How painful is a broken rib?

How painful is a broken rib
How painful is a broken rib – picture

To answer the question “how painful is a broken rib?” one needs to determine their symptoms, assess the area, then determine if they have a dislocated rib, a subluxated rib or a broken rib, as these three terms are often mistakenly interchanged, but in fact, they are completely different!

How do you know you have a broken rib? How painful is a broken rib?

Dislocated rib

Ever had an accident, a fall, or any trauma that affected your chest area? Only to wake up the next day and notice that you have a dull pain when breathing?

You place your hand over your chest area, trying you feel the “spot” and it felt sour to touch, then you begin wondering if you have hurt your internal organs, or dislocated a rib!

The confusing part was, you DON’T feel as if you have experienced a dislocation of any form, because you weren’t screaming and banging the table in sheer pain, since you are quite familiar with the amount of pain an individual should experience when they dislocate any joint on their body, because your pain wasn’t that bad.

So, you push that thought away, no dislocations, just a sour rib cage from your accident, and it will go away!

Some hours pass, and you’re on the couch, chilling and watching Saturday Night Live Tv show, and your burst out laughing when the host did a hilarious gig, then you noticed, a laughter which should have felt good and relieving was in fact painful and excruciating because it hurts to laugh!

Then your mind pops back to your previous question whether you have dislocated a rib or not.

How painful is a dislocated rib

Dislocation of the rib can occur to anyone, young and old, it has no racial, gender, nor age discrimination (at least mostly). here’s a further article about the causes of dislocation.

Once you have experienced a rib dislocation, the pain can vary greatly. Pain variations can depend on which of the ribs, parts that popped out of its socket. False ribs and floating ribs are more susceptible to dislocation than the other ribs. To learn more about the rib cage, visit the anatomy of the human ribs

The pain from a displaced rib usually intensifies when doing the following

  • laughing
  • heavy breaths
  • exercises that require movement of the chest wall area
  • coughing
  • and most painfully, sneezing!

The most common treatment of dislocated rib is rest, pain management, and cold, warm compresses.

Most people who have experienced one form of dislocated rib or the other report drastic healing after a couple of days of rest and rib wrap compressions.

Some would require a visit to a chiropractor; from one up to three visits usually puts the ribs back in place.

Rarely, a dislocated rib requires intensive care at the hospital.

How painful is a Subluxated rib

Rib subluxation is a more professional term for a rib head out of place. A subluxated rib head is a type of rib dysfunction.

When you have a subluxated rib, you’ll experience a popping, or crackling sound when you breathe or carry out certain movements that involve the rib cage; this may include dancing, twisting, etc.

Subluxated ribs are common with the first and floating ribs. The pain may also vary depending on different individuals. and treatment, like a dislocated rib, involves rest, pain management and compresses too. see the treatment of a subluxated rib. Chiropractic manipulation may be needed in some occasions in order to reset the rib head.

Broken rib pain

What is a broken rib?

A broken rib is the kind of rib injury, possibly the worst and the most painful kind of rib injury!

A Broken rib occurs when the rib snaps into two or multiple pieces, usually around the shaft of a rib also called the body of a rib, this is usually a result of intense force directed towards the rib cage area. A broken rib is different from a cracked rib!

What is a cracked rib?

A cracked rib or a rib fracture, also type of rib injury, happens when the rib bone cracks in-between. Cracked ribs are normal non-life-threatening as there isn’t a complete crack or breakage of the rib, i.e, breaking into two or multiple pieces.

So, How painful is a broken rib?

So to answer your question, “how painful is a broken rib?”

A broken rib is extremely painful, and even life-threatening because the jagged edge of the broken rib may puncture internal vital organs around the injury area.

Breathes become painful, and hard to execute, an internal bleeding may occur due to ruptured or puncture nerves or vessels around the area.

It’s vital to get a proper medical assessment and diagnosis immediately if you suspect a broken rib! Multiple broken ribs can lead to a flail chest, which is a high life-threatening condition.

When do see a doctor for a rib injury

Regardless of the cause of your rib injury, you must see a doctor in the following cases:

  • difficulty when breathing
  • chest flail
  • a swollen area around the injury site
  • coughing out blood from the mouth
  • bleeding in the area surrounding the injury site.

So, did this article answer your question, “how painful is a broken rib?”

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