Swelling, inflammation and pain of the rib is seen rather frequently; however, most cases have no obvious cause. In these cases, the treatment focuses on allaying the swelling and pain while you wait for the condition to improve on its own.
Pain and swelling is known to afflict more than one rib, and the pain aggravates when you take deep breaths or whilst coughing.
What Causes Swelling Of The Ribs?
Most cases do not have an apparent cause. Occasionally, these causes have been identified.
- Trauma: Blow or some sort of injury to the chest.
- Physical strain: Lifting heavy weights, strenuous exercise and severe coughing.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are also known to trigger swelling of the rib.
- Infection: The rib joint may get infected by bacteria, virus or fungi; e.g. T.B., syphilis and aspergillosis.
- Tumor: Benign and malignant tumors can make a rib get inflamed and swollen.
Natural Remedies To Treat Swelling Ribs
When you have pain in the ribs it is advisable to visit your health care provider and understand the possible cause of the condition.
While there are no laboratory or imaging tests to verify the diagnosis; your health care provider may order certain investigations like a chest X-ray or an electrocardiogram.
Swelling and inflammation of a rib tends to go away on its own, although in some cases it could last for several months.
- Ice application: When you first notice the swelling and pain, apply ice, during the first 48 hours; place the ice bag, over the affected area for 10 minutes, several times during the day.
- Heat: Thereafter, place hot compresses to the painful area; it will assuage some of the pain.
- Rest: Steer clear of all activities that aggravate the pain.
- OTC drugs: In cases of excruciating pain, you may have over the counter pain medications.
- Ginger: Is an excellent home remedy to manage most kinds of pains. Ginger is packed with a compound known as gingerols, which battle inflammation effectively; consequently, swelling and pain diminish. Have a glass of ginger tea, 3 to 4 times daily.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is another wonderful home remedy that works faster than most OTC medicines as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Have 1 spoon of powdered turmeric with one spoon of honey every night. Turmeric allays pain and discomfort and also fights off infections.
- NSAIDs: When over the counter drugs fail to afford any relief; your physician may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Narcotics: In really extreme cases, your health care provider may even have to prescribe medications containing codeine.
- Anti-depressants: Tricyclic anti-depressants are used to manage chronic pain, particularly if it’s keeping you awake at night.
- Physiotherapy and stretching exercises: Confer with your doctor and physical therapist about starting exercises. Gentle range-of-motion exercises have proved to be of immense help.
- Nerve stimulation: In a procedure known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, an apparatus sends weak electrical current via adhesive patches on the skin near the area of pain. This hampers or masks the pain signals, not allowing them to reach the brain.
- If conservative measures fail to work, your doctor may recommend injecting numbing drugs and corticosteroids directly in to the painful joint.