Chest Wall Pain
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Unfortunately, there is very little research available on the effectiveness of potential treatments for chest wall pain. However, there are some at-home treatments you can use to reduce pain from an acute injury or trauma. For more severe cases of pain that aren’t related to heart attack, there are interventional treatments you can try.
Chest Wall Pain | PainDoctor.com
At-home chest wall pain treatments
This type of pain generally resolves on its own. However, some at-home chest wall pain treatments can include:
Taking over-the-counter oral analgesics
Reducing some types of physical activity
Using cough suppressants
Applying a hot compress or heating pad
Undergoing physical therapy
In most instances, over-the-counter oral analgesics are recommended as a first-line treatment. These medications may include acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Your physician may also recommend that you limit physical activities that tend to make the symptoms worse. For instance, you may be encouraged to reduce exercise intensity or temporarily decrease the degree of physical exertion you engage in at work. Further, using cough suppressants in order to reduce the severity of your cough may provide some relief from symptoms of chest wall pain.
Many patients may have success applying a hot compress or using a heating pad. This technique is particularly effective in instances of costochondritis that are the result of muscle overuse and strain.
Your doctor may also recommend a course of physical therapy. This particular treatment can be very beneficial for cases of musculoskeletal chest pain. They can also recommend at-home stretches for chest wall pain that you can do.
If you’re experiencing more persistent symptoms of pain and discomfort, you may wish to consider more aggressive forms of pain management. You should only attempt these more advanced treatments after other at-home treatments have failed. But, if this type of pain begins to severely impact your daily life, you should talk to your doctor about your options.
Chest wall pain treatments may include:
Chest wall injections
Treatments focused on underlying conditions, such as arthritis, injury, or cancer
For cases of severe and chronic refractory pain, injections of analgesic medication may be effective in providing relief from your pain. This technique allows for a more targeted approach, such that the analgesic medication (generally lidocaine or corticosteroid) is delivered by injection directly into the affected area. The goal of these chest wall injections is to interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the peripheral nervous system to the spinal cord and brain. This technique is effective for managing more severe symptoms of chest wall pain, though it is very rarely necessary.
If you’re suffering from costochondritis that’s caused by an infection, your doctor will start you on a course of antibiotics.
If your pain is caused by a slight dislocation in the ribs, a pain specialist may recommend chiropractic care. In this case, a chiropractor will help manipulate the dislocation to move it back to its original position.
Finally, if arthritis or another pain condition is causing your pain, your pain doctor will work to find treatments that resolve those underlying conditions. In these cases, it can reduce or effectively relieve your symptoms.
Chest wall pain, which is also known as costochondritis, is a common condition. It is characterized by achy, sharp, or even pressure-like pain within the chest region. These symptoms may radiate out toward the shoulders and arms.
In most cases, the precise source of the pain is not known. But, in general, this type of pain is believed to be the result of irritation and inflammation of the underlying soft tissue of the chest. Symptoms of chest wall pain generally resolve on their own, though several treatment options are available for pain management. These can include physical therapy, injections, or chiropractic care.
If you’re suffering from chronic chest wall pain that’s lasted for three months or more, or pain that severely impacts your life, you need to talk to a pain specialist. They can help diagnose the cause of your pain and discuss treatment options that would work best for you.
Global Neuro & Spine Institute physicians are double and triple-board certified, fellowship trained, and remain on the cutting edge of technology. In our practice, we use the most advanced techniques and the highest standards to develop an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan for each of our patients. We are also very proud of our policy to place great importance on educating those we treat, while addressing any questions or concerns that may exist.
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