Intercostal Strain – usually caused by excessive exertion or twisting motions, such as the movements in baseball, tennis and golf. This mild injury strains the intercostal muscles, located between the ribs. Tenderness and possible swelling may be experienced, though breathing should not be painful.

Rib Contusion – the result of a direct blow to the ribs causing tenderness, inflammation and bruising. Breathing should not be painful.

Rib Fracture – a crack or break in a rib due to a direct blow or forceful compression of the rib cage. Symptoms include severe pain in the area and pain during deep breathing, sneezing, or coughing.

Sternum Fracture – a crack or break in the sternum (breast bone), resulting in pain and tenderness.