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intercostal neuralgia or Tms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by winterhaven123, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    Hi I have not posted in awhile it's been over 4 years of constant disabling pain. Has anyone had or has any information about severe intercostal Neuralgia? I have been through all testing MRI Ct scan, bone scans upper GI. the list goes on. I have been seen by 2 neuro Doctors who blew me of My primary DR says nothing shows, I have read that it won't show on a MRI I have severe burning & pressure through out my ribcage & upper back it;s totally disabling. I have had acupuncture & massage therapist tell me my ribs are out of place. if anyone has had this or can help or know if this is tms please reply. thanks
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Winterhaven,

    I'm glad to hear from you again, but sorry to hear you are still in so much pain.

    I'm not familiar with intercostal neuralgia and haven't seen it mentioned on the Forum. If I remember correctly, there isn't a TMS doctor near you. I've heard that some of the TMS docs will consult via email/Skype if you have MRIs and other records to send them. I've heard that Dr. Mark Sopher may do this (mdsophermd@comcast.net) or you could try Dr. Schubiner (hschubiner@gmail.com).

    You could also try submitting your question to our Ask-A-Therapist program and perhaps of the doctors will answer.


    Wishing you the best...
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just googled and found this on intercoastal neuralgia.

    Winteerhaven, I think you should treat it as caused by TMS.

    Intercostal Neuralgia
    What is intercostal neuralgia?
    Intercostal neuralgia is a painful disorder of the nerves that run between the ribs, and is caused by damage to one of the nerves and/or loss of function of the nerve.

    The intercostal nerves run between the ribs and can be damaged in various ways. The most common cause is chest surgery, during which a nerve can be damaged.

    Signs and symptoms
    In intercostal neuralgia, an intense, sharp, shooting pain is felt in the chest, which radiates from the front to the back (or vice versa). Continuous nerve pain may also be felt. The skin can be painful to the touch and there is increased sensitivity to pinprick pain. The skin may also have decreased sensitivity.

    How is intercostal neuralgia diagnosed?
    If the symptoms appear following an operation, the diagnosis is usually clear.
    If this is not the case, other causes must then be excluded. Therefore, an extensive neurological examination is important if you have chest pain.

    Do I need any additional examinations?
    • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important to your pain already took place after you filled in your pain questionnaires.
    • X-rays and an MRI scan are performed to exclude other causes.
    • You may be referred to a pulmonologist or an internal specialist.
    What are my treatment possibilities?
    Multidisciplinary Treatment
    Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.

    Non-physical Treatments
    If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

    Walt again:

    Psychological treatment could begin with starting the Structural Education Program,
    free in that subforum here. It helps in discovering the psychological-emotional causes of pain.
  4. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    Hi Walt thank you for the response. all that you have mentioned have been clear even a complete cardio work up because the pain comes from the midback to the chest wall. a pain specialist will not even see Me in central Fl because nothing shows & Central Fl is known as the pill mill factory of the US. All work up has been down that you mention except a pulmonologist. that has never been mentioned. I had cervical Surgery in 2012 for disc & cord compression. the pain started in 2011 I went crawling in on my back expecting back surgery & neck surgery was 2 days later no finding with my back other than normal bulging disc I kept saying it was My upper abdominal , Ribcage & chestwall the surgeon who also did my neck surgery also i had a total of over 20 epidurals in my mid spine. no complete never block He said that was the same thing. it did give my abdominal wall some relief but my back & ribcage stay the same. also prior my skin was so sensitive i could not even be touched by a sheet. The neurologist sent me to neuropsycotherpy that i have been going to for a year with no improvement. As soon as they know you have Clinical depression it's always blamed on that. I have completed the SEP program Also read divided mind & listened to healing back Pain audio & read The great pain Deception & They can't find anything wrong by MD David Clarke. & Yes i do have severe emotional problems. Years of Physical & emotional abuse not by my Family growing up but by 2 different Men but do have a low self esteem from Childhood. what puzzles Me about this so much is as soon as I lye down the pain stops & within 10 minutes of getting up it starts like compression also I have been told by accupunture & 2 different massage that my ribs were out of place any time I mentioned this to a MD all they can say is it dident show on a MRI & changing MDs wont help i have done so 3 times. The only TMS Md in Central Fl is S Brady who is not accepting any new patience. so I appreciate your response & if you can find anything else please let Me know. I have been told that some Neuralgia's are Psychological but don't know which ones are Thanks Judy
  5. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    Hi Ellen Thank you & I appreciate your concern. I am happy to know you are doing so much better. I know about not hearing much about it I cant't find any postings anywhere If you do please inform Me & again thank you
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    After reading the description of intercostal neuralgia, I realize that may describe what I have sometimes when I wake up. It doesn't happen very often, fortunately, but sometimes when I wake up, I have so much pain in the area of my ribs that it takes my breath away when I move to get out of bed. It usually goes away in a minute or two once I'm up and walking around. I figure it is a result of something I'm dreaming about and my unconscious creates TMS, as I never get it at any other time. So for me it is definitely TMS.

