Intercostal pain: 5 effective exercises (video included)

tietze syndrome

When we suffer from intercostal pain, it becomes painful to move the upper body. One can even feel excruciating pain just from breathing and coughing. To relieve this pain, there are specific exercises that can help you. Discover 5 effective exercises to calm pain between the ribs.

General information on intercostal pain

Intercostal pain or intercostal neuralgia, as its name suggests, is characterized by pain in the ribs and rib cage. It manifests itself in a brutal and intense way on a precise point or along a coast.

To better understand the pathology, it is essential to know theanatomy of the ribs and thoracic region.

The entire sternum, ribs and vertebrae constitutes the rib cage. Its function is to protect vital organs such as the heart and lungs against external shocks.

Regarding the ribs, they are 24 in number, grouped into 12 pairs. At the back, each rib binds to the spine at the level of two vertebrae. And forward, the first 7 pairs attach to the sternum.

Personalized thoracic spinal nerves are located in each intercostal space to connect and transmit information to the chest wall.

La intercostal neuralgia occurs especially after a Wrong move, a infection or an injury that damages one or more intercostal nerves. It can also be linked to other chest diseases.

To learn more about the intercostal pain, click here.

How important is it to exercise after injury or pain?

Injuries and pain often cause us to stop exercising. Yet he is not recommended to permanently cease all activity, but to grant necessary rest to the injured part.

Exercising after an injury or pain brings many benefits:

  • promotes the secretion ofendorphin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to the reduction of pain;
  • help to repair sleep disorders ;
  • improves mood and allows fight against the fear of moving.

To heal and easily recover the physical abilities of the body, you just have to choose the right exercises. It is also necessary to adopt the right parameters.



5 exercises to relieve intercostal pain

For intercostal neuralgia, know that there are easy and effective exercises to relieve it. In order to obtain a satisfactory result, however, it is necessary to know how to perform the movements correctly and gently.

Here are 5 types that you can easily practice at home to calm intercostal pain.

diaphragmatic breathing

La diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal is a very relaxing type of breathing with a lot of amplitude. The diaphragm muscles of the rib cage engage to inflate the abdomen.

To do this, you must inhale through your nose to inflate your stomach, then exhale slowly through your mouth.

The back extension

THEexercise extension dorsal strengthens the muscles of the back of the body. There are many techniques to do this. We can cite the lumbar extension on the ground, the back stretches or the back extensions on a roller. You can choose one of them for relieve intercostal neuralgia.

Dorsal rotation

THEexercise dorsal rotation improves the mobility of the spine and frees the thoracic area.

The movements are simple to perform. Just get into a seated position and place the right foot in front of the left foot which needs to be wrinkled. Then, place the right hand on the left knee and place the left palm behind the back. Finally, you must turn the trunk to the left while keeping your back vertical.

In case of acute pain in the spine, the exercise should be stopped immediately.

Strengthening of the rhomboid muscles

Le strengthening of the rhomboid muscles allows the opening of the rib cage. The rubber band method is the easiest and most effective for relieve intercostal neuralgia.

To do this, attach your bodybuilding rubber band at shoulder height on a solid support, then align your back and contract your abs. Inhale and pull the elastic back until your elbows are at shoulder height.

Even if you feel contractions in your rhomboids, hold the position for a few more seconds. Afterwards, you can release the rubber band slowly and exhale.

Scapular pushup

Working the scapular muscles strengthens the shoulder blades and improves their mobility.

In case of intercostal neuralgia, the scapular push-up is the most recommended exercise.

Different from any other type of push-up, it is based on simple movements with a low amplitude.

To start, you have to get into a high plank position, with both hands well aligned at the shoulders and both feet joined. By maintaining this position, you will squeeze both shoulder blades together to bring them as close together as possible. Afterwards, release very slowly to return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise ten times.

What action should be taken in case of intercostal neuralgia?

Clarify the diagnosis to rule out a more serious condition

Intercostal pain is sometimes linked to other underlying diseases. Thus, in order not to confuse it with other pathologies, it is important to confirm the diagnosis with the help of a health professional.

Don't force the pain

Even though the exercises help relieve pain, the intensity of the workouts should not be overdone.

If you still have pain, take regular breaks. It's more prudent not to aggravate the situation. Exercises should also be done gently. Avoid sudden movements are to be avoided.

See a physical therapist (physiotherapist) or other healthcare professional

Apart from physical exercises, physical therapy (physiotherapy) has positive effects on intercostal pain. Moreover, it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist as soon as possible. The measures taken by the specialist depend on several parameters: the cause of the pain, the affected part, the intensity...



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