Treating a cracked rib involves getting extra rest, icing the affected area and taking pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin. A physician will likely prescribe a stronger medicine for the pain if over-the-counter remedies do not ease the discomfort, as stated by WebMD.
An important part of healing a cracked rib is to inhale as deeply as possible or to cough a minimum of one time per hour. This is important for preventing pneumonia or keeping lung tissue from going through a partial collapse. When lying down, it is actually helpful to put the injured side down, as long as there has been no injury to the back or neck. This allows for deeper breathing, according to WebMD.
Historically, people recommended placing a tight wrap or tape around the area of the fractured rib. Even though this may alleviate the discomfort, it is not recommended. Restricting the movement of the ribs keeps the patient from inhaling as deeply as needed to assist in full recovery, and it can also make sections of the lungs collapse. It also increases susceptibility for pneumonia. Retaining the ability to cough and expel fluids from the lungs is an important part of recovery, notes WebMD