Intercostal muscle strain

The intercostal muscle strain occurs when your muscle stretches, pulls, strains or is partially torn that can cause pain and uneasiness. Intercostal muscle has 3 layers such as:

  • Internal intercostals
  • External intercostals
  • Innermost intercostals

These layers are attached to ribs to help build the chest wall and assist in breathing. When the muscle of intercostal gets twisted, strained, it can cause intercostal muscle pain.

Intercostal muscle strain

Symptoms of intercostal muscle strain

Intercostal muscle pain has many symptoms such as:

  • Acute and intense pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breathing
  • Intense pain in palpation
  • Chest stiffness or arm pain
  • Intercostal hematoma
  • Continuous pain of chest wall
  • Upper back pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Abdomen pain
  • Pain when coughing, sneezing

Causes of intercostal muscle strain

Intercostal muscle pain can occur in any of life. But the intercostal muscle pain has many causes such as:

  • Injury from major car accident or fall
  • Injury from a sport like a hockey or a football
  • Twisting while running or lifting
  • Twisting from the workout position
  • Prolonged overhead reaching
  • Lifting any extreme heavy object
  • Reaching overhead
  • Chopping wood
  • Bone injury from an accident

Home remedies for intercostal muscle strain

Home remedies are very essential to get rid of muscle pain. Some powerful home remedies work amazingly to reduce the pain fast. Also, home remedies help to soothe your pain with its nutrients that are very necessary for your muscles. So here I will discuss all the healthy home remedies that will help you to get rid of your muscle strain.

Warm compress

A warm impress is very necessary during your muscle stiffness. Warm compress helps to soothe your tense muscle. Many people have experienced that warm water helps to relax muscle fast. So you can use a warm compress 2 times a day to get an effective result from your muscle pain.

You can also add some salt into your warm water to feel better from the pain.

Massage with lavender oil

Lavender oil is one of the Important essential oil that may help to soothe your muscles in your body. It has some herbs that help to relax your painful muscle fast. Massage is very beneficial for a painful muscle that may help you to get rid of your intercostal muscle pain.

So you can use this home method that will help you like a spa therapy to get rid of your pain.


Doing yoga is extremely helpful to reduce the pain of your muscles. But make sure your injury is not serious. If you have normal intercostal pain then you can do yoga. With very serious muscle pain, it can worsen your muscle condition.

Yoga has many soft positions that may help you to get rid of your muscle pain fast. You can do yoga for 30 minutes in the morning to get a better result. You can also do easy aerobics exercises such as slow walking, soft stretching and more to relax your muscles.

But if you have muscle pain in extreme level, then you may not be able to do those workouts in the morning. So if your pain is at an extreme level then you should not dot those exercises. Doing yoga is always a healthy habit that solves many muscle-related problems.

Turmeric added milk

Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants that help to soothe muscle pain. Also, turmeric has a decent amount of curcumin that helps to reduce joint and muscle pain fast. You can drink a glass of turmeric milk before your bedtime to get relief from the extreme pain of your intercostal muscle.

Milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin-D are very necessary for your bone and muscles. So you can drink a glass of milk regularly to prevent further muscle problems.

Epsom salt

Taking a warm bath from magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) helps a lot to relieve your muscle pain. Epsom salt helps to soothe your body and muscles fast. Epsom salt is available in any medical store and you can add 2-3 cups of Epsom salt in your warm water.

Research has shown that the dissolved minerals absorb through your skin. It helps to increase your blood levels of magnesium. Magnesium is very important for your muscle function and the Epsom salt may help you to get rid of your intercostal muscle strain.

A complete sleep

Healthy sleep is very necessary to relieve your tense muscles in your body. Make sure you are not taking sleeping pills to get complete sleep. You can massage your body with some essential oil that may help you to get a good sleep.

Make sure you are taking 7-8 hours of sleep every day to soothe your muscle pain. A complete sleep also helps to keep your mind very relax which will boost your overall health.

Tart cherry juice

Tart cherry is loaded with healthy antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may help you to get rid of your intercostal muscle pain fast.

You can a glass of tart cherry juice with mixing water or milk to get a better result fast. You can drink tart cherry juice twice a day to soothe your muscle pain from inside.

Arnica oil

Research has shown that arnica oil has many medicinal herbs that are very beneficial for muscle stiffness. You can massage your body with arnica oil twice a day. Also, arnica oil has Thymol that works amazingly to solve your muscle tissue exertion.

One study has shown that arnica oil helps to regulate blood from bruised tissues where blood is often is accumulated due to the rupture of different blood capillaries. Also, arnica oil is rich in health benefits that may help to get rid of stiffness.

Healthy diet plan

A healthy meal plan is very necessary during your muscle pain. A healthy diet plan plays a vital role to boost your immune level fast. Make sure your diet plan is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc will help to get rid of muscle pain.

You need to consume enough high protein vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, onion, kale, and spinach), fruits (apples, banana, kiwi, grapes, cherry) grains (wheat, oats, brown rice), eggs, chicken, dairy products that always boost your muscle health. Always try to follow a 1800-2000 calorie diet plan.

Diagnosis for intercostal muscle strain

Intercostal muscle pain can be very painful if all the home remedies are not working. You need to make an appointment with your doctor to treat your problem. Your doctor may ask you some questions and doing a physical exam to know the condition of the intercostal muscle strain.

Your doctor may order a chest X-ray to make you sure that your lungs weren’t bruised or punctured when got injured. Also, your doctor may order you to do an MRI scan.

Treatments of intercostal muscle strain

Treatment is very necessary for your intercostal muscle strain. If all the home remedies are not working to get rid of your pain, then you need to take medical treatment right away.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy may help to involve stretches to strengthen intercostal muscles, foam roller stretches and also deep breathing exercises. These will help fast to recover your muscle strain.

Also, physical therapy may help you to sleep properly with less pain in your intercostal muscle.

Muscle relaxers also lower intercostal muscle strain

You can also use some muscle relaxers such as balm, spray that may your doctor prescribe you. Muscle relaxers are also very helpful to reduce pain. You can also use some natural muscle relaxers that will reduce muscle stiffness.

Bottom line

Intercostal muscle pain may take a long time to get relieved completely. If your muscle pain is normal and has a very great improvement with proper medication and home remedies then you need to have some patience.

If medication and home methods are not working then your doctor may order you to surgery to treat your pain.

About Nasima Khatun

Hello everyone, I'm a health and fitness writer on my own website. I'm recently working on my website regularly. All of the information on my website is based on scientific research and nutritional facts.

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