17 Tips How To Treat Bruised Ribs From A Fall Or Coughing Fast

Updated: 11/11/2019

Pain while coughing, sneezing, deep breathing, or twisting may be a sign of a bruised rib. You can relieve pain when you have bruise ribs but you should still see a doctor if you cannot tolerate the pain. If not treated promptly, you may fall into some very dangerous situations. If you are looking for solutions to treat bruised ribs at home, this article is for you. Below, we introduce you tips to help do this. But first of all, do not forget to find out important information about bruised ribs. This makes it easier for you to control your condition.

What Are Bruised Ribs?

In vertebrate anatomy, the ribs are long curved bones forming cages. The ribs are located around the chest, allowing the lungs to relax and inhale by the expansion of the chest. They are responsible for protecting the heart, lungs and other organs. Any injury to the chest and ribs can also leave bruises. When the capillaries become damaged, the soft tissue becomes swollen, painful, bleeding and inflammation. Because the ribs are located near the surface of the skin, the buildup of blood on the skin due to the damage of the ribs can be seen clearly [1].

The skin in the affected area will be purple or yellow. The skin may be swollen due to blood clots. This bruise may spread to the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the patient will experience a lot of pain and inconvenience. Ribs are often impacted. When you walk, stand, run, or lie, you impact on your ribs. Therefore, when your ribs are affected, your activities will also be delayed. As with other conditions, bruised ribs should be treated as soon as possible. If nothing serious, you can treat this condition right at home. It may take up to four weeks to fully treat this condition. If your ribs are cracked or broken, you need to see a doctor because this condition is quite dangerous [2].

What Are Common Causes Of Bruised Ribs?

Direct impacts such as car accidents, falls or sports injuries can result in bruised ribs. This condition can also be caused by repeated injuries from playing sports such as golf and rowing or heavy lifting cough.

Besides, bruised ribs may be a sign of some of the following serious illnesses:

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  • Pleurisy

Pleurisy is a form of pneumonia that can cause bruising and pain in the left or right side of the chest. The disease is caused by the attack of bacteria that cause lung infections and pulmonary embolism. Pleurisy is one of the diseases that can progress to cancer. Sore rib pain occurs when the nerve fibers in the pleura are stimulated.

  • Pneumothorax

Pneumothorax is a serious condition that causes severe pain on one side of the chest. This happens when the air enters the empty space between the lungs and the chest wall. Pressure causes pneumonia and abnormal bruised ribs.

  • Lung Cancer

In rare cases, bruised ribs may be a sign of lung cancer. In addition, other symptoms of lung cancer are cough, chest pain, shoulder pain, abnormal weight loss and fatigue.

  • Chest Muscle Strain And Rib Fracture

One of the most common causes of bruised ribs is thoracic injury. These traumas can be caused by a muscle strain or rib fractures. In the case of rib fractures, you need to go to the medical center immediately for treatment.

  • Cartilage Fractures

Cartilage inflammation is an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone. This disease can cause bruised ribs.

  • Chronic Muscle Pain

Body aches are painful muscular conditions that occur throughout the body. This condition can also cause bruised ribs. Although not too dangerous, they can cause stress and fatigue, affecting the daily living of the patients.

  • Indigestion

Indigestion does not affect the health of the muscles and bones. However, it can cause pain and discomfort spread to the ribs. Then, a small impact can also cause the rib areas to bruise.

  • Flatulence

High levels of vapor in the digestive tract can cause pain from the abdomen to the ribs. At that time, just by folding or twisting your body, you may also experience bruised ribs. According to Dr. Matthew Hoffman at the Medical Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, in addition to bruised ribs, you may also be suffering from bloating. This pain will disappear as the vapor is released from the body.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Bruised Ribs?

The common symptoms of bruised ribs are the pain that occurs each time you do the followings:

  • Deep breath
  • Press on the injured area
  • Bending or twisting the body

If you cannot breathe normally because of an injury, you may have the following symptoms:

You may experience other symptoms not mentioned above. If you have any questions about the signs of the disease, please consult your doctor.

What Are Risk Factors Of Bruised Ribs?

