Treating bruised ribs involves applying a cold compress to the affected area to cut the swelling. If there is significant pain, over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol. Prescription medications and compression wraps are usually reserved for fractured or broken ribs, notes Healthline.
Rib pain shows up in a number of ways. Some patients may feel the pain even without moving, while others notice a sharp pain when inhaling or settling into a particular position. Severe pain when inhaling or moving, as well as difficulty breathing, are all reasons to seek medical attention. People who feel chest pain and rib cage discomfort need to seek medical attention, as those are signs of a potential heart attack. Similarly, people who have recently fallen and experience significant bruising in the rib area, as well as difficulty and discomfort with breathing, should all seek medical attention, as stated by Healthline.
If the pain is the result of an injury, the doctor is likely to order an X-ray or other imaging scan to check for fractures or anomalies, according to Healthline. If he sees any anomalous growths, he orders an MRI or other in-depth imaging test, or possibly a bone scan, if the pain is chronic and long-term while never improving.