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Stress fracture
Stress fracture to the ribs

Stress fracture to the ribs is basically an incomplete crack in one of the ribs in the ribcage. When an excessive or repetitive force is placed on one or more ribs, or when these muscles contract or are placed on stretch and a pulling force exerted on them, a gradual bony stress reaction can be experienced which then leads to rib stress fracture.

Stress fracture of the ribs Causes

stress fracture of the ribs commonly occurs as a result of trauma just like a direct blow to the chest and stress. Stress crack of the rib occurs over a given period of time as a result of excessive and uneven load on the ribs as is the case in different kinds of sports. Rib stress fractures regularly happen due to change in training conditions or technique. Besides direct blow to the chest, in contact sports stress fracture to the ribs may be because of a collision or fall to the ground.

Stress fracture of the ribs Signs and symptoms

An individual with a stress fracture to the ribs characteristically experience a restricted pain in the chest, at the upper back and lower neck.  In most cases, the patient is forced to leave the activity because of pain which decreases as the person rests.
Rarely, pain may spread out into the back and side of the ribs, shoulder or neck. In severe cases though, breathing deeply, laughing, coughing or sneezing may also be aggravate symptoms.

Stress fracture of the ribs Treatment

To treat stress fracture, ensure initial period of rest from the provoking activity like stopping training or sport for some time. Then, a gradual increase in the exercise can occur as tolerated, as long as symptoms do not increase. A doctor will advise after monitoring and will vary depending on the severity of the injury. Do not ignore symptoms as this may cause further damage and slow down healing process. Massage, trigger point release method, stretches also hastens healing.

The treating physical therapist will give advice on which activities appropriate for the person and when they should be started. Lastly, a gradual return to sport can begin as directed by the treating physical therapist so long as symptoms do not increase. One should check on his training methods to avoid the recurrence of the injury.

Stress fracture of the ribs Risk factors

Various factors might increase the probability of an individual suffering from this condition. They include muscle weakness, poor flexibility, joint stiffness, inadequate diet, inappropriate or excessive training, poor training technique and menstrual disturbance in females.

Stress fracture of the ribs Home remedies

Physical therapy for patients with this kind of fracture is key to speed up healing, avert injury recurrence and guarantee the best possible result. Treatment may entail soft tissue massage, mobilization of joints, dry needling activity, advice on modification and technique correction, correct exercises to improve one’s strength, flexibility and core stability, and educational gradual return to activity plan.

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