to the shooting pain in the body.
- Painful breathing – the extent of pain may be such that there may be pin while breathing. This is so because as the lungs gets inflated while breathing, the cracked rib sore causing tremendous pain.
- Pain in ribs while coughing: If you wake up with either side of your ribs hurting when you take deep breath’s in, yawning, coughing is an indication that of cracked or bruised ribs
If you’re suffering from any of the problems above, it may be signs of cracked ribs.
How to Heal Broken Ribs
Broken bone is a painful condition so as the broken rib. The main challenge that we face for healing a broken rib is that the ribs can’t be immobilized. Immobilization cannot be done as our thoracic cavity expands and contracts due to breathing activity. But there are certain methods and modes to heal a broken rib.
How to heal a broken rib
Below are mentioned some of the few important instruction that can be very helpful in case of a broken rib.
- Rest – Rest is one of the most important criteria for healing a fracture. Hence same is with the rib. As much as you will take rest the healing will be more proper and good. Avoid any kind of stress especially on the rib part. Don’t indulge in physical activities.
- Proper Care for lungs – lungs are considered to be the vital organs of the body. Lungs are the main reason we could inhale the oxygen so that it may be supplied to various other organs of the body. Injury or any kind of infection to the lungs may be a complication in rib fracture. One should also avoid taking deep breath as that may also hinder in the healing process of ribs.
- Medication – one should take proper medication as directed by a physician. It is very essential that administration of pain killers and anti – inflammatory medicines should be done. This will help in reducing the agony of pain and also helps in reducing the swelling in the body. As mentioned earlier also that with constant breathing it is really very difficult to immobilize ribs thereby pain killers are the right option to suppress pain.
- Position to lie down – If you are not suffering with injuries on neck, or back then it is always recommended that you should lie down on the side with the broken rib. This will help in easy expansion of the ribs and it would be less painful.
- Balanced diet – It is always suggested that one should take a proper balanced diet. As there is increased demand of vitamins and minerals in the body while healing of a fracture hence there should be a good supply of these vitamins and minerals to cope up with the increased demand.
- Various occupational therapies like heat cold therapies are done to promote the healing process. Various doctors and physicians also recommended chest binders that are helpful in protecting the chest and rib cage form further injuries.
- One should be bit patient with the healing process. Healing is a natural process and healing of a broken rib is not different from it. In general a rib takes about 4 to 6 weeks to get healed. Hence one should be patient and protect the rib from damages that can be done due to ignorance.