Often, feeling the pain on the left under the heart, we are pierced by a sparkling thought about heart attack, angina pectoris and other diseases. But do not rush to prepare yourself for the worst beforehand, most likely it is intercostal neuralgia, the symptoms on the left of which are similar to heart pain. Of course, there is little good, but it is much easier to recover.
Intercostal neuralgia or heart problems?
The clinic of typical angina differs sharply from neuralgic pain, but not every person is able to distinguish such symptoms. Burning and constricting pains in the chest in case of ischemic heart diseases at rest take place in literally 1-3 minutes, which is not the case with problems with nerves.
Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia are characterized by prolonged prolonged pain on the left under the scapula or on the same side of the hypochondrium. They do not give up anywhere, and usually the patient can, with a centimeter accuracy, indicate the location of the discomfort. Of course, neuralgic pains have other distinctive symptoms:
- Unpleasant sensations are aggravated by movements with the hand, or by coughing, and do not subside at rest.
- The exact location of the pain can be easily detected by palpating the chest. During angina, the patient simply puts his palm on his chest and says that he is sore everywhere.
- Discomfort is not removed with a nitroglycerin tablet and does not pass after an hour and a half, when the effect of the drug has reached its peak.
- In rare cases, the pain syndrome may be accompanied by swelling and redness of the skin, increasing its sensitivity at the site of localization of the inflamed nerve.
But even with such descriptions, making an independent diagnosis is risky. All questions and suspicions can be removed only after consulting a doctor and passing tests.
Kaleidoscope of possible causes
The most common and popular cause of intercostal neuralgia in men is banal hypothermia, for example, in winter, when it is necessary to remove snow accumulation near the house or garage. After steaming, many representatives of the strong half of humanity decide to remove excess clothing from themselves - this is how nerves become inflamed.
Symptoms of intercostal neuralgia on the left in women can occur when all the canons of fashion are observed. Today it has become popular to wear tight bras, which, with their bones, stick into the skin. Such sets of underwear mechanically damage the nerves. Thin girls are particularly susceptible to this: due to the lack of fat, the nerve endings are located close to the skin.
Promote the appearance of intercostal neuralgia and such diseases:
- soft tissue tumors;
- infections, such as influenza, tuberculosis, shingles;
- congenital anomalies of the musculoskeletal system;
- metabolic diseases in the body;
- arterial hypertension;
- inflammatory diseases of the spine.
And finally, nerve fibers can react to the presence of toxins and poisons in the body. For example, as a result of regular use of alcohol, while taking certain medications or during prolonged contact with heavy metals such as mercury or lead.
Judge yourself correctly: there are many causes of intercostal neuralgia and each of them requires an individual approach to treatment. So self-medicating is almost useless, and after a visit to the polyclinic and examination, it is still possible to avoid. But how far the disease has time to develop, nobody knows.
Proper therapy is the key to healthy nerves.
A patient with neuralgia, complaining to the doctor about a sharp stabbing pain on the left side of the ribs, first of all will be sent for examination and testing of the following nature:
- general blood and urine analysis;
- X-ray of the spine;
All this is necessary in order to divert excess suspicion from other unpleasant ailments.
After the symptoms of the diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia on the left will be confirmed, the specialist will select the correct treatment, which should first of all be aimed at relieving the pain syndrome. To do this, there are many painkillers in the pharmacy today: in pills, ointments, injections and suppositories. However, it is unlikely that it will be possible to manage only the administration of one group of medicines.
Neuralgic pains are often chronic and disturb a person for several days, months, or even years. Other medications, such as antidepressants or anti-epileptic drugs, will be needed to wipe the memory of the nerve endings.
In addition, depending on the course of the disease, the doctor may prescribe other medicines, for example:
- for removal of tissue swelling - diuretic preparations and venotonics;
- for relieving spasm in the muscular skeleton, weakening medications are used - muscle relaxants;
- when neuralgia is seen in acute form, analgesic dressings are applied with lidocaine;
- In an advanced stage with infrequent pains, the doctor may recommend the use of special patches.
At the final stage of treatment will be aimed at restoring the walls of the nerve endings. This is actively helped by proper vitamin therapy and preventive measures. You will also have to change your lifestyle, for example, to give up wearing tight underwear, to avoid sudden body movements for some time and to dress in accordance with weather conditions.
Various physiotherapeutic procedures help to significantly improve the patient's condition:
- dynamic currents;
- magnetic therapy;
In some cases, you may need the help of a psychologist and a homeopath.
Exercise will help relieve pain
Treatment of intercostal neuralgia on the left should be comprehensive. An excellent addition to therapy will be to perform simple exercises to stretch the muscles of the chest. As a rule, in most people the muscles in this area of the body are passive, do not have a special elasticity and tone, which as a result can cause sharp pain.
To help your body, it is enough once or twice a week to perform simple physical exercises: pull-ups on the crossbar and push-ups or interchangeable workouts on simulators. If you can not go to the gym, you can sign up in the pool or perform light gymnastics at home. Consider a couple of effective exercises.
Exercise number 1
First you need to prepare for this exercise: type in dry sand bottles or prepare in advance two small dumbbells. Then we need an inclined surface. It can be a bench, a bed or a sofa without a back and armrests. The exercise is performed this way:
- Lie on your back so that your head hangs slightly off the supporting surface.
- Take dumbbells in hands and lower them for a head, having slightly bent in an elbow joint.
- Then, at the same time as you exhale, raise your arms to chest level.
- Repeat the exercise about 25 times.
Exercise number 2
The essence of this exercise is to maximally stretch the chest muscles in width. In conjunction with the first exercise, where the support is stretching the muscular skeleton horizontally, such exercises help make breathing less painful:
- Take the dumbbells in your hands, pull them apart and stand with your legs spread shoulder-width apart.
- As you exhale, begin to gently bring your hands together in front of your chest. When the dumbbells touch the end point, hold the body in that position for 1-2 seconds.
- Then smoothly return to the starting position and repeat the exercise 10-15 times.
After classes it is recommended to take a douche and relax a bit in the chair.
If it hurts on the left side under the scapula, you do not need to immediately attribute to yourself all the deadly diseases. For a start, it would be nice to see a doctor and get tested. As doctors themselves say, in 60% of cases, and this is quite a lot, a similar symptom is caused by intercostal neuralgia on the left. The disease, of course, also does not cause much joy, but it does not carry a threat to human life, and treatment is much easier. In addition, try to carefully monitor your health, maintain the tone of the muscles of the chest, eat properly and dress according to the season. Be healthy!