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Explore treatment options for intercostal neuralgia

[2 Feb 2011 | No Comments | | Author: ]
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Abdominal pain can be very difficult to diagnose and often results in misguided treatment. Physicians tend to concentrate on the more common diseases and prescribe medicines for treatment. In the process, they sometimes forget rare diseases since they do not come across these very often.

Intercostal neuralgia is one such rare disorder that is often missed out during diagnosis. The muscles between the ribs that contract during inhalation are called intercostals muscles. And an acute spasmodic pain that arises along the course of the nerves in that area is called intercostals neuralgia.

Intercostal neuralgia occurs due to compressions in the nerves in the thorax-abdomen region or the ribcage area. These compressions can occur due various reasons like

* An enlarged abdomen, especially in aged patients
* An abdominal muscle tissue rupture
* A scar or suture around the nerve
* Excessive use of abdominal muscles
* Musculoskeletal conditions like a short leg or an abnormal curve in the vertebral column

Like sciatica, intercostals neuralgia is caused due to a pinched nerve. Therefore, some treatment options used for intercostal neuralgia are similar to sciatic nerve treatments.

Intercostal neuralgia is usually treated by injecting a local anesthetic (like Lidocaine or Xylocaine) in the affected region. The process requires extreme caution and should be done only by a qualified physician who has a detailed knowledge about the human anatomy and is conversant with the precise positions of body structures.

In cases where the intercostals pain persists or occurs frequently, the specific portion of the nerve causing pain needs to be destroyed. And in certain cases where this nerve is entrapped in an abdominal scar, the suture needs to be excised.

Given these strong drugs and surgical procedures that need to be used in conventional medicine, there are many people who are looking towards more natural means of treatment fro most ailments. Since intercostals neuralgia is also caused by a compressed nerve, patients could explore sciatica alternative remedies used for alleviating pain for treatment. Ice or cold therapy and ancient Chinese therapies of acupuncture and acupressure are two modes of treatment that have shown to produce good results.

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