The ribs work hard -- they protect the heart, lungs, and other organs from damage and help the spine keep the body upright. Although designed for protection, the ribs can become damaged, broken, or bruised. After a rib injury, care and rest can be the best things. In the case of breaks, however, an individual may require more intensive treatment to ensure the broken rib doesn't damage the lung, spleen, or other organs.
An auto accident can easily break or bruise ribs, especially if the force from the seatbelt or the car's airbags is strong enough. Sports injuries are another common cause of broken ribs, especially in contact activities such as football and rugby. Lacrosse, wrestling, and field hockey can also result in bruised or broken ribs.
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