HomeHealthIntercostal Neuralgia Causes, Signs, Therapy, Ayurveda Idea

Intercostal Neuralgia Causes, Signs, Therapy, Ayurveda Idea

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Intercostal house is the house between any 2 ribs. There are various buildings on this house that are connected to and passing by this house and ribs therein. The muscle tissue adhering and connecting two ribs on this house are referred to as intercostal muscle tissue. These muscle tissue are equipped with intercostal nerves. These nerves come up from the spinal wire and go by these areas.
Intercostal – in between the ribs
Neuralgia – nerve associated ache / neuropathic ache

Intercostal neuralgia is the neuralgic ache involving these intercostal nerves. It will also be outlined as ‘nerve ache’ that impacts the world under the ribs. It’s attributable to many situations. It causes extreme ache in ribs, chest (thorax / chest wall or cavity), or higher area of the stomach / trunk.
Learn – Trigeminal Neuralgia: Ayurvedic Therapy, Medicines


Ache within the chest wall is the primary symptom of intercostal neuralgia. The ache could also be capturing, sharp, aching, radiating, stabbing or burning in nature. It normally happens in a band that wraps round chest or stomach. The ache can both be fixed or intermittent. Numbness and tingling could also be related to ache. The ache might final lengthy even after the causes have been eliminated or subsided.
Learn – Brachial Neuritis: Ayurvedic Therapy, Medicines, Treatments

Location of ache –
Across the ribs
Within the higher a part of the chest and again
Different signs
Squeeze – a squeezing type of ache or strain or discomfort may be skilled as whether it is wrapping your chest from the entrance to the again
Tingling sensation
Ache whereas respiration out and in

Ache aggravating elements
Doing light bodily actions like deep respiration, stretching etc- 
Once you bounce, giggle, cough and sneeze

Referred Ache – The ache could also be referred to the shoulder blade, again, groin or decrease a part of the pelvis.
Ache of postherpetic neuralgia – Itching within the pores and skin and excessive sensitivity within the pores and skin (even to clothes) could also be skilled in intercostals neuralgia of postherpetic neuralgia (attributable to shingles virus).
Learn – Visarpa: Causes, Sorts, Therapy, Medicines

Signs of extreme type of intercostals neuralgia –
Involuntary twitching of muscle tissue
Muscle atrophy
Ache as if struck by a lightning bolt
Lack of urge for food


Irritation of intercostal nerves
Irritation of intercostal nerves
Compression of intercostal nerves
Chest trauma
Nerve entrapment / compression of nerves
Nerve strain
Viral infections (shingles)
Harm attributable to a surgical process involving opening your chest (thoracotomy)
Being pregnant
Irregular growths

Many instances precise causes for this situation can’t be discovered. Such instances are referred to as as idiopathic intercostal neuralgia.
Learn – Medical Case Examine: Herpes Zoster – By Dr Rangaprasad Bhat

Circumstances and accidents which have a tendency to wreck the intercostal nerves are as given under –PTPS / Put up Thoracotomy Ache Syndrome – Thoracotomy is a surgical incision made between your ribs for surgical procedures to entry the guts or lungs. This could trigger harm / trauma to the intercostal nerve which can trigger ache. It’s discovered that about 50% of people that have undergone this develop PTPS. Additionally about 30% of individuals have ache 4-5 years after surgical procedure. The ache generally is complained to be of gentle diploma and doesn’t intrude with each day actions.

Postherpetic Neuralgia – This situation happens as a complication of shingles (happens in those that have suffered from chickenpox up to now). Postherpetic neuralgia is a power situation. It could final lengthy even after the shingles go away. About 30-60% folks aged 60 and over who are suffering from shingles will develop postherpetic neuralgia. If antiviral medicines are began inside 72 hours of creating shingles rashes one wouldn’t develop postherpetic neuralgia. Subsequently one ought to see the physician instantly if she or he suspects the looks of shingles.
Learn – Charaka Chikitsa Sthana: Visarpa Chikitsa twenty first Chapter

Trauma – the intercostal nerves are broken by traumatic harm. This results in intercostal neuralgia.

