The Symptoms and Treatment of Bruised Ribs 

On the average, bruised ribs can take up to a month to heal completely. It is essential that you take proper care of them to avoid any further complications. By taking safety precautions, you can avoid damaging your rib cage.

If you have ever felt a stabbing or piercing pain in your chest when taking a deep breath or experienced a constant pain in your rib cage after an accident, you probably had bruised ribs. Depending on how severe the force was, this injury would either be considered superficial or a deep injury. Read more to learn about the symptoms and treatments of bruised ribs.


  • Tenderness at the injury site
  • Pain when taking a deep breath
  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Increased pain with movement
  • Constant, sharp rib pain
  • Visible bruises at injury site
  • Unable to lay on injured side
  • When ribs are broken, unbearable pain and inflammation in the chest area


Bruised ribs are due to an injury of the abdominal or chest area. During an accident or other hard impact, the bones that make up the rib cage are pressed against themselves and the muscles that surround them. This sudden rubbing of bone and muscles causes bruising. This can happen during an accident, a rough sport such as football or hockey, a minor fall or constant coughing.


Some of the available treatments include the following:

  • Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Ice
  • Deep breathing to stretch the rib muscles

At times, a doctor's consultation may be needed to ensure that the ribs are not broken. In some casual wedding dresses cases, the doctor may recommend narcotic pain medicines. Although you may be tempted to do so, do not wrap the rib cage as doing so can increases the risk of pneumonia. You should rest and not take part in any vigorous activities.