How to Cope with an Intercostal Muscle Strain
Internal medicine specialist Janet Morgan, MD, says intercostal muscle strain can be frightening if you don’t know what causes it. What are intercostal muscles, and how do you strain them? Keep reading to learn more about this common condition and what you can do to relieve the pain.
The intercostal muscles and causes of strain
Intercostal muscles are the muscles that run between your ribs and allow your ribcage to expand and contract so you can breathe. Coughing, chest tightness, overexercising, or sports with repetitive movements are all common causes of intercostal muscle strain.
Who’s most at risk for muscle strains in the chest?
According to Dr. Richard Morgan of the Cardiothoracic Institute, intercostal muscle strain is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal chest pain, and age or a sedentary lifestyle can make it more difficult for older people to exercise and tone up their muscles.
Intercostal muscle strain or pneumonia: how to tell the difference
Intercostal muscle strain and pneumonia both cause chest pain, and swelling, tightness, and soreness in the area are signs of an intercostal injury. She also recommends calling or chatting with your doctor.
How to find relief from intercostal muscle strain pain
Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended by Dr. Morgan.
Treatments for intercostal muscle strain
If you have an intercostal muscle strain, try home remedies like ointments and emollients, as well as physical therapy, which your doctor may recommend. A muscle strain can take four to six weeks to heal completely.
How long does it take for a pulled muscle in the ribs to heal?
Mild intercostal muscle sprains usually heal in a few days, while moderate strains may take 3 to 7 weeks to heal, and severe strains involving a complete tear of the muscles may take longer. In general, most intercostal muscle sprains should heal in 6 weeks.
How do you treat a pulled rib muscle?
If the rib cage pain is caused by a minor injury, such as a pulled muscle or bruise, apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling, or take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) if the pain is severe.
Can you pull a muscle around your ribs?
Your intercostal muscles are the muscles that run between your ribs and allow your ribcage to expand and contract so you can breathe; however, if they stretch too far or tear, intercostal muscle strain occurs. Intercostal muscle strain can occur suddenly or over time by repeating certain movements.
How is intercostal muscle strain diagnosed?
A physical exam, in which the doctor palpates the painful area to check for tenderness and swelling, as well as bending and twisting the torso to see how movement and posture affect pain, and listening for signs of shallow breathing with a stethoscope.
How do you sleep with a pulled rib muscle?
Sleeping with an Intercostal Muscle Strain
- Use a reclining mattress and bedframe to rest while sitting upright.
- Alternatively, a specialized bed wedge can be used to achieve a similar effect.
- Be sure to use pillows to help keep you upright after you fall asleep and keep your neck comfortable.
What are the symptoms of torn rib cartilage?
Rib injuries have a variety of symptoms.
- Pain at the injury site.
- Pain when the ribcage flexes u2013 with movement, a deep breath, or when you cough, sneeze, or laugh.
- Crunching or grinding sounds ( crepitus ) when the injury site is touched or moved.
- Ribcage muscle spasms.
- Breathing difficulties.
How long does a muscle strain last?
With proper treatment, most people recover completely. For mild strains, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care; for more severe strains, recovery can take several months; in severe cases, surgical repair and physical therapy may be required.
Can a chiropractor help with intercostal muscle strain?
The examination of the chest and mid back begins with light touch, hands on, palpation of the Thoracic spine, Rib cage, Sternum, and musculature in order to determine the Rib head that is involved.
What is the best painkiller for bruised ribs?
- Take pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen u2013 avoid taking ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow healing.
- apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the affected ribs on a regular basis to reduce swelling in the first few days.
What helps a pulled muscle in your side?
- Protect the strained muscle from further injury by resting it.
- Ice the muscle area (20 minutes every hour while awake).
- Compression can be applied gently with an Ace or other elastic bandage to provide support and reduce swelling.
- Elevate the injured area to reduce swelling.
What Does Pain under right rib cage mean?
Liver disease, cancer, or infection can all cause pain in the right upper abdomen, which can be dull and chronic and feel like it’s coming from under your right ribs.
How do you treat a pulled muscle in your side?
The following at-home treatments may be suggested by your doctor:
- Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor says it’s okay.
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes every hour you’re awake.
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle in an elastic bandage can help reduce swelling.
How do you know if rib pain is muscular?
The pain will get worse when you twist, stretch, breathe in deeply, cough, or sneeze, and it will get worse when you twist, stretch, breathe in deeply, cough, or sneeze. Tenderness: The area of the strain between your ribs will be sore to the touch.
How long can intercostal muscle strain last?
Most cases of intercostal muscle strain heal within a few days to eight weeks with only initial treatments like those listed above; some severe strains may cause upper back pain to last longer; the healing period is largely reliant on the severity of the strain and the effectiveness of treatment.
Can you exercise with intercostal muscle strain?
It may be necessary to stop doing any exercise or activity that aggravates your pain at first, but be careful not to completely avoid moving the area as this will encourage stiffness.