Costochondritis

Question:

What treatment has been effective for your costochondritis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Emma, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

I have had costochondritis for around three or four years now and I try to keep it in check with Tiger Balm. Thankfully it's been working so far.

Comment from: Ann, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

I have been dealing with costochondritis over a year now. I am very thin and athletic so this pain has nothing to do with a weight problem as it happens to all sizes. I have found what the cause of this pain or inflammation is and it's no wonder doctors have no idea what is causing it as no medicine will be able to cure it completely! It's your mattress or the way you support your body when lying down! Support it like a pyramid of pillows I guarantee you, you will wake up refreshed! It's a trial and error kind of situation but once you find what number of pillows underneath you works, then you are on your way to sleeping, but better than that waking up with no or very little pain!

Comment from: Kelly , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I wonder if any of the ladies with costochondritis had any history of ovarian cysts. I had severe costochondritis and had about 8 operations to remove ovarian cysts. If you google link between ovarian cysts and costochondritis you find many people who do indeed have both, which makes me think there is definitely a link here. Might help stop this as there is currently no cure for costochondritis.

Comment from: Chica13, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

My costochondritis symptoms started two weeks ago. I thought I had pulled a muscle during a particularly hard abdominal workout session. My stomach was hurting but I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). So two days ago I figured out what it is and on the advice of this website, and I tried ibuprofen. Like magic! Yay, hoping this is the end as I hate missing exercise and meals.

Comment from: Maria80386, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

I woke up from a surgery screaming in pain. Lots of painkillers and tests later, it was diagnosed as costochondritis. I had ice, heat, Toradol, lidocaine patches, muscle relaxants, steroid injection(s), and rest until the acute pain settled. Then a very annoying slow return to movements involving the rib cage. It resolved, until recently where a surgery laid me flat for six months. I helped push a shopping cart through a store, and by the time I got home costochondritis was back. I started with the Toradol, ice on the back, and heat up front. Things are starting to feel a lot better. Tomorrow I will call my doctor for a steroid dose pack.

Comment from: at a loose, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

Finally a physician's assistant (PA) on 11th July 2018 indicated costochondritis and recommended I decrease my daily exercise routine. The PA said to follow up with the primary care physician the following week. Primary doctor was no help, not interested, but did prescribe more diabetic medicines. I visited the cardiologist this week and discussed. PA was not qualified to diagnose, only she could diagnose but since pain existed before triple pass in November 2017, she wasn't interested even in looking at the chest area. She recommended to start my daily exercise again!

Comment from: Kazza69, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I just searched on YouTube how to fix (most) costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome. There is a part 1 and part 2. I've had costochondritis for 5 years and am now pain free thanks to this guy, it is standard practice in New Zealand and seems to be a mystery condition elsewhere. I purchased the Backpod and have been amazed at the results. It has worked for me so just want to tell as many people as possible who have this awful, painful condition. Hope this helps.

Comment from: Mathieu, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 13

I tried Voltaren Emulgel 2 times a day directly on the sternum area and I found it just makes the sharp pain disappear. It was a great relief for costochondritis.

Comment from: SueB, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I dropped from 0.1 to 0.05 mg on my estrogen patch and the costochondritis pain went away within the week. Prior to that I got some relief from posture support straps, not doing too much lifting or strenuous arm activity. NSAIDs were causing me stomach pain so I tried turmeric as a natural remedy and I believe that helped some too.

Comment from: nb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I went to the emergency room with the concern I may be having some heart issue. There I had an EKG, x-ray, and pressure exam on my rib cage. I was told it was costochondritis. The doctor gave me a prescription for Ibuprofen for the inflammation and pain. When I got home, the pain continued so intense I couldn't rest. Finally, I got a heating pad placed it on my chest and soon began to feel some relief. Although the weather is hot, I'm willing to sweat some so I can get the relief from the pain.

