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Cracked Sternum

Workers Compensation Law Discussion

Cracked Sternum

Postby Uisdean » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:34 am

My mother was in a care accident today, and was diagnosed with a cracked sternum. She was given her x-rays to take to her doctor for review. My question is besides the pain killers given to her, what other PT can she do to relieve the pain?? I believe that you can not place ice over the heart area? Or should it be heat anyway? I realize rest and time is needed the most. Thank you for your time.
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:19 pm

Cracked Sternum

Postby Faer » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:51 pm

Staten Island Auto Accident , car accident , cracked sternum,  pain, alternative treatment, additional treatment, Hello Deborah Wolf,

Sorry to hear of your Mom's car crash today.  I see a lot of Staten Island Auto Accident patients in my chiropractic office.  Lord knows a lot of pain is caused by our congested roadways !!!!

#1)  With an auto accident, and probably SEVERE chest pain, your Mom visited the HOSPITAL emergency room, and hopefully had a battery of tests.  Definitely Xray, perhaps MRI and/or CT scan, and with the Chest Trauma- an EKG(ECG) to evaluate the heart.

The fractured(cracked) sternum shows that there was certainly a lot of force in your Mother's MVA(motor vehicle accident).  With that finding and chest complaints- again- I hope a THOROUGH evaluation was performed.

#2)  If THOROUGH examination has allowed her to be released, she must have a STABLE fracture.  Even if she is in a LOT of pain, given the proper exam, it has been established that it is safe for her to go home.  Years ago, rib fractures, chest fractures, sternum fractures were taped, supported, corseted, restricted.  It seems this was wrong to do- restricting chest movement causes heart and lung problems- ie: pneumonia.  The Chest is meant to move with breathing and the heartbeat.  That is why we do not see people in a cast for their chest, or even taped up anymore.

The STABLE non-displaced fracture will certainly hurt like heck!

As a Doctor of Chiropractic I am not quick to support pain meds,,,, but I am sure Mom is hurting and needs whatever pain meds the MDs prescribed at this time.  Support when moving, or particularly when coughing, sneezing,(perhaps upon moving the bowels), holding a pillow to the chest often helps with the pain.

I know it is January, it is cold here in NYC and probably wherever you are as well, but I would still try some Ice.  Does she have any other health problems?- diabetes, heart disease, lung problems, vascular problems?-- If she has any of these problems Ice is contraindicated. IF she is healthy, I think a few days of short term use of Ice- always through cloth could be helpful.  10- 15 minutes on at the longest, through cloth, could be helpful- if her health is not complicated.  Contrast of Heat/ Cold could also be an analgesic.

Ice websites:http://www.rrca.org/resources/articles/ice.html   http://www.emaxhealth.com/82/1156.html   http://www.arc4life.com/site/615058/page/623201

With a trauma enough to cause a fracture anywhere in the body- besides seeing her family MD, she should certainly see a Doctor of Chiropractic.  With the 'cracked sternum', the usual thoracic prone adjustments and side posture adjustments would be curtailed.  With a fractured sternum- there must have been trauma to the spine, and no force, or low force chiropractic and adjunctive physiotherapy to the spine will be helpful for the other injuries in this car accident condition.

IF Mom finds the Ice uncomfortable, or if there are health considerations against Ice(these conditions would also warn against heat however,,,,,,), then Mom could try heat for pain relief.  I am more partial to Ice.

In my office I handout informational sheets that may be helpful even in your Mom's case.  My Staten Island car crash victims get this:


Pain  is a  ‘red light on the dashboard’.  

Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong.

That RED LIGHT on the dashboard of your car- -- do you ignore it until the car breaks down, or do you get it checked and correct the problem?  

Pain, pain in your body- -- do you ignore it until your body breaks down, or do you get it checked and correct the problem?   Pain,  do you cover up the pain by taking a painkiller?  Take a painkiller, mask the pain, and allow a problem to progress in your body?    NOTICE  ON  PAIN  RELIEVERS:  

Label changes ORDERED by FDA;  the FDA announced proposed label changes for OTC over-the-counter pain relievers to include the potential for stomach bleeding and liver damage(FDA news  206- 207;  12-9-06) ;

The  American Heart Association issued a scientific statement recommending medical doctors change the way they prescribe OTC pain relievers from a first choice to an alternate of recommending non-pharmacologic treatment(AHA statement  2-26-07).

