Skip to content

    Announcements

    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!


    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    Rib or Muscle injury; chest
    avatar
    Bybzuck posted:
    I felt a distinct pop around the lowest rib on the left side of my chest while playing basketball. My arms were entangled with another player and I was exerting a lot of upper body strenght as I was falling backwards. I then felt the pop and have since been experiencing a tightness at that spot as well as some back pain in the same area. I'm having a hard time bending, standing, and twisting. Could this be a pulled/torn muscle or is it more likely to be a rib fracture? it's also tender to the touch and coughing is painful.
    Reply
     
    avatar
    Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS responded:
    A pulled or torn muscle as well as a rib fracture may all give symptoms similar to the ones that you are describing. This could be with the larger muscles and also down to the intercostal, between the rib, muscles. Because breathing will expand or stretch these same, you can also have difficulty breathing and coughing.

    The initial treatment for this would be rest. It can take several weeks for things to resolve. Sometimes you can splint the area for pain relief, but you must always maintain your breathing capacity.

    In order to determine whether or not it is a rib fracture you would need imaging such as an xray. Your primary care doctor can assist you with this.

    This type of injury can cause nagging long term problems if not taken care of properly in the short term. A physical therapist can work with you to ensure that your flexibility, strength and breathing return to normal. Look under "find a PT" at www.moveforwardpt.com for a physical therapist in your area.

    If you have trouble breathing or cough up any blood, then contact your physician immediately.

    The most important thing is to take care of this properly so that you can be back playing basketball before you know it.

    Dr. Wilmarth


    Helpful Tips

    Hydration and the HeatExpert
    Keep in mind with the warmer weather upon us, that our bodies will take some time to adapt to the temperature changes. Our bodies adapt ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    26 of 36 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sports Medicine Center