Intercostal neuralgia is a type of chest pain caused by irritation or damage to the intercostal nerves, which are the nerves that run along the ribs. The pain is typically sharp and stabbing and can occur in the chest, back or abdomen. It can be triggered by movements such as coughing, sneezing or deep breathing, and can be made worse by certain positions or activities. Symptoms include muscle spasms, tenderness, burning, numbness or tingling in the affected area. Intercostal neuralgia can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, surgery, infection, overuse, or nerve compression from an underlying condition such as rib fractures, herniated discs, or tumors.