Bruised ribs can occur in people of all ages and genders. However, people with osteoporosis are often prone to this condition. If you often play contact sports like football or hockey, you are also at higher risk of broken ribs. A cancerous lesion may also weaken your bone, thereby making it easily susceptible to injury and breaks.

You can control this problem by minimizing risk factors. Please see your doctor for more information.

When To See A Doctor?

You should contact your doctor if there is a very sensitive or painful point in the ribs that occur after the injury. If you feel short of breath or feel pain every time you take a deep breath, you also need to see a doctor. Get to the hospital immediately if you feel pain and pressure in the ribs and in the middle of the chest, the pain lasts more than a few minutes or spread from the chest to the shoulder and arms. These symptoms may be signs of a heart attack.

Besides, if you have any questions, please consult your doctor. Each person's condition is different, so please consult your doctor to select the most suitable option.

There, you have discovered some basic information about bruised ribs. Generally, we all want to heal bone bruises fast, yet it is important to know that this condition takes time to heal. Nonetheless, there are some natural tips on how to treat bruised ribs from a fall or coughing that can help expedite that healing and alleviate pain fast and naturally at home. Have a quick look at TrueRemedies.com!

Top 17 Natural Tips On How To Treat Bruised Ribs From A Fall Or Coughing Fast At Home

1. Make Sure Your Ribs Are Not Broken
make sure your ribs are not broken

When it comes to learning how to treat bruised ribs from a fall or coughing at home, it is important for you to know whether or not your bones are broken. Ribs that are bruised or fractured may be injured but remain fixed in the chest. However, it is very risky if the ribs are broken because they may be deflected out of the normal position and they can puncture through the lung or other organs. Before you start self-treatment at home, you should ensure that your ribs are not broken. You can do this by:

  • Use your hand to gently touch the chest. The area around the bruised or broken ribs can be swollen, but you should be careful if you notice large dent or bulges. If you suspect that your ribs are broken, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Pay attention to the ribs which are not fixed. This only happens when you break three adjacent ribs or more. It is a serious problem for the respiratory tract. If you suspect more than one rib injury and cannot breathe deeply, you should see a doctor.
2. Apply Cold

This simple tip on how to treat bruised ribs at home does not cost you anything. Applying cold to the ribs helps to reduce pain and swelling, so that bruised tissues can recover more quickly. You should apply cold within 72 hours of injury and do not apply warm. You can use frozen vegetable bags (such as peanut bags or corn bags), or use a cold pack. If using ice cubes to do this, you need to use a soft towel to wrap them. This will limit the direct contact between skin and stone, preventing cold burn.

3. Essential Oils

Applying essential oils topically on your fractured area will give a helping hand in the recovery. In fact, essential oils cannot repair a bone bruise on their own, but they can assist in making the healing process faster and decreasing the discomfort associated with this condition.

The use of these essential oils can help maintain bone density, build stronger bones which are less susceptible to breaks or damage. In addition, if you already have a bone disease or fracture, these oils can fasten your healing process naturally. The essential oils like krill, fir, cypress, wintergreen and helichrysum can do this job amazingly.

Here we will explain in details how some of the essential oils above helps treat bruised ribs:

  • Krill oil: is safe for ingesting in the long run. It possesses omega-3s EPA and DHA, which are beneficial for healthier joints and bones.
  • Wintergreen Essential oil: has a strong and cool aroma, helping improve your ability to focus and exhibiting some physical benefits. The salicylic acid and methyl salycilate present in this oil are responsible for its healing effects. Using wintergreen essential oil will give you a long-lasting relief for bone bruises.

To make use of essential oils for bone bruise relief, you can follow one of the following methods:

Method 1: Use peppermint oil

Rub a few drops of peppermint oil on your swollen areas to reduce ache and swelling.

Alternatively, you can also mix equal amounts of peppermint and eucalyptus oil with some carrier oil like olive oil or almond or grapeseed oil and rub the mixture over your bruises to relieve pain.

Method 2:

Mix Bergamot, Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, Palmarose, Lemon, Rosewood, Geranium, Jasmine, and Roman chamomile oil together to create a solution for topical application on your affected areas. This mixture can boost blood circulation in the problematic area, thereby helping the body heal on its own. Besides, this blend is also used as a deodorant.

Method 3:

Mix Peppermint, wintergreen and helichrysum oil together and apply topically on your injured areas to fasten healing process and decrease pain and inflammation.

