How to Sleep Comfortably With Intercostal Muscle Strain
Intercostal muscle pain can affect breathing and make sleeping difficult until dealt with. Here's how to sleep comfortably with an intercostal muscle strain.
Published April 10, 2023.
Sleep ought to be refreshing, but that isn’t always the case. With pain, sleep becomes difficult. This happens with intercostal muscle strain, a tear of the intercostal muscles that help with breathing, leading to chest pain. Sleep is a part of the recovery process, so you should learn to sleep comfortably even with an intercostal muscle strain.
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What to Do Before You Sleep
With intercostal muscle strain, your symptoms may include pain, tenderness, swelling, and spasm. To manage this and aid your sleep, here are a few things you can do:
- Heat or cold therapy Within the first few days after injury, applying an ice pack will help reduce the swelling. After three days, you can switch to a heating pad to relieve the strain.
- Pain relievers There are medications to relieve pain symptoms. Talk to your doctor to prescribe some for you, or get some over-the-counter analgesics from your local pharmacy.
- Exercises Breathing exercises and meditation may also be necessary to improve shallow breathing. Gentle stretching can also help to relieve any chest pain you may be experiencing.
- Physical therapy A physical therapist can use TENS or Ultrasound to treat your pain symptoms.
What to Do During Sleep
You should also pay attention to your sleeping position and environment. The ideal sleeping environment should be comfortable, dark, and quiet, and you should ensure your mattress and sleep accessories fully support your rib cage, spine, neck, back, and other body parts.
If you’re sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your neck and knee to position it appropriately. And if you prefer to sleep on your side, use a pillow to support your head and lower back.
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