playing sports with bruised ribs
Back to blogsWritten on: 2023-12-15

Playing sports with bruised ribs

A bruised rib can hurt a lot, but it is usually not serious. It is usually caused by a fall or (sports) accident. A bruised rib usually heals after 5 to 10 weeks. But can you still play sports with bruised ribs? And does it help to heal faster? In this blog, we have a closer look at this. Feel free to read on.

What is a bruised rib?

In a bruised rib, the tissue around the rib(s), muscles and fatty tissue is damaged. This injury is usually caused by a hard blow, bump or fall on the rib cage. A wrong movement while playing sports or even coughing hard can also cause a bruised rib.

A bruised rib mainly involves pain at the front, side or back of the chest. You may feel this pain constantly or only when you breathe or cough. Often, the pain gets worse when you bend over, twist your torso or move your arms.

Can you exercise with a bruised rib?

It will often be quite painful to move when you have bruised ribs. Nevertheless, we advise against sitting still. Light movement stimulates blood flow to your rib cage. As a result, the tissue around the rib heals faster. Light sports such as walking, cycling and swimming can therefore contribute to a faster recovery from a bruised rib.

There are other sports you can do that can spare the damaged muscles around your ribs. Think of sports where you mainly use your leg muscles. Moving your shoulders and arms intensively will often be painful. In addition, avoid sports where you move your torso a lot. As soon as the pain subsides, you can gradually start exercising more intensively again. However, listen carefully to your body when doing this.

Tips on exercising with bruised ribs

There are several things you can do so that you can still exercise with bruised ribs. For example, it is important to take vitamin C. vitamin C makes your body create new muscle fibres faster to repair the injured muscles.

We also advise you to wear a rib brace. This provides support and reduces the symptoms. This way, you can still exercise with less pain. Finally, it is important to take care and avoid contact sports. This will prevent the symptoms from getting worse.

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