Intercostal Nerve Block

What You Need to Know

Intercostal neuralgia is often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants or neuropathic pain medications. Heat or cold can also be applied to the area. If patients do not respond to these conservative measures, intercostal nerve blocks can be performed. For these procedures, patients will generally lie on their stomach. The affected area will be visualized with an X-ray. A mixture consisting of a local anesthetic and steroid will be injected below the affected ribs, close to the affected intercostal nerves.

What to expect

Patients will generally lie on their stomach for intercostal nerve blocks. The affected area will be visualized with an X-ray. A mixture consisting of a local anesthetic and steroid will be injected below the affected ribs, close to the affected intercostal nerves.

Recovery

Patients should try to rest for the first 24 hours. After this time, they can start to resume their normal activity. Most patients start to feel better within a week’s time.