Treatment for a Rib Muscle Injury

Rib muscle strains present an injury location that is harder to treat than other pulled muscles. Internal and external oblique muscles are probably to be affected when the ribs are strained.

How to Treat a Rib Muscle Injury in Adults?

The range of movement in the upper body relies on muscles in the abdominal area, back and butts, in addition to the rib area, so any motion can hurt. Due to the fact that the involuntary action of the diaphragm lifts the rib cage, breathing might hurt, causing an inflammatory syndrome that needs ongoing home treatment for pain relief.

Bed or Chair Rest

Moving the back, abdominal and buttock muscles puts stress on pulled muscles in the lower upper body, so patients need to take a break from activity. Rest grants instant pain relief, which is a high concern in treating a rib muscle injury.

According to the National Institutes of Health, motion constraint must last at least 48 hours, during the height of the body’s inflammatory response to muscle strain, according to After that period, motion ought to be limited to within pain limits. Patients ought to curb day-to-day activities and routine exercise up until pain subsides.

What are the treatment options for rib cage pain?

The advised treatment for rib cage pain depends upon the cause of the pain. If the rib cage pain is because of a minor injury such as a pulled muscle or bruise you can use a cold compress on the area to reduce swelling. If you’re in considerable pain, you can also take over the counter (OTC) pain relievers such as Tylenol.

Cold and Hot Compresses

Emergency treatment for a rib muscle strain must include cold therapy as soon as possible. Attending to inflammation in this way will reduce pain and promote recovery of the muscle tissue fibers, which ought to repair by themselves.

The NYU Langone Medical Center recommends cold therapy during the severe inflammatory stage. Twenty-minute applications of ice or a chilled recyclable gel pack are appropriate approximately four times daily. Hot compresses can be applied in comparable intervals when returning to work out.

Pain Relief Medications

Pain can be ruthless instantly following a pulled muscle injury to the ribs. While bed rest reduces most of voluntary movement, all the muscle stress associated with breathing can not be reduced. The Cleveland Clinic recommends taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin. Doctors can prescribe more powerful opioid pain relief medications if required.

Pulled muscle pain may not be included by dosing schedules, nevertheless. As soon as inflammation is previous, patients can use a topical capsaicin medication. The Mayo Clinic keeps in mind that this non-prescription treatment is available in spot, lotion and cream formulas.


Some movement of the rib cage can be lessened using a compression bandage or wrap to debilitate the regional muscle strain area. This is likewise an effective treatment if the ribs are split or bruised, as well, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Complete immobilization for more than a day or 2 is not advised, nevertheless. Patients should slowly resume motion, activity and workout as pain dissipates.


Updated: August 24, 2016 — 1:24 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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