Comment from: Lesley T., 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I have had chest pain for several years now and have been recently diagnosed with costochondritis after numerous EKGs, echo cardiographs and hospital visits. However I have found a semi-cure or preventive. These past two years I have been lifting weights and building muscle in the chest area. This I found to reduce the chest pain and reduce the duration. I also use or was given lidocaine patches and a topical lotion to help with the pain. Since I have been building the muscle in my chest I noticed the area in which you press down on to agitate the chest pain, has gotten smaller. I hope this helps those who are suffering from this.

Comment from: edurman, Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I developed costochondritis while serving in the Army. After I retired in 2013 it flared up so bad that I could not do anything. I had cortisone shots in my chest, two shots in my neck and shoulder where the pressure points are. I was sick from December until January. My doctor sent me to a pain management specialist. He started giving me intercostal nerve block with a prescription for narcotics. At first I needed the narcotics, but now the medicine from the nerve block kicked in and I have never felt better. I am on my 2nd intercostal nerve blocker. I am back to running again.

Comment from: l, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I have costochondritis. I did not realize it at the time that I had gone for my monthly visit to my chiropractor. I was having exactly the same symptoms as everyone else, pain under my rib cage, very tender to touch, and swelling, and was afraid that it could be a heart condition. I have been applying ice on my chest every hour for 10 minutes and it has improved but I must continue with the ice. I have not taken any pain pills or anti-inflammatory medicines. Heat did not work for me, the only medication I took was Tylenol.

Comment from: Lenora, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I was told I have the condition Costochondritis almost two years ago. Bad flare ups will happen when I play sports, overdo it with lifting and other chores such as painting. Other than taking medications for pain and inflammation, what I find helps is not to sleep on the side affected, and try not to sleep on back or stomach. When sleeping on other side prop up your ribs with a pillow this will give them support throughout the night. I don't think it will ever really go away, just need to find ways to minimize the flare ups and pain.

Comment from: Years of this, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I first contracted costochondritis after a nasty bout of pneumonia and coughing heavily. This was in 1991. I have had flare ups ever since. The pain is so taxing I find it hard to concentrate. The only relief I ever found was to drink beer, which made me burp, which relieved the pressure for a short time. Now, I find that my costochondritis is actually worse, Tietze's syndrome. My rib actually swells noticeably. I do find that fatigue brings it on more so than upper body movement. I'm going to try the lidocaine patches now.

Comment from: Kelly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I've suffered with costochondritis since I was about 10 years old. I've had mild attacks and I've had attacks where I've blacked out from the pain. I also get dizzy and have blurred vision with my pains. Over the years my best help has been rest, immobilization of my left arm, massages and also the help of breathing rubs such as Vicks and other oils, etc. This time I'm in my 30s and it's now been 6 weeks of this occurring on and off, together with inflammation in my neck and shoulders. I've been put on steroids and painkillers, but they don't seem to be helping much. I hope this goes away soon as it is greatly affecting my daily life and that of my family.

Comment from: Mazry, Female (Patient) Published: July 25

For the past few weeks I have been experiencing what I have been calling chest pains. I would grip under my left breast at the top ribs and hold my breath until the pain went away. The pain would come and go often throughout the day. Sometimes staying longer than the last "episode". It was also causing me to have panic attacks as I was convinced that I was having a heart attack. I went to the doctor and they did an EKG and all was normal. She gave me an antidepressant and sent me home. Not being sure about my health care visit and the lack of an official diagnosis I continued to panic and feel as if I was going to have heart attack or stroke. One night I was home alone and I felt the pain and I then went in to a full blown panic attack and called my brother to take me to the ER. I was convinced I was dying. My left arm went numb, hard, and cold. I didn't just think I was dying- I KNEW I WAS DYING. I went to the ER. I actually felt better and wanted to leave the waiting room and go home as the pain had subsided. But I knew I needed to stay and figure this out. They did a CAT scan and there were no blood clots and everything looked fine in there. No Pneumonia, no collapsed lung, nothing. Even the rib that was extremely sore was just fine. They then diagnosed me with costochondritis. I left feeling much better knowing that my heart was good and I was not knocking on heaven's door. I have been treating myself with a heating pad on my back as I feel some pain in my back now. I have been taking Advil as I cannot take steroids. It has been 2 days since the ER and since I started treating myself with anti inflammatory. So I am still having these pains.

