The occurrence of painful sensations in the chest area, which bring a lot of inconvenience to everyday life and cause the inability to perform the usual movements, chest neuralgia, or thoracalgia, is considered one of the most common diseases that affects people in middle and old age.
For young children, thoracic neuralgia is practically not characteristic.
- Nature of the disease
- Main symptoms
- Causes of intercostal neuralgia
- Intercostal Neuralgia Treatment
- Folk remedies
- Breast neuralgia: causes, symptoms and treatment
- Causes of neuralgia of the chest and spine
- Is chest pain a muscle neuralgia?
- Symptoms and signs of chest neuralgia
- Before treating thoracic neuralgia
- Treatment of neuralgia of the chest and spine
- All About Chest Neuralgia
- Causes of Thoracic Neuralgia
- Symptoms of Chest Neuralgia
- How to distinguish intercostal neuralgia from cardiovascular disease?
- Diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia
- Treatment of chest neuralgia
- Symptoms and treatment of intercostal neuralgia of the chest
- What is intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic region
- Causes of intercostal chest neuralgia
- Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic spine
- How to treat thoracic neuralgia?
- Medications for intercostal neuralgia in the chest area
- How to treat intercostal chest neuralgia with physiotherapy
- Massage for breast neuralgia
- Gymnastics with intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic spine
Nature of the disease
This condition occurs when the roots of the spinal nerves are infringed, which then begin to become inflamed, affecting adjacent tissues and causing physical discomfort.
The inflammatory process can affect the nerve endings in the spine, spreading in different directions.
Chest neuralgia is considered a real “liar” among such diseases in its manifestations.
Her symptomatology has many similarities with heart diseases, and neuralgia can be distinguished from heart diseases only by clearly knowing the difference in the symptoms of these diseases.
The method of treatment and restoration of normal life depends on the correct diagnosis. Therefore, clarification of the diagnosis should be considered an obligatory measure before starting treatment.
Since inflammation often leads to tissue deformation in the chest, with the development of the disease, there may be limited movement of the lungs at the time of breathing, and girdle pain is observed throughout the path of the affected nerve.
What symptoms will determine this disease and start the necessary treatment in time?
Symptoms of chest neuralgia include the following:
- Soreness in the intercostal space.
- Shingles of pain.
- Increased pain with sudden movement, sneezing or coughing.
- A marked change in the color of the skin in the affected area – the skin either turns red sharply or turns pale.
- At the site of nerve fiber damage, muscle contraction and tissue twitching may occur.
- Radiation of pain in the lower back, shoulder blade, arm.
- Muscle cramps in the affected area, with redness or pallor of the skin, numbness of the body, or a feeling of “running goosebumps”.
Causes of intercostal neuralgia
The onset of the disease is characterized by the occurrence of inflammation of the roots of nerve fibers, which are located in the intercostal space.
This can be caused by pinching of the nerves, while inflammation can spread to neighboring tissues, increasing the area of pain.
Infringement can also occur with trauma, sudden inaccurate movement, hypothermia, which is regularly repeated, as well as stressful conditions.
Physical overload can cause pinching of the roots of nerve fibers, causing pain and provoking an inflammatory process in the muscles of the chest.
The most common causes of the onset of the inflammatory process of nerve endings should also include:
- Diseases of the nervous system that have an acute form or a chronic course – multiple sclerosis, polyradiculoneuritis.
- Allergic manifestations.
- Frequent exposure to radiation and heavy metals – this causes poisoning of the body and the gradual accumulation of harmful substances in the body.
- Hormonal failure – menopause in women, pregnancy.
- Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, which is accompanied by a toxic effect on the body and negatively affects the nervous system.
- Internal organs diseases, diabetes mellitus, osteochondrosis, ankylosing spondylitis, infectious diseases, past pneumonia, herpes.
- Circulatory disturbance in the tissues – this is especially often observed among women who wear tight and tight underwear.
