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Elliot asked...

Injured ribs playing football.

I took an elbow to my ribs nearly 5 weeks ago playing football and am still feeling pain. There is no visable bruising. Is this normal?

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The answer

As you might be aware, rib injury is common especially in contact sports.

From your short description, I assume that you do not have problems with you breathing.

I would suggest to see your GP in case of complications, and particularly if your have problems with your breathing. Your doctor will examine you and he might request a chest x-ray to rule out any rib fracture. Also, he might prescribe you appropriate pain medication in order to relieve pain.

Your body could take between 6-8 weeks to settle the pain for bruised ribs and longer in case a fracture is present. While the pain persists, I would recommend to stay away from heavy physical exercise and not to play contact sports. Try to rest and increase your fluids intake to avoid constipation. A few times per day, breathe deeply so that lung infections can be avoided. You can also try heat therapy like heating pads or a warm bath for reducing the pain and keeping relaxed.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.


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