    But I really feel for you, Winterhaven, as it is very painful--if it is the same thing.
  7. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    mine stays with all day dont let up unless i lye down. I am on high dose of Gapapentin that is the only med that reduces the burning for a short while thanks
  8. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

  9. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    I will try the program again i have completed it once & I am sure there is alot I missed thank you I wonder how many different forms of neuralgia there are?
  10. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    In the early stages of my most severe TMS, I had intercostal neuralgia. I was seeing a Physical Therapist at the time, and while she had good intentions, she was CONSTANTLY trying to get me to believe that my posture was the ENTIRE cause of my upper back, shoulder and neck pain. To compensate, I stood in rigid, dogmatic, "military" posture, which even a PT will tell you is a terrible way to stand. Good posture is not "shoulders back". This was causing ALL of my intercostal neuralgia. Once I read Sarno and realized that I needed to relax and not hold myself so tight (mentally and physically), my rib pain evaporated within a few weeks. I don't know if this is contributing to your issue, but it you are holding yourself in a "shoulders back" or "military" posture, you may be seriously exacerbating your pain. Also, anxiety can cause intercostal pain, when I started taking anti-anxiety meds, it further went away. Last tip, breathe with your belly. Chest or "rescue" breathing, puts major strain on the ribs. Feel better. My opinion? TMS. There are ENDLESS forms of neuralgia. Remember that Sarno includes nerves, not just muscles in TMS. Good luck and keep at it, but always be easy on yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  11. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    ...and like yours, my rib pain would cease upon laying down.

    It's all gone now.

    You can heal. Keep being easy on yourself. It sounds like you have been through a lot.

    What do you keep on your chest? What do you need to get off? Can you love yourself enough to do that? We're all in that boat, here. The love boat.

    Sending you a hope float, fellow sailor.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  12. winterhaven123

    winterhaven123 Peer Supporter

    Hi thank you for your support. & glad to know that you recovered. Mine has been over 4 years. & spread in several other area's of my body. where you on medication? I have read divided mind & listen all the time to healing back pain. somthings not getting through to me was your pain constant & widespread?
  13. kayde

    kayde Newcomer

    I am not sure if you are still having problems or if you found treatment. I've had this for 5 years since a back surgery that left me 110% worse than I was before the surgery. This has been the most dabilitzting thing I have ever encountered and had never even heard of it. Took 4 7 years to even find a diagnosis. Told failed back surgery, that I needed more physical therapy,that I subconsciencisly didn't want to get better, that it was in my head, that my ribs were dislocated. My left arm went out twice. After all of this I got more determined. Point being I found a neurosurgeon that understood about what this is and helped me understand that physical therapy for me only damaged the nerves more and all the 164 pt appointments did nothing but damage me more which explained why I was getting worse. No meducation iinclucing pain meds really helped me be mobile or in less pain. Cymbalta was the only thing that seemed helpful but the side effects were too much for me. I finally opted for the nerves to be burned off and I've had 65% reduction in the pain. After years of pretty much holding my breath to keep down the pain I was finally able to breathe sitting up and standing up and not just laying flat on my back. It would be worth your time to find a neurosurgeon recommended maybe by an orthopedic surgeon that treats this. It's been my best hope after all this time. Lots of luck to you as you are not alone
  14. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Judy,

    I read over your posts and it seems highly likely that this form of neuralgia is TMS-caused. Neuralgia basically just means "nerve symptoms"...can be any nerve in the body. As you know, nerve sensations can be either from a physical cause or a TMS cause. A physical cause would entail something like direct injury to those nerves or nerve-generated pain from a spinal cord injury or something like that. As was mentioned above, less likely options would be something cardiac or lung related- but it sounds like you already got a lot of testing to rule things out.

    You situation sounds more like TMS than anything else, given the lack of physical injury to the area. Even an old cervical surgery shouldn't be affecting intercostal nerves in this way...even if you had epidurals in the area, any issues related to that would have long resolved. Remember that a "true" nerve injury won't just cause sensation but will result in true loss of sensation and strength. (Having worked with patients with spinal cord injuries, you can be sure you aren't in that category!)

    That being said, I understand how awful the pain must be and how you're searching for solutions! It really does sound like TMS though. TMS can strike any nerve, muscle or tendon in the body (and sometimes other systems!)...keep telling yourself that and reading the evidence.
  15. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just realized this thread is pretty old! I hope you found some relief since the original post :)
  16. Bill Woods

    Bill Woods Newcomer

    Pl see my post under thread Intercostal Neuralgia this date.....bill woods
  17. Bill Woods

    Bill Woods Newcomer

  18. Bill Woods

    Bill Woods Newcomer

    Please see my post this date under thread entitled Intercostal Neuralgia. ....bill woods
  19. Tracystep4

    Tracystep4 Newcomer

    This sounds identical to my mother in laws problem. She’s been to doctors and done all the above. Have you had any luck with relief?

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