- Tinea versicolor often becomes a provoking factor in the development of chest neuralgia.
- Marked weakening of the immune system.
What methods are used to make a diagnosis, because this disease has many symptoms similar to other serious diseases?
Several basic diagnostic methods can be used to make a diagnosis, and all of them are aimed primarily at determining the true cause of damage to the nerve roots.
The ability to distinguish neuralgia of the chest from heart damage, allows you to get an effective and proper treatment.
The doctor first examines the complaints received from the patient; they are often very subjective, but their commonality is pain in the intercostal space, in the chest area and an overwhelming pain in the shoulder blade, shoulder or arm.
Usually, the doctor is guided by the method of exclusion, for which they take blood and urine tests to analyze, which help to get the most objective picture of the disease.
And for the diagnosis to be accurate, an X-ray examination is used, as well as magnetic resonance imaging, which allows you to detect probable tumors in the spine and intercostal space, to identify the initial stage of osteochondrosis. But other methods that provoked the disease, these methods can not be identified.
After the diagnosis is established, treatment is prescribed, which should, for greater effectiveness, combine an integrated approach with the use of patient rehabilitation methods. Consider which methods are most effective for muscle neuralgia of the chest.
If you feel sharp pain in the ribs, pain during sudden movements, numbness in your arm or shoulder blade, then you may have chest neuralgia. Treatment using various techniques is carried out only after a thorough diagnosis with the exception of other possible diagnoses.
Read how to recognize facial neuralgia here.
Do you know that professional athletes, as well as people over 55, are at risk for intercostal neuralgia? In this topic, you will learn everything about this disease: from symptoms to treatment and prevention.
Intercostal Neuralgia Treatment
To increase the effectiveness of the measures used, the doctor should have the most complete picture of the current disease.
And the use of various measures that complement each other and increase the effect of each type of treatment allows you to quickly relieve soreness and provide the opportunity to lead a full life.
The general scheme of treatment procedures should be as follows:
- The patient should lie on a flat and firm surface (the harder the surface of the bed the patient will have, the more effective the pain will be removed. You can even install a hard shield under the mattress), remain completely at peace and avoid any stress. To reduce pain, he should be helped to carry out everyday activities, without giving excessive physical exertion.
- Chest anesthesia. Sometimes the pain in intercostal neuralgia is so strong that even breathing is difficult. Therefore, the removal of soreness will help to quickly return the patient to a normal life and begin to eliminate the inflammatory process, which became the root cause of the disease. As painkillers, tablets and injections that have an analgesic effect can be used. Novocainic blockade can relieve pain with a very strong manifestation of it.
- Removal of inflammation is also performed by most painkillers.
- The elimination of spasms can be carried out using muscle relaxants and drugs that relieve excess tension.
- Injections and vitamin B preparations (B6 and B12 are most effective for chest neuralgia) restore the structure of tissues and nerve fibers.
- Sedatives will reduce the anxiety of the patient, relieve excessive nervous tension.
- Topical application of dry heat, which can be used in limited quantities, also relieves pain and soothes.
As an additional treatment, often the doctor prescribes the use of various physiotherapeutic procedures, which include massage (relaxing and restoring normal blood circulation), acupuncture and manual therapy, which are also aimed at stopping inflammation and relaxing.
For a more effective treatment, after removing severe soreness and underlying inflammation in the roots of the nerve fibers of the spine, a doctor may recommend a second examination.
This is necessary to clarify the effectiveness of treatment and establish the nature of the disease (the different nature of the disease – from an infectious disease, pathological processes in the spine, with severe stress or physical overload requires first of all the elimination of the main cause of neuralgia).
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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What alternative methods of treatment can be proposed for neuralgia of the chest?
