Costochondritis for 2 years, can't work, can't hold my daughter.

Posted , 8 users are following.

I'm posting because if anything, I need to vent.

I've suffered from Costochondritis for over 2 years now, it started the day my daughter was born.

10 years my wife and I had been trying to conceive, so the day my daughter was born should have been the happiest day of my life, but it became one that I'd rather forget.

While holding my 5lb little girl she stopped breathing and turned grey, we panicked and nurses ran in. Luckily she recovered on her own and started breathing, but was rushed to intensive care with my wife (who was in a wheelchair after a C-section) holding her.

I never made it to intensive care, because I was rushed to A&E because I couldn't breathe and they thought I was having a heart attack.

I had some tests done and an ECG and knowing I just wanted to get to my wife and newborn and with a hear attack ruled out, they said I was okay to leave but they will send a note to my doctor.

So a week of hell followed, we had to stay and sleep at the hospital with my daughter in a plastic box with tubes and wires everywhere, the worst week of my life by far.

Let me at this point say that she's a happy, healthy and very clever 2 year old now and our world revolves around her (as it should). 

Unfortunately, I have been left with lasting damage to the point where I have never been able to hold my daughter for more than 10 minutes without having to lay down because of the immense pain in my sternum and ribs.

Now she's a lot bigger I can't lift her for more than a minute, and if she falls over, I can't pick her up without being in pain that will affect me for the rest of that day.

A few months after she was born when things calm down, I followed up the letter from my GP about my ribs.  I had a few tests done and was sent for multiple x-rays and they found I have calcium deposits on my ribs but was also diagnosed with Costochondritis.

For many months I was on naproxen, but I didn't feel like they worked, so am currently on Meloxicam (15mg) once daily. Again, I don't feel any better for it.

I have suffered for over 2 years now to the point where I can no longer work, I can't lift things that I used to be able to lift. I can't help my wife bring the shopping in, I can't even just sit up at a computer chair without taking breaks and laying down, I can't do anything, I've been rendered useless.

My chest, sternum and ribs ache, constantly, like I'm being poked by a boney finger sometimes just one side, sometimes both, and sometimes straight down the sternum, 

If I arch backwards I can actually crack my sternum/ribs like you can your back or knuckles.

Does this sound like what other people are experiencing and has anyone had any luck with any medication or treatments?.

I'd like to add that I had 2 months within those  2 years where it went away, but as quickly as it vanished it just appeared again.

The doctor believes it's due to stress rather than anything strenuous but has advised against any heavy lifting or exercise. 

I have however lost 2 stone (not by exercising) to see if it would help at all, but unfortunately, it didn't.

Any advice would be great, sorry for the long read.

0 likes, 8 replies


8 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh, I'd also like to add that prior to this and to this day I have been on anxiety and depression medication for 10-years.

    While I've had palpitations and chest pains,  the costochondritis is a different feeling, although the shortness of breath is similar, but with costochondritis, it feels more like my lung is stabbing on bone.

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  • Posted

    Good morning,

    I have been suffering for only a little over a month. 5 er trips in 9 days and a 3 day stay in the hospital my primary diagnosed me with Costochondritis. I have a very hard time breathing , cant lift anything without extreame pain and heart palpitations are crazy non stop. After doing days and days of reading and research, the only relief I have found is a heating pad on my chest and back and stretching. As like you, my life has toatlly changed. My family and friends seem to think I should be back to normal by now, they get frustrated that I am unble to do the things I have always done .

    Im with you on searching for some relief. Doctors dont seem to know much at all and my primary seems to think my heart palpitations have nothing to do with the Costal. I completely disagree. I was a completely healthy 40 year old with no issues till this happened and now im like a little old lady not able to live a normal life.

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    • Posted

      I can completely relate. 

      My heart rate is fast (although, doctors are unsure if it was fast before my costochondritis), but with my anxiety I have palpitations so they really haven't got a clue. I was given beta blockers but I was a bit scared of using them, and after a week I came off them.

      I have used heat packs in the past, and it does help. If I'm having a really bad time I use Voltarol gel.

      I too feel like I have doubled in age.. I have gone from 30 to 60.

      The thing I hate the most is that I can't hold doors for people, and my wife has to do heavy lifting or carry all the bags when we are out and I just feel like people are looking at me thinking I'm a right b*****d.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tina. I have costochondritis too and saw your reply to Jason.  Just search this on youtube "how to fix (most) costochondritis and tietze's syndrome part 2." I thought the new zeland doctor in the video was a quack but his advise and product improved my quality of life for which i am very thankful. I have to keep up the exercises and use the Back Pod but life is much better now. I no longer have to take ibuprofen or feel discomfort in my lower right rib cage. 

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  • Posted

    I just want you to know that God is always there with you and these are all just challenges thay will lead you and your family to a better, peaceful and painless life together.

    I’ve been having chest pains for a month now, mostly to the left. I have been anxious ever since for the thought that it might be angina and other heart related problems. It radiates to the back, in between shoulder blades, as well. I’m hoping for better....

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  • Posted

    Hi Jason,

    I'm really sorry that costo has been so painful for you.

    I've had it for almost 18 months and have pretty much done all the research you can do on it. When I first had it, it was excruciating and I too couldn't lift things or shopping.

    From my experience, it emanates from the spine. It makes sense, because your costovertebral joints link to your spine and that's where the jamming happens, hence the chest pain to try to compensate.

    I would advise seeing a physio or/and a chiropractor, and get some exercises. A stretch band will really help. Look up 'Backpod New Zealand' on Youtube, Steve August has done some magnificent work on costo, in terms of understanding it.

    I found rest works, two pillows at night, no heavy weight lifting (I'm sure you know this) and stretch out your chest.

    I really hope this gets better for you, it sucks that you can't do these things with your daughter. I honestly thought when I had it really bad that it would be something I would have to live for forever.

    I have been (mostly) pain free for 4-5 months and the pain only onsets if I overdo it. Rest has been key and so have the exercises.

    Best of luck, Stevie.

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  • Posted

    One more thing to add, you could also get you gait and biomechanics checked out.

    If you're flat footed or if your ankles overpronate, then your whole skeletal structure will be off balance. This includes your spine.

    I've found that wearing insoles in my shoes completely changes my gait and posture, which in turn, helps your spine to the correct position, and therefore the costovertebral joints, and therefore the chest pain. I've definitely had less costo pain since getting the insoles.

    All the best,


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  • Posted

    Hi Jason. I have costochondritis (not as severe as yours but would say 6 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of discomfort. I found ibuprofen to be helpful at times but found this easy exercise method and something called a BackPod that reduced it to a 1 out of 10. Just search this on youtube "how to fix (most) costochondritis and tietze's syndrome part 2." I have to keep up the exercises and use the backed but life is much better now. Good luck and hope you find a solution. 

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