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?

28 September 2014

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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