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Rib belts?

When I was a teenager, I fell off a bridge and dropped about six feet into a shallow, rocky creek. I cracked a couple of ribs. Then eight or ten years ago I got whooping cough, and I cracked the same ribs again. The last few weeks,my asthma has been out of control, and my ribs are hurting like the devil, one more time. When I first injured myself, and then again when I got whooping cough, doctors advised me to get an elastic rib support belt and bind myself up as tightly as I could till I healed. So I had my boyfriend stop at Walgreen's and buy me a rib belt this morning. I have it on now, and it feels a zillion times better. But he said the pharmacist gave him a big long lecture about how rib binding is no longer medically recommended because it can lead to worsening problems with breathing and even pneumonia. It sure is making me less miserable, though. I suppose I'll call my doctor tomorrow, but do any of you know if the pharmacist is right? The rib belts are still sold in the store, so can they really be that harmful?

 
Ballad

Asked by Ballad at 5:31 PM on Sep. 22, 2013 in Health

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • Hmm. Honestly, if your ribs are fracturing with that little stress on them I really think that you should have a dexa scan. Ribs are tough; it usually takes some sort of trauma to cause a break. It'd be prudent to make sure you don't have osteopenia or some other bone weakness.
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 7:27 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Do you have an underlying medical condition that would make your ribs more susceptible to fracture? It's not terribly common to fracture them with pertussis.....not unheard of, of course, but typically occurs because of a primary bone related disease. If you do have something along those lines it would probably be best to see your doctor before treating at home.
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 6:29 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • We don't suggest them anymore
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 6:09 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I suspect it's muscle soreness so ice and naproxine or some other OTC pain reliever would be best.
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 6:26 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Rib belts are an outdated treatment - if a doctor is telling you to do that they are a 1st class quack. Ribs are self splinting. Are you sure it's a Fx?? Has the injury/condition been confirmed by x-ray? Call your doc for a proper Dx and stronger pain meds if you can't take it.
    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 6:52 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • When I was a teenager, I fell off a bridge and dropped about six feet into a shallow, rocky creek. I cracked a couple of ribs

    Ballad thankfully that is all that happened. Have you ever thought of writing your own story!
    DJDNY

    Answer by DJDNY at 6:29 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • When my DH broke a few ribs they did not wrap him. You really should not use the belt.
    DJDNY

    Answer by DJDNY at 6:23 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • hold a stuffed animal really tight to you when you cough,
    luvmygrandgirl

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 6:48 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • When I broke 3 ribs about 4 yrs ago, they said they will not wrap them at all, b/c they want you to take deep breaths, not guarded breathing. When you don't take deep enough breaths you can develop pneumonia.
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:40 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • My husb. got a topical pain numbing patch b/c he didn't like how the prescribed pain meds made him feel. You may want to ask for those. But yeah, do not wrap or constrict them in any way. Hubby wasn't doing his breathing exercises (he broke his about a year after I broke mine) & he ended up w/ pneumonia. Not good. (BTW- I did my breathing exercises & did NOT get pneumonia ;p)
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 7:24 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

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