Healing Costochondritis and Anxiety

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Hi All,

I have been dealing with Costochondritis for nearly 5 months and like all of you, am at my wits end! It came about after I had experienced a very intense 3 month period of extreme anxiety due to lots of little and big stress factors in my life. I had a lot of physical symptoms accompany my anxiety but after seeing a social worker and psychologist for a few months I am feeling much much better and happy : ) and can see why and how I ended up with anxiety. Basically, I didn't know anxiety could manifest physically and it got worse because I began to become more anxious. Thankfully that is under control and all my blood tests and ultrasounds and bp/ heart rate are all normal and I feel more like a new and improved me. But about the time I got a grip on my anxiety the chest pains kicked in. I understand why and how and have been diagnosed with costo by 2 different doctors. I have tried Meloxicam which seemed to work for a week, but that is about it, apple cider vinegar, drinking ginger and chamomile tea, eating lots of vegetables and vitamins and trying not to life thing (which is very hard to avoid) and still I have costochondritis. I am even lathering myself with arnica gel everyday. I wanted to hear from anyone out there that has had costo arise from anxiety and also any tips for healing? I try to walk as much as I can and do soft exercise but am frightened I am aggravating it all. Thanks for any thoughts or advice smile Kelly

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  • Posted

    Also, I forgot to mention- my pain started out like a stabbing feeling in my chest that was very frightening and then since then it is a dull and annoying ache, sometimes a spasm feel. It is in my sternum area, sometimes up to the shoulders, arm, collar bone and predominantly left side. I also get back upper back pain and some pain in specific spots in the back : (
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    • Posted

      This is my story you wrote.. mine definitely arose from anxiety and felt exactly like yours.. traveled down my left arm and of course I thought it was a heart attack... I'm still struggling with it at the same time trying to gety anxiety under control.. I'm interested to learn how you are doing, I know this was wrote a few months ago
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    • Posted

      Hi Kelly sorry to hear of your pain and anxiety symptoms that come along with it. I've been given the diognoses of rip tip syndrome but strange mines on my right side abdomen. I have heard of most cases effecting the left side mostly for people. I've under gone endoscopy showed mild gastritis all blood tests normal. Mri checked my gall bladdder again they said normal functioning. I find it hard with pain drags you down doesn't it. I have read in cases this may help you I'm looking into it myself with a referral by my gp to see a pain clinic that injections can be given into several ribs to from what I read in about 5 people's cases can actually stop pain completely. I too drink herbal teas like I cut up lemons add honey to green tea or for my gastritis I drink peppermint tea. Cutting out caffeine does help with anxiety so you drinking those teas will help. I have a nearly 2 year old baby and I get very upset 😭 I won't go out or talk to people been shouted at by neighbours because they think I'm miserable and go on about pain I distanced myself since then. I have to smoother deep heat on my shoulders upper abdomen and neck. I sympathise with u your not alone honey 🍯. Hot water bottle hot baths help. It's hard because you feel like you cannot do what you normally are able to do. The exercise thing your worried about don't be just be careful lifting again hard one I know I ride long distances on my bike and yes suffer pain but after a while eases plus endorphins are good for the depression and anxiety. Only thing I struggle with I have withdrawn socially.  I got a nearly 2 year old little girl I find hard not to lift. It's impossible actually when they want mummy. I have gone through so much I have been up a n e numerous times. In my head was so sure it was gall bladder as friends said that had gall bladder problems that it can cause anxiety. But reading about ribtip sydrome which is a new word of other word known as your diognoses this can cause anxiety too. I suppose any kind of pain can let's face it it's a pain in bum to have or in our case in ribs it's on my mind a lot I find it hard to think about other things other than the pain. I also read counselling is a good thing to have on regular basis. I go fortnightly helps. Also seeing doc tomorrow about antidepressants hard because I suffer bi polar it's finding right treatments that don't get me manic. I heard trylic anti depressants are good for pain and give calming effect. Tablets arnt always the answer for most people. But if u feel really brings you down I would say ask your gp to refer you to pain clinic so they can take good look into pain relief for you which include the injections. I ride my bike a lot just to feel moving fast stops me thinking about the pain swimming good also. And great stuff you eat loads veggies I do too. Thought I'd just let you know I know how you feel keep your chin up. Pain clinics are referred by gp. I do know there can be a wait but well worth going to they will help you good luck my sweet best wishes nicola. Xxx also spiritual churches offer healing to people in pain if your a believer it helps a lot of people to relax and they use spirit to ease pain. Again it's for some people not for everyone. Good luck most importantly rest when painful and hot water bottle on it xxx 

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  • Posted

    There might be a align problem in your spine...I had that My ribcage was rotating fwd on the left side but the mules beyween my shoulder blades were also very tight,especially on the left side. My whole left side was fighting..and this is causing my ligaments attached to the ribs on the left side to get inflamed.