- Pain can be relieved by taking tinctures of valerian, lemon balm, immortelle, as well as lemon peel mixed with orange, warm tea with honey and lemon;
- Soreness can be easily removed by regularly rubbing the affected area, fresh horseradish juice or black radish into the skin;
- Baths, which are done in the evening, with the addition of sea salt and a sage broth in them, relax, relieve pain;
- Juice of the well-known geranium, also copes with pain. To do this, the plant leaf is crushed and applied to the affected area, covered with a warm cloth (scarf) and aged for several hours.
The listed methods will help to relieve pain more quickly, reduce inflammation, but do not replace the standard treatment prescribed by a doctor.
Many people who complain of pain in the chest area do not consider it necessary to treat this condition, referring to a pinched nerve, which will pass on its own. However, this disease does not go away by itself. How to treat intercostal neuralgia, we will consider in the next topic.
Groups of drugs for the treatment of intercostal neuralgia will be considered in this article. Muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins and other medications.
Breast neuralgia: causes, symptoms and treatment
Treatment in our clinic:
- Free medical consultation
- Quick elimination of pain;
- Our goal: full restoration and improvement of impaired functions;
- Visible improvements after 1-2 sessions; Safe non-surgical methods.
Breast neuralgia is a common disease in young people, associated mainly with degenerative and inflammatory lesions of the nerve fiber. Symptoms of chest neuralgia and the treatment of this disease largely depend on the potential cause of the development of the pathology. If this is associated with viral herpetic lesion, then it is important to carry out appropriate drug therapy. Without antiviral and immunomodulating drugs, it will be very difficult to cope with pain here. In the event that the symptoms of thoracic neuralgia are associated with osteochondrosis, treatment can be carried out exclusively using manual therapy methods.
In this article, you can find out about the main symptoms of breast neuralgia, treatment and potential causes of the disease. This information is for guidance only. It is life threatening to treat any chest pain without control by a doctor. It is important to remember that coronary heart disease, peptic ulcer, cholecystitis, pancreatitis and many other serious pathologies can manifest themselves in the form of pain between the costal arches. And they require adequate and timely treatment. Otherwise, the patient may need emergency surgery to save his life.
If you have chest pain, and you do not know what disease provokes them, we recommend that you make an appointment with our manual therapy clinic. Consultation with a neurologist or a manual therapist is free of charge for each patient. During it, you can get reliable information about the diagnosis and treatment options for the identified pathology.
Causes of neuralgia of the chest and spine
To begin to analyze the potential causes should be a short excursion into the anatomy. So, the thoracic spine does not have the same flexibility and mobility that is present in the cervical and lumbar regions. This is due to the fact that rib arches are attached to the thoracic vertebrae. Their front part is fixed on the sternum. So the chest is formed. Between the ribs, consisting of dense bone tissue, intercostal muscles are located. They, together with the diaphragm that separates the chest and abdominal cavities, are involved in the breathing process.
Chest neuralgia may be associated with the pathogenic effects of the following factors:
- trauma – bruising, pinching, pearl of the costal perfume, stretching of muscle fiber;
- dystrophy on the background of impaired pulmonary respiration, with a protracted form of pneumonia on the affected side, there may be no activity during movement of the chest, this causes dystrophic changes in the muscles;
- pinched nerve in the intervertebral discs;
- inflammation of the nerve fiber, for example, with myositis or viral damage with shingles;
- deficiency of B vitamins and nicotinic acid in the diet.
Secondary neuralgia of the thoracic region develops with osteochondrosis and its negative consequences. Sometimes neuralgia of the thoracic spine can be associated with deforming osteoarthritis of the uncovertral joints. In ankylosing spondylitis, this condition accompanies relapse of the pathology with the development of an acute neurological clinic.
Identify the potential cause of neuralgia of the chest can only an experienced doctor. To do this, during the initial intake, an examination, anamnesis, and some diagnostic tests are performed.
Do not self-diagnose. Subjective sensations may not reflect the entire clinical picture of your disease that exists in reality.
Is chest pain a muscle neuralgia?
Sharp pain in the chest with neuralgia may intensify when trying to make any movement. This can be a deep breath, a turn of the body, or a tilt in different directions. All this causes an instant increase in symptoms.
