How to cope with a torn rib cartilage

Written by nicole long
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Torn rib cartilage, also known as costochondral separation, can be painful. This occurs when the ribs tear away from the cartilage used to attach them to the sternum. Typically these injuries are caused by trauma and violent landings. There are several things that can be done to help cope with a torn rib cartilage.

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Things you need

  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Rib belt

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  1. 1

    Get plenty of rest. When a costochondral separation has been diagnosed, it will be imperative to get rest so that the cartilage can heal and also to reduce the pain of movement.

  2. 2

    Place an ice pack on the injured rib for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. This should be repeated every three to four hours.

  3. 3

    Take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen. This helps reduce swelling and pain.

  4. 4

    Try a rib belt if the torn rib cartilage is extremely painful. The belt helps restrict the movement of your ribs during coughing, breathing and moving, all of which can increase pain.

  5. 5

    Follow your doctor's recommendations on breathing exercises. These are important and help to protect from possible lung complications.

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