Tight rib cage

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi does anyone else have what feels like a really tight rib cage . It’s really hard to take a deep breath and the pain is radiating from breast pain to shoulder pain 

0 likes, 8 replies


8 Replies

  • Posted

    I bet this and have a flare up been 3 weeks and you start thinking all sorts o do allot yoga walking and generally fit and kinda comes out blue make you feel unwell as feel tight in scapula lower creeep round the ribs and feel tight and also travels to right side , also get pain in neck , I hate being on pain killer some time feel bit ache all over and tired also like you great pain .

    last night my husband rubbed neeoufel gel does help water bottle and take paracetamol for pain I do sleep ok but I may pop GP tomorrow .

    hope this helps 

    Report Reply
  • Posted


    Yes! I've been there. My ribcage / shoulder / abdominal tightness is definitely lessening and it's more of an ache than a pain now, though I do still have my moments! My breathing is so much better too. I can now catch my 'bottom breath', if you know what I mean. I'm nowmuch less anxious which helps all round.

    I've had Costo for about 16 months and it's only in the last couple of months that I feel that I could possibly be getting back to normal.

    For about 6 weeks I've been doing stretches using a doorway, from a posting I saw on a YouTube video. At the same time I started taking Vitamin B complex tablets (just cheap one-a-day ones from the big supermarket beginning with a 'T'wink. One or the other or both of these things I feel have helped me, possibly the warmer weather too? I really do believe that very gentle stretching is the way forward for me and trying to potter around and keep distracted. I have seen a vast improvement but great patience is required.

    The exercise:

    (1) Stand in a doorway and put one elbow on the door surround at 90 degrees, grasp the doorway with the same hand and SLOWLY lean forward as far as you can without feeling too much pain, though obviously there will be discomfort. Hold for 30 seconds and ease GENTLY back to upright.

    (2) Move the same arm up the doorway by about 30cm and repeat the stretch in (1).

    (3) Move the arm up again and repeat the stretch.

    (4) Repeat on the other side of your body.

    I tried doing both arms at the same time, but for me the stretch was too strong. I do the exercise first thing in the morning and before bed. I also use my Backpod daily.

    I'm so grateful to the guy who posted the stretching info, which he got from a physio, on YouTube video.

    Be patient and take things really slowly and gently.

    I never thought I'd get better, now I feel it's just a matter of time and perserverence.

    I hope this helps. Good luck to you.

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you so much I will give the stretching a try. I was diagnosed January time after being admitted to hospital as with lots of people with Costochondritis they first thought it was my heart. So I guess it’s still early days. You’ve made me feel much more positive about the future now  knowing it can get better 😊

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Shelley,

    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 all over my chest and I couldn't lift things like when 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.

    Chris is right with his exercises. I find for me, stretching out my shoulders with a stretch band really helps. It's mostly to do with your posture and spine. I find I don't have to use the backpod daily now, I can just use it if the pain gets a little worse.

    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 does suck. 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.

    Lastly, not knocking the NHS, but GP's are useless when it comes to costo. They don't understand it, and I've been on Naproxen for a long time before. It may help in the short term, but it will damage your stomach as NSAIDs do in the long term. When I asked if I could see a physio, the GP said 'I don't think it will help, it's something you've got to learn to live with'. Completely unhelpful.

    A physio/chiropractor is definitely the way to go.

    Best of luck, Stevie.

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi stevie. Thank you so much for your advice I’m waiting to see my Rheumatologist and was going to see if he could give me the name of a good chiropractor. Do you recommend the backpod. Thank you again 😊

      Report Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up