Yesterday there was a little incident between my dad and my horse. My dad went out to give my horse breakfast and my horse was excited and playing around. He let out a kick and hit my dad in the back, leading to 2 broken ribs. I am just wondering if anyone has been through this and if they have any advice I can pass onto him re: dealing with the pain, healing, their experiences, etc.

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I just went through a situation with a displaced rib and it was REALLY painful. I mean coughing or sneezing was out of the question!
Unfortunately, I think broken ribs might be worse. One piece of advice I got was to expand my stomach and not my upper rib cage to breath, because I always felt like I was short of breath. It took me three months to fully recover.
Has your dad been x-rayed? What did the doctor say?
My mom called an ambulance and sent him right to ER when it happened because they weren't sure the extent of damage and she was worried about shock. I wasn't home do didn't actually see it, but I was told the kick sent him flying across the field. Doc said it can take 4-8 weeks for healing, again wasn't there as my parents were just finishing at the hospital when I got home, so I didn't have a chance to ask the questions I would have liked to that he forgot to ask. I do know from being in nursing school that he is to take deep breaths and i will make sure to tell him to do more abdominal breathing.
I was kicked in the chest last spring and ended up with a broken rib as a result.

Codeine was my friend for the first week! The pain was very, very bad for the first few days, but it dropped off surprising quickly after the first week (it would still hurt to take deep breaths, touch the rib or use any muscles connected to that area, but it didn't hurt constantly). Definitely have him rest as much as possible, and try to take shallower breaths than he normally would.

It's not fun to have broken ribs!
I had cracked ribs as a kid, from landing on a jump! I was exempted from gym class for months! It really hurt for a long time and as Barbara F has stated - sneezing and coughing were agony! Your poor dad - I hope he is able to take it easy for as long as he needs to. Best wishes for his speedy recovery!

Thanks Nightflight and Michele for the info. The doc did say first week is the worst. I am trying to teach him to breath in through his belly (abdominal breathing as opposed to chest). I know he is having trouble sleeping. I don't know if it's the lack of sleep or the pain but he has told me today he no longer wants anything to do with the horse.
When I fractured some ribs placing ice packs on the injury really helped. As an artist, I really enjoyed all the wonderful colors of the bruising.
Cracked 2 ribs under each armpit falling off over a fence. Took six months before I could lift my arms above my head (putting saddle on horse) without any pain. Initial pain took about 3 weeks to subside
Very small hairline fracture on my sternum after a fall 5 years ago, hurt to breathe for over a month, still painful to have pressure on my chest. (being hugged too tight, cat trying to sit on my chest)

The best advice given to me is to take it very slowly. Be very patient with the healing process, don't try to do too much too soon, and don't lift anything !!!
I can completely understand about your dad not wanting to have anything to do with the horse anymore. I was lucky that the horse that kicked me was not one of my own horses, so I simply told the owner that I was not willing to work with his horse anymore if said owner did not maintain the horse's ground manners (I have not ridden the horse since).

I know that my kick in the chest was probably just a freak accident (I was handwalking the horse around the arena before I got on him because he had been pushy while I'd been tacking up and I wanted his respect before I got in the saddle. I'd been asking him to walk, halt and reinback. I decided to do one more halt at the far end of the arena before getting on, but when I asked the horse to whoa he continued to walk around me and then took off at a gallop and kicked me in the chest with both back hooves as I tried to stop him), but I am still careful to stay very far away from that horse's back end when I am anywhere near him in the barn, just because I know what he's capable of.
I had an accident about 4 months ago which left me with broken ribs,saddle slipped sideways,neglected to tighten girth! stupid me! I flew one way and my horse went the otherway!. It usually takes about 8 weeks to heal,maybe a little longer. Pain killers/anti-inflamatory drugs work well to ease the pain,i used cold & heat compresses everyday,it really helped [hot water bottle/freezer to microwave gel pack and even a bean bag,heated in the micro for a few mins along with a cup of water,so beans don't dry out] I applied the heat&ice therapy when in bed or on the couch and even when moving about the house. As you probably already know,a doctor can do nothing much to help as this is one of those pain in the @*# injuries that must heal on it's own. If you have bandages,of any type, you can wrap the rib cage so that you don't breath to deeply,quit painful to do so, it will also help stablize them when moving about. Getting in and out of bed can be tricky! Roll onto goodside and push yourself up with arms until sitting then gently swing legs around to standup. Trying to use the Abdominals,i found ,was very painful i tried to push or pull myself up when needed by using my arms more than abs.
I hope this helps a just takes time.
This is not fun! and i feel for your dad i know just exactly what he is going through! the pain will gradually become less and less everyday :}


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