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What is the treatment to get relief from intercostal muscle strain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I have intercostal injury about 9 months and it came, i think from playing golf, as, every time I tried to follow through after hitting ball, I got a sharp pain in my right side. Xray and MRI showed up nothing and advice from doctor told me to keep playing as it will eventually go. It was wrong advice, I feel, as it only got worse. What treatment would you recommend at this stage.It does not affect breathing or most other movements but I would like to play golf again but haven't done so for 3 weeks now as it hurts to do so.
Posted Sun, 29 Dec 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Intercostal muscle strain Detailed Answer: Hello sir and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. An intercostal injury which has returned a normal x-ray and MRI result would just be an intercostal muscle strain and would normally have the following recommendations: -First and most importantly, rest; and avoiding any activity that can apply stress or strain to the affected region. So, advise of continuing to play golf was obviously wrong -Application of cold compress to the affected region -Lying on a soft surface on the affected side and taking deep breaths. This helps in exercising the affected muscles -Mild pain killers (eg. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) Usually healing takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks, if proper rest is taken. I hope this information helps you sir. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Take care sir.
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Follow-up: What is the treatment to get relief from intercostal muscle strain? 2 hours later
would ice treatment still apply after circa 6 to 9 months
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 12 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes sir, it should still help Detailed Answer: Hello once again sir. A cold compress helps in promoting blood circulation and reducing any swelling present (if present). It is usually applied during the acute period, but it appears as though your injury was not given time to heal; so yes, a cold compress can still be applied and hopefully with effect even after a period of 9 months, which was when the first injury took place. Secondary injuries would have taken place during your following golf games. Hope this makes things clear sir. Do keep me informed about the progress, so we can decide whether or not to continue the same treatment. Best wishes.
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Follow-up: What is the treatment to get relief from intercostal muscle strain? 1 hour later
Thank you Doctor, will begin treatment you advise on this most frustrating injury. Will let you know progress in time
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Wishing you a speedy recovery Detailed Answer: Hi. You are most welcome. Yes, be patient as rest is mist important, so take special care to avoid straining the region for at least the next 4-6 weeks. I am always available if you need me, but as of now you need nothing but rest. Best wishes.
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Follow-up: What is the treatment to get relief from intercostal muscle strain? 14 hours later
Is acupuncture an option for this injury
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 14 hours later
Brief Answer: Some documentation exists, but try at own risk sir Detailed Answer: Hello once again sir. Some documented research data does exist on acupunture being beneficial in providing relief in individuals with intercostal neuralgia, and you could consider trying this out, although this will have to be done at your own risk. My suggestion would be to take complete rest for 6 weeks, and if the pain does not subside, then consider acupuncture; as being a medical professional, I am unaware about the risks and benefits of the practice of acupuncture. I hope this information is clear sir. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
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