After a week of it, I am tired of this constant pain, so I called my doctor's office to discuss the issue. I explained that I had fallen, landing face down, bruising my knee and my chest. The pain radiates around my back to my chest and is worst when I am trying to turn over in bed or twist to bend, or if I cough. It feels like a stabbing pain at times, sometimes burning, and often like it's tearing along the rib cage when I have to move. After this description, my doctor (via telephone) diagnosed the pain as intercostal neuralgia. The nerves between the ribs have likely become inflamed because of my fall.
He doesn't believe I broke a rib, because the pain is not severe and breathing is not painful all the time. It's still bad enough, about 8-9 when I make those movements that exacerbate it and between a 1-3 the rest of the time.
The only treatment is time and anti-inflammatory drugs, ibuprophen (Advil/Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). I read a bit more on the condition on the 'net because I wondered how much time, and was not happy to read it could take 2-3 weeks or more to resolve. Arggh, I am an impatient patient. It annoys me that I'm limited in my movements. So far, though, I'm able to sleep well at night, once I've gotten into a position that doesn't hurt much. I'm also wearing a tensor wrap to bind the area - it helps to hold things in place when I move. Fingers crossed, I heal quickly.
Thanks for your kind comments on the previous post. I'm going to suspend comments for this, just wanted to update. I'd never heard of intercostal neuralgia before and had no idea that a simple fall might cause something like this. Consider it your personal service announcement. Be careful out there.