Can you break a rib?

Ah, ribs. The delicious barbeque food or the bones in our body? In this article, we’ll be talking about the latter – and more specifically, if they can break.


Ribs often play a supporting role in our body. They protect vital organs like the heart and lungs from injury. But what happens when those very same ribs get injured themselves? Can it happen to anyone or just people who engage in combat sports?

Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding Ribs

Before diving into whether or not you can break your ribs, let’s first understand what they are made of. Human beings have twelve pairs of them with varying degrees of mobility attached to their sternum at the front and spine at the back via cartilage called costal cartilages.

Believe it or not, ribs aren’t solid; rather they’re flexible bones that move when we breathe to accommodate air moving in and out through our nostrils or mouth before reaching our lungs.

These bendable pieces wrap around most of your internal organs which is why breaking one usually leads to severe pain as well as difficulty breathing similar to asthma attacks.

Now onto hard-hitting questions: Is it possible for someone without any external reasons like getting punched/hit by accident to have broken rib(s)? The answer is yes AND no! Confused much?

Well then buckle up because there are two types of fractures that can occur- traumatic injuries and spontaneous ones!

Traumatic Fractures

Traumatic fractures are common among professional athletes such as rugby players due to direct blows impacting their torso region even though this does not mean that only individuals leading an active lifestyle / engaging constantly physical activities (like Jimmy Beansprout below) should experience these kind of injuries has been recommended over decades countless times for lobbies groups obsessed with couch potatoes shaming ones so they take out their dogs for 30 minute walks.

Spontaneous Fractures

Spontaneous rib fractures happen without any external cause. This is when ribs have fractured due to underlying medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer or repeated coughing spells leading to weakening of bone structure – this risk also increases in women earlier way before they reach the age of menopause which leaves them at a greater disadvantage especially if there isn’t sufficient calcium intake from foods and drinks, aka dietary supplement refusal syndrome (DSRS).

So Can You Break A Rib?

In one word: Yes!

Regardless how gently you handle your body, everyone is capable of breaking a rib(s) sooner or later.

Protective gear that athletes use will provide some protection against fractures, but it’s not foolproof. So next time Jimmy Beansprout complains about his bruised ribs from running around for longer than ten minutes think again: It can happen to anyone!

Speaking of protection; It’s not just sports like rugby or soccer where you’re at risk either- automobile accidents are another possible way people can experience broken bones during crashes with airbags triggering trauma making them double in pain before realizing what happened as well being unknowingly guaranteed a few complementary vertical days off work since getting up would mean experiencing Hell on Earth°™®(conditionally applied)

Signs Of A Broken Rib

Now that we’ve established it’s possible for anyone and everyone to get injured let’s check out the signs peculiar after get an unfortunate hit:

  • Severe pain when breathing (each movement causes discomfort)
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness on localized areas mentioned.
    Though sometimes happy circumstances may happen so here is what could be noticed amidst physical change(s) perceived through such personal experiences;

  • Good vibes

Bear in mind no matter how mild your sign(s) might appear always ensure prompt medial attention reconfirm any medeciné taken.

How To Treat A Broken Rib?

Let’s now talk about what to do if you end up with a broken rib. Just because it can happen, doesn’t mean we want it to! Here are some things that might help:

Pain Management

Pain is inevitable in such cases, but there are ways around this undesirable situation.

Conventional painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol may be effective at relieving your symptoms while still allowing for optimal functioning relatively quickly during initial stages of healing; prescribing Opioids should depend on the level and condition of separation present otherwise one faces high risk addiction dangers soon following medication intake alone exposing them even more relentlessly in long-term repercussions arising from opioid abuse including lethal overdose risks thereby increasing chances repeating future errors – which most definitely ends up worse than breaking mandibles after getting secondary signs that they’re prone to see its doctor leaping into action given there’s reliable means available off-bat/early” aka relative safety measures precautionary actions overreaction possibilities.

Rest Up

Since movement causes severe pain when breathing, taking time off work or daily routine activities where unnecessary motion involves must then ensure minimization rest as well sidestepping extra chores such as laundry basket elevations too at least until bones get less sensitive would aid primary focus towards recovery all-too-needed;

  • Physical disability is not something anyone wishes upon themselves except when they’re trying out new dances moves late nights so please let those ribs heal first before attempting “gangnam style”

Breathe In Peace

While resting could feel cumbersome at times initially especially if being an active person(like Jimmy Beansprout), take note that uninterrupted respiratory steps occurrence requires deep conscious gasps rather labourious shallow breaths every 60 seconds helps speed-up recuperation phase since oxygen distribution becomes better within peripheral tissues hence chance tearing becomes lesser compared against inconsistent stoppages inability take deep air.

Take Precaution First

Prevention is better than cure, which means taking safety precautions like wearing seat belts while driving and knee pads when playing sports are small things we can do to minimize the chances of getting seriously injured – here’s hoping none of us have to break a rib anytime soon.


No one has an ironclad guarantee they’ll never experience broken ribs movements ranging from coughing too hard catching flu seasons or just clumsy happenstances amongst several otherwise random occurrences in life could lead to inconvenient but treatable rib fractures; hence early consultations with doctors caring for our physical health frame would make all the difference between preventable dangerous situations worsening them unnecessarily beyond control as those keep asking what caused theirs”that’s classified information and by that, I mean get your own accident”. An accidental study where research showed unintentional tripping over items was most common reason among patients hospitalized when reporting about their respective cases expressing relief at being able identify underlying root causes rather leaving cringe-worthy details untold- though still don’t forget to put away any obstacles after use guys it makes everyone happier! Just try not end up in ER explaining how you broke a rib trying out dance moves🤦‍♂️!

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