Causes of Neuralgia
- changes in the thoracic spine: osteochondrosis, scoliosis, primary tumors or metastases, ankylosing spondylitis;
- chest injuries;
- exposure to low temperatures (hypothermia);
- excessive exercise;
- defeat of the nervous ganglion with herpes virus type 3 (herpes zoster).
Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia
Symptoms of the disease are quite bright:
- intense girdle pain along the intercostal spaces;
- pain increases with palpation and movements: breathing, turning, and torso in the affected side;
- there may be tingling, burning, crawling sensations;
- in the case of herpes zoster, vesicles appear on the skin.
Before starting treatment, it is necessary to make sure of the diagnosis completely, since the pains of this localization are also found in other diseases.
Differences from other diseases
It is very important not to confuse neuralgia with angina or myocardial infarction. These are serious conditions that require immediate and adequate medical care.
- When angina pectoris is localized in the middle of the chest, behind the sternum, it can be given to the left shoulder blade or shoulder. It takes 15 minutes at rest or after taking nitroglycerin. By the nature of the pain is pressing, constricting. Pain is not associated with movement.
- With myocardial infarction, pain is prolonged – more than 15 minutes. Not reduced when taking nitroglycerin. Blood pressure drops. Cold sweat appears on the skin, there is a feeling of fear.
In addition, chest pains occur in pleurisy:
- unpleasant sensations are located in the chest from the side, the pain is aggravated by movement. However, when the torso is tilted, the increase in pain will be in the case of a tilt to a healthy side. There is shortness of breath, fever, may be a cough.
Diseases of the digestive system have the following features:
- When pancreatitis pain occurs in the left hypochondrium. Provokes an attack the use of fatty foods, alcohol. Observed nausea and vomiting. Relief of antispasmodics (no-shpy) helps reduce pain.
- In the case of peptic ulcer discomfort is localized in the upper abdomen, may spread to the scapula or spine. Occurrence associated with food intake. The use of antacids (almagel, gastal) or drugs that reduce the secretion of hydrochloric acid (omeprazole) reduces pain. After vomiting, the condition is relieved.
- In cholelithiasis, the process is localized in the right hypochondrium, piercing pain. There may be nausea, bitterness in the mouth. Facilitates the use of antispasmodics.
Treatment of intercostal neuralgia
The disease can be successfully cured at home.
- Observe strict bed rest, preferably on a hard surface.
- In the place of localization of pain, including the thoracic spine, dry heat is used (heated sand, wool scarf).
- In order to relieve pain, take drugs with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects (NSAIDs). For a quicker effect, it is advisable to start with injectable forms. A solution of meloxicam intramuscularly, 1.5 ml per day for three days or diclofenac, 3 ml up to 2 times per day is used. Ketorol has a powerful analgesic effect. Apply 1 ml intramuscularly one to two times a day. Increasing the number of injections of this drug should be discussed with your doctor. After the course of injections, continue treatment with tablet forms. The general course of treatment with NSAIDs should not exceed 10 days (for ketorol not more than 5). To prevent the development of erosive and ulcerative complications of the stomach and duodenum, omeprazole (20 mg at night) should be taken without fail. The use of such forms of drugs as various anti-inflammatory ointments and gels, has an auxiliary function. They can be combined with injections and pills.
- The use of vitamins of group B has a good therapeutic effect. There are combined forms for intramuscular and oral administration in which the vitamins are in optimal combination. These include milgamma or combilipene as well as neuromultivitis. Unfortunately, the latter is available exclusively in pills. The first 5 days of the disease make intramuscular injections of 2 ml per day, and then take the drug in the form of tablets (milgamma compositum, combilipen tabs, neuromultivitis 1 time per day).
- If the cause of neuralgia was herpes zoster, then it is advisable the appointment of antiviral drugs. For example, acyclovir 4 tablets 5 times a day. The duration of therapy is 7 days.
You should consult your doctor if, as a result of treatment at home, the intensity of the pain does not decrease. The following therapeutic measures may be prescribed:
- Intercool Novocain blockade. They represent the introduction of local anesthetics into the region of the affected nerve. After the blockade, the pain passes over the next few minutes.
- Additionally, anticonvulsant drugs (finlepsin, gabapentin) are used.
- Physiotherapy has a good therapeutic effect: ultraviolet radiation from UHF and UHF therapy. To reduce pain, lidocaine electrophoresis is performed.
Of the popular methods of treatment, the following methods deserve attention:
- Honey compresses. They have anti-inflammatory and warming effects, are widely used in medical practice. Pre-smearing the skin with vegetable oil, put honey in a thin layer, cover the top with a plastic bag and a warm scarf. You can add black radish juice.
- Alcohol compresses in combination with various herbs (yarrow, birch buds, willow bark, wormwood) also have a warming, analgesic effect, reduce muscle spasm.
- The following collection has a good anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect: two parts of the pine buds and the herb of Hypericum perforatum, three parts of black elderberry flowers. To prepare an infusion for two tablespoons of the collection take half a liter of water, boil in a water bath for 15 minutes. Accepted before meals, 1/2 cup, 4 times a day for up to two weeks.
It should be noted that folk remedies can only be used in addition to traditional medicine. If the treatment at home is ineffective, you should seek qualified medical assistance.