Although this is not always muscle chest neuralgia, numerous diseases of the internal organs can be manifested as pain. It is far from possible to independently identify the source of painful sensations in all situations. It is important to take into account the anamnesis – previous events that could cause the development of pathology. For example, if during the previous days you had falls on your back, whiplash, sharp turns or lifting weights that are not familiar to you, then it is worthwhile to exclude the consequences of traumatic effects in the first place.
Chest neuralgia is rarely an independent disease. Most often, it accompanies chronic degenerative and inflammatory processes in the intervertebral discs, uncovertebral joints, or intercostal muscles pierced by nerve fiber.
If you have chest pain, this does not mean that neuralgia will be diagnosed. Usually, after examination, the doctor reveals a completely different disease of the musculoskeletal system, which leads to the development of neuralgia. It is not necessary to treat the effect (neuralgia), but the disease that provoked it.
Symptoms and signs of chest neuralgia
Symptoms of thoracic neuralgia are soreness that occurs with any movements of the costal arches. It can be an inhalation or an exhalation. In both cases, there is an unpleasant sensation of excessive muscle tension. Sharp lumbago occur with osteochondrosis and pinching of the nerve fiber.
Clinical symptoms of chest neuralgia occur suddenly, after hypothermia, previous emotional or physical stress, viral respiratory infection, etc. A provocative factor may be prolonged static stress of the thoracic spine. Wrong posture for sleep, violation of ergonomics when arranging a workplace and a sleeping place are also factors that can cause an exacerbation of the underlying disease and the development of the clinical picture of neuralgia.
The first signs of breast neuralgia can occur as follows:
- difficulty breathing
- predominant diaphragmatic breathing with movement of the anterior abdominal wall;
- pain in the affected intercostal space during palpation;
- lag of the affected side of the chest during breathing;
- pain when turning the body, bending;
- local manifestations are absent (there is no redness of the skin, characteristic rashes).
Signs of chest neuralgia associated with a herpetic viral infection are classic symptoms of shingles:
- soreness of the skin in the affected area;
- one-way localization;
- general weakness and increased sweating;
- pallor of the skin;
- pain on palpation of the lower costal arches from the back;
- the appearance of typical skin rashes in the form of vesicles filled with a clear intercellular fluid.
Herpetic infection is characterized by an increase in body temperature to subfebrile indicators. This is a differential sign, allowing to distinguish pathology from thoracic osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome.
Before treating thoracic neuralgia
Before treating thoracic neuralgia, it is necessary to conduct a differential diagnosis and identify the disease that provokes inflammation of the nerve fiber. Diagnosis usually begins with a visual examination, palpation, history taking. Then the doctor can prescribe a radiographic image of the thoracic spine. If protrusion or degenerative changes in the area of intervertebral discs are detected, appropriate treatment for osteochondrosis is prescribed.
If during the differential diagnosis it was revealed that the disease is of a viral nature, then antiviral and immunostimulating drugs are necessarily used in the treatment process.
In complex diagnostic cases, MRI, CT, ultrasound of internal organs, blood tests for antibodies and many other tests are prescribed.
Treatment of neuralgia of the chest and spine
For the treatment of chest neuralgia, there is only one effective therapeutic tactic. This is an effect on the underlying disease. As mentioned above, in isolation, this pathology is extremely rare. More often it becomes a consequence of pathological changes that take a long time in the patient’s body.
It is worthwhile to carefully diagnose and identify these pathological conditions. Sometimes, for the full treatment of chest neuralgia, it is enough to carry out complex therapy of vitamin deficiency. The introduction of large doses of pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine bromide and nicotinic acid allows you to save the patient from pain for a period of 6 to 12 months. Unfortunately, if he does not change his daily diet, then after a specified period all the symptoms of neuralgia return.