Comment from: erksomewarrior, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

My costochondritis is triggered by Sjogren's syndrome; triggered by lupus. It radiates from the sternum and ribs through to the back bone under the armpits and neck into the lower and upper jaw. It improves by sitting still, warmth applied to the back, and breathing shallow. It happens about once every six months and starts with Sjogren's general flare with dry orifices, cramps in toes and feet and fingers; also very blurred vision occurs. I am wiped out after it happens, I rest in a dim room for a few hours.

Comment from: Chris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

Oh my word. I have been reading other people's experience with costochondritis. I am truly shocked. Last year, I noticed that bras were bothering me. It didn't make sense. So, I began going braless even though it's against dress code at work. Next thing I knew, I began having pain in the rib cage area. My primary care physician pressed on 2 areas under my breast and I nearly went through the roof. I already had an appointment with a pain specialist due to arthritis and he diagnosed me with this condition. I did receive 1 series of injections and they helped for about a week. Then I had another series of injections last week and the pain is way over 10 right now. I have errands to run and the pain is over the top. The only relief I get is lying down. I have Voltaren gel. Pain relievers do not help neither do narcotics. I have been reading where others are using a heating pad and I am willing to try anything. I called the pain doctor and I'm waiting to hear from him. This is extremely debilitating and I am unable to function.

Comment from: me, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 15

My first costochondritis attack was when I was 14, I got kicked in the chest by a horse. It was long (approximately 2 weeks) before I started to have chest pains. At the time my mom and dad thought I was just trying to get attention because I was the 4th child out of 5. Years went by, and my nephew (my sister's boy) started having attacks in high school (16). They did all kinds of tests, and after all these years my parents realized there was something going on. I was very athletic in high school as my nephew was. I learned how to live with it every day; some attacks are worse than others. The only fear I have is I will have a heart attack and pass it off as one of these and heart disease runs in both sides of my family. I hope I never have to find out. I had a little attack today and my co-workers pretty much freaked. The worse is when I wait for days off before going to the doctor and all he can do is give my hydrocodone and I hate that medicine, makes me feel drunk all the time. Thank goodness it has been a couple of years now that I had to take something for it. My leg does not work well and my left arm might as well be amputated on some of these attacks.

Comment from: Abigail, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I was diagnosed with costochondritis, in the emergency room. Like most of you I thought I was having a heart attack. I had an EKG, blood work and x-ray. That's when they diagnosed me. Before this happened, I had never heard of this condition. They said it was not life threatening, but as we know, it hurts (a lot). After 3 weeks my pain subsided, with aspirin and heating pads. But now it is back, and the pain radiates to my back. Now I'm thinking the worst, if this is lung cancer. My doctor will not give me a CAT scan. I am in pain, my anxiety is high, and I can't do the things I once enjoyed. Hope my story helps someone. While the doctors do not take us serious we know it hurts.

Comment from: brimac, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 27

I am a 57 year old male who has had costochondritis going on since October 2014, starting with chest pains and shortness of breath. I was admitted into Accident and Emergency as my oxygen levels had dropped and I fainted. ECGs, x-rays and blood work were all clear. Anti-inflammatory medicines caused stomach issues which took two months to clear. I am now waiting for a CT scan. Each doctor seems to have a different diagnosis and a different treatment. In the meantime I can't exercise, stretch, cough, sneeze or laugh. Wonderful, isn't it!

