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Ft Mitchell, KY
A 36-year-old female asked:

Ive read intercostal neuralgia can be caused by stress/anxiety is this accurate? numb/tingling comes and goes starts in upper ab/ribs, sometimes spread to back, mostly stays in front. ive been to dr, had ultrasound/bloodwork. physical therapy rec?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Need to examine: It is not feasible to provide a meaningful opinion without taking additional history, physical examination and may be some tests. It would be prudent to see your doctor and discuss if you may be depressed. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, exercise may help. Start with low intensity exercise such as walking and gradually increase the intensity as tolerated. Drink more water. Wish you good health!
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 53 years experience
Not true: Actual intercostal neuralgia is a pathophysiological problem with an intercostal nerve, and often is caused by a virus herpes zoster. Emotional problems make it seem worse, but not the underlying cause. Medication and physical therapy can help.

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Last updated Feb 1, 2021

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