In the treatment of chest neuralgia provoked by a herpetic viral infection, the use of modern antiviral drugs comes to the fore. They are taken courses twice a year with a preventive purpose for life. It is impossible to cure postherpetic intercostal neuralgia forever.
Comprehensive treatment of neuralgia of the thoracic spine is possible with manual therapy methods. They are aimed at completely restoring the physiological state of the cartilage tissue of the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc. Due to this, the state of the radicular nerve is restored and all the symptoms of neuralgia pass independently.
In the treatment of breast neuralgia, we use the following methods:
- massage and osteopathy – enhance microcirculation of blood in the focus of pathological changes;
- therapeutic exercises and kinesiotherapy accelerate the process of muscle recovery;
- traction traction of the spinal column reduces the effect of compression of the radicular nerves and immediately eliminates pain;
- osteopathy and reflexology are necessary to start the processes of self-repair of damaged tissues.
Sign up for an initial free consultation with our doctor. During the reception, you will be provided with comprehensive information about what manual therapy has the potential for treating breast neuralgia.
Remember! Self-medication can be dangerous! See a doctor
All About Chest Neuralgia
Thoracic neuralgia is characterized by pinching or irritation of the intercostal nerves, accompanied by severe pain. With it, the patient has difficulties during breathing, movements or coughing.
The implementation of any active action exacerbates pain in a certain area of the chest.
The causes of the disease are changes in the intercostal spaces, leading to compression of the nerves between the ribs. The disease, as such, is not dangerous, but with the first symptoms you should visit a specialist. After all, pinched nerves leads to other problems.
Causes of Thoracic Neuralgia
With intercostal neuralgia, peripheral nerves are pinched or compressed. The compressive process can occur due to the ribs, intervertebral discs or muscles.
There are several reasons for this process. Here are the main ones:
- lordosis, osteochondrosis, and other problems of the spinal column leads to chest neuralgia (this is due to the fact that the named and similar diseases can cause spinal deformity, various curvatures and other changes, and they, in turn, affect the process of pinching of the intercostal nerves);
- nervous system diseases (e.g., sclerosis or polyradiculoneuritis);
- lack of vitamins and metabolic disorders (for example, with gastritis or diabetes);
- the presence of injuries (when injuring the chest, changes in the intercostal spaces occur, causing chest pain);
- hypothermia (it can cause a person’s spasm and inflammatory process of the intercostal muscles, which will lead to compression of the peripheral nerves);
- exposure to intoxication (intercostal neuralgia occurs with alcohol abuse and poisoning).
Among the important causes of intercostal neuralgia is a decrease in immunity. In order to avoid the disease, vitamins should be consumed, which is especially important in winter and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of Chest Neuralgia
The main symptom is the occurrence of severe pain in the chest area. As indicated above, the reason is the infringement of the intercostal nerve. As a rule, pain is concentrated on a specific area of the chest.
But do not forget that pain can spread and pass under the shoulder blades or in the region of the lumbar spine.
The diagnosis of “neuralgia of the chest” may be incorrectly made against the background of cardiovascular diseases. This is due to the fact that symptoms appear in the area of the heart muscle. The correct diagnosis can only be made by a highly qualified specialist.
He will conduct a thorough examination and diagnosis and immediately determine the cause of chest pain. With infringement of the intercostal nerve in a person, a change in posture and posture occurs. The patient always leans to the side, as he is trying to stretch the gaps between the ribs and thus reduce the pressure on the affected area.
The nature and strength of pain can be different. It all depends on the measure of infringement of the intercostal nerves or related factors of similar compression.
With intercostal neuralgia, the patient has difficulty breathing and therefore he cannot take a full breath and exhale. Any movements give rise to acute pain in the chest.
The place of infringement of the intercostal nerve can be detected by palpation, since this method causes a patient reaction in the form of severe and sharp pain. Thoracic neuralgia can also cause muscle spasm in the back.
Spasm is manifested in the form of twitching in a certain area of the body. A sick person has increased sweating and discoloration of the skin. The skin at the site of spasm loses sensitivity.
