Intercostal pain: grandmother's remedy for relief

natural products Intercostal pain: grandmother's remedy

Intercostal pain is chest pain originating in the chest wall. It has many causes, but almost always benign. Thermotherapy, anti-inflammatory diet, magnesium and essential oils: when it comes to pain
intercostal, grandmother's remedy has often proven its effectiveness!

We will discover in this text 4 natural remedies to relieve intercostal pain.

Definition and anatomy

Thoracic spine and ribs

Our skeletal system is actually made up of two parts: the skeleton appendicular, which includes the upper and lower limbs, and the axial skeleton, which includes the skull, rib cage and spine.

The rib cage is the part of the skeleton that interests us in this article; it consists of the column thoracic, that is to say vertebrae thoracic of the vertebral column, of the twelve pairs of ribs, and the sternum bone.

The thoracic vertebrae are twelve in number, they are linked together so that they form a posterior curvature. Cartilage is found between every two vertebrae, also, every vertebrate articulates with two ribs.

Like all vertebrae, the thoracic vertebrae deliver passage to the bone marrow through their vertebral canal (a canal formed by all the foramina found in the posterior part of the vertebrae).

The ribs are simply long, curved bones, divided into 12 pairs, each pair includes two totally identical ribs, articulating with the same vertebra thoracic. The anterior part of the ribs is linked to the cartilage, which articulates with the sternum, the last bone in the rib cage.

You should know that there are ribs whose cartilage does not attach to the sternum bone, but to the overlying cartilaginous tissue, these are the pairs number 8,9 and 10, also, the cartilage of the last two pairs do not attach at all and remain free, they are called the ribs floating.

We find several muscular insertions at the level of the spine thoracic and ribs, such as those of the intercostal muscles and the serratus muscle prior. The chest muscles play a role in stabilizing the various joints mentioned above, but especially in breathing and movement limb joints.

Intercostal pain: causes and symptoms


Intercostal pain, sometimes referred to as intercostal neuralgia, is pain in the chest. It is characterized by its origin which cannot be other than the rib cage and the elements which surround it.

For example, intercostal pain may be secondary to damage to a chest bone, muscle, or nerve, but never to heart or lung disease, as these organs are not part of the chest wall. .

The duration of intercostal neuralgia varies according to its cause: it may only last a few seconds and appear in the form of an intercostal pinching, or else persist for several days.

Intercostal and chest pain can have very different explanations, and the doctor is able to distinguish true intercostal pain pain of cardiac or pulmonary origin, requiring urgent treatment. It's necessary
therefore consult before any chest pain, regardless of its characteristics.


Intercostal chest pain 

  •  increase when we make movements with the spine;
  • increase with respiration;
  • are accentuated when the painful area is palpated;
  • worse when you cough, sneeze, or sometimes talk.

These characteristics make it possible to recognize intercostal neuralgia, but as we have already explained above, the doctor can issue an accurate diagnosis. A Once he is sure that it is indeed intercostal pain, he will, depending on the painful place, move towards a causative pathology. We will deal in the next section with most important causes of this pain.

The causes

Intercostal neuralgia

The most common cause of intercostal pain is a suffering from the intercostal nerve, in this case it is called intercostal neuralgia. For explain better, the rib cage is innervated by nerves (intercostal nerves), which, in
undergoing inflammation or lesions, can cause intercostal neuralgia.

Conditions that can cause intercostal nerve pain are: false movement, osteoarthritis in the rib cage, viral involvement in shingles and herniated disc (back hernia).

Intercostal cramps and chest muscle tears

Intercostal pain can also be secondary to muscle damage. For example, a muscle tear in the chest or an intercostal cramp (a small contracture of the intercostal muscles that occurs during a chest cramp,
it is abrupt and brief).

Rib fractures

These are fractures in the ribs, they are usually caused by a chest trauma. Sometimes they occur after an episode of strong coughing, fact, suspect a rib fracture if you think you've had pain intercostal from coughing.

Other causes

There are tumors and metastases, rib sprain, intercostal pain related to stress, pregnancy (to be suspected if the pain occurs in a pregnant woman), etc.

5 grandmother's remedies to relieve yourself

Intercostal pain is generally treated with anti-inflammatories and analgesics by your doctor. On the other hand, there are natural solutions called "grandmother's remedies", which can help fight against this chest pain.

This natural treatment does not replace doctor's medications, and is not supported by solid scientific evidence. However, it contributes to the early relief of pain and the acceleration of healing in many people.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation. The products are available on the site Country. Use promo code LOMBAFIT15 if you wish to obtain one of the following products, or any remedy aimed at relieving your symptoms and improving your quality of life:

  • Turmeric. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
  • Ginger. In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. the gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
  • Omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Since sciatica is most often linked to inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3s if you consume them regularly. 
  • Lemon eucalyptusEucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
  • wintergreen. Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.


Thermotherapy is a natural technique used to treat pain with heat or cold. To relieve intercostal pain with heat therapy, you can soak a towel in hot water and apply it to the painful area for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you want to use the cold to soothe the pain, put ice cubes in a clean cloth, then apply it gently to the painful area of ​​the chest.

Natural remedy: natural anti-inflammatories

A diet rich in anti-inflammatory components can be a good natural remedy for intercostal pain. If you have intercostal neuralgia, you can include foods following in our meals:

  • vegetables, especially carrots;
  • the fruits ;
  • Cocoa ;
  • tuna ;
  • meats ;
  • olive oil and other omega-3 rich oils;
  • aromatic herbs like rosemary.

Natural treatment: magnesium

Magnesium is recognized for its benefits on muscle tissue, it helps the muscle to relax and decreases excessive and painful contractures, thus, it can be used to treat intercostal pain naturally. Here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:

  • green leafy vegetables;
  • legumes;
  • bananas ;
  • wheat germ;
  • the dried fruit :
  • dark chocolate.

Essential Oils and White Willow Bark as Remedies

Essential oils, such as wintergreen essential oil and lemon eucalyptus essential oil, are home remedies used to apply massage and manipulation to painful areas. White willow bark is a plant with which infusions with an analgesic effect can be prepared.

Tools and accessories

In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are several accessories and home remedies available on the market to relieve intercostal pain. It should be remembered that these tools generally provide temporary relief, do not necessarily treat the cause, and should therefore be used sparingly.

Among the products recommended by our professionals to relieve pain, we have:

Intercostal pain: grandmother's remedy should not replace medical treatment

In conclusion, intercostal pain is often benign in the majority of cases, and responds to treatment provided by a health professional (traditional medicine).

On the other hand, grandmother's remedies are interesting in addition, and can help to speed up healing and improve the quality of life.

Despite this, natural remedies must always be associated with consultation with the doctor, in order to never miss any emergency or serious pathology.

When to worry

Although rare, some causes of intercostal pain can be serious and constitute medical emergencies. Examples include the following conditions:

  • cancer (lung, breast, liver, lymphoma, esophagus, mesothelioma, bone metastasesEtc.).
  • infection
  • Infectious diseases
  • pulmonary embolism
  • rupture of the thoracic aorta

Please consult urgently if you ever observe any of the following signs:

  • chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • excessive sweating
  • pain, swelling or redness in the legs
  • if you cough up blood
  • fever
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • sudden difficulty speaking
  • vision disorders
  • paralysis on one side of the body
  • loss of consciousness

Are you looking for solutions to relieve your pain?

Discover the opinion of our team of health professionals on various products available on the market (posture, sleep, physical pain), as well as our recommendations.


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