Comment from: Nanny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

About a year ago I started having back spasms and pain in my back, then it started moving around my side, and then to my breast bone. The pain was horrible. I went 5 or 6 times to the emergency room and doctor visits, no one had a clue. I couldn't do anything, not even lie down. I would walk around till the pain was so bad, then I took pain pill, it didn't help much but at least it let me sleep. A friend of mine who is a nurse asked me what was going on and I told her; my symptoms were the same as costochondritis, so I told my doctor and all they could give is Lortab. So today after months of the worst pain gone, it is back little by little. I hate this.

Comment from: srefa, 35-44 (Patient) Published: April 14

I was diagnosed with costochondritis and prescribed with Motrin to take 3 to 4 times a day. I was feeling better. But suddenly after 2 months I am suffering again.

Comment from: veg954, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

The only thing that helped the severe pain of costochondritis was morphine, IV fluids and nothing by mouth for three days. All tests were negative. Another thing that gave me some relief was lying on my stomach with three pillows under the abdomen. So grateful it is finally gone!

Comment from: memaw62, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I believe my most recent occurrence of costochondritis was due to an infection, as it was only finally mitigated by serious antibiotics for an apparent ecoli infection that I may have picked up while traveling to Europe. The infection was apparent from my white blood count that was triple the normal count. The infection may have also caused a bout of diarrhea, which occurred just prior to the onset of severe pain on the left side of my rib cage. I remember having this same pain on several previous occasions. These earlier occurrences may have been due to less serious infections, such as bronchitis, the physical stress of chronic coughing, or even the physical stress associated with severe anxiety. Each time I went to the emergency room for this "chest pain" the doctors immediately went looking for a cardiac situation, which they never found. This last time, I described my "rib cage pain" so as not to trigger the "cardiac" response by the doctor. That worked. He was the one who first diagnosed my costochondritis.

Comment from: Skylark, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I went to the emergency room yesterday for chest pains and was diagnosed as having costochondritis. I was prescribed 50mg Prednisone (Deltasone) - 5 tablets, to take 1 per day. These are steroids. The doctor told me that my rib had a viral infection and that the pain radiated outward from the rib, causing pain in my shoulder and neck. He also prescribed Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco), to help me sleep. I am in perfect health and take no medications. I had not been sick at all before this condition. Age 62.

Comment from: geophysicus, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 07

Fifteen months ago I developed chest pains after playing squash. I went to the emergency room and they diagnosed costochondritis. I went back 3 days later and stayed in hospital for 8 hours of EKGs. Again I was diagnosed with costochondritis. Ten days later I had a major heart attack. But guess what, I do actually have costochondritis as well (I think). The symptoms and pain may seem similar when you describe them but having had both, there is no similarity at all.

Comment from: Bev, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I took Cipro and Levaquin, and am falling apart. I was healthy and now have been diagnosed with costochondritis. I broke my tendons in my arm and Achilles tendon. This type of antibiotic destroys your life. If you've taken these drugs, you will notice a lot of health problems. My life is ruined!

Comment from: iggam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I have not been diagnosed yet but by reading this I think I know what it is. I have had pain in my right rib, just below my breast. It is an ache and sometimes a sharp pain. I have had x-rays, CT and an MRI to see what is wrong. Nothing showed up on anything, but the pain continues. I just now heard about costochondritis. I have had this since I had pneumonia in October 20013. I have other issues with bones, so I have been taking other medications for that. So I will bring this up to my doctor next time I see him. Thank you all for your account of this.

Comment from: Gina f., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I had a quadruple triple bypass 14 months ago. I had on going pain in my chest and left sided pain in my ribs. Thinking it was because of the bypass I thought all would have to get better as time goes by. After my bypass I was discharged from hospital with a gastrointestinal (GI) bleed. I did mention this to the cardiologist but he insisted that it was from the iron tablets. Twelve hours after being discharged I was rushed to another hospital where I had to have a blood transfusion because of the GI bleed. Today I still get chronic pain in my chest and the left side of my body, neck and arm. After being taken to the emergency room several times with all tests being negative I was diagnosed with costochondritis. But, besides the pain which I have every day I cannot take anti-inflammatories because of the GI bleed.

