Intercostal Muscles: What are they?
The intercostals (or the lower back) are two muscles located at the bottom of your rib cage. They attach to your spine via ligaments and tendons. These muscles help support your body weight when you sit or stand up straight. When these muscles become tight, it causes pressure on other parts of the body such as your heart, lungs, kidneys and intestines. This condition is called intercostalgia.
What Causes Intercostal Muscle Strain?
There are several reasons why you may develop intercostal muscle strain. Some of them include:
Being overweight. Being sedentary. Sitting too long while standing. Having a weak back due to age or injury.
Not being able to move around well enough because of poor posture or bad posture habits. Exercising incorrectly, such as not lifting weights properly or not stretching correctly after exercise. Poorly fitting shoes.
How to Diagnose and Treat Intercostal Muscle Strain?
If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, then you need to see a doctor immediately. You will need to do some tests first before seeing one. If there is no reason for concern, then you can proceed with your appointment.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination on you first to see if there is any visible swelling or discoloration around your ribs. If so, then you may have intercostal muscle strain, and you’ll need treatment immediately. Your doctor will recommend that you rest, apply ice or heat to the affected area, and take over-the-counter medication for pain relief. If the pain doesn’t subside after a few days, see your doctor again.
Your doctor may also put you through an exercise routine to strengthen your intercostal muscles.
How to Prevent Intercostal Muscle Strain?
You can easily prevent intercostal muscle strain by taking the following steps:
Wear high-quality supportive bras.
Get an annual physical check-up with your doctor.
Use proper lifting techniques when handling heavy objects.
Maintain good posture when sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Practice stretching exercises, especially before and after exercise.
Perform core strengthening exercises during your regular exercise routine.
How to Prevent Heart Disease?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. You can easily prevent this by taking the following steps:
Losing weight if you are overweight or obese, especially around your midsection.
Maintain a healthy BMI according to your gender, age and height.
Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke as well.
Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked on a regular basis.
Sources & references used in this article:
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