How to distinguish intercostal neuralgia from cardiovascular disease?
As described above, the symptoms of intercostal neuralgia are very similar to the symptoms of cardiovascular disease. This is due to the sensation of pain in the same area. Specialists know the methods by which similar diseases are accurately recognized.
So, the pain does not depend on inclinations or turns in cardiovascular diseases, but with intercostal neuralgia, such manipulations cause severe pain.
Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia are characterized by prolonged pain. This is due to the fact that the process of pinching the nerve between the ribs retains its influence for a long time.
Pain does not go away even if a sick person has taken a medicine (for example, validol). Pain syndrome in cardiovascular diseases is short and episodic.
The third difference is the presence of pressure in the patient if he suffers from a cardiovascular disease. With intercostal neuralgia, such symptoms do not occur.
Diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia
To determine the correct diagnosis, it is not enough to examine and listen to the patient’s complaints. First you need to identify all the symptoms, determine the cause of the pain and the focus of the disease.
The very first sign of the disease in question is detected when probing the ribs of a sick person in the form of a reaction to severe pain.
A good specialist, upon examination, will definitely pay attention to the unnatural posture of a person, characteristic of neuralgia. After that, the doctor conducts the necessary laboratory tests.
The patient must donate blood for general and biochemical analysis. Such an analysis is necessary to identify a possible inflammatory process. Further, diagnosis continues with instrumental research. The primary examination belongs to the heart muscle, so it is necessary to determine the presence of pathology or any diseases.
For this, an ECG is prescribed. If everything is in order with the heart muscle, the specialist will prescribe fluorography, X-ray, or magnetic resonance imaging.
Treatment of chest neuralgia
There are many methods for treating this disease. As a rule, this is treatment with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapeutic actions and alternative methods. In this case, you should initially consult a specialist.
The specialist will establish the reasons and prescribe the right treatment. Any person with the disease in question should remember that you can not carry out treatment on your own, as you can do more harm to your body. The department involved in the treatment of intercostal neuralgia is called neurology.
The therapist can prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. With their help, muscle swelling is eliminated and pain is reduced. Drug treatment lasts for five to ten days, it all depends on the degree of the disease and the level of pain.
At the next stage, the patient can be treated with muscle relaxants. They cause relaxation of muscle tissue and as a result release peripheral nerves.
Intercostal neuralgia can be treated with physiotherapeutic and magnetic-electronic procedures. The patient is prescribed treatment by electrophoresis, ultrasound, acupuncture and massage.
If intercostal neuralgia was the result of osteochondrosis or scoliosis, then it is best to carry out treatment through manual therapy, therapeutic gymnastics and massage.
But we must remember that such treatment can not be carried out during acute pain, since the position of the patient will only worsen.
Improving immunity is also a kind of treatment. The patient should not forget about taking vitamins and mineral complexes that normalize blood circulation and metabolism.
Treatment can be carried out in combination with folk remedies, but only after an accurate diagnosis is made, since each remedy has its own unique effect. Treatment is carried out with ointments and tinctures. Tinctures are taken, for example, from wormwood, mint, chamomile, lemon balm, elderberry and some other plants.
The listed plants are able to anesthetize and soothe, which is important during exacerbations of intercostal neuralgia. In addition, from the methods of traditional medicine, it is recommended to apply compresses to sore spots. Of course, with a severe course of the disease, folk remedies will not help, but they are ideal for relieving muscle swelling.
Some fresh plants are poisonous and should be remembered. Among them, for example, are leaves of dream grass. Tincture is prepared only from dried leaves.
Compresses are good to make, for example, from horseradish, honey, agave leaves. The prepared mixture is applied to the affected area and wrapped in a scarf of their wool.
The minimum term for folk remedies is one week.
It should be remembered that it is possible to treat the disease with folk remedies only by agreement with a specialist! Self-medication at home can often worsen a state of health.