NSAID Acceleration of ARTHRITIS; an important side effect of Aspirin and other NSAIDS is that it will inhibit cartilage repair and accelerate cartilage  destruction(Journal of Rheumatology, 1982; 9: 3- 5). Many times people take NSAIDS for the pain of Arthritis, not realizing these drugs may make the underlying condition worse.  These medications cover up the pain, and cause the problem to worsen.

Pain  can  often  be  the  result  of  the  Vertebral  Subluxation  Complex.

Vertebral  Subluxation           ( ‘VSC’ ,    ‘subluxation’   )

Vertebral Subluxation  is  actually  a  quite  common  condition.  Doctors of Chiropractic look for pathological conditions which may require referral to other specialties,   and also look for ‘Subluxation’. Other disciplines look for pathology, but overlook the importance of alignment and movement in the spine which affects our nervous system  (the master control system- ALL health disciplines learn this).  VSC- ‘Subluxation’ – can be the cause of many symptoms and conditions. Only  a  Doctor of Chiropractic  will  evaluate  and  treat  for  VSC,   as  well  as  other  pathology. The course of VSC is highly variable.   Some patients with VSC literally cannot walk, yet other patients with similar test findings may be able to run marathons or lift heavy weights.    Some patients immediately develop symptoms related to the VSC,  some patients take years to develop symptoms.  Some people suffer for only a few days with pain and symptoms, some people suffer for months.  Some people recover in days, some take months or years, depending upon severity of the condition.

A subluxation interferes with the proper functioning of the nervous system(the master system which controls and coordinates all function within the body) and may cause various other conditions, symptoms and problems.

The Vertebral Subluxation Complex describes what happens when spinal bones lose their normal movement patterns and position.  When subluxated, joints are in a stressed, vulnerable, compromised condition.  Subluxation may cause Arthritis, Disk Herniation, or aggravate such conditions.        Vertebral  Subluxation   cannot   be corrected through chemicals(medicine), stretching,  yoga,  vitamins  or  physical  therapy  alone.       Subluxation- a neuro/skeletal/muscular-    mechanical-    problem  requires  a    mechanical correction-  -  -    a manipulation,         best  performed  with  the  chiropractic  adjustment.

Dr. Victor E. Dolan,   Doctor of Chiropractic;   Diplomat, American Chiropractic Board of Sport Physicians; Diplomat, American Academy of Pain Management; Certified Clinical Nutritionist(IAACN); FIRST  Chief of Chiropractic  in  a  Hospital  in  New York State(DHSI);  As  Seen  in  PREVENTION  Magazine


P.R.I.C.E. =    

P  protection.   R rest.   I  ice.   C  compression.   E  elevation.

Hurt  yourself ??  injury/ trauma/  bruise/ not even sure - - a broken bone ??

You should certainly get to the Doctor or trained health professional to be examined  if you think it  is  bad  enough.     BUT  in  the  meantime,  some  simple  steps  may  help.   


The  PRICE  protocol will usually help just about any musculoskeletal injury.

P = Protection;  protect the area from further injury- stop what you are doing, can you pad  or bandage the area ? Tape the area? Do something to protect the area !

R = Rest;  rest the area as much as possible, if a part is damaged, give the body time to repair the area

I = Ice;  ice is a potent anti-inflammatory; it will slow swelling, help with pain control(ice is analgesic), place ice over cloth over the injured area for 5, 10 minutes, off the injured area for 30 minutes; then back on again

C = Compression;  to help prevent swelling compression may be helpful- for example if it is an ankle, wrap the ankle with an ace bandage and ice the area.  Many body parts may not be applicable to compression.

