It takes up to 3 to 6 weeks for a bruised rib to get better, as stated by the National Health Service. A person can use painkillers to treat the condition and an X-ray may not be necessary. However, injuries sustained from car accidents, fall from heights and crashes need medical attention.
Rib injuries are caused by a direct blow to the ribs and make a person feel pain while breathing in. The skin around the injured area may swell or become tender. Severe injuries need immediate doctor's attention as they may lead to serious lung problems.
Proper care is required in order for the condition to get better in the shortest time possible. A person whose job involves hard labor may be required to take some time of work to avoid putting pressure on the injured area. An injured person is advised to strive to breathe normally to avoid getting a chest infection, as stated by the National Health Service. Over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, can help with relieving pain. Placing ice on the injured area can also help reduce the pain.
A person may need to visit a doctor if he or she is experiencing additional symptoms, such as severe chest pain, breath shortness, abdominal pain, cough and fever. An X-ray may be required to determine the severity of the condition.