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Athletic Training

Bruised/broken ribs?

06/09/1999

Question:

I severely injured my back ribs when I fell on the stairs, although not broken it has been difficult to breathe and /or twist and turn as in most bruised/broken ribs. I am wondering how will I know it is safe to exercise again?

Answer:

It is important to be sure the ribs are not broken. There is a need to have a physician evaluate the problem and rule out fracture. If that has already been done, then he/she should give you exercise guidelines. Usually exercise can slowly commence with light walking and gently breathing. Often times the muscles are bruised and those chest muscles function to inhale and exhale when we breath. When your pain is gone and you have painfree breathing, you could gradually increase your work. Try to do gently chest and trunk stretching to warm up and do not participate in any activity that increases your pain. If your pain does persist or increase return to your physician.

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Response by:

Linda Weber Daniel, MS, ATC, PT Linda Weber Daniel, MS, ATC, PT
Athletic Trainer
The Buckeyes Online
The Ohio State University