E = Elevation; again to fight swelling and pain, raising the injured body part above the heart may be helpful- ie raise an ankle or knee, you lay down, raise the injured part

PRICE  may  help :    Sprains,  Strains,  musculo-skeletal injury,  bruise,  contusion

Sometimes  a slip, trip, fall, heavy lift, athletic injury, or a motor vehicle accident can cause a bump or bruise, sprain or strain.  Sometimes also involved with the injury is a vertebral subluxation(or other joint subluxation)(subluxation is a mechanical problem- of any joint- and requires a mechanical correction).  In the spine, a sprain/strain  is a misalignment,  a ‘kink’ in the joint, a stretch of the muscles, tendons and/ or ligaments:- more properly termed a Vertebral Subluxation.   Sometimes symptoms can come immediately, sometimes days, weeks or even months later!- Well after the actual trauma !!!          Spinal = Vertebral   Subluxation   Complex    (a.k.a.  ‘subluxation’)  ;   (subluxation COULD be any joint)

The vertebral subluxation complex is the underlying cause of many healthcare problems.

A  subluxation  interferes with the proper functioning of the nervous system  (the master system  which controls and coordinates all function within the body)  and may cause various other conditions, symptoms and problems.

This is a serious condition identified by its five parts:     Spinal Kinesiopathology:          This is fancy way of saying the bones of the spine have lost their normal motion and position. It restricts your ability to turn and bend. It sets in motion the other four components.     Neuropathophysiology:          Improper spinal function can choke, stretch, or irritate delicate nerve tissue. The resulting nerve system dysfunction can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.     Myopathology:           Muscles supporting the spine can weaken, atrophy, or become tight and go into spasm. The resulting scar tissue changes muscle tone, requiring repeated spinal adjustments.     Histopathology:          A rise in temperature from an increase in blood and lymph supplies result in swelling and inflammation. Discs can bulge, herniate, tear, or degenerate. Other soft tissues may suffer permanent damage.     Pathophysiology:          Bone spurs and other abnormal bony growths attempt to fuse malfunctioning spinal joints. This spinal decay, scar tissue, and long-term nerve dysfunction can cause other systems of the body to malfunction. The Vertebral Subluxation Complex describes what happens when spinal bones lose their normal movement patterns and position.          Automobile accidents, improper lifting, improper posture, alcohol, emotional stress, chemical imbalances, and long periods of sitting can cause the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.           Vertebral  Subluxation  cannot be corrected through chemicals(medicine), stretching, yoga, vitamins or physical therapy alone.  Subluxation- a neuro/skeletal/muscular- mechanical- problem requires a mechanical correction-  -  -    a manipulation,     best performed with the chiropractic adjustment.  For good health- Treat the   Cause,  not just the Symptoms.  Sprain/ strain/ bump/ bruise?= may result in subluxation of the nearby joint.  CORRECT the subluxation !!!!

Dr. Victor E. Dolan,   Doctor of Chiropractic;   Diplomat, American Chiropractic Board of Sport Physicians; Diplomat, American Academy of Pain Management; Certified Clinical Nutritionist(IAACN); FIRST  Chief of Chiropractic  in  a  Hospital  in  New York State(DHSI);  As  Seen  in  PREVENTION  Magazine


I hope those handouts help.

I hope your Mom does NOT smoke,,, that will slow healing.

Your Mom should NOT be working or very active while the FRACTURE HEALS.

Your Mom should take some targeted nutrition for this fracture and help herself heal faster:

Anti- inflammatory:

Proteolytic enzymes are beneficial to counteract the inflammation. Bromelain is an example of a proteolytic enzyme.

Essential fatty acids are precursors to potent antiinflammatory substances. Essential fatty acids include fish oil, flax oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil and borage oil. Essential fatty acids include omega-3 fatty acids(fish and flax oil) and omega-6 fatty acids(black currant seed oil, borage oil and evening primrose oil).

Quercetin is a potent bioflavonoid, in fact, it has been named, "the most important flavonoid" by a leading peer-reviewed journal(Nutr. Cancer 1993, 20:21-9). It is a powerful antioxidant, and Michael Murray suggests that, "quercetin appears indicated in virtually all inflammatory and allergic conditions"(Murray, M. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, 1996, Prima Publ., Rocklin, Ca. p. 327).

Vitamin C is essential to the healing process. Bioflavonoids in general operate to stabilize cell membranes, decrease the release of inflammation mediators and inhibit the inflammatory process(Amella et al. Inhibition of mast cell histamine release by flavonoids and bioflavonoids. Planta Medica 1985;51:16-20).

