Treatment From a Chiropractor: Bruised Ribs

You breathe in. Ouch. 

You breathe out. Even more pain.

Coughing, sneezing, or laughing? Totally out of the question.

The tenderness in your chest from your bruised ribs is almost more than you can bear. 

What can you do to feel better, and how long until you’ll be back to normal? Chiropractic care may be just the answer you’re looking for. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how a chiropractor can help: 

  • With bruised ribs
  • Speed your healing
  • Get you on the path to feeling like yourself again  
can a chiropractor help with bruised ribs

Table of Contents

Common Causes of Bruised Ribs Treated by Chiropractors

Rib injuries are common. And your ribs, along with the supportive tissues surrounding them, can become damaged in a variety of ways. 

Some common ways you may end up with bruised ribs include things such as:

  • Auto accidents
  • Contact Sports 
  • Falls
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Severe coughing; and 
  • Repetitive activities, such as weightlifting

How Do Auto Accidents Typically Lead to Bruised Ribs?

Bruised ribs suffered during an automobile accident may be the result of: 

  • The driver being thrust into the steering wheel.
  • A passenger colliding with the dashboard.
  • Being thrown over the center console.
  • The force of seat belt restraint.
  • Trauma resulting from failing to wear a seatbelt. 

Do Chiropractors See More Posterior or Anterior Rib Bruising?

While posterior rib bruising may occur, chiropractors more commonly treat anterior bruising of the ribs. 

When people complain about what they believe to be posterior, or back rib bruising, it’s usually the supportive muscles around the ribs that have been injured.

If you’re suffering from rib pain, the professionals at Cascade Spine & Injury Center can help. 

Our team combines …

  • Chiropractic
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture; and 
  • Other treatment modalities

…  to develop a treatment plan just for you — to help you feel better and get back to normal life as soon as possible.

If you’re looking for relief from your rib pain, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Can a Chiropractor Help With a Bruised Rib?

Yes, a chiropractor may be able to help with a bruised rib by:

  • Determining the severity of the rib injury.
  • Reducing the pain and inflammation.
  • Speeding up the healing process.
  • Realigning any out of place ribs.
  • Monitoring the injury to make sure it is healing properly.
chiropractor bruised ribs

4 Ways Chiropractors Approach Rib Bruising and Other Rib Injuries

Chiropractors treat many conditions, including rib bruising and injuries. 

When you visit a chiropractic center, your treatment plan may include:

  • A thorough diagnosis of the extent of your injury
  • Therapies aimed at reducing your inflammation and speeding the healing process, such as:
    • Interferential current muscle stimulation
    • Ultrasound
    • Manual lymphatic drainage massage
    • Hot laser
  • Adjustments for realignment 
  • Continual monitoring of your recovery

#1: Diagnosis of Moderate vs. Severe Pain

When you visit a chiropractor for rib pain, the first thing they will do is determine the severity of your rib bruising or injury. 

They will do a physical exam and may order x-rays to determine if you have suffered an internal injury, such as a cracked rib.

Getting a professional diagnosis of your rib injury is a critical step in your healing process. 

If your level of bruising and pain is mild to moderate, your injury may be something that will get better on its own. But if you are suffering from severe rib pain, your recovery may be more extensive and may need to be closely monitored through the use of periodic exams and x-rays.

chiropractor rib pain

#2: Inflammation Reduction & Accelerate Healing

One of the great things about chiropractic care is its ability to reduce inflammation, speeding up the healing process in all areas of your body — including your ribs

Your chiropractor may use therapies to help you feel better and recover faster, such as these four:

  1. Interferential current muscle stimulation, coupled with hot or cold packs 
    • Interferential current therapy (or ICT) is a painless type of electrical muscle stimulation used by many chiropractors. Sticky electrode pads are placed on the painful area and electrical currents are then used to contract and release the muscles, resulting in a lessening of both pain and inflammation.
  2. Ultrasound 
    • Ultrasound is a therapeutic technique using sound waves to penetrate through the skin to the soft tissues underneath. The ultrasound wand will be gently moved over your rib area to help stimulate blood flow, decrease inflammation, and speed the healing of your injured ribs. 
  3. Manual lymphatic drainage 
    • A form of massage therapy, manual lymphatic drainage is a technique used by some chiropractors to gently encourage the movement of the lymph fluids throughout your body — which can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  4. Hot laser or high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) 
    • Your chiropractor will use a handheld device that shines a light on the area of your ribs where the pain is felt or injury has occurred. Hot laser therapy is completely painless, but you will feel a warming sensation as your tissues and muscles relax. The laser works by stimulating your cells, which allows your tissues to repair more quickly.
chiropractor bruised ribs

#3: Realignment

Another common way a chiropractor can treat bruised or injured ribs is by realignment, or putting them back into place. 

Rib realignment can work wonders for the painful breathing accompanying a rib injury — and may often provide nearly immediate relief.

If the pain of your bruised rib is severe, your chiropractor may choose to hold off on adjusting you until the pain subsides. 

Your rib realignment adjustment may be done manually, with the chiropractor’s hands and body, or through the use of a hand-held activator.

#4: Injury Monitoring

Depending on the severity of your rib bruise or injury, your chiropractor may need to regularly monitor your progress and adjust treatments as necessary.

Your chiropractor may … 

  • Add or change therapeutic treatments
  • Suggest period of rest
  • Take additional x-rays; or
  • Suggest rehabilitative exercises

… to facilitate your recovery process. 

should I go to chiropractor for rib pain

Chiropractor Rib Pain FAQs

When Should You See a Chiropractor for a Bruised Rib?

If you think you have suffered a bruised rib — or any other type of rib injury — it is important to schedule a visit to your chiropractor as soon as you possibly can.

The symptoms of a bruised rib can be painful, and may include:

  • Chest pain that is worse when you inhale, cough, laugh, or sneeze
  • Pain in your rib area when you bend over
  • Swelling
  • A visible bruise; or
  • Twitching or spasms in your chest muscles

How Long Will It Take for Chiropractic Care to Treat Rib Bruising?

Recovery time for bruised ribs will depend on your particular injury and physical condition.

In general, however, bruised ribs take around three to six weeks to heal completely.

Can Chiropractic Care Make Rib Bruising Worse?

Visiting the chiropractor for rib pain should not make your bruised ribs, or any other injury, worse — as long as your treatment is done right.

But sometimes, depending on the severity of your rib injury, the methods of treatment your chiropractor uses may cause a bit of discomfort. 

That is why you must choose a well-trained, experienced chiropractic team — like the professionals at Cascade Spine & Injury Center.

Cascade Spine & Injury Center: Find the Best Care for Your Rib Injury

Bruised ribs are painful and frustrating — and you may wonder if you’ll ever get back to feeling normal.

If you’re looking for relief from rib pain, chiropractic care may be a great option for you.

The team at Cascade Spine & Injury Center has helped patients from all over the Portland area experience relief from bruised ribs — and a host of other ailments and injuries. 

Cascade Spine & Injury Center is a chiropractic clinic in Portland, Oregon, specializing in a variety of services to help you get relief from your pain, including:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise rehabilitation; and
  • Other treatment modalities

Cascade Spine & Injury Center accepts an array of insurance coverages, including: 

  • Auto insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Private Group Health Insurance; and
  • Many more

And we also serve those without insurance

Call us today to learn more about how you can begin your healing journey. 

chiropractor bruised ribs

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