The primary symptom associated with bruised ribs is pain at the site of the injury on the chest, according to PhysioAdvisor. This pain may sometimes radiate out into the back, neck or shoulders.
Bruised ribs cause varying levels of pain. In severe cases, patients may need to take time off from work, school or athletic activities, reports PhysioAdvisor. The pain may be steady, or it can worsen when the sufferer moves, breathes deeply, laughs or sneezes. In some cases, patients experience muscle spasms in the rib cage or surrounding areas.
Symptoms of bruised ribs and broken ribs are similar, according to Better Health Channel. Doctors perform a physical examination and order chest X-rays to diagnose rib injuries.
Bruised ribs are a common injury in people who are involved with contact sports, reports EXOS. Boxers, football players and martial artists are at particularly high risk. However, anyone can get bruised ribs from falls, car accidents or other trauma.
The most common treatments for bruised ribs are anti-inflammatory drugs and rest, as reported by MedicineNet. Icing the injury site may also help. People should not wrap or tape the affected are because this can limit the lungs' ability to expand and lead to pneumonia.