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Symptoms of thoracic intercostal nerve damage

The intercostal nerves are bundles located along the thoracic nerves of the spine and back. When these areas are damaged, the person exhibits specific symptoms. Not all sufferers experience all of the symptoms, but they usually exhibit several.

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Pain is the most common symptom of thoracic intercostal nerve damage. This pain is usually localised along the back, shoulders and neck.


Sufferers may also exhibit signs of weakness. They'll notice that their muscles don't feel as strong as they once did and they will have problems doing simple things.


In some cases, the person with nerve damage feels numbness. With thoracic intercostal damage, she usually feels numb in one part of her back.


In extreme cases of nerve damage, the nerve groups become paralysed. The person may be unable to raise his arm or move his neck.

Pins and Needles

The sensation known as pins and needles is also common. One part of the body feels like it's tingling or like someone is pricking her with a needle.

Lack of Movement

Thoracic intercostal nerve damage also presents with a lack of movement. This is similar to paralysis except that the sufferer can still move, but not move as easily as he did before the damage.

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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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