My mom broke her rib back in May when she fall while gardening. Every time she took a breath, moved, sneezed, coughed or laughed she was in a great deal of pain. She had difficulty standing, sitting, sleeping, bending, turning… basically existing.
Her conventional solution (both my parents are western doctors) was ice and a super potent painkiller, that took her to la la land and also made her groggy. “Broken ribs heal on their own within six weeks” - she said over the phone.
Thankfully she's open to acupuncture and herbs so I was able to Fedex her liniments and herbs that I use at my clinic.
She started with two Trauma Pills a day for three days (Trauma Pills are meant for the treatments of acute traumatic injuries to the body. The herbs in it increase circulation, promote healing while reducing stagnation and inflammation). The herbs don't taste great, but her pain was unbearable so she was willing to take them.
Overnight she put a plaster of San Huang San (used when the tissue is swollen, bruised and inflamed. Composed of cooling herbs that reduce inflammation and kill pain while increase local blood flow. It helps circulation and healing) on the affected area.
On day four she started the Rib Fracture Formula twice a day. I’m from a small town, with no acupuncturist there so my mom went to see a massage therapist we have in town to help her release the intercostal muscles, that were in spasm.
The massage therapist used the Trauma Liniment (this liniment contains herbs that stops pain, reduces swelling & inflammation and increases local blood flow, just like San Huang San) The massage greatly reduced her pain and enabled her to move around and breathe more freely.
Over the next two weeks she went for massage 3x/week, used the Trauma Liniment and took the Rib Fracture Formula, and by the end of the second week she was pain free with most daily activities. The only remaining pain she had upon waking for an other week.
Overall it took her to heal three weeks, which is half of her self prognosis of six weeks.
(if she were here I would of additionally needled her intercostal Motor Points to reset her muscles, needled around the injury site to increase blood flow to help healing the fracture and Traditional Acupuncture Points to promote healing and reduce swelling and inflammation in the area)
Again, Yay for Chinese Trauma Medicine.
Next time you break your rib and want to cut your healing time in half keep acupuncture in mind :-)