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Pain Relief for the Chest

Body Region: Ribs (Intercostalis Muscles)
Conditions Associated with TPs: Pain following chest trauma, heart attack, asthma
General Symptoms: Difficulty breathing, especially taking a deep breath. Generalized chest pain.
Common Causal Activities: Asthma and thoracic (chest) surgery are the most common causes of these TPs. Asthma from an overuse or Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and thoracic surgery from trauma to the region leading to prolonged muscle contraction for protective purposes (see other notes).
Anatomy Picture:
Self Care: Self care is best done with a narrow tool. It is difficult and best done by someone else. When done the fingers or tool MUST be able to press between the ribs not just on top of them. See therapist care next.
Therapist Care: A three or four finger gripped flat hand is best used. When using a tool try to use one which is two to three inches long but very narrow. The idea is to get down between the ribs into the three layers of muscles there. When doing the therapy, start at the sternum (breast bone) with three or four fingertips side by side but pressing down into the space with equal pressure. With the fingers of the treating hand bent so the fingertips are aligned flat grip the fingers strongly with the other hand to lock them together side by side. Use both hands to press into the space. Doing this allows a faster treatment and the ability to move the hand across two to three inches instead of ½ inch at a time. Start at the sternum and work laterally as far as possible. It's easy to miss a space so when you're done with the one space return your fingers to the sternum by sliding them along the space you just did to their starting point before you slide them over the rib below to start in the next space. Make sure you check and treat the posterior rib region as much as possible.
Special Notes:

Since this is a controversial region to touch make sure you are VERY professional regarding your behavior and attitude.

Four things that help:
1. - When near the breast ask for permission to treat the area or have the woman pull the breast out of your way while you treat around it.
2. - Make sure you are using the very fingertips with the palm of your treating hand raised well above the breast for no contact.
3. -If you suspect the patient is overly concerned or may be of some legal or emotional risk, especially if you usually use a light touch, press a little harder. This will be OK for therapy, cause a little more pain and generally reduce any sexual feelings which may be attendant with the therapy.
4. - Always ask another person to be present especially if there are potential sexual issues present.

 

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