Sunday, January 29, 2012

Intercostal Muscle spasms and neuralgia

Finally, after all day in pain, I had my husband take me to urgent care.  We are lucky that there is one within 10 minutes of our home that is open until 10pm on weekends. As our insurance will not cover what they do not consider to be emergencies at the ER.  We simply couldn't take that risk.

The doctor said I was suffering from Intercostal muscle spasms.  Which means that the muscles between my ribs are spasming.  In my case, she feels that it may be caused by one of two things.
A) The connective tissue between my ribs is still significantly inflamed and has caused them to spasm.
B) The spasming is a precursor to Intercostal neuralgia, cause by shingles.  Usually the pain and violent spasms show up before a rash.

I had the chicken pox at 9 months of age, so shingles is a possibility.  Also, MTX may have knocked down my immune system (indicated by feel pretty good all week) just enough for the virus to flare.  If that is the case, it is a double edged sword.

Moist heat

Wait and see if a rash appears. Follow up with my rheumy early this week.
*le sigh*

Last night was rough. Fortunately, when the meds kicked in, I was able to get some rest.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you tried already but pressing a finger between the ribs 1/2 an inch from the edge of the sternum can help release the tension in the intercostal/pectoralis muscles. Check along the space between the ribs for additional tenderpoints, press and hold until the muscles relaxes a little. Often you can feel the space between the ribs widen slightly. These muscles like others in your body can benefit from massage, epsom salt bath or magnesium supplementation (can help muscles relax), may also try castor oil pack if inflammation is a factor. Waiting and seeing isn't necessarily all there is to do...