4. Turmeric


Being natural and safe, turmeric is among the most powerful tips on how to treat bruised ribs at home. Owing to the active ingredient named curcumin, turmeric exhibit anti-inflammatory action, which acts as a natural painkiller and speeds the healing process.

All you have to do is:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric with a grind of black pepper
  • Put them in water and take it thrice per day for good results
5. Blackstrap Molasses Tea

This is a traditional tip on how to treat bruised ribs. Blackstrap molasses has long been used to relieve pain in arthritis sufferers. Thus, it also benefits aching bruised ribs. Moreover, this ingredient is also a powerhouse of potassium, magnesium and iron, helping support the body in the recovery.

You just need to drink the mixture between 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and a glass of water. Have this fluid once per day to get good results.

6. Rest

Resting is essential for those looking for tips on how to treat bruised ribs naturally at home. You should not overwork when you have bruised ribs, especially when breathing causes you pain. Rest is the fastest recovery. You can read books or watch movies but do not sit for too long. If possible, take 1-2 days off work, especially when you do the work which requires you to stand for too long or use the limb continuously.

If your back and neck do not have any problems, you may want to consider lying on your affected side. It sounds weird, but this posture will make it easier for you to breathe. You only need to make sure you take pain medicine before lying down. Besides, you should not play sports or participate in any activities to avoid further injury.

7. Breath Control

Among tips on how to treat bruised ribs at home, the simplest one is controlling your breath. The use of bandages to bandage the bruised ribs is the recommended way to treat this condition in the past. However, this is a very bad treatment because bandages can inhibit breathing and lead to complications like pneumonia. So, we want to emphasize that you should not use a bandage to bandage your ribs. Instead, you should:

  • Take deep breaths whenever possible. Every few minutes, try to take a deep breath, then slowly exhale. If your ribs are bruised and you do not know the exact reason, you should try to breathe deeply once every 1 hour. If you really cannot breathe deeply after every hour, you should contact your doctor.
  • Practice breathing. If you can breathe regularly, you can slowly inhale for 3 seconds, hold the breath for 3 seconds, and then exhale for 3 seconds. You can repeat this breathing process for a few minutes, 1-2 times a day.
  • No smoking. During the treatment of bruised ribs, the use of lung stimulants can cause infection. You should take this opportunity to quit smoking.
8. Drink 1.5 – 2 Liters Of Water A Day

Drinking enough water helps hydrate your body and boost metabolism to the optimum level. In addition, water occupies a large volume in the stomach, so you feel full without eating much. During the treatment of bruised ribs, you should drink 1.5 – 2 liters of water a day. Water helps to relieve pain, while promoting the recovery of the ribs. Always carry a bottle of water. You will be surprised how easy it is to drink 1.5-2 liters of water a day.

Do not drink sugary drinks like sodas. If you do not enjoy drinking water because of the lack of flavor, try to create the flavor you like to the water by adding some slices of berries, blueberries, limes, oranges and cranberries.

9. Consume Essential Nutrients

Bones, as well as all other tissues in the body, need nutrients for the healing process. A diet rich in minerals and vitamins can support bone health. You should regularly eat fresh foods, whole grains, lean meats, and drink plenty of water and milk. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are important for bone. Foods rich in these include dairy products, tofu, beans, broccoli, nuts, sardines, and salmon [3]. Avoid consuming foods that interfere with bruising, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, fast food, and refined sugar.

10. Consider Taking A Functional Food

This sounds strange when it comes to tips on how to treat bruised ribs at home, but it is best to balance your diet to get enough essential nutrients, but when your ribs are affected, you need even more important minerals for your bones. As such, you should drink functional foods so that you do not need to eat more. As you know, during treatment, you should not exercise too much. If you give more calories to the body but you do not exercise, you will easily gain weight. This is not a good result after your condition has been treated.

Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are the basic minerals of bone, so you should take supplements containing these three substances. For example, adults need about 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium per day (depending on age and sex), but you need a little more for the affected ribs. It is best to consult a doctor or dietitian.

