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Doctor insights on: Intercostal Muscle Strain Treatment

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How do I know if I have an intercostal muscle strain or a fractured rib from persistent, deep coughing/bronchitis?

How do I know if I have an intercostal muscle strain or a fractured rib from persistent, deep coughing/bronchitis?

Tough Call: I've seen ribs break from coughing. Can be hard to tell. If it hurts more pinpoint directly over bone the chances of a rib fracture are higher. Intercostal sprains are more diffuse, but they can also be pinpoint. Try ice packs, tylenol (acetaminophen) or Ibuprofen and give it a few days. If not getting better see your doc. If there is any trouble breathing or worsening pain, see your doc sooner. ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


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Acupuncture and pectoral and/or intercostal muscle strain. Is it effective? Been a month today. Been icing/heating and using all other advice so far.

Acupuncture and pectoral and/or intercostal muscle strain. Is it effective? Been a month today. Been icing/heating and using all other advice so far.

Usually is: I just did a pec on a weight lifter about an hour ago with acupuncture accompained by electrical stimulation. His pain and range of motion improved markedly. Although i normally treat treat rib fractures as oppossed to intercostal strains - it should also be beneficial for that. ...Read more

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Effective stretches for strained pectoral/intercostal muscle? Injury occurred 3+weeks ago. Pain is back after light workout not involving chest.

Effective stretches for strained pectoral/intercostal muscle? Injury occurred 3+weeks ago. Pain is back after light workout not involving chest.

Rest/sports med eval: Pain after workout not involving chest likely from increased respiratory volume (deeper breathing) that occurs during exercise. A physical therapist can give you specific stretches/core strengthening to decrease symptoms, promote healing, and prevent recurrence. If it persists, see a sports medicine physician. ...Read more

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I have smoked for 1 year. Recently strained intercostal muscle due to coughing, & now having difficulty w/ breathing deeply. I also hear a crackling. ?

I have smoked for 1 year. Recently strained intercostal muscle due to coughing, & now having difficulty w/ breathing deeply. I also hear a crackling. ?

See details: Have you thought about stopping smoking? It will end up saving your life in you do. Otherwise, you are getting a glimpse now of a future of continuously respiratory problems. ...Read more

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How long does it take for neck strain & associated muscle spasms/pain to go away completely? What are the best/fastest methods of treatment?

How long does it take for neck strain & associated muscle spasms/pain to go away completely? What are the best/fastest methods of treatment?

Results vary: Assuming no other structural injuries i use 80% Better in 6 weeks as a rule of thumb , reduce stress and massage no treatment is superior they are all equal to time alone ...Read more

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I have a lower back pain and front and back ribs pain with strain at bak...Stiff back muscle...What are the possible reasons and treatment for that?

Muscle: At your age it's more likely muscle related. Have you been more physically active than usual recently? It would be reasonable to treat conservatively with time and nsaids. See a physician if symptoms persist or are severe. ...Read more

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Treatments for 1st/2nd degree ab muscle strain.It has been 3 weeks since my injury and it still hurts.Would it be advisable 2 see a physical therapist?

Yes: Muscle strains (torn muscle) in general take about 2-6 weeks to heal . Abdominal strains are particularly painful since they are constantly being used to maintain your posture when standing etc. Therapist can help ease the pain, promote rapid healing and muscle function and give advice on lessening the pain ...Read more

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How can physical therapy help heal a thoracic muscle strain in back?

How can physical therapy help heal a thoracic muscle strain in back?

Yes: Physical therapist are experts in helping patients recover from musculoskeletal injuries, strains, sprains, and surgery. Back pain, and specifically a thoracic muscle strain, is a classic and common injury for which physical therapy may be beneficial. ...Read more

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How effective is physical therapy in helping a thoracic muscle strain on the back?

How effective is physical therapy in helping a thoracic muscle strain on the back?

Hard to say: Although hard to quantify, physical therapy can be very helpful for many muscle strains. I strongly recommend it. ...Read more

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What is the probability of physical therapy helping a thoracic muscle strain in back?

What is the probability of physical therapy helping a thoracic muscle strain in back?

Make a correct diagn: It is important to try to make an accurate diagnosis of possible. I have seen some patients diagnosed with strains when in fact the cause was something else. If it is indeed a muscle strain, then yes, physical therapy can be helpful. Most muscle strains if not too severe will heal even without treatment because muscles have a good blood supply. If it is not getting better see doctor. ...Read more

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What would be the best treatment for a torn or strained muscle in the upper stomach area?

Rest: The only answer for that type of sprain or tear is time and rest for the muscle. When the injury first occurs ice and laying at can help minimize the pain and swelling. ...Read more

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Can coughing tear an intercostal muscle?

Can coughing tear an intercostal muscle?

Yes: It's not uncommon to strain or partially tear an intercostal muscle while coughing . Rest and time should heal this. If pain persists, see your physician. ...Read more

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Intercostal muscle tear? Is that possible?

Intercostal muscle tear?  Is that possible?

Sure: Can be seen in athletes who do a lot of twisting of the upper body. Think of a base ball player at the plate. Occurs in weight lifters too. Not all that common but certainly seen ...Read more

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What is best way to get rid of a big knot in intercostal muscle?It's right where my bra strap hits.Side of breast.is that a common occurrence there?

What is best way to get rid of a big knot in intercostal muscle?It's right where my bra strap hits.Side of breast.is that a common occurrence there?

Better bra: You may need a massage to work out which eve issue is there now. Consider different bra, properly fitted. Also, see how you wear your purse, bag, or other activity that may influence that area. May need some strength work out to get your back muscles stronger. ...Read more

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I was shot while wearing a bullet-proof vest. Could I have pulled an intercostal muscle, back muscle or something more serious?

I was shot while wearing a bullet-proof vest. Could I have pulled an intercostal muscle, back muscle or something more serious?

Depends on the-: -distance, caliber & mass & velocity. It can cause this effect due 2 Ur jerk reaction from impact & surprise. B sure U R evaluated by a physician 2 C what injury U sustained. ...Read more

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I am able to push a small part of my rib (intercostal muscle perhaps?) (to the middle of my body) in and out so it clicks? I have never injured them?

I am able to push a small part of my rib (intercostal muscle perhaps?) (to the middle of my body) in and out so it clicks? I have never injured them?

Probably Normal: Your bone is still growing. You still have lots of cartilage to grow into bone. Hearing a clicking sound while a joint moves (in your case name of joints are costocondral) is normal. Good news no injury. Keep an eye for any swelling or tenderness which could be a sign of inflammation of join. Wish you a good health ...Read more

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How to cure acute muscle strain without meds?

Easy: hot and cold water. Repeated change. works for me and a lot of other people I know. The secret is very cold and very hot. From my point of view. But there may be better ways. Good luck ...Read more

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Dr. Rohit Keswani
779 doctors shared insights

Muscle Strain (Definition)

Muscle strain, also called a pulled muscle, is a condition where a muscle or its tendon is overstretched and torn leading to pain, decreased range ...Read more


Dr. Tanya Russo
315 doctors shared insights

Aching Muscles (Definition)

Soreness ...Read more