The rib cage comprises of bone and cartilage; cartilage which attaches to the front of the ribs helps the chest to expand as you breathe and move. Overstretching the portion between the bones and cartilage or trauma, results in a tear of the cartilage. You need to seek medical attention since there could be further injury to the rib cage or internal organs.
Signs And Symptoms Of Torn Rib Cartilage
- The chief symptom is pain. Sharp pain characteristically occurs at the site of the cartilage tear. There will also be a constant pain for a few weeks, depending up on the intensity of the trauma.
- The diaphragm is attached to the lower ribs. Consequently, when you breathe, cough or sneeze, pain gets triggered.
- There will be bruising of the affected area, if the tear occurred because of a forceful blow to the chest. Swelling may be present too.
- Popping, clicking, or grinding sounds may be heard, particularly when you take a deep breath.
- Breathing may be a little shallow than normal since you automatically try to reduce your pain by avoiding deep breathing.
Rib cartilage injuries are serious, so it’s vital that you consult a doctor. Also, the doctor will examine you to make sure your internal organs have not been impaired.
How To Heal Torn Cartilage In Ribs Naturally?
Torn rib cartilage is considered a rather difficult injury to heal, given that it cannot be placed in a cast. The ribs must move for your lungs to function properly, and this hampers healing. When you have a torn rib cartilage, you will have pain when you breathe, sneeze, cough, laugh or move.
Being aware of the techniques which promote healing, along with a little time and endurance will cure the torn rib cartilage as soon as possible; nonetheless, it could take 5 to 8 weeks for complete recovery.
- First and foremost, you need to rest the chest and allow it to heal; avoid sharp, unnecessary movements for at least 6 weeks.
- Immediately after the cartilage tear, ice the area to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Place ice only in the first 24 hours after the trauma. Apply an ice pack covered with a towel for 10 minutes, every 2 to 3 hours. Take an anti-inflammatory drug or an analgesic to help decrease the inflammation and pain; consult your physician before taking the drug.
- Thereafter, use heat to manage the pain and discomfort in the chest. Apply a warm towel or a heating pad for 10 to 15 minutes, several times in the day. It increases blood circulation in the area and expedites the process of healing appreciably.
- Visit a physical therapist, who will teach you a few exercises and also train you how to move and slowly resume normal activity without worsening the symptoms.
- Also, use a rib belt to compress the rib cage so that it does not expand too much when you breathe, sneeze, cough or laugh. It’s an elastic strap that circles the rib cage.
- Have a glass of ginger tea daily for couple of months. Ginger is loaded with a compound known as gingerols which reduces inflammation and pain and accelerates the healing.
- After the initial pain has subsided, switch to homeopathy drugs rather than analgesics to manage the discomfort better.