This question was answered on Wed 16, Jun 2010 07:57pm by Dr Kristine Miguel

Should heat or cold pack help with broken ribs to relieve pain? Would either doharm to the healing process?Emergency room visit; broken ribs; no tape/wrap, brace or other immobilization. Advice: don't lift

    
Asked by medquest (Male; 70; diabetic;high blood pressure; Relevant drugs:blood pressure ) on Tue 15, Jun 2010 06:54pm

Should heat or cold pack help with broken ribs to relieve pain? Would either do harm to the healing process? Emergency room: broken ribs; no tape/wrap, brace or other immobilization. Advice: don't lift

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Answer by Dr Kristine Miguel  on Wed 16, Jun 2010 07:57pm:

Hi. Hot and cold compresses are both used to treat injuries. Cold compress is usually applied to reduce swelling, bleeding or inflammation while a hot compress is used to reduce joint stiffness and muscle spasm, and increase blood flow to the injured area aside from relieving the pain. Although it may take one to two months for broken ribs to heal on its own, controlling pain with compresses and pain relievers may improve healing. For more information, discuss your concerns to your doctor. Take care.
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