Intercostal pain is a relatively common problem among many runners. It is a type of pain that occurs in the intercostal muscles, which are those that help us keep our torso stable and make it possible for the rib cage to swell during breathing.

This pain usually occurs at the time when these muscles suffer a strain, usually due to excessive and repeated stretching of the tissue, and in addition to causing pain, the most common symptom it causes is precisely an increase in difficulty in breathing.


Obviously you are not interested in this happening, and much less if all this begins to happen to you just when you are running, so we are going to propose some strategies that will help you cope.

Of course, keep in mind that none of these tips is a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.

Types of breathing and how to apply them to exercise

Breathing exercises

You should try to take deep breaths on a regular basis. Do it preferably on an empty stomach because then feeling somewhat full will not be a possible discomfort And because that way you will remember to do it every day for at least a few minutes.

There is no standardized protocol on how breathing exercises should be carried out, although the safest thing is that if the problem persists, your doctor will assess you with a spirometer, which will allow you to get an idea of ​​how deep you should breathe.


Use of hot and cold

To reduce inflammation of the affected muscles, you can apply ice to the area. Do it several times a day for about 20 minutes, but do not prolong these applications for more than two or three days maximum.

After that time it is more interesting that we begin to apply heat, since the inflammation will have been reduced considerably and the heat that we will apply now will make manual therapy and its mobilization easier.

Thermotherapy: heat as a treatment

Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories

Some anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs can speed recovery since they can reduce pain and complications generated by muscle strain.


Ibuprofen, naproxen or paracetamol are drugs with a very low probability of causing side effects and yet they do not require a prescription, although be sure to follow the instructions on the leaflet and above all make sure that these drugs will not interfere with the treatments of other conditions that you may be carrying out.

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