How to heal bruised ribs quickly?

How to Heal Bruised Ribs Quickly

If you’ve ever experienced the pain of bruised ribs, you know how excruciating it can be. Unfortunately, rib injuries are common and can happen due to falls, car accidents, sports injuries, and even coughing or sneezing too hard. Even worse, there’s no cure for bruised ribs, and they generally take anywhere from a few weeks to months to heal completely. However, there are some ways in which you can expedite the healing process and alleviate the pain.

What are Bruised Ribs?

Bruised ribs are an injury to the soft tissues surrounding the ribs, i.e., the muscles and cartilage. While they may not cause a significant bone fracture, they can still cause severe pain, swelling, and tenderness around the affected area.

Symptoms of Bruised Ribs

The symptoms of bruised ribs may vary, depending on the severity of the injury. However, here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Intense pain, especially while breathing deeply or coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tenderness around the rib area
  • Bruising or swelling around the affected area
  • Pain while moving

Home Remedies to Heal Bruised Ribs Quickly

Here are some of the effective home remedies to help you relieve pain and speed up the healing process:


Rest is the most crucial part of the healing process. We would highly recommend that you rest as much as possible to give your body enough time to recover. Avoid any activity that might aggravate the pain, such as lifting heavy objects, bending or twisting your torso.

Ice Packs

Using ice packs is an effective way to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You can place a cold pack on the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Alternatively, you can improvise by using frozen vegetables or a bag of ice cubes covered with a thin towel.

Heat Therapy

After 48 hours, switch to heat therapy instead of cold therapy. Applying a heat pad, a hot water bottle or taking a warm bath can help soothe the pain and promote blood circulation, which can help speed up the healing process.

Pain Relief Medication

You can take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, if your pain is unbearable. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage and usage instructions, as excessive use of painkillers can damage your liver or kidneys.

Gently Stretching Exercises

Once you start feeling a little better, you can start doing some gentle stretching exercises, such as raising your arms as you breathe deeply. Avoid any exercises that may cause pain or discomfort. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and pace of your exercises.

Massage Therapy

You can also try deep-tissue massage therapy to help relieve the pain and reduce tension in the muscles surrounding the ribs. However, do not apply too much pressure or push too hard, as it may cause more pain or damage.

What to avoid when you have Bruised Ribs

Avoid any activity that may cause additional strain or pressure on your ribs, such as coughing or sneezing. Also, avoid sleeping on your side or twisting your torso, as it can worsen the pain.

When to See a Doctor

If your pain is not alleviated even with home remedies or pain medication, you should see a healthcare professional. You should also see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • High fever
  • Severe pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Unexplained fatigue or dizziness


Bruised ribs can be uncomfortable and take time to heal completely. However, with rest and proper care, you can alleviate the pain and encourage a speedy recovery. Remember to seek medical attention if you experience severe pain or have any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How long does it take for Bruised Ribs to heal?
  • A: It can take a few weeks to several months for bruised ribs to heal completely.

  • Q: Are Bruised Ribs dangerous?
  • A: While bruised ribs may not cause significant long-term damage, they can be very painful and impact your daily life. In severe cases, they can cause discomfort while breathing, which can lead to respiratory issues.

  • Q: Can I still exercise with Bruised Ribs?
  • A: It would be best if you avoid any exercise that may cause pressure or strain on your ribs. However, you can still perform gentle stretching exercises once your pain starts to subside.

  • Q: How can I prevent Bruised Ribs?
  • A: You can prevent bruised ribs by wearing protective gear during sports or activities that may pose a risk of injury. Also, maintain good posture and avoid putting pressure or strain on your ribs.


Mayo Clinic. (2021). Bruised Ribs – Symptoms and Causes.

WebMD. (2021). Broken or Bruised Ribs: Overview. WebMD.

MedicalNewsToday. (2021). How to Treat Bruised Ribs. MedicalNewToday.