Standard First Aid Training, Courses and Re-Certifications.

A chest injury refers to an injury that causes damage any structure in the chest. Minor forms of injuries to the chest include small injuries to the skin such as bruises, while severe forms of injuries to the chest may include damage to the internal organs such as the heart or the lungs. Injuries to the soft tissue of the chest may include lacerations, stab wounds, puncture wounds and abrasions.

A person with a chest injury may have bruising along with chest pain, chest swelling and chest wall tenderness.

Treatment for chest injury often depends on how severe the damage to the chest is. General treatment options may include cold compresses, rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or narcotic pain medication for pain. Often rib fractures require narcotic pain medication for short-term use

Chest Injuries

Chest Injuries

only. Your doctor may also advise deep breathing exercises to reduce the risk of incurring pneumonia and atelectasis.

Important Disclaimer: this post on chest injuries, signs, symptoms, causes and treatment is for learning purposes only. When in doubt contact a medical professional or learn more about recognizing and managing these emergencies by enrolling in first aid and CPR courses through St Mark James.


Causes of chest injury may include the following:

  • Motor vehicle or car accidents
  • Altercations
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries – especially contact sports injuries
  • Occupational injuries
  • Industrial injuries
  • Gunshot wounds – puncture wounds
  • Stab or knife wounds – puncture wounds

Types of chest injuries include:

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of chest injury may include:

  • Mild chest pain
  • Chest pain while breathing
  • Chest pain while coughing
  • Worsening pain with movement
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Tenderness of the chest – breast tenderness or tenderness of the chest wall
  • Chest contusions – bruising to the chest wall
  • Mild breathing difficulties
  • Swelling of the chest wall
  • Back pain

Severe chest injury may cause the following symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Deformed chest
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing – severe – use of accessory muscles to support breathing
  • Nasal flaring
  • Rib retractions


General treatment for chest injury includes cold compresses, rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for pain and deep breathing exercises. Many casualties, however, find it difficult to breathe deeply due to the increasing pain while breathing. It is important to note that deep breathing is very important in case you have a chest injury as it reduces the risk of pneumonia and atelectasis. Pain medication can be taken by these patients who are no able to breathe deeply due to the pain.

Severe chest injuries may occur due to rib fractures or damage to the vital internal organs such as the heart and the lungs. Treatment for severe chest injuries may include oxygen therapy and surgical repair of damaged tissues of the chest.

Treatment options for chest injury may include:

  • Cold compresses – apply every 2-3 hours for 20 minutes
  • Rest
  • Deep breathing
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for pain
  • Narcotic pain medication for short term use only
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Surgery to repair damaged tissues in the chest

Additional treatment measures include:

  • Stop smoking and avoid passive smoking
  • Perform deep breathing exercises for every 4 hours
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Take medication as directed by your health car provider and avoid skipping doses

Learn More

To learn more about minor and severe emergencies involving chest pain and injuries sign up for first aid and CPR training courses through workplace approved.

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Managing Back pain

March 18th, 2013 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Muscle Injuries - (0 Comments)

Back pain refers to any form of discomfort or pain in a person’s back. Back pain is usually caused by injuries to the back, inflammation of the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, disk or spinal cord in the back. Back pain occurs due to irritation or inflammation of the bones, or any disorder in the organs of the chest or abdomen is rare. The most common cause of back pain is acute lumbar strain.

A person having back pain may experience symptoms depending on the cause of back pain. Generally people may suffer from stiffness of the back, swelling and tenderness on the back muscles along with back pain. More severe symptoms may include back pain that radiates towards the leg, resulting in leg

Back Pain

Back Pain

weakness, leg numbness, urinary incontinence etc. Severe back pain may also cause the person to collapse, faint, experience high fever, excessive sweating, chest pain and abdominal pain.

Disclaimer: the material posted on this page on managing back pain is for learning purposes only. To learn about recognizing and managing skeletal and muscular injuries sign up for first aid and CPR training.


Back pain is caused due to the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Overwork
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Back injury
  • Back strain
  • Back sprain
  • Coccydynia – tailbone pain
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Disk herniation
  • Dysmenorrhea –menstrual cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Herpes zoster
  • Pregnancy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Urinary tract infection

Rare causes of back pain include:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Conus medullaris syndrome
  • Chordoma
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Dissecting thoracic aneurysm
  • Ependymoma
  • Endometriosis
  • Heart attack
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Kidney stones
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Paget’s disease
  • Polymyositis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rickets
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Scoliosis
  • Sickle cell crisis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal cord tumor
  • Uterine caner
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral compression fracture

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of back pain include:

  • Back pain that worsens with movement
  • Muscle pain around the spine
  • Back stiffness
  • Back pain that resolves with rest
  • Back pain does not interfere with daily activities
  • Back tenderness

Signs and symptoms of severe back pain include:

  • Back pain in children
  • Back pain in elderly people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes and elderly with a history of abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty walking
  •  Difficulty urinating
  • Inability to walk
  • Numbness in the buttock or groin
  • Leg numbness – unilateral
  • Pain that radiates to the legs
  • Unusual urine color – red or pink urine
  • Severe flank pain
  • Severe back pain
  • Weakness of the leg


Treatment may depend on the underlying cause of the back pain. Mild pain caused by back sprain or strain may involve treatment options such as rest, keeping in mind that prolonged bed rest may worsen the condition. The patient may also take anti-inflammatory drugs to control pain. As the back pain improves, physical therapy should be initiated promptly. Consider stretching and strengthening exercises to resolve symptoms of back pain for speedy recovery. While most mild back pains improve within 1-2 weeks, severe back pain may take several months. Sometimes surgery may be required to repair the damage causing severe back pain.

Follow the treatment steps given below for quick recovery from back pain:

1. Rest

  • Avoid physical activities that may trigger back pain or worsen it
  • Avoid prolonged bed rest
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Resume walking once back pain begins to resolve

2. Cold compress

  • Apply cold compresses on the back for 20-30 minutes. This should be done every 1-2 hours

3. Warm compress

  • Apply warm compresses for back pain without physical injury
  • Apply warm compress for 20-30 minutes. this should be repeated every 1-2 hours after the first 3 days of onset

4. Exercise

  • After the first 3 days begin exercising
  • Perform back stretching exercises
  • Perform back range of motion exercises

5. Take pain medication

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control pain

Other treatment options may include maintaining good posture, losing weight if you are overweight and taking medication as directed by your health care provider.

Learn More

To learn more about how to prevent, recognize and manage back injuries sign up for first aid and CPR training with a credible workplace approved provider.

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