My Costochrondritis is gone

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Hi,

I just want to post this in the hope that it can help someone else. I developed Cosotchrondritis last year. I initially had feelings of shortness of breath and then developed bad chest pain. I could not tolerate a seatbelt or tight clothing. I went to my gp numerous times and had all the tests to rule out anything heart related. I developed anxiety and started having panic attacks thinking I was going to die of a heart attack. The pain of costochrondritis is so deep and unfamiliar that I convinced myself that I was in serious trouble. I had no pain free days at all. If I pressed the bottom of my sternum it was very tender.

For the first 8 months I didn't know what was wrong with me. I changed gps and finally got a diagnosis, but no advice on how to fix it. I was constantly searching online for answers, should I change my diet? What was causing the inflammation? I thought about it 24/7.

what helped was going to an osteopath. I had already tried chiro and massage but that made it worse. I believe in my case my costo pain in the chest was caused by a very tight and stiff spine. I have young kids so lifting them did not help either. The stiff spine was pulling the ribs at the front and causing inflammation. I had to stop all exercise including yoga for 8 weeks.  I iced my chest 2 times a day to reduce the inflammation. The osteopath worked on getting my upper spine mobile and I had exercises to do at home. It certainly didn't happen over night but bit by bit I had a day here and there with no pain, then a week at a time. But when the pain came back it was like being back at day 1. There were times I felt like crying at the osteopath and felt it wasn't working, but she had faith it would work and said it would take at least 3 months and it did. I have not had costo for going on 7 months. I never thought I would feel 'normal' in the chest again but I do. 

I encourage anyone who has this and has not tried an osteopath to give it a go. Results take time and if you have been in pain a long time it might take longer to get better.

I wish I had gotten a diagnosis earlier and that GP's would recommend treatment for this. The anxiety I developed with costo has gone away too, but I believe there is a strong connection between the two and I don't know which one comes first.

i wish anyone with this all the best and try to stay positive and believe that you are not having a heart attack, you have painful costochondritis.

 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Laura, I posted a while ago about seeing a osteopath, and getting relief  Had it 3 months, and a lot better.  Taking things to my storage for the winter and changing clothes boxes, etc, but doing it very slowly and carefully.  Had a bit of soreness and backed off.  The osteopath was working on my ribs too, saying they were all tight.  Also, had to increase protein enormously.  Now eat yoghurt, which I said I hated and never ate, but now find it ok.  Still having breathing tests, because I failed it - if listened to the fast of the costo....sigh..the heart test was fine, also a hiatus hernia that flared at the same time is fine.  My hair fell out from the stress.  Now wispy bits coming back.  So the worse is over.  I was told I could be having a heart attack, or COPD, and didn't believe them.  You don't get that ill so fast.  My costo came from lifing 26 boxes in my storage in May.  Also got a nasty virus at the same time  Have faith, guys, it can pass  But an osteopath, while not cheap seems the way to go.  They are not someone you go to for years, it's usually pretty quickly yoy see results.  Hope we both help some others to feel encouragement,
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  • Posted

    Laura, That's great to know that your costo is gone! Mine is pretty much gone now, too, after two years. I know that lifting heavy things can cause it to flare up; and stress can affect it, too. I also know that when I feel tired to stop and rest, usually in the evenings.

    I live in the United States, and I know that this website is in Great Britain. So just to be clear . . . is an osteopath the same as what we call a naturepath? Thanks for answering this for me.

    Wishing you continued good health!

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      No a naturopath and an osteopath are different. A naturopath focus on natural/herbal medicine and food to prevent/cure illness.

      An osteopath is kind of a cross between a physiotherapist and a chiropractor. They work on muscles and joints. I found chiropractic manipulations way too harsh for myself. Osteo is gentler but still works on the joints to get them moving. My stuff joints were mainly my upper spine. I'm glad you are feeling better too. Such an awful thing to have to deal with!

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  • Posted

    I am 40 years old. About a week ago I though I was having a heart attack.  I just sat down and got a sharp pain in the left side of my chest.  I stood up and started walking around..i thought that maybe it was gas in my chest, as I always have gurgling and sounds that start in my stomach and push upwards. (i do have some gastro problems such us diverticulosis and digestion issues).  I felt almost like I had to burp but couldn't.  Over the next several days I would have this come and go.  However the other morning, around 3 am I was woke up with the same pain and I got frightened, i grabbed an aspirin and took it.  The pain did not go away, it subsided, but I could still feel it under my left breast and ribs.  certain ways I sit, lean over, and sometimes with breathing there is a sharp stabbing pain.  I could not get into my regular doctor so i went to an express care center, they did an EKG and chest xray and everything looked great.  No signs of a heart attack and no infections in the lungs.  I felt crazy because I know what I was feeling.  I was told inflamation of the muscle between my breast and ribs and was sent home after a steriod shot and prednisone prescription.  i see my regular doctor this Saturday.  I was searching online because I feel like something is seriously wrong with me not some inflammation.  I seen this forum and have been reading this.  I do find out that if i sit and worry about it, I almost feel like I am having a panic attack..and I feel the pain more.  I have never heard of costochondritis until today.  I am going to try the cold compresses and see if my doctor agrees this is what I have.  Thank you 
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    • Posted

      Hi Kimberly,

      A tell tale sign of costochondritis I'm told is being able to reproduce the pain by pressing on the bones/ joints. Do you have any tender areas when you press on your ribs/sternum? 

      I totally understand about about the pain getting worse when you worry about it. The good news is you have already had some tests done which all came back ok and you are following up with your gp. There are several things that can cause pain in this area.

      Try not to stress out. I wish I didn't stress so much, but it is hard not to when you have that sort of pain. Hopefully it just goes away.

      goodluck

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding.

      I could feel pain when pressing at first but I think the prednisone is helping that pain.  It almost feels as though a muscle was pulled and is very sore in my left breast area and when I start to breathe deeply or just sitting and breathing, i have sharp pains and certain ways i sit and move my arms.  it is uncomfortable sleeping at night.  I feel bruised but I have no visible signs of bruising.  I am trying stretching and working that area but sometimes it feels worse. 

      I am trying not to stress out.  I worry alot and stress out a lot so we will, I see how the appointment goes with my gp. I go for blood work tomorrow morning before my appointment on Saturday.  I hope everything there is ok too. It is me and my husband's anniversary so we have a big day planned.  I really hope I feel better by then!

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  • Posted

    This is all very interesting, My father suffered from this for many years and not one doctor coud tell him what that pain was. The only difference in his pain and in my pain location is that it is on the right side of our chest. My father has passed. Right now I am going through my 2nd attack in the last two months and I now realize that some of my physical activites are what brought it on. What surprised me most was the "panic" that I felt during these attacks because I have never experienced panic attacks before.
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  • Posted

    Hello Laura ! Your post has been the most positive one yet that I have encountered . I have all of your symptoms that you noted . Are you still feeling relieved of your symptoms ? I hope so . I recently took a chest exam X-ray , rheumatoid blood work and Ana profile blood test autoimmune etc am praying for positive results from each of those exams . You mentioned an osteopath doctor . Are you still seeking treatment ? Hope all is well !
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