How to heal torn rib cartilage

Written by sarah morse
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Torn rib cartilage, also called costochondral separation, can be one of the most difficult injuries to heal, because it cannot simply be placed in a cast. Ribs must move in order for your lungs to properly function, which inhibits healing. Symptoms of a torn rib cartilage include pain when you breathe, cough or sneeze, laugh and even move. Knowledge of techniques to promote healing along with a little time and patience will cure a rib that is torn from its cartilage as soon as possible.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ice
  • Towel
  • Anti-inflammatory drug
  • Rib belt

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  1. 1

    Rest your body and allow it to heal for at least six weeks. You may not participate in sports or any other strenuous activities.

  2. 2

    Ice the area in the initial stages of injury to reduce inflammation. Apply an ice pack covered with a towel for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours. Take an anti-inflammatory drug or other pain killer to continue to reduce inflammation.

  3. 3

    Use a rib belt to compress the rib cage so it cannot expand too far when you breathe, cough or laugh. This is an elastic strap that is 8 inches wide, circling the rib cage. This also lessons the pain of everyday movement.

Tips and warnings

  • See a doctor to ascertain which rib injury you have incurred. Some injuries may be more harmful than others and will need different techniques for healing.

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