A rib fracture is common in contact sports and usually occurs following a hard impact to the chest by an elbow or similar. Breathing will often be painful and there will normally be a particular point on the ribs that will be especially tender. It is possible that the fracture may cause internal damage so seeking medical advice is recommended, especially if the pain is severe.
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.