Chest Contusion

You have been checked for injuries to your chest. Your caregiver has not found injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.

It is common to have bruises and sore muscles after an injury. These tend to feel worse the first 24 hours. You may gradually develop more stiffness and soreness over the next several hours to several days. This usually feels worse the first morning following your injury. After a few days, you will usually begin to improve. The amount of improvement depends on the amount of damage.

Following the accident, if the pain in any area continues to increase or you develop new areas of pain, you should see your primary caregiver or return to the Emergency Department for re-evaluation.


  • Put ice on sore areas every 2 hours for 20 minutes while awake for the next 2 days.

  • Drink extra fluids. Do not drink alcohol.

  • Activity as tolerated. Lifting may make pain worse.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not use aspirin. This may increase bruising or increase bleeding.


  • There is a worsening of any of the problems that brought you in for care.

  • Shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting develop.

  • You have chest pain, difficulty breathing, or develop pain going down the left arm or up into jaw.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nausea), vomiting or sweats.

  • You have increasing belly (abdominal) discomfort.

  • There is blood in your urine, stool, or if you vomit blood.

  • There is pain in either shoulder in an area where a shoulder strap would be.

  • You have feelings of lightheadedness, or if you should have a fainting episode.

  • You have numbness, tingling, weakness, or problems with the use of your arms or legs.

  • Severe headaches not relieved with medications develop.

  • You have a change in bowel or bladder control.

  • There is increasing pain in any areas of the body.

If you feel your symptoms are worsening, and you are not able to see your primary caregiver, return to the Emergency Department immediately.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.