Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Types of Chest Injuries
Committed to Safety: As we resume services, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe while we care for you. Limited visitation is now in place. Review all our visitor policies and precautions. Get more information on COVID-19.
A blow to the chest can cause a minor or serious injury. It is not unusual to have the "wind knocked out of you" and be short of breath for a few minutes after a blow to the chest.
Even after a chest injury, it is important to determine whether your pain might be caused by a heart problem. If you do not have any symptoms of a heart attack or angina, your pain is probably caused by your chest injury.
Pain or difficulty breathing that starts immediately after an injury may mean that organs inside the chest, such as the lungs, heart, or blood vessels, have been damaged. Other symptoms often develop quickly, such as severe shortness of breath or signs of shock.
A forceful blow to the chest can injure organs in the chest or upper abdomen.
You may have chest wall pain after a less serious injury. This pain can occur with movement of a shoulder, an arm, the rib cage, or the trunk of the body.
Even a minor injury can cause chest pain for days after the injury. Deep breathing, coughing, or sneezing can increase the pain, as can pressing down on or lying on the injured area.
Minor injuries often do not require a visit to a doctor. Home treatment can relieve the pain and discomfort.
An injury to the chest may break or crack a rib or injure the cartilage of the rib cage. Symptoms of a bruised rib or broken rib include:
Rib fractures are painful but often can be treated at home if no other symptoms develop. See the Home Treatment section of this topic.
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.