Comment from: Shannon S, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I was diagnosed over a year ago. Although the pain is dull and noticeable, it is not debilitating.

Comment from: Gay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I have been treated for costochondritis for the last 24 years after having cervical rib removed on left side of my neck. They cut my neck and my chest wall to do surgery and I have been suffering with costochondritis ever since. I have cortisone injections at least 3 times a year and this gives me instant relief.

Comment from: gloria, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 02

I strained my right rib by transferring a patient from a chair back to the bed. This was in 2010. And I am still suffering right rib pain. I can't bend or twist without feeling like I'm getting a spasm.

Comment from: Costo, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 18

My costochondritis started when I had a severe stress attack. I immediately thought I was having a heart attack and drove myself to the ER. After all the blood work, EKGs, and X-rays, I was diagnosed with indigestion. I went home thinking I had a diagnosis. The very next morning I woke up with the same pain. After visiting numerous visits to the doctors, I found out that costochondritis was the name.

Comment from: Veronica, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I had, sometimes dull and sharp, pains in my breast for approximately 3 weeks. These pains were off and on during the course of the day. I went to see my doctor to have a breast examination. During the exam she pressed on a certain area of my breast and I felt a pain that was so tender to touch. I was diagnosed with costochondritis and prescribed with Motrin 800mg to take twice a day.

Comment from: lr, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I was diagnosed with costochondritis today. I also went to the ER with chest pain, as I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain was so severe it put my heart in distress and showed up on the EKG. I suffered with this for f4 months. Every test came back negative. My doctor finally referred me to a chiropractor. He told me my ribs were out of place and it was going to take a few months to get better. I am taking ibuprofen and using ice packs. Little by little I am feeling better.

Comment from: Cheri, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I am still suffering with costochondritis since last year. I have been on and off prednisone and I get frequent cortisone shots in my sternum. I have also fractured two ribs in my sternum.

Comment from: jo b, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

I stared having terrible pain in my chest area after having an echocardiogram. The tech really tried to get in between my ribs even though I kept telling her she was hurting me. After the test, my doctor said my ribs were bruised. This took place in May. I am still suffering. My lung doctor said my sternum was bruised. Knowing now what is wrong helps. I cannot wear bras that have snaps, so I wear loose gym-type bras. I cannot work in my yard without pain.

Comment from: vanessa, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

Having costochondritis is life-wrecking. Ehen the pain starts, you cannot move or do anything.

Comment from: JenFL53, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I have been battling costochrondritis for about 10 years. During the first year, I tried all OTC meds, but nothing worked. Finally during an intense flare-up, I went to the E.R. My EKG was normal and they diagnosed me with indigestion and gave anti-acid meds, which did not work. Later my PCP diagnosed me and put me on Mobic. It did work as long as I did not consume caffeine.

Comment from: Irish, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

My pain flares up and I end up in emergency thinking I have had a heart attack. I was told it is costochondritis. I also have osteoarthritis. I find stress will flare it up. I have not had bad attack for two years now.

Comment from: Jenny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I was diagnosed with costochondritis several weeks ago. I thought it was job stress but the pain did not subside. Finally, I went to the doctor and my blood pressure, which is normal shot up. Now, I'm taking an anti-inflammatory medication. Also, my doctor advised me to eat a low sodium diet and lose ten pounds. I am very careful what I eat. It is scary but my tests for my heart are normal. So, the best medicine for me is to relax. It it is good that there are other people sharing their story.

Comment from: Jenn q, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I was diagnosed 17 weeks ago with chostochondritis. I'm 32 and I now live on Arthrotec, pain killers, toradol, and anxiety medication. I have had numerous visits to the ER when I can't breathe at night or when my meds don't want to work. I just want this to go away and to start living again.

