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A rib fracture is common in contact sports and usually occurs following a hard impact to the chest by an elbow or similar.
Symptoms of broken ribs include pain and swelling at a particular point over the rib cage. The patient is likely to feel pain when breathing deeply, coughing or sneezing. One significant sign is pain or tenderness at a particular point on the ribs when pressing in over the whole of the rib cage.
There is not a great deal that can be done for a rib fracture. Rest is important. If it is very severe then you should seek medical attention to ensure no damage has been done inside the rib cage. If you have a particularly bad fracture of the ribs you would know about it due to severe pain.
A doctor can also not do a great deal other than X-ray the ribs and rule out any internal damage. If it is not a severe fracture then you should be back in action from between 3 to 6 weeks so long as you rest. If you do not rest then it will not be given the chance to heal.