Intercostal neuralgia is pain that is the intercostal spaces of the chest wall, involving intercostal nerves. People with intercostal neuralgia may have sporadic episodes of acute pain or pain that is dull and constant. The pain is often described as stabbing, tearing, sharp, spasm-like, tender, aching or gnawing. It typically feels like the pain wraps around your upper chest in a band-like pattern. The pain may intensify during exertion or with sudden movements involving the upper chest, such as coughing or laughing.

How is intercostal neuralgia treated?

  • Intercostal nerve blocks, which are injections of a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid around the affected intercostal nerve.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and indomethacin (Indocin). NSAIDS help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Medications.

For more information, contact Medicus Pain and Spine by phone (248-594-7900) or contact page.

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