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Rib Pain

Rib pain may be sharp, dull, or achy and felt at or below the chest or above the navel on either side. It may occur after an obvious injury or without explanation.

Rib pain can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from pulled muscles to a rib fracture.

The pain may occur immediately upon injury or develop slowly over time. It can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition. 

What is Rib Pain?

Rib pain is a general term that refers to a number of conditions that cause pain in the chest area. Most of these are due to injuries, such as rib fractures. 

Rib fracture refers to a breech or break in the anatomical continuity of the rib that may lead to partial or complete separation of cartilage components.

Rib Pain

Signs and Symptoms of Rib Pain

Rib Pain, particularly fracture of the rib, presents with moderate to severe pain that compromises day-to-day operations. Other classic symptoms include:

  • pain in rib area and very sore to touch
  • aggravation of pain on activity, such as coughing or sneezing (even breathing movement of chest)
  • generalized weakness
  • swelling and bruising over fractured site

Causes of Rib Pain

Primary causes of Rib Pain include: 

  • severe impact of force over the chest region
  • road-traffic accidents, trauma or fall and
  • repetitive trauma to the chest with a blunt object

Certain risk factors can increase the risk of rib fractures, such as physiological aging. Other risk factors include:

  • Active involvement in sports
  • Deficits of bone mineral density (osteoporosis, osteopenia)

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Rib Pain

Prevalence of rib fractures in elderly population is 10%

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Shoulder Recovery Program

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Shoulder Pain Sydney CBD, Wynyard, Martin Place, Town Hall, Darling Harbour, Barrangaroo NSW | (02) 9934 9979

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