Management of rib muscle injuries

Injuries to the rib muscles such as a rib muscle strain involve injury that is difficult to manage than other cases of pulled muscles. The external and internal oblique muscles are most likely to be affected once the ribs are strained.

The range of motion in the torso typically depends on the muscles in the abdomen, buttocks and back as well as the rib region, thus any movement causes pain. Since the involuntary action of the diaphragm is responsible for lifting the rib cage, breathing might be painful, resulting to an inflammatory syndrome that entails ongoing home treatment for pain relief.

Application of cold and warm compress

The initial treatment for rib muscle strain includes cold therapy as soon as possible. Dealing with the inflammation in this manner helps minimize the pain and promote healing of the muscle tissue fibers which heal on their own.

Cold therapy should be used during the acute inflammatory stage. Applying an ice pack or reusable gel pack for 20 minutes at 4 times in a day is enough. A warm compress can be applied in similar intervals when the individual returns to exercise.


The initial treatment for rib muscle strain includes cold therapy as soon as possible.

Bed or chair rest

Always remember that moving the abdominal, back and buttock muscles adds stress on the pulled muscles in the lower torso, thus the individual should take a break from any activity. Rest will provide immediate relief from pain which is essential in managing a rib muscle injury.

Limited movement should last at least 48 hours which is during the peak of the inflammatory response of the body to the muscle strain. After this period, the movement should be limited within the pain limits of the individual. The individual should limit daily activities and regular exercise until the pain subsides.

Pain medications

The pain can be persistent right after a pulled muscle injury in the ribs. Even though bed rest reduces most of the voluntary motion, the muscle stress linked with breathing could not be controlled. It is recommended to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin. In some cases, the doctor can prescribe stronger opioid pain medications if needed.

Remember that pain caused by rib muscle injuries could not be controlled by the dosing schedules. Once the inflammation has passed away, the individual can utilize a topical capsaicin medication which is usually available in ointment, patch or lotion formulations.


Certain movements of the rib cage can be minimized by using a compression bandage or wrap to immobilize the strained area. This is considered as an effective form of treatment if the ribs are bruised or cracked. Full immobilization for more than 1-2 days is not recommended however. The individual should gradually resume activity, exercises or any form of movement as the pain subsides.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please complete this captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.