CHEST WALL PAIN
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Chest wall pain is a very common and totally benign type of pain that occurs often during nutritional balancing programs. This article discusses its causes and what to do about it.
Definition of chest wall pain: It is excessive tension of the intercostal muscles. These are small muscles that criss-cross between the ribs.
A technical name for this condition is costochondritis. This means inflammation of the cartilages of the ribs. However, it is usually inflammation or tightness of the muscles that run between the ribs.
SYMPTOMS OF CHEST WALL PAIN
The main symptoms are pain and tightness in various spots on the chest, and maybe in the abdomen, where there can also be muscle tension.
This is important because it can mimic a heart attack and cause severe anxiety. It might even cause a person to go to the emergency room, spend thousands of dollars on tests, and perhaps receive medication or even an operation for heart problems.
IDENTIFYING CHEST WALL PAIN
Fortunately, it is very easy to tell if you have chest wall pain. Simply take a few of your fingers and press hard between your ribs in various locations on your chest. If the area hurts when you press on it, then it is chest wall pain. If there is no tenderness or pain, then usually you do not have chest wall pain, and the cause of your pain is something else.
If you can press hard between the ribs where it hurts and there is no pain or tenderness at all, then the cause might be a heart problem, a reflex from the intestines caused by gas in the colon, muscle strain, a chiropractic problem with a rib out of place, or something else.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT CHEST WALL PAIN
1. Leave it alone and ignore it if it is mild.
It will slowly go away as you stay on your program.
2. Breathe deeply into your chest or wherever it hurts. This forcefully expands the muscles and helps them relax.
3. Correct your posture. Chest wall pain is much worse if you hunch over. Many people hunch and do not even realize it. Stand up really straight and tall, and chest wall pain is usually much better. This also stretches out the muscles between your ribs.
5. Foot reflexology can sometimes help, to a degree. It opens energy channels.
6. Use of the red heat lamp or red lamp sauna may help. It brings more blood circulation to the chest area and this releases the tension.
7. If it is really bad, body work such as Rolfing, Structural Integration or Hellerwork may help. This is deep body work and you have to get into your underwear, so it is not safe for young women except if your practitioner is another woman, and even then, please be careful. We donŐt recommend it much for this very reason.