Rib injuries: What are the commonly used physical therapy programs?

Various forms of rib injuries occur yearly. The pain can be intense and crippling while several ribs might end up cracked from vehicular accidents as well as falls, forceful episodes of coughing and sports.

Breathing

Most of the rib injuries requires a program specifically designed to promote deep breathing. Remember that breathing can be painful and the diminished intake of oxygen leads to other complications such as collapsed lungs and pneumonia.

rib-injuries

Remember that breathing can be painful and the diminished intake of oxygen leads to other complications such as collapsed lungs and pneumonia.

An incentive spirometer is often used during the breathing program. This is a device that measures the breathing depth while breathing via a small connective hose on the plastic portable device.

Sports-specific injuries

The stress fractures on the ribs occur if there is repeated pressure on the chest from movements specific to the sport. Common activities that result to rib stress fractures include tennis, rowing and pitching in baseball.

Adequate rest and avoiding movements that triggered the injuries is initially needed. The individual might be required to use a sling to prevent pulling the injured ribs.

Strengthening of the supporting muscles is vital to relieve some of the pressure away from the weakened ribs. Core exercises particularly crunches can strengthen the back and abdominal muscles to relieve the stress on the ribs.

Management of rib injuries

There are some exercises that can hasten recovery from rib injuries. It usually takes 6 weeks for the ribs to fix themselves. TENS or transcutaneous nerve stimulation might be part of the program to control the pain.

Medications might be given to lessen the pain of fractured ribs but other measures can also help relieve the pressure. Mild stretching that allows expansion of the diaphragm can assist when taking deep breaths.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on rib injuries is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage the injuries by taking a standard first aid course with Saskatoon First Aid.

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