Cracked rib: natural treatments

A cracked rib is a minor health problem. However, it is advisable to take care to relieve the pain because the crack of a rib can be as painful as a fracture, especially in case of cough. In addition to medication, discover all the natural solutions and the right steps to take to heal faster and more effectively.

What is a cracked rib?

Frequent, the cracked rib is diagnosed thanks to a simple X-ray of the rib cage. This is a minor injury, but which nevertheless causes sometimes intense pain. These can last for several months.

The only treatment that exists to treat a cracked rib consists of painkillers and sometimes muscle relaxants (reducers of muscle tone). And to recover faster, there are natural solutions to adopt (rest, posture, breathing exercise, etc.).


The main symptom of a cracked rib is sudden, severe pain in the affected rib. Even if the rib is not broken, the crack can represent an embarrassment to carry out the gestures of the daily life.

The pain tends to wake up at the slightest movement. And it intensifies when you cough, sneeze, or take a deeper breath. As a result, breathing becomes shorter and difficulty in breathing occurs. This can be a real problem for people with respiratory failure or other respiratory disease. Indeed, this can lead to complications such as respiratory distress.

The causes

A crack in a rib can be caused by a fall or a shock following an accident (in a car, for example). A cracked rib can also be due to the practice of a fairly extreme sport (motor sport, combat sport, skiing, etc.).

However, note that a cracked rib can appear more simply, after severe and prolonged coughing fits, for example. This happens especially to people with osteoporosis or weak bones, or if they are elderly.

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Finally, too violent an effort such as carrying a very heavy load can also cause a crack.

Natural treatments for cracked ribs

Prevent rib cracks with suitable equipment

If you practice a sporting activity, warm up carefully and be careful to avoid the risk of cracked ribs.

If necessary, you can absolutely use a protection for the ribs. For example, there are models of rib protector vests in motorsport. And skiers will also find reinforced ski jackets to protect the costal framework.

Clasping the chest with a band: Warning !

In the past, it was recommended to enclose the thorax with a wide band. In the early days, this made it possible to limit the pain when the trunk moved.

Today, this gesture is rather inadvisable because poor breathing can be the cause of complications.


Place an ice pack wrapped in a clean cloth on the affected area. This will reduce pain and swelling.

This gesture must be applied as soon as the pain appears and for the following 48 hours.

Damp heat

After 48 hours, you can use moist heat to ease the pain associated with a cracked rib. It will also facilitate healing.

Apply moist, warm compresses to the affected area of ​​the body. And if you prefer, you can also take a hot bath.


If possible, rest as much as possible, especially if your breathing has become difficult. Relax and avoid physical exertion at all costs.

In the case of a manual profession, take a few days off. Indeed, during your recovery, you should not pull, push or lift heavy objects.

Also refrain from practicing a sports activity, unless approved by your general practitioner.

Control your breathing

If you need to cough while suffering from a cracked rib, lay a pillow over the affected area. This reduces the pain felt.

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On the other hand, it is important to breathe deeply very often. Do breathing exercises when your condition allows it. Inhale slowly for three seconds, hold your breath for another three seconds, and finally exhale for three seconds. Repeat the operation every day for a few minutes.

Stop smoking

During your recovery, banish substances such as tobacco that irritate the lungs and promote infections.

Take advantage of this state of health to quit smoking.

Sleep with your body upright

To avoid pain, it is better to sleep while keeping your body straight. Don’t switch sides while you sleep or you risk hurting yourself.

Hold yourself as if you were in a relaxation chair to limit your movements.

Stand normally

As you heal, try to hold yourself normally. Indeed, compensation for rib pain can lead to back pain.


Homeopathic treatment can speed healing. In traditional use, you can use Calcarea Phosphorica 5 CH to improve bone consolidation. There is also Arnica Montana 5 CH and Symphytum officinale 5 CH (3 granules 3 times a day).


The use of magnets could reduce the pain associated with a cracked rib.

apple cider vinegar

This natural product soothes many ailments including cracked or fractured ribs. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a little water. Immerse a clean cloth in it and hold firmly against your bruised ribs for about a quarter of an hour.

Epsom salt

In a lukewarm bath, place Epsom salt. This natural remedy helps heal cracked ribs.

You can easily find it in pharmacies or online. And to relax your muscles, also consider adding a few drops of lavender oil to your bath.

When to consult a doctor ?

In case of shortness of breath with presence of chest pain or if you cough up blood, make an appointment with a doctor urgently. Some rib cracks are actually a fracture in disguise. In this case, your breathing becomes difficult.

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It is therefore advisable to consult without delay to avoid any risk of complication. The doctor will have you perform an x-ray of the rib cage to make the diagnosis.

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