Dear Ask The Doctor: I was hitting 500 golf balls at a time and my ribs started to hurt. I continued to practice and now I think I ripped a muscle. I had an x ray and it showed that my ribs were okay. It has been 5 weeks and the pain is still the same. I have had ultra sound and laser therapy and I am getting discouraged. How long will this take to heal and is there anything else I can do help the process?
Dear Patient: According to your description of the events and the characteristics of the pain, most likely you may have an Intercostal Neuritis, which is not a serious condition but very annoying indeed and slow healing. By a spasm or a direct trauma the intercostals nerve got injured, and that’s why you are feeling that stabbing pain every time you take a deep breath, sneeze or cough.
The suggested strategy would be: please, try to be patient and do not expect an overnight improvement, take anti inflammatory medication (“Aleve”, “Motrin”), and also Vitamin B12 supplement. Local moist heat helps to ease the pain. Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain.