Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Painful Ribs Home Care

Home care for chest wall pain includes:

Painful Ribs Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with chest wall pain include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Painful Ribs Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with chest wall pain include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Always follow the package instructions.


Painful Ribs Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have chest wall pain and any of the following:

Continue to Painful Ribs Complications

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Painful Ribs References
  1. Ballas SK, Viscusi ER, Epstein KR. Management of acute chest wall sickle cell pain with nebulized morphine. Am J Hematol. 2004 Jun;76(2):190-1. [15164390]
  2. Disla E, Rhim HR, Reddy A, Karten I, Taranta A. Costochondritis. A prospective analysis in an emergency department setting. Arch Intern Med. 1994 Nov 14;154(21):2466-9. [7979843]
  3. Eslick GD, Fass R. Noncardiac chest pain: evaluation and treatment. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2003 Jun;32(2):531-52. [12858605]
  4. Karlson KA. Thoracic region pain in athletes. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2004 Feb;3(1):53-7. [14728915]
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