Comment from: kl, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 06

I had the flu real bad twice this past season, with the worst coughing I had ever had in my life. I got over the flu but my chest was racked from the coughing. It never started to feel better as a matter of fact it started feeling worse. It did cause anxiety and did end me up in the hospital where the doctors checked my lungs and heart and found I was A-okay in that department and release me with a bunch of Tylenol 3s that didn't help me at all so after another 3 weeks of suffering super bad like pain level 9s at times I went to see this 81 year old family doctor who pushed on the center of my chest and asked if it hurt which it did a little and said I probably have costochondritis and then he gave me a script for Celebrex 200s and after the first pill I started to feel better today, day one. Hope this helps.

Comment from: massageye, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

I get costochondritis symptoms from tension and stress, but sometimes also after yoga classes when I participate in postures with my head down and breathing deeply. I also swell in my face and get an itchy head from being face or head down during yoga or massage. Heart problems have been ruled out, but I have lots of tender spots in my chest, especially on the left near the sternum. Remembering to breathe and chiropractor treatments have been my ways of coping, and having some heat or even a friend's hand on my heart area is very soothing. Nice to know this condition has a name.

Comment from: Bess, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I was diagnosed with costochondritis 4 days ago. I had had a bad fall that crushed my chest so I thought I had cracked a rib. After a few days the pain suddenly became much worse, I couldn't breathe deeply, cough, sneeze or even laugh without a piercing pain. Io I saw my doctor who diagnosed this. I was already on Morphine for my back so she doubled the dose. I am now taking the maximum NSAID's and maximum paracetemol, so all this should help.

Comment from: newlysmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 14

I went to doc thinking I had stomach problem. After two CT scans, an MRI, and several other tests and ending up in the hospital for gastroenteritis from pain killers and pancreatitis from an allergy to CT scan dye, I finally found a doctor who diagnosed it as costochondritis. He gave me pain patches which have helped greatly.

Comment from: Marlene, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I started with costochondritis at the end of a bout with pleurisy. I went to the emergency room because I thought my lung had collapsed due to the pleurisy that didn't want to go away. I swelled up all along a rib under my armpit to under my left breast. I couldn't draw air into that lung and the pain was horrible! They did an X-ray and EKG, which turned out fine! They said my pleurisy was pretty much cleared up and that I had costochondritis, and is usually caused by stress.

Comment from: mec87, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I was diagnosed with costochondritis today. The doctor put me on mobic for three weeks.

Comment from: TonCopes, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

This is week three since my costochondritis diagnosis. The pain is gradually subsiding but I must say what a scary experience. I literally thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the ER with a sharp pain on the left side of my chest, no fever, low blood pressure, lathergic, and headaches. Apparently it caused by a virus. I stayed in the hospital for three days. Morphine did not help. I also had pain in my back. The pain lasted for two weeks. I had the same pain years ago which only lasted 20 minutes and every now and then a sharp stabbing pain that would take my breath away. While I was in the hospital the pain intensified by merely breathing, sitting up, walking and talking. I'm on the mend now and I'm treating my body like a temple from now on.

Comment from: Leaaaah, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I am 18 years old and for two years now have been suffering with sudden chest pain and finding it hard to breathe, causing me to want to sit down straight away. I went to the doctor and was told it was due to too many carbonated drinks, so I rapidly cut down but it did not stop the "episodes." Going back to a doctor, I was diagnosed with costochondritis and given Ibuprofen 3x a day.

Comment from: kangel, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 11

I also went to the doctor for this same type of pain. I was diagnosed with costochondritis. I told my doctor that the pain seemed worse after I walked (for health purposes) and she told me to get a good support/sports bra to wear during exercise. I did just that and have only had a few episodes since then. So, go exercise ladies, but make sure you don't bounce.

