The intercostal muscles lie between the ribs, there are eleven on each side. They help to increase and contract the size of the chest to assist with breathing. There are three layers: the external intercostals, the internal intercostals, and the deepest intercostals muscles.
A strain can occur when a muscle over stretches or becomes torn. A strain of any of the layers of the intercostal muscles can cause tenderness, swelling, pain and difficulty breathing. The injured muscles may feel tight when you breathe, reach, or twist. Muscle strains are also a common cause of chest pain.
Using ice during the first few days should help with any discomfort and reduce inflammation of the muscles. After the first few days, the use of heat on the injured ribs may help because this can help loosen and relax the muscles.
The symptoms described above can be likened to other often more serious problems, Lucyna Massage Therapy would always advise you see a doctor, to assess your symptoms and determine the underlying cause.
Trying some gentle exercise to stretch the tender muscles after an intercostal muscle injury, can aid the recovery. Although not during the acute phase.
Performing deep breathing exercises should improve the condition. When breathing, do it slowly and deeply, try and hold your breath for a few seconds. Do this at least ten times each time.
Some Intercostal Stretches