The important micro-minerals that you should consider to supplement your body are zinc, iron, boron, copper and silicon. The vitamins that you need to supplement the body are vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D is extremely important to absorb minerals from the intestines into the bloodstream, in addition to the skin also produces vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight. In addition, the skin also produces vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Vitamin K binds calcium to bone and stimulates collagen (a bone-supporting agent) formation.

11. Get Enough Sleep

get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can make your condition worse. This can also lengthen treatment time. Not getting enough sleep also damages the immune system. You will be more likely to get sick if you do not give your body the energy and time to fight the bacteria and the virus. If you feel the bruised ribs cause pain that makes you feel unable to sleep, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

12. Exposure To The Sun

Exposing to the sun is essential for bone health, in general, and for broken bones or bruised rib, in particular. Ultraviolet rays help break down bilirubin – the product of hemoglobin breakdown. Bilirubin usually causes the bruise to become yellowish. If possible, let the bruised ribs come into contact with the sun (at a safe level, avoiding sunburn)to speed up the breakdown of the remaining bilirubin. Therefore, be exposed to direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes each day. This time is enough to help bruised ribs without causing sunburn.

13. Use Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel helps to soothe the bruised ribs. The main components of aloe Vera gel are vitamin E and other essential minerals. In addition, the amino acids and anthraglycosides present in aloe Vera act as an antioxidant, which promotes skin healing. Not only that, they also have the ability to restore injured skin cells. Therefore, the use of aloe Vera gel for treatment of bruised ribs is what you should do. All you need to do is applying a thin layer of gel on the affected area 2-3 times a day. You can use fresh aloe Vera gel or aloe Vera gel available at pharmacies.

14. Parsley

This remedy is one of little – known tips on how to treat bruised ribs at home, but it is very effective. Parsley leaves are high in vitamin K which can help reduce blood clots. It also has good antibiotic effect. This helps relieve swelling and inflammation caused by bruised ribs. In addition, the vitamins in parsley also help soothe the skin, reducing the pain you go through. All you have to do is crush a handful of parsley leaves and apply it to the affected area. You can do this once a day until your condition is completely improved.

15. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is another must-try trick on how to treat bruised ribs at home. For a long time, apple cider vinegar has been known for its ability to increase blood circulation near the skin surface. As a result, your bruised ribs will quickly be improved. You should not use apple cider vinegar directly on the skin. Dilute vinegar with water at a rate of 2: 1 and gently apply the mixture to the affected area. You can do this 2-3 times a day.

16. Take Painkillers

If you have pain while breathing, controlling the pain in the long run can help you get better. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Cetaminophen as directed on the label. People under the age of 19 are at risk for Reye's syndrome if taking Aspirin, so they should take other drugs instead of Aspirin.

17. Be Careful With Certain Medications

In regard to learning how to treat bruised ribs at home, you should be aware of the use of certain medications. If you are taking anticoagulants such as Warfarin, Coumadin, aspirin, Heparin, Rivaroxaban / Xarelto, or Dabigatran / Pradaxa, your condition may worsen. Anticoagulants prevent or inhibit the clotting of blood from the broken blood vessels. Therefore, it will take longer for the blood to begin to leak. Therefore, you should ask your doctor to stop using these medications until your condition is thoroughly treated.

How To Treat Bruised Ribs – Extra Tips

To treat bruised ribs, in addition to applying the tips above, you should note the following:

  • If you are about to sneeze or cough, you can calm down by pressing lightly on the affected area.
  • Try to maintain normal posture. Unbalanced standing can lead directly to back pain and intermittent neuralgia.
  • Limit the use of abdominal muscles.
  • Take antihistamines if you have allergies to the upper respiratory tract. The body moves continuously during coughing and sneezing. This will make you feel very painful, your bruised ribs will also be affected.
  • Do not scratch, pat or scratch bruised ribs.
  • Do not touch the bruised ribs continuously to avoid causing pain.
  • Do not lie or sit for too long.
  • Soak in hot water mixed with medical salt, eucalyptus oil or baking salts. This is a wonderful bruised rib treatment.

Above are tips which can help you treat bruised ribs right at your home. You can see that they are simple and safe. However, their effectiveness has made many people surprised. Therefore, let’s apply them to see how effective they are. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “Top 17 Tips On How To Treat Bruised Ribs From A Fall Or Coughing Fast At Home” introduced in How To Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.

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