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Four days ago I woke up with pain in my ribs. When I looked myself in the mirror I saw that it was swollen. I was so scared and still am. I know that I need to go to my doctor, but till the, can you give me some possible causes of this?

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You did not tell me if you have hurt your self at that area. It is impossible for me to tell you what your case is. However, I can give you some basic information. The ribcage supports the upper body, protects internal organs including the heart and lungs and assists with breathing. It consists of 24 curved ribs arranged in 12 pairs and each pair is attached to a vertebra in the spine. The symptoms of rib injuries depend on the type and severity of the injury. They include: pain at the injury site, pain when you breathe, cough, sneeze or laugh, muscle spasms of the ribcage, breathing difficulties. Also, if an injury has occurred, the ribcage may look deformed. Intercostal muscles allow the ribcage to move up and down and they can be strained by any activity that involves extreme or forceful twisting of the body or swinging of the arms so you need to think if this might have happened to you. Sports that commonly cause this type of injury include golf and tennis. Treatment aims to relieve pain while the injury heals, which can take up to six. You need to go to your doctor to be absolutely sure what your case is.
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