Bruised rib pain can often be relieved with over-the-counter meds, but a bruised rib takes a while to heal and there are some other things you can do to minimize the discomfort and keep up with as many daily activities as possible.
Most of the time, a strong over-the-counter pain reliever will take the edge off the pain of bruised ribs. For more serious rib injuries, such as severe bruising of when cracked ribs is suspected, a prescription strength pain reliever may be prescribed.
To relieve swelling in the rib area and to dull the nerves, consider applying an ice pack. Simply wrap the ice pack in a towel and place it directly on the area. Ice the bruised ribs for about 15 minutes every few hours for maximum results. Ice should only be used for the first three or four days of the injury. After that, the swelling should be mostly gone.
Some people find that keeping pressure on the area actually helps it feel better, Try wrapping an ace bandage around the chest, somewhat tightly. The bandage will keep the swelling down and can even be used to provide a little support for the sore ribs. Certain bruised rib injuries may benefit from the nearest arm in a sling or wearing what is known as a rib belt. It limits the movements of the ribs to reduce pain.
When ribs are bruised, rest is the top method of healing. Stay away from activities that will aggravate the pain, such as vacuuming, swimming, lifting and dancing. Try to do some gentle stretches instead, to keep limber. In addition, because your rib cage expands and contracts depending on how you breathe, you should avoid activities that will cause your heart rate to rise and your breathing to quicken.
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