Can Coughing Cause Rib Fractures?

Yes, coughing can potentially cause rib fractures, although it’s not very common. Rib fractures from coughing are more likely to occur in individuals with weakened bones due to conditions like osteoporosis or in those who have already experienced rib fractures in the past.

Coughing forcefully increases pressure in the chest cavity, and if this pressure is high enough, it can strain or even fracture the ribs. This is particularly true if the cough is severe, persistent, or occurs in conjunction with conditions that weaken the bones.

If you experience sudden, sharp chest pain after coughing, especially if it’s accompanied by difficulty breathing or tenderness over the affected area, it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out the possibility of a rib fracture or other serious conditions. Treatment for rib fractures typically involves rest, pain management, and sometimes bracing to support the injured ribs while they heal.