Comment from: cheri, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I was diagnosed with costochondritis two months ago. I broke two ribs and cracked my sternum in 2008 in a car accident. Three months ago I re-broke the same two ribs. While recovering from my broken ribs my sternum started to hurt. The pain was building quickly and it was hard to function. I was taking Ibuprofen and painkillers. With the severity of the pain and a possible long term diagnosis of costochondritis I discontinued the painkillers.

Comment from: katie, Female (Caregiver) Published: June 19

My eight year old daughter has just been given this diagnosis. She has been suffering from chest pains for well over a year and every time we've been to the doctor we've been told everything is fine as her chest sounds clear. Finally today I was told it could be costochondritis. I've been advised to give her ibuprofen 3 times a day for two weeks and keep a diary of when she feels the pain. It seems to be when she's doing strenuous exercise. I know it's not a serious condition but it does really distress her and she's had to have quite a bit of time off school because of it. I'll update if the ibuprofen has any effect or not.

Comment from: Costo sufferer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

Ice packs over chest, sternum, shoulders and neck. Sometimes I alternate with a heating pad. Icy Hot topical analgesic, 800mg of ibuprofen and two Extra-Strength Tylenol. I was on a course of Prednisone and as soon as it was time to taper off of them, the pain began to return. I have had this pain off and on for the past two months, and have been laid up on the couch for days at a time.

Comment from: melissa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I was diagnosed with costochondritis just seven days ago. They did all kinds of tests and kept me in the hospital overnight. The doctor said no walking no lifting, no raising my arms over my head and no stress for a least a month.

Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I was diagnosed with costochondritis 6 weeks ago. The pain went away for about a week and a half and just yesterday is it back again. I have been taking prescription meds for pain but it doesn't seem to help and have also been taking 800mg of Ibuprofen as needed for pain and they sometimes work.

Comment from: Lucy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

Over a year ago I fainted and fell down the stairs injuring badly my coccyx, right hip/buttock, my right side of the ribs, just above the iliac crest and my right chest. Since then my mind right back is numb radiating to my proximal arms. I also have severe pain and feverish on my left chest breast and xiphoid process. On the lower right back and flank area I feel an internal mass and I can palpate a solid bony like mass just on the las bony area of my right ribs proximal to the false/floating ribs. I feel internal pressure all the time but it worsens when on sitting position and there is also edema. The pain and edema decrease when i rest on my back. (The fainting spell was related to undiagnosed Helicobacter Pylori which i discovered by googling my symptoms. All that had been cured HP-Pack.) I had X-Rays and an MRI; a year after my fall, the MRI showed Lumbar Stenos is. According to my Physician and the Physiatrist my symptoms are not from the Lumbar Stenosis. And they believe that my pain and limitations is Psychosomatic. My family member can even feel the solid mass on my right lower back. At times it feels as it shifts position as i move and it even gurgles. I sit for more than 10-15 minutes the pain increases and radiates to my left upper back and abdomen. Could it be Costochondritis? Can anyone help me to find out what my symptoms could be related to? Thank You

Comment from: Upstate New York, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I am a 55 year old female who has had this condition chronically since I was 28 with varying severity. It can be surprisingly debilitating. I recently found a physical therapist who recognized and understood the condition who has given me some stretching exercises to do. This has helped quite a bit

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

I was diagnosed at urgent care yesterday w this condition. I was given Z-pack antibiotics.

Comment from: working to get well, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I am a 56 year-old female. This is my second time with costochondritis, the last episode about 10 years ago. I have found the best treatment to be acupuncture.

