A fractured rib is a common injury that occurs after experiencing a blow to the chest, such as during a fall, or a vehicle or impact sports accident. While they may very painful, fractured ribs are fairly easy to treat. Acute Pain Therapies provides expert pain management and care for many types of injuries and pain, including rib fractures. In this blog post, we discuss our treatment options for injury and pain associated with the ribs.
Chest wall pain, including rib injuries, can be treated at home. If the damage is minor (e.g., muscle strain or bruise), your doctor may recommend that you get plenty of rest and avoid overworking the rib. You will also need to regularly apply ice to the injury site. If pain persists, your doctor may recommend you take over-the-counter pain relievers to minimize discomfort. For more serious fractures, you may need to wear a compression garment to aid healing and avoid further injury.
Treatment with Nerve Blocks
If severe pain is involved, nerve blocks can be performed. This involves injecting a medication to a nerve located near the ribs. The anesthetic works to reduce inflammation and minimize pain and discomfort. Nerve blocks can be administered via a small needle in a quick in-office procedure. Sometimes we leave a straw next to the blocked nerve and continue to provide a constant stream of numbing medicine to that nerve for about a week or so.
The best form of treatment for you will depend on the severity of your injury. A physical evaluation and imaging tests (e.g., X-rays, ultrasound, MRI or bone scan) sometimes need to be performed to determine the extent of your injury and the best course of treatment.
To learn more about the treatment options we offer, contact Acute Pain Therapies. Contact our Bellevue office by calling (425) 440-3351 or sending us an email via our contact form on our website.