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Bruised Sternum
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Bruised Sternum – Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

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Chest pain is a very common reason why people go to see a Doctor. If you are reading this, there is a very high chance that either you or someone you know has had chest pain at a point in time. Chest pain is very discomforting and one of the reasons why you can have chest pain is due to a bruised sternum.

The sternum is a prominent bone in the chest region of the body and a bruised sternum means that you feel pain every time you rest on your chest or breathe. If you are an athlete, the activities you perform regularly such as running and jumping will become painful.

If you have a bruised sternum, you will not be able to perform your sporting activities pain-free until the bruise is healed. In this article, we will be discussing the details you need to know about a bruised sternum– why people have it, how to know if you have a bruised sternum and how to go about treating it.

What Is Bruised Sternum?

Bruised Sternum Anatomy


The sternum is a flat bone that is located in the middle of your chest. It is the bone that acts as a link between the ribs in the right side of the chest and the ribs in the left side of the chest. You can also call the sternum a breastbone.

In the upper part of the sternum, this bone supports your clavicle (which is also known as the collarbone). Because of how flat the sternum is, it protects the important organs in the chest like the heart and lungs.

A bruised sternum is due to the impact of an excessive force to the chest region. A bruised sternum is quite a painful condition.

What Causes a Bruised Sternum?

Here are some of the common causes why your sternum may become bruised:

  • Car Accidents: Hitting your chest on a steering wheel due to the force of the impact or the seatbelt that is meant to protect you can exert too much force on your sternum during the accident and result in a bruised sternum.
  • A persistent prolonged cough that puts a lot of pressure on your sternum can result in a bruised sternum.
  • Contact sports: The impact e.g the ball hitting you on the chest or a co-player pushing you in your chest region can cause a bruised sternum.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of a Bruised Sternum?

  • Pain when you breathe in deeply or exhale deeply
  • A feeling of pain in your chest when you laugh too hard or a cough
  • Chest pain that has been occurring for a long period of time.
  • Swelling around your chest.


  • The Doctor will examine you and check for bruising around your chest. He might carry out an X-ray as well.

How To Treat A Bruised Sternum?

Treating a bruised sternum usually involves having to wait for it to heal on its own. You can also apply an ice pack to your chest region and use painkillers like Ibuprofen.

Ensure that you rest a lot as any stressful activity during the period of recovery can worsen the condition. The other problem with a bruised sternum is that the muscles around like the chest can become much tigher.

Contact Kho Health

Kho Health is the best place to start your search for a healthcare provider for a Bruise Sternum. Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. You can look for a Sports Physician that also knows Active Release and find the best local options.

If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number.

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