Think you might have a Broken Rib?

Think you might have a Broken Rib?

Think you might have a Broken Rib?

Think you might have a Broken Rib?

Fallen onto you surfboard or got tackled awkwardly at training?

Did someone tell you “there’s nothing you can do anyway, so just put up with it”

Yeah nah.

A quick bit of research into the management of this painful condition gives you an idea of the mainstream management and what allied health practitioners could possibly do to decrease your recovery time.

Mainstream management:

In a 2013 paper,Rauchwerger et al, state that treatment for rib fracture pain can be broadly divided into pharmacologic approaches with oral and/or parenteral medication and interventional approaches utilising neuraxial analgesia or peripheral nerve blocks to provide pain relief

Typically, opioids and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the drugs of first choice for acute pain in rib fractures

So what they’re saying is oral or locally directed pain killers (injections).

Basically the medicos are treating the pain which is essential for normal function and basic things like breathing without pain.

We at Tonic are not opposed to these kind of pain killers when required.

So what else can you do?

Sports taping can give relief by supporting affected structures.

When the really acute pain has settled down, light manual therapy can start

A very indirect approach is advised. Treatment aim should be to normalise respiratory function and reduce pain.

Gentle rib articulation around the injured area to address any dysfunctions which resulted from accident. Also indirect treatment of the thoracics, cervicals and sternum may help normalise function (Hartmen, 2001)

A Japanese study on the efficacy of traditional herbal anti inflammatories as opposed to NSAID in the management of pain in patients with rib fractures showed a decreased intervention time and less side effects (Nakae et al, 2012).

Hajime Nakae,  Aya Yokoi,  Hiroyuki Kodama, and Hakira okigawa (2012)Comparison of the Effects on Rib Fracture between the Traditional Japanese Medicine Jidabokuippo and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: A Randomized Controlled Trial: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 837958.

Published online Jul 24, 2012. doi:  10.1155/2012/837958

Hartman LS. Handbook of Osteopathic Technique 3rd ed. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd. 2001.

Rauchwerger, Jacob J., Candido, Kenneth D., Deer, Timothy R., Frogel, Jonathan K., Iadevaio, Robert, & Kirschen, Neil B. (2013). Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection for Rib Fracture Pain. Pain Practice, 13(5), 416-421. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2012.00596.x


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