The human body is made up of 12 pairs of ribs. These ribs are separated by the intercostal muscles which are responsible for breathing activities. Excessive workout can cause a strained rib muscle which be very painful. Another term for strained rib muscles is pulled chest muscles. Pain experienced is usually caused by a partially torn muscle after a strenuous activity.
Strained rib muscles are often incurred from accidents. These muscles can also get strained from working out too much. In order to prevent this from happening, a person must not carry objects which are not heavier than a third of the body weight. Warming up and constant exercise are also recommended ways to keep the body in shape and prevent unexpected muscle strains.
Strained Rib Muscle Symptoms
If a person notices the early signs of strained rib muscles, it would be best to rest for awhile and allow the muscles to relax. After working out too much or doing heavy tasks, allover body pain can be felt.
- Stiffness around the chest, neck, and shoulders.
- Bruising found around the chest area.
- Noticeable swelling of the chest, neck and shoulder area.
- Painful sensation especially when carrying even light objects as well as picking them up.
- Difficulty in breathing.
Strained Rib Muscle Healing Period
After a person has encountered a strained rib muscle, the healing process depends on how severe the injury is. A person cannot expect immediate healing of the affected area. Typically, rib muscles that are not seriously strained can heal in 3 to 4 weeks. However, for rib muscles which are seriously affected, healing can take as long as 6 to 8 weeks.
In other words, for the next two weeks the patient should not resume normal activities. A person can start doing heavy work after the strain has healed. This can be determined if pain in the chest area is not felt anymore.
How to Treat a Strained Rib Muscle
The best action to treat a strained rib muscle is to have the whole body rested. While the time frame for recovery is undetermined, the muscle strain subsides after the injury has healed. Another way to treat a strained rib muscle is by wearing a rib belt which can limit the expansion and stretching of the chest. This will help in eliminating pain and difficulties in breathing.