Got a bruised rib? Can you still do yoga?

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on March 20, 2013

A bruised rib is a condition in which one’s ribs are broken or deformed due to harsh external pressure. The ribs are the network of bones in the chest area, and they help to protect the lungs and the heart. However, at times, stress and trauma causes the ribs to become bruised.


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The physicians diagnose the condition by taking an X-ray of the chest area. The X-ray reports show the point of breakage or deformation of the ribs. Sometimes, along with the fracture, the connecting ligaments and muscles may also get bruised.


Causes and symptoms of bruised ribs

Bruised ribs can occur due to the various causes such as an accidental blow during contact sports, a hard impact directly to the chest area due to a fall or a fight, and automobile accidents. Severe coughing may also affect the ribs. Some of the risk factors associated with bruised rib are old age, in which the bones loses their strength, occupational dangers related to overhead lifting, a history of chest fracture, chronic cough, and strenuous physical activities.

The symptoms that a patient with bruised ribs may experience are,

  • Pain in the chest area.
  • Increased pain while coughing and sneezing.
  • Swelling in and around the affected area.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Difficulty in sleeping.
  • Tenderness in the affected area.

Things to consider while performing yoga in a bruised condition,

If you have a bruised rib, your doctor will recommend rest and avoidance of all physical activities. The doctor may also prescribe some anti-inflammatory medications for the management of the associated pain. However, you can still engage in mild exercises only after a consultation with your doctor.

Patients may perform some mild stretching and breathing yoga exercises under the guidance of a yoga instructor. Patients should, however, avoid all the deep breathing exercises during the recovery, as it may affect the bruised ribs. Also, they should avoid any type of twisting poses. Mild breathing exercises performed under proper supervision helps to maintain the proper functioning of the lungs during the time it takes for the ribs to recover. The most important thing that patients should consider while performing yoga is to determine their level of tolerance. In case they feel a stinging pain in the rib area, they should stop immediately. A well-experienced yoga practitioner can give the best advice depending upon the specific condition.

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