Pinched intercostal nerve: Is it possible? (What to do ?)

Do you feel a pain between your ribs ? This could be due to an entrapment of the intercostal nerve. It is a relatively common condition that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.


In this article, we will look at the causes of intercostal nerve entrapment and how you can ease the pain. We will also give you some tips to prevent this condition from recurring.

Chest anatomy


Le thorax is the central region of the human body, and it is made up of the chest and the abdomen. The chest cavity is the space inside the chest that contains the heart and lungs.


anatomy of the rib cage and ribs


The rib cage protects these vital organs and also helps support the spine. The diaphragm is a large muscle that separates the chest cavity of the abdominal cavity.


It contracts and relaxes facilitate breathing. The thorax also contains several important blood vessels, including the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. From an anatomical point of view, the thorax is a complex and vital region of the human body.



Intercostal nerve: Definition


Le intercostal nerve is a long, thin nerve that runs the length of the rib cage. It provides sensation to the skin and muscles between the ribs, and also controls the movement of certain muscles. The intercostal nerve is part of the nervous system, which is responsible for sending signals between the brain and the body.


intercostal nerves


The intercostal nerve is made up of two main types of fibers: motor fibers, which control the muscle movements, and sensory fibers, which transmit information about touch, temperature and pain.


Le intercostal nerve is susceptible to injury due to its proximity to the ribs. Common causes of injury are blunt force trauma, surgery and radiation therapy.



Intercostal Neuralgia: Definition


Neuralgia is defined as pain in the distribution of one or more nerves, usually as a result of injury or inflammation. The intercostal neuralgia specifically refers to the pain felt between the ribs. This condition is often the result of compression or damage to the intercostal nerves, which are the nerves that run along the ribs.


intercostal neuralgia pain


La intercostal neuralgia can be quite debilitating, causing sharp, shooting pains that make it difficult to breathe or move.



Symptoms of Intercostal Neuralgia


The most common symptom is a sharp pain, stabbing, which usually occurs during deep breathing.


Other symptoms may include tenderness, muscle spasms, and difficulty moving the affected area. Although the exact cause of intercostal neuralgia is often unknown, it is often associated with injury or damage to the nerves.


flank and rib pain


Other symptoms of intercostal neuralgia may include:


  • A burning or throbbing sensation between the ribs
  • Pain that spreads to the upper or lower back
  • The feeling of having a blockage or weight on the chest
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or sitting up
  • A feeling of general embarrassment or malaise



Nerve pinched, really?


There is a lot of misinformation about pinched nerves. So let's get this straight: pinched nerve is a very rare instance, and it's usually a myth. Here's why :


Le human nervous system is an incredibly complex and robust system. It is made up of billions of nerve cells, or neurons, which constantly send and receive signals.


These signals travel the entire length of the neuron, cell body to the axon (the long, thin part of the neuron). The axon is covered with a layer of insulation called myelin, which helps protect the nerve and maintain signal strength.


Now imagine that you have an injury or inflammation in your arm. This can put pressure on the axon of a nearby nerve cell.


However, since the axon is protected by myelin, this pressure will not actually pinch or damage the nerve. The signal can be slowed down or interrupted, but it will not be completely stopped. So, contrary to popular belief, nerve pain does not equal a pinched nerve. It would take an extremely great force to sever or compress a nerve.


Of course, this does not mean that the arm pain is not real. Pressure on a nerve can still cause symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling.



What to do in case of intercostal neuralgia?


The treatments for intercostal neuralgia are generally aimed at relieving pain and other symptoms.


This can be done with oral medications, such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or tricyclic antidepressants. In some cases, injections of local anesthetics or steroids may be recommended.


medical consultation with the doctor


Rest and other means of pain relief


Le rest is sometimes essential, and can relieve pain : stop your sports activities temporarily, listen to your body, do not force your pain, continue to move carefully without forcing yourself, and if you feel significant pain during the day, lie down for a short time.


Note, however, that excessive and prolonged rest can slow healing, and cause residual weakness and stiffness. A healthcare professional should be consulted to determine if rest is preferable, and for how long.


Stretching and gentle massage can also help relieve symptoms. If the conservative treatments are ineffective, medication or injections may be recommended.


In rare cases, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the nerves.


Osteopathic techniques


If you are suffering from intercostal neuralgia, there are several things you can do to relieve yourself. First, try osteopathic techniques to reduce nerve irritation. These techniques do not remove the nerve itself, but they can help alleviate pain and discomfort.


osteopathy for the back


You can also apply heat or ice to the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. If the pain is severe, you may need to take painkillers.



However, be sure to talk to your doctor first, as some medications can have side effects. Finally, the physiotherapy (physiotherapy) may be helpful in managing the symptoms of intercostal neuralgia.


By working with a physiotherapist, you can learn exercises that will help you stretch and strengthen the muscles around the affected area. With proper treatment, most people with intercostal neuralgia find relief from their symptoms.

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