On the first day of my camping vacation, I fell backwards and broke my rib. Awful, ruined my vacation, and very painful.
What did I learn? 1; gratitude. Be grateful for every step you take, every physical thing you do. Life is short, and stuff happens, unexpectedly, even if you are living right. Thanks to Heather Escobar, DC, for her very gentle chiropractic treatment.
2; All the parts of our bodies are connected. When I injured my rib, I could not breathe right. My diaphragm stopped being able to pump air properly, because the diaphragm works together with the intercostal muscles (between the ribs), which were shut down. So, I could not cough, or sneeze, or take a deep breath without pain. My voice was mostly gone. My gut was a wreck; it was hard to poop, and my stomach was pulled upward into my rib cage (Functional Hiatal Hernia), so I had no appetite, and belched way too much.
3-Pain sucks; as a natural doctor, I try to avoid pain meds for multiple reasons. In this situation, opioids can be justified short term, but they tended to shut down my gut even more, and I hate the feeling of being doped up. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are a bad idea when you have an acute injury, as they tend to shut down the inflammation cycle. Yes, inflammation can be good; your body needs some inflammation to heal an acute injury. That leaves Tylenol. What worked best for me was heat and ice, old standbys. Safe, and very effective for short term relief. When the ache got too bad, I used either heat or ice. I did a heat/ice cycle, 3 minutes heat followed by 1 minute of ice, for 3 cycles, at least 2X per day. This is an old naturopathic tool, to pump blood in and out of area. Topical, rub in meds, were also useful. I like Korean Brown Algae extract (Seanol), homeopathic Arnica, and CBD cream (hemp extract). Don’t forget posture and movement- don’t just pop pills. If you get stuck in a wrong position, you’ll hurt, now or later. The right movements tend to relieve pain, and enable you to stay at least a bit more active. There is a right dose, and a right timing to all of these motions. Trial and error will inform you.
The right chiropractic adjustment can help. Wait a few days, then see someone (like us), who knows how to use minimal force.
4- Be patient. The best news about an acute rib injury, and most other “minor” injuries, is that you will get over them. I did have to limit my activities, and gradually resume them. I tried to not be too resentful and impatient, challenging for an active person like me.