The best prevention of intercostal neuralgia is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do not abuse alcohol, exclude unhealthy foods from the diet, play sports!
Do not forget also about medical gymnastics, as in moderate physical exertion it is useful at any age. Natural muscle corset should always be in good shape. In addition, it will be useful to undergo a massage complex at least once a year.
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Symptoms and treatment of intercostal neuralgia of the chest
Chest neuralgia is a process in which the intercostal nerve is compressed and irritated. The pain in this case is strong and painful, sometimes people perceive thoracic neuralgia as a symptom of other diseases, for example, cardiovascular. The problem can be solved with timely medication, massage and other procedures. The main thing is to do all this under the watchful eye of a specialist.
What is intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic region
Intercostal chest neuralgia is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of pinched nerves. There may be several reasons for the problem, but most often it signals the development of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine. In the vertebrae and intervertebral discs, degenerative processes begin.
But the treatment of intercostal neuralgia is not limited to the treatment of breast osteochondrosis. Getting rid of osteochondrosis, you will not automatically cure neuralgia.
How does chest intercostal neuralgia appear? Nerve bundles extend from the spine, most of them between the ribs. The muscles responsible for the processes of inspiration and exhalation are attached to the ribs above and below. And between them is the intercostal nerve, which, by the way, is very thin. During an attack of neuralgia, impulses along nerve fibers are transmitted to the spinal cord and brain, and pain occurs.
Due to osteochondrosis, scoliosis, vertebral displacement, the thin nerve is impaired, a person feels strong pain that spreads throughout the chest. Over time, the nerve root begins to atrophy, the pain can pass, but the volume of breathing will decrease. This is accompanied by a feeling of heaviness. And over time, intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic spine develops.
Causes of intercostal chest neuralgia
Peripheral nerves can infringe on muscles, ribs, and intervertebral discs. This occurs for the following reasons:
- Osteochondrosis, scoliosis, which we talked about above, and other diseases of the spinal column, in which there is a change, displacement, curvature of the spine
- Disorders of the central nervous system
- Metabolic diseases – diabetes, gastritis, etc.
- Inadequate intake of B vitamins, due to which problems with metabolic processes in the body can occur, and this, in turn, affects the state of the central nervous system of a person
- Injuries – if there has been a mechanical injury to the thoracic region, which could have occurred for seemingly “harmless” reasons. You can fall and hit, safely forgetting about it until the moment when it comes to an attack of neuralgia. The thing is that with mechanical damage in the chest area, the size of the intercostal space changes
- Age changes
- Alcohol abuse poisoning
Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic spine
Signs of intercostal neuralgia of the chest:
- Pain, sometimes very strong and sharp. Therefore, this is the most striking sign of violation, which is impossible not to notice. Mostly unpleasant sensations are localized in a certain area: on the right, on the left. And sometimes pain spreads further down the spine: to the lower back and between the shoulder blades. A person may experience dull, burning, sharp, aching, stitching pain. The nature of pain may change gradually
- Change in posture, or a strange-looking body position when walking: with a bias to the left or to the right. A person can alternately lean in one direction, then in another, thus trying to increase intercostal spaces to reduce pressure on the problem area. Moreover, often people do it unknowingly, so just for some period the intensity of sensations decreases
- The problem with breathing in and out: pain prevents a person from fully drawing air into the lungs. The stronger the nerve is injured, the more painful it is to inhale and exhale. Sometimes, back muscles begin to twitch, sweating intensifies, and the skin locally loses sensitivity
- Blood pressure may increase and heart rate may change.
- Stiffness appears in the chest area.
- Increased pain when lying on one side or coughing
How to treat thoracic neuralgia?