    Check your posture. See Osteopath. If only to rule misalignment out

    Mitouback

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Mitouback. I suspect that may be a possible reason and have an appointment with my Dr next week and will get organised to see an Osteopath. Even just to rule out a misalignment or deal with the issue if that is the case. Fingers crossed this can be resolved!
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    • Posted

      . Sitting for long stretches of the day or driving for hrs on end can male it flare up... .Cut out sugars .Inflammations feed on sugary goods.

      Eat anti flammatory foods..Google and find out which they are..

      Keep a perfect posture...

      Mitouback

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    • Posted

      Agree with this. I have costocondritis type pains also, and due to prolonged anxiety and PTSD and an occasion when I was hit by a car as a pedestrian, I ended up with extremely tense in my musclature which thus caused pins and needles, spasms and general aches and pains. I also have hyper joint mobility which exacerbates everything. It thus makes sense that my skeleton may be out of alignment. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Kelly

    i think sitting for long hours also agrivates the situation to tell you the truth when i am at home there is no time to sit i keep busy all the time and there will be no pain or anything but when i am at work this is where the pain start if i sit behind my pc i can feel pain all over my body even in my stomach try and keep busy without sitting for long believe me there will be no pain

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Margaret. I feel that sitting for too long is not good at all. I get bad back pain when sitting at the computer for too long and am trying to get up and move around a bit. And it does feel better when I am up and moving but sometimes I get pain when lifting objects like a pot of water etc.
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  • Posted

    I'm not sure if anxiety caused my costo/tietzes a few weeks ago, but there was certainly a correlation. I just can't remember which came first!

    Iike yourself, I had a few stressful things happening all at once, my cat was poorly, work pressure, more financial drains and strains than normal. All that plus the acute onset of shoulder, back and, more worryingly, chest pains was the perfect melting pot for a bit of a meltdown!

    I was suffering from frequent and lengthy panic attacks for a couple of weeks but they calmed. I noticed the pain in my chest worsened as the anxiety attacks did. Never having suffered from such attacks before (but have definitely been through far more stressful times), I was very scared... Which made them worse! And so forth...

    It got so bad at one point I almost called paramedics as did not know what was happening to me.

    A week or so later, after regaining some control I was feeling better and the attacks were fewer and only took a few deep breaths to overcome. That's when I felt a lump just to right of my sternum around 2nd rib. At this point my body skipped all the usual shaking, shallow breathing etc and jumped straight to blackout. Yup, I passed out! Luckily I was sat on the sofa watching TV so didn't hurt myself!

    GP diagnosed costochondritis about 3 weeks ago, ibuprofen hasn't really made a difference. She also have me info on psychotherapy which I will look into as soon as possible.

    Having reflected a little, I was suffering severe flashback anxiety of some very stressful stuff that's happened in the past few years, some of which bore resemblence to events around the onset of my physical anxiety manifestations. So that could have caused the more extreme reaction this time, perhaps.

    I sit all day and use my right arm a lot at work as an illustrator, a job I've only done since late January, this pain began early march. So this could also be a possible cause.

    So I know I havnt really answered your questions as the cause of both costo and anx is a bit 'chicken and egg' in my situation, but I'd definitely say I noticed a very tangible link between the two when each was at it's worst, therefore making each other worse still.

    Sorry to waffle on

    I just want it to go away!!

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    • Posted

      I've been treated now 4 times for my misaligned rib cage. Have had 3 sport massages for my shoulder blade area. I'm 9 days pain free.

      I urge people w this condition to see either a great chiropractic e lots of experience or an Osteopath who really knows about ribs pushing into sternum issues and misalignments..

      Good luck.

      Mitouback

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    • Posted

      That does sound worth exploring. I certainly wouldn't rule that out as a possible cause for me due to prolonged poor posture at work. I will also look into ways to improve my workspace. Thanks for the advice!
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    • Posted

      EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is very good for severe flashback anxiety. It works well in Combat Stress cases too. It helps you process visual memories that have become stuck and have not been tucked away in long term memory stores. 
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