Broken Rib Symptoms
The human rib cage, also known as thoracic cage, has 24 ribs, but nearly 1 in 500 people have an extra rib known as cervical rib. In some rare cases, they have two as well!
Broken rib is a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks. Ribs are pretty hard to break as they are surrounded by strong muscles and can usually take on a lot of damage before they crack; however, when there is trauma to the chest, such as from a fall, motor vehicle accident, or an impact during contact sports, it can break the ribs. Usually, broken ribs are more common in elderly people than in younger adults. It is not always easy to identify a broken rib, and hence it is important to understand the following information related to the condition in question.
Structure of Ribs
The human body has twelve pairs of ribs; ten pairs attached to the spine and wrapped around to attach to the sternum in front of the chest, and the two lower pairs that are only attached to the spine in the back. The ribs serve to protect the internal organs, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and spleen from injury. The bones have a lot of nerve endings, so when damage occurs, pain is significant.
Since wheezing can be a symptom of serious medical conditions, the importance of a timely diagnosis cannot be stressed enough. If it is caused due to a particular medical condition, treating that ailment will naturally help. Labored breathing that results from the narrowing of the airways can cause one to feel tired and exhausted. The treatment must therefore aim at normalizing the patient's breathing pattern. The patient must be able to breathe comfortably.
Smoking is one of the primary reasons for causing chronic cough (lasting for more than 8 weeks) with or without mucus secretion. So, to treat coughing, one should quit the habit of smoking as early as possible. According to a study, smoking cessation has helped more than 90 percent of smokers in getting relief from cough within a month.
- Tenderness: Another very common symptom is tenderness.
- A lot of discomfort or pain is observed while touching the injured area.
- It becomes red and very sensitive.
- This tenderness usually worsens with movement or activity.
- Painful Breathing: Pain is a principal symptom of a broken rib.
- The pain is usually worsened by breathing deeply.
- Pain is also felt when one puts pressure on the rib cage, or while bending and twisting the torso.
- Difficulty in Breathing: Besides, the area being painful while breathing, another cracked rib symptom is difficulty in breathing.
- One may feel uncomfortable due to lack of sufficient air for breathing.
- For instance, you might experience headache, dizziness, anxiety, or sleepiness.
- It is very important to get medical help immediately, if you experience this symptom.
Some people are at a higher risk due to their lifestyle or bone health. For example, people who play contact sports and elderly people are always at a greater risk than others. The following are a few causes of broken ribs.
Chamomile: Make Some Herbal Tea Using Chamomile
You will find chamomile tea bags at any supermarket. So, boil water for a minute and then turn off the stove. Infuse a tea bag of chamomile for a minute. Pour the tea in a cup and keep sipping it slowly. Chamomile tea helps soothe the irritated throat and ease the pain. This tea is relaxing and you can have it before going to bed.
- An infection or swelling in the larynx or the trachea can also cause noisy or abnormal breathing.
- Asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis generally cause whistling sounds during exhalation.
- The abnormal whistling sounds are caused due to an obstruction caused in the airways in the upper part of the respiratory tract.
- Sometimes such abnormal whistling sounds could be caused due to a poorly functioning heart.
- If the heart is unable to effectively pump blood through the lungs, the lungs may get filled with fluid.
- This may cause the airways to become narrow thereby causing whistling sounds.
- It may also be experienced by those who suffer from acid reflux disease or food allergies.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that reduces bone density, and hence any person suffering from the same is prone to breaking his ribs even with slight trauma. People with osteoporosis can avoid broken ribs by having calcium supplements, engaging in weight-bearing exercises, and following a balanced diet.
- Abnormal high pitched whistling sounds are usually a sign of respiratory disorders.
- People who suffer from recurrent bouts of wheezing must therefore get themselves medically examined at the earliest.
- Tonsillitis - It is the inflammation of the tonsils caused due to virus or bacteria.
- Symptoms of this condition include high fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache, tiredness, etc.
- Tuberculosis - It is a life-threatening respiratory disease caused due to bacterial infection.
- Peculiar symptoms of tuberculosis are persistent cough, low-grade fever, weight loss, chills, fatigue, night sweats.
Acute Bronchitis - Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More…
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Trauma: Broken ribs can occur by any kind of trauma caused to the chest, such as a fall, or a blow during contact sports. Besides these, getting hit in the chest, falling on something and hitting the chest, or smashing the chest into a steering wheel or dashboard during a car accident could certainly lead to broken ribs.
- Damage to Organs: In case the lower ribs are broken, then there is a huge risk of damaging the other organs of the body.
- These ribs are anchored to the breastbone and can cause damage to liver, kidneys, or spleen.
- Teething - Although not a disease, teething is one of the most significant cause of cough and fever in babies.
- The cough produced during baby teething is usually caused due to the excess salivation.
Some Natural Remedies for Cough
Many people often look for natural remedies for cough as it is a common illness. Also, to avoid any side effects from over-the-counter medications, natural cures are an obvious choice. They also prove to be safe and effective for pregnant women. Let's have a look at some of these cures.
Due to expectorants, you may have an irregular or rapid heartbeat. You may experience labored breathing accompanied with chest pain and consistent weakness, due to which your daily work performance is affected. With a rapid heartbeat, you may also find yourself feeling fatigued with your muscles aching, due to which you may endure cramps.
- Take Rest: It is very necessary to take ample rest and give the broken ribs some time to heal.
- One should avoid any physical activities which may cause pain and lead to complications.
- Generally, it takes 4-6 weeks to recover, varying with severity of the injury.
- Complete rest can help in speedy recovery.
Pain Management: A broken rib heals with time, but the pain is agonizing. One needs to take proper pain medication, which will include some painkillers; dosage depends on the intensity of the injury. In case of extreme pain, doctors recommend anesthesia to block the nerves that are connected to the ribs.
Besides being aware of the symptoms, it is essential, especially in children, to monitor and check for them. The symptoms mentioned below are the classic signs of dry drowning and should never be ignored, especially if your child had been near water, has had a near-drowning experience, or has excessively played in water. Though commonly mistaken for symptoms of other maladies, or put down to just plain fatigue, the following, if ignored, can prove fatal for your child.
An important thing to be borne in mind, is that expectorants should be consumed preferably when they have been prescribed by the physician in the recommended dosage, especially when the drugs have to be administered to children. Guaifenesin should not be prescribed for children who are under 2 years of age. If however, they have to be administered, it is best that a physician be consulted. However, guaifenesin may be taken safely when pregnant, the same conditions of consultation applies here as well.
Since pregnancy is a delicate phase, most of the doctors will recommend a natural therapy to soothe the chest pain, especially in the first trimester.
The Most Effective Treatment is to Drink Plenty of Fluids
It can be water, fruit juices, soups, and broths. Drink herbal tea. You can add ginger to the regular tea for relief. Use lemon in your drinks, as the acidic properties of lemon help drain the mucus. As the nasal membranes go dry due to swelling, it is most advisable to keep your body well hydrated at all times. This also helps in diluting the mucus, further easing congestion.
Victor is a content specialist at pianavia.com, a resource on natural health. Previously, Victor worked as a post curator at a media startup. When he's not sourcing content, Victor enjoys biking and shopping.