There are several ways to treat intercostal chest neuralgia: medication, physiotherapy, massage, alternative methods. Of course, all these methods work better in combination, you should not give up drug therapy in favor of only massage or folk remedies. Moreover, before you take on the elimination of the disease, you must definitely consult a doctor. Symptom can be confused with a number of serious diseases that require hospitalization. Only qualified specialists will make the correct diagnosis and tell you how to treat intercostal chest neuralgia for a specific person. When planning therapy, it is important to consider contraindications and side effects. Gymnastics can also be used as directed by a doctor. Below we will talk about how intercostal neuralgia in the chest is treated, but the final decision must be made by the attending physician.
For an accurate diagnosis, it is not enough for the doctor to simply conduct an examination, it is necessary to conduct a series of laboratory tests, the results of which determine the presence of inflammatory processes. To exclude the likelihood of problems with the cardiovascular system, which sensations can be confused with intercostal neuralgia, an ECG is performed.
Then they can prescribe MRI and fluorography, according to their results you can find out the condition of not only the area of interest, but also the body as a whole.
Medications for intercostal neuralgia in the chest area
Intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic region with medication involves the use of anti-inflammatory and pain medication.
As a rule, doctors first prescribe anti-inflammatory Piroxicam and Ibuprofen. For analgesia, it is recommended to take Analgin, Spazmalgon, Sedalgin. These drugs relieve swelling, reduce pain. Medications are taken no longer than ten days. Local anesthetics may also be used: novacaine, lodocaine. However, they do not eliminate the problem, but relieve symptoms. Intercostal neuralgia cannot be cured only with anti-inflammatory and analgesic pills. At the same time, after some time, the pain syndrome may appear again.
Then the doctor prescribes the intake of muscle relaxants, which will help relax the muscles, thereby contributing to the release of peripheral nerves, as the intercostal spaces increase. Such drugs include baclofen, clonezapam.
If intercostal chest neuralgia is caused by the herpes virus, antiviral drugs are taken to eliminate it.
Immunity enhancers, vitamin and microelement complexes are also prescribed to nourish the central nervous system with B vitamins.
How to treat intercostal chest neuralgia with physiotherapy
For the treatment of the disease can be used:
- Sinusoidal simulated current that relieves pain improves blood circulation in the damaged area
- Laser therapy, which will stimulate the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory drug
- Electrophoresis through which drugs are administered
All these and other physiotherapeutic procedures can be prescribed only by a doctor.
Massage for breast neuralgia
Massage for the treatment of breast neuralgia is used only as an additional tool. Local rubbing helps the muscles to relax, so the pain recedes. Therapeutic massage can be carried out with warming ointments.
Self-massage is also performed to relieve symptoms. To do this, you need to take a sitting position, stretch your back muscles with your hands. You can fold the brushes into the lock, conducting self-massage from the lower back to the shoulder blades.
Reflexogenic zones are also massaged, which are located on both sides of the chest between the first and seventh cervical vertebrae. Two minutes massage the fourth and fifth vertebrae of the thoracic spine.
Massage begins to be done on the healthy side, gradually moving to a painful place. It is performed on the back and chest. Rubbed gently, without rough and harsh movements. To start, the session should last no more than 15 minutes.
Regular procedures will help restore blood circulation, help restore nerve tissue and have a general strengthening effect.
Gymnastics with intercostal neuralgia of the thoracic spine
Special exercises for intercostal neuralgia in the chest area will help improve blood circulation to the muscles of the chest and back, relieve muscle cramps and release pinched nerves. Doctors prescribe exercises and exercise therapy after acute pain has passed. Gymnastics is not a substitute for medical and physiotherapeutic treatment of thoracic intercostal neuralgia.
- Tilts in different directions
- Squats, moreover, you need to control your posture
- Fitball exercises – sit on the ball, clasp your hands in the castle over your head, bending backward, as far as it goes
- Also, riding a fitball, make smooth body turns to the sides
- Chest Stretching Exercises
- If there are no pain, you can use some yoga exercises. Use asanas: tadasana, vrikshasana, snake
Be sure to consult your doctor before starting to do any set of exercises. “Unauthorized” gymnastics can only intensify pain.