What Is a Bruised Sternum?


Quick Answer

According to SportsInjuryClinic.net, a bruised sternum, or a sternum contusion, is a condition that occurs when a person experiences an impact to the breastbone. New Health Guide states that the sternum and the ribs serve as shields that protect the front part of the chest. When this area is subjected to a severe impact, the breastbone can become bruised.

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What Is a Bruised Sternum?
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Full Answer

New Health Guide explains that this condition often occurs when a person suffers from an automobile accident, injury from collision sports or forceful coughing. A bruised sternum is characterized by the presence of bruises on the breastbone area, pain when coughing, breathing and moving, swelling, tenderness and long-lasting pain on the chest.

According to New Health Guide, if the injury is less traumatic, it may take four to six weeks for a bruised sternum to heal completely. Symptoms must be addressed immediately to prevent them from worsening. Some of the most effective home remedies include conducting ice massage on the affected area, avoiding too much movement, eating a healthy diet, taking bromelain and vitamin C supplements and performing light exercise when the symptoms are subsiding. Physicians may also prescribe medications and perform micro-current therapy to treat a bruised sternum.

New Health Guide recommends that those with a bruised sternum avoid smoking. The nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels, impeding the flow of blood and healing nutrients to the bruised area.

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