How to treat bruised ribs

Updated February 21, 2017

Bruised ribs can occur when a hard hit is taken to the rib or abdominal area. The ribs themselves will push against the muscle wall that surrounds them and this is what causes the bruising. They cannot technically diagnose bruised ribs but there are things that you can do to begin the healing process if think you have bruised your ribs. These items will also help ensure you do not further bruise the area.

Buy some Tylenol, aspirin or any other the counter pain reliever of your choice.

Take the over the counter pain reliever as prescribed on the bottle for pain relief. Be careful not to over medicate yourself and watch your alcohol consumption when taking any medicines.

Apply an ice pack to the affected area to take away any swelling that might occur. Be sure to wrap the ice pack up in a towel, do not directly apply the ice to the abdominal area.

Protect yourself from further injury by putting your arm in front of them. Do this to keep over zealous friends from hugging you too hard.

Give your body time to heal. Try not to engage in sports or physical activities that can cause you to further injure the rib cage.

Limit your amount of stretching for at least the first 24 to 72 hours.


This injury could take a while to heal because there is constant movement in that area due to the contraction of the abdominal muscles while you are breathing.

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