Both calcium and magnesium relax the muscles. Magnesium inhibits inflammatory prostaglandin synthesis(Fontana-Klaiber, H., and Hogg, B. Therapeutic effects of magnesium in dysmenorrhea. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 79(16): 491-494, 1990).

Zinc promotes healing.

Boswellia serrata is reported to have strong analgesic(pain-relieving) effects(Kar, A. & Menon, M.K. Life Sci. 1969;8:1023), along with antiinflammatory and anti-arthritic activity.

Tumeric research has demonstrated excellent antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric, and especially of curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric that is responsible for the yellow pigment(Reddy AP & Lokesh, BR. Mol Cell Biochem. 1992;111-117). The antiinflammatory properties are due to the ability of curcumin to reduce histamine levels and possibly increase

natural cortisone production by the adrenal glands(Aora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Antiinflammatory studies on Curcuma longa(turmeric). Ind.J.Med Res. 1971:59:1289-95).

Ginger is an herb known mostly for its therapeutic effect in nausea. Ginger also has powerful abilities to combat inflammation, and these antiinflammatory effects are well-backed by scientific studies. Ginger contains phenolic compounds that inhibit the enzymes responsible for generating important mediators of pain and inflammation in more than one pathway(Kiuchi et. al.

Inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis by gingerols and diarylheptanoids. Chem Pharm Bull. 1992;40:387-91).

Milk thistle has always had a strong reputation for supporting liver function and pathways of detoxification. Removal of wastes and toxins is crucial in decreasing inflammation. Silymarin, which is one of the main ingredients in milk thistle, has an antiinflammatory effect on blood platelets(Altorjay I et al. Acta Physiol Hung 1992;80:375-80), and the ability to inhibit free radical production and leukotriene synthesis means that it prevents the powerful, inflammatory leukotrienes from wreaking havoc in the body(Alarcon de la Lastra,

C. et al. Planta Medica 1995;61:116-119; Fiebrich F and Kock H. Experientia 1979;35:148-150).

Herbs to aid in muscle relaxation include valerian, passion flower, kava kava, and scullcap. Do not use kava kava if liver disease is suspect.

White willow is an antiinflammatory and analgesic agent. White willow was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce pain and fevers. The salicylates found in the white willow bark are responsible for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fever effects. Acetylsalicylic acid, otherwise known as aspirin, is chemically similar to the salicylates.

Bone support:

Raw veal bone(bone meal) contains necessary nutrients to help rebuild bone.

Calcium and magnesium are beneficial to help rebuild bone.

Vitamin D increases calcium absorption.

Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate support cartilage tissue repair.

Boron helps build bone.


I hope this helps with your Mom's current pain, and future healing.

The simplest, easiest, fastest suggestion I can make is,,,,

hug a pillow !  I wish I could give you more....

All of the nutritional supplements will help, but will take time.

See a Doctor of Chiropractic as well as other appropriate specialists.

And, if she was in an accident, , , ,

I hate to bring it up, , , ,

ALL of my Staten Island Auto Accident people go to a lawyer.

Besides the health considerations- which are first and foremost, there are legal considerations.

See Doctors, and unfortunately, see a lawyer!

I know I have given you a lot of information. I believe most problems, most conditions, even a bone fracture,  need a multi-faceted approach for treatment and resolution.

I hope the above helps. If further info is needed, do not hesitate to

re-contact me here at AllExperts.com(http://allexperts.com/ep/965-100794/Chiropractors/Victor-Dolan-DC-DACBSP.htm)

Thank You, your Staten Island Chiropractor friend signing off,

Dr. Victor Dolan, DChttp://drvictordolan.chiroweb.com(email newsletter)http://www.SIautoaccident.com  
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:52 am

Cracked Sternum

Postby chiram97 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:52 am

My mother was in a care accident today, and was diagnosed with a cracked sternum. She was given her x-rays to take to her doctor for review. My question is besides the pain killers given to her, what other PT can she do to relieve the pain?? I believe that you can not place ice over the heart area? Or should it be heat anyway? I realize rest and time is needed the most. Thank you for your time.
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:44 am

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