Medical procedures – medical procedures corresponding to mastectomy, chest tube placement and so forth may trigger intercostal neuralgia.

When to see the physician?

Power illness might influence one’s life to a fantastic extent. It may well trigger excessive discomfort. Power ache might result in lowered actions and poor high quality of sleep and likewise may trigger problem in respiration.

Intercostal neuralgia has comparable signs with different critical well being situations together with –Fractured ribs
Coronary heart or lung injury
Compression of vertebrae
Pulmonary embolism
Malignant most cancers / tumors

Subsequently you will need to see a health care provider instantly and search medical assist. One also needs to see the physician if signs of shingles are seen.
Learn – Most cancers- Ayurvedic Understanding And Hopeful Therapy Modalities


Diagnose of intercostal neuralgia is carried out by thorough examination. Physician would rule out different causes of ache earlier than coming to the conclusive analysis of intercostal neuralgia. If urgent the house between your ribs or taking a deep breath causes ache it’s seemingly that you’ve intercostal neuralgia.

The under talked about assessments could also be advisable relying on signs –
Full neurological examination
CT Scan
Learn – Relationship Between Doshas And Nervous System


Prevention of intercostal neuralgia is tough since it’s related to many potential causes. Stopping the an infection of wounds is the simplest safety measure when thoracotomy is the reason for intercostal neuralgia. Acceptable anesthetics shall be used for this objective.

Minimizing the chance of contracting an infection is the efficient preventive technique when shingles is the reason for intercostal neuralgia. Shingles vaccine needs to be taken because it reduces the probability of shingles by about 51%. This vaccine additionally reduces the chance of ache from shingles to a fantastic extent.
Learn – Doshas And Ayurvedic Immunology


Combos of various sorts of therapies work finest for many individuals. Therapy additionally is determined by severity of signs and different related medical points.

Topical therapies – can present momentary aid they usually embrace capsaicin lotions, pores and skin patches, lidocaine gels or pores and skin patches.

Medicines together with aspirin, NSAIDs or low dose narcotics may relieve ache to a sure extent however may not relieve them completely.
Antidepressants like amitriptyline, desipramine, duloxetine or imipramine are helpful typically to deal with nerve-related ache in intercostal neuralgia.
Anticonvulsant medicines like carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin and so forth shall be prescribed.
Opoid painkillers like tramadol oxycodone or morphine might assist in relieving nerve ache.
Opiod-aspirin or Opiod-acetaminophen could also be prescribed to alleviate ache.

Intercostal nerve block – It’s an injection which is a mixture of native anesthetic with corticosteroids. This may assist to cut back irritation and likewise to alleviate ache. 
Thoracic epidural injection – is an anti-inflammatory remedy injected across the spinal wire.
Pulsed radiofrequency – is a process to offer short-term ache aid utilizing an electrode needle.

Different remedy
Leisure remedy
Cognitive and behavioral remedy
Bodily / occupational remedy
Yoga and meditation

One ought to attempt to be bodily energetic as a lot and as repeatedly as doable. This may assist in maintaining the muscle tissue sturdy and wholesome. In extreme ache keep away from bodily exercise. This may trigger lack of muscle power. To keep away from this bodily and occupational remedy is finished. Warmth and chilly therapies additionally could also be used to offer ache aid. 
Learn – Well being Advantages Of Yoga: Thoughts And Physique

There are various causes for intercostal neuralgia which incorporates infections, most cancers, trauma, inflammatory situations and so forth. It could be tough to deal with this situation. Some underlying causes is not going to reply to routine remedy choices. Some remedy and preventive methods will work however not as a rule. Totally different combos may work for various folks. If untreated, this situation could cause a number of issues. They embrace –
Lack of sleep
Low urge for food

Your physician might refer you to a ache administration specialist if the ache and its depth are usually not being managed.


