Intercostal Neuralgia: Causes

Why do pains arise

Intercostal neuralgia can be caused by a large number of causes. Often this condition occurs with age-related changes, on the background of diabetes mellitus, deficiency of B vitamins, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or diseases of the spine. The causes can be such serious diseases as hepatitis, gastric ulcer, malignant tumors.
Quite often, neuralgia occurs against the background of advanced osteochondrosis, as a result of compression of the roots of the intercostal nerves by intervertebral hernias. Other possible causes of this disease are hormonal spondylopathy, spondylitis, kyphosis, neoplasms in the spine, Bechterew's disease. Traumatic effects, rib fractures, arthrosis of the costal-vertebral joints, microtrauma during physical stress,may also lead to intercostal neuralgia.
Diseases of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis and polyradiculoneuritis, can cause severe pain. Infectious diseases such as influenza and tuberculosis can also trigger neuralgia symptoms. A cold, hypothermia, mental stress, excessive exercise without the necessary prior preparation can provoke an attack.
Another reason for the damage to the nervous system and neuralgic pain can be long-term medication, toxic poisoning (including alcohol abuse) and inhalation of metal salts. Intercostal neuralgia may be associated with hormonal disorders � in menopause in women, in adrenal gland diseases or in thyrotoxicosis.
The development of the disease is also possible after suffering a herpetic infection. Often, neuralgia occurs as a response to pathological processes in the region of neighboring organs and tissues. Such processes include diseases of the ribs, spine, pleurisy, chest deformity. Intercostal neuralgia can also be caused by surgery on the back or chest, in which the intercostal nerves are damaged.

Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of intercostal neuralgia

The main instrumental methods for the diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia are computed tomography, ultrasound, X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, myelography, contrast discography, electrospondylography. A manual and neurological examination is required to determine the causes of the disease, muscle tone, pain localization, and limb sensitivity disturbances are determined.
Drug treatment depends on the condition of the patient and the frequency of pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants that relieve muscle spasms are usually prescribed. As physiotherapy, doctors recommend remedial gymnastics, which restores muscle tone.

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