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FAQ058: How does a Rib Fracture Happen?

If anyone has ever broken a rib, you can attest to how much it hurts!

With a rib fracture, it hurts to move, twist and sometimes even breathe. Laughing? Forget it! Rib fractures tend to be caused by different reasons depending on our age. Knowing the signs of a rib fracture, what to do about it and when to get an X-Ray or see a doctor is really important.

In my athletes, it is often a result of a high impact fall or collision. A direct blow to the side of the body can cause a rib fracture. This can occur because of a collision with another player on a field or because of a hard fall and the rib can break when they make contact with the ground.

But as we get older, our bones lose their strength

Because of the changes that happen with our bones as we age, they lose strength. Especially for women, the risk of osteoporosis goes up as we get older (though men can get osteoporosis as well!). As we get older, our risk of falls can also go up. So as we get older, falls are more likely to happen. Falls can therefore culprit for rib fractures for older people especially those with osteoporosis. Want to learn more about osteoporosis? Check out our article on it here 

Broken ribs are often diagnosed through X-Ray. Lately, because unfortunately, there is no casting or bracing done, many people do not bother going to the hospital. You need to be aware of some of the potential complications of a rib fracture and if you have any of them. This could include issues with your ribs or splinters in the rib.

In this video, we talk about what happens to sustain a broken rib and what to do about it.

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