Case Examine – One of many widespread issues associated to harm of the intercostal nerve is PTPS – Put up-Thoracotomy-Ache Syndrome. Throughout this surgical procedure the thoracodorsal and lengthy thoracic nerves can get injured. A research confirmed that jerks of latissimus dorsi muscle and intercostal neuralgia had been reported after posterolateral thoracotomy.

In sufferers with herpes zoster intercostal neuralgia is the most typical criticism. It may additionally be an preliminary symptom of very critical ailments corresponding to atraumatic spinal fracture. This may result in critical penalties if not recognized and handled early. However in ankylosing spondylitis with atraumatic vertebral fractures extreme intercostal neuralgia is never reported as the primary symptom. Extreme intercostal neuralgia is an early indicator of spinal fractures. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging is essential for the analysis of this situation. (B)

A research – MRN i.e. Magnetic Resonance Neurography is a helpful diagnostic algorithm of intercostal neuralgia. MRN optimistic instances reveal favorable remedy response to perneural injections and subsequent surgical administration. This MRN has diagnostic utility and efficacy in intercostal neuralgia. This research demonstrates that MRN gives a superior visualization of pathology in intercostal neuralgia. It additionally would verify that the remedy directed at MRN recognized neuropathy ends in good outcomes whereas sustaining value effectivity. (C)

Ayurveda Idea

Parsva Shula Chikitsa – The indicators and signs of a painful situation defined by Grasp Sushruta by the identify ‘Parsva Shula’ may be correlated with intercostal neuralgia as a result of resemblance in signs of each these ailments. Parsva shula can also be in comparison with pleurisy and pleurodynia that are comparable painful situations and are a part of differential analysis with intercostal neuralgia.
Learn – Shoola Sorts, Signs, Therapy, Medicines, Treatments

Different remedy
Anti-Vata measures – Ache in intercostal neuralgia is attributable to vata aggravation. This aggravated vata needs to be managed at first. Vata mitigating medicines, weight loss plan and therapies and way of life modifications needs to be included within the remedy. This may ease out tingling sensation and numbness related to the illness.
Ache of this situation worsens whenever you bask in actions like stretching, leaping, laughing, coughing and sneezing. These actions will enhance vata and vata will additional enhance the ache. Neural ache and neuralgia in Ayurveda is correlated with indicators and signs of aggravation of vata.
Learn – Charaka Vatavyadhi Chikitsa twenty eighth Chapter
Pakshaghata and Mamsagata Vata Chikitsa
– The opposite signs like involuntary twitching of muscle tissue, atrophy of muscle tissue, lightning ache, and paralysis are additionally prompted attributable to vata enhance. To be particular, the remedy methods of pakshaghata and mamsagata vata may be adopted within the remedy of intercostal neuralgia.
Learn – Vata Issues (Vatavyadhi): Definition, Causes, Signs
Visarpa Chikitsa
– achieved in case of postherpetic neuralgia related to intercostal neuralgia.
Bhagna Chikitsa – achieved if intercostal neuralgia is prompted attributable to trauma to the nerves.
Exterior therapies – like shirodhara and different oil therapies achieved over the top to manage vata and likewise to alleviate ache.
Pitta relieving cures and natural purgation – If there may be extreme burning sensation related to intercostal neuralgia together with ache affiliation of pitta together with vata needs to be thought of and pitta assuaging and flushing cures needs to be adopted. Therapeutic purgation is a perfect pitta relieving measure. Different pitta assuaging medicines, weight loss plan and way of life modifications shall be included within the remedy. Tikta ghrita – ghee ready with bitter tasting herbs are best cures for oral consumption.
Rakta Prasadana – blood purifying medicines, weight loss plan and therapies needs to be included within the remedy plan.
Click on to Seek the advice of Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments