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Santa Monica, CA
A 32-year-old male asked:

How to tell if i cracked a rib, or just injured a muscle in center of mid back, below shoulder blades? pain when bending but not if stationary.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Johnna Thomas
Family Medicine 29 years experience
Either: Both cracked rib or muscle pain hurts with movement but fine if still. No tx for cracked rib, so Motrin and muscle spasm meds , ice early, heat later and some time , 6-8 weeks.
Dr. Patrick Offner
Trauma Surgery 41 years experience
Get an x-ray: An x-ray would be necessary to diagnose a fractured rib. Usually a fractured rib would be painful with movement, deep breathing or coughing. It would also be tender on feeling it. The center of the back would be an unusual location for a rib fracture--it should be off to one side or the other.

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Last updated Aug 17, 2017

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