Comment from: robert1939able, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 02

I had been suffering for four weeks from a dull but persistent pain in the left breast area, halfway between the breastbone and the nipple. On seeing my local GP he diagnosed the problem as costochondritis and prescribed two tablets of Ibuprofen four times a day for two weeks. He also prescribed one capsule of Omeprazole a day since I have a history of acid reflux. He also suggested a warm hot water bottle on the affected area might ease the periodic spasms. The prescribing chemist suggested reducing the dosage of ibuprofen to 3 times a day because she said the higher dosage could affect the Tamsulosin I take for a prostate problem. One week into the treatment I have noticed a big improvement in the condition, and I will continue with the treatment for a further week. I feel sure the diagnosis was correct, and I am confident the treatment will be successful.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I have had costochondritis for 6 years. I have good days and bad days. I found hot water bottles helped in the beginning but I am now on regular painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain and get on with day-to-day activities.

Comment from: Big Z, 55-64 Male Published: January 06

I had a triple by-pass May 2005. Since then had severe chest pains, but not angina. I am a treadmill expert along with ECGs etc. I had another angiogram and confirmed all bypass grafts as OK.

Comment from: papa007, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 31

Costochondritis (CCD).I am sure I was injured working out on chest exercise equipment at my gym. I was bench pressing a barbell and actually heard a snap. The subsequent pain that followed was severe and sharp. At the outset I thought I was having my third heart attack. My doctor examined me and determined I have (CCD). I have been on Norco, a very strong pain killer for herniated discs in my back. I get no relief from any medication. The pain returns whenever I stretch or reach, I can't push or even put on my socks. I will try heat. I have had CCD for three weeks, no improvement. I cannot exercise at this time. This pain is sharper than the pains I had with my heart attacks they only last a few seconds but oh the pain.

Comment from: GSmith, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I was recently diagnosed with costochondritis. The pain is in the center of my chest and radiates under my left breast-directly over my heart. I was tested for heart problems, given a cat scan, upper GI and X-rays to rule out other problems. I was sent to physical therapy for 8 sessions and given ultrasound and manual therapy-which was a waste of time and money. I am using ibuprofen for the swelling. I have also found that chiropractic has helped me greatly. My chiropractor is using LLT (cold laser therapy) on the area and it has helped tremendously. I am also scheduling massage every other week which not only helps with the affected area but alleviates stress in the other areas of my body that are fatigued from the pain and stress. Things were beginning to get better until I got an upper respiratory infection that has set me back almost completely. I am not looking forward to 30 more years of this.

Comment from: Lgarratt, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: October 25

I was diagnosed four days ago and didn't really give it a second thought until today, when I realized that this could potentially affect my future. I'm a dancer, and when the pains in my chest get severe, I cannot participate. Sleeping on my back helps, as well as drinking water. I've had the symptoms for over a year but the pains never lasted over a couple hours. Last week, however, they lasted for about 13 hours. This is when I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed. My dad has arthritis in his hand, and my brother shows symptoms as well, however not as detrimental as mine. I'm still not sure if I will have this for the rest of my life, or if it will go away.

Comment from: Trini chest pain, 35-44 Female Published: October 19

I was driving when suddenly I was overcome with severe chest pain. I drove to the police station as it was closer and was taken to the hospital where upon realizing the extent of pain I was having, the doctors there informed me of costochondritis after several tests were done.

Comment from: bbye, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I am 58 years old and had a quadruple bypass three years ago. For two years now i have had these chest pains that haven t been too bad. Last year my cardiologist gave me a stress test and all returned fine. Last week I spent two days in hospital for severe chest pains that doubled me over. All tests came back negative for heart problems. Today i went to my GP and she diagnosed me with costochondritis.

Comment from: Shirley, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I just recently returned home from a 48 hr. stay in the hospital having a complete cardio work-up (EKGs, echocardiogram, stress tests and several blood panels). My whole experience started at work in the late morning when I started experiencing extremely sharp, rapid firing pains in the center of my upper chest. I thought for sure I was having a heart attack! I was taken to an urgent care facility by my co-worker where I remained for about 5 hours until it was recommended I be admitted to the hospital for further observation. After finding out that my heart was normal I was released from the hospital. It was the follow-up visit I had the next day with my general physician that the Costochondritis was diagnosed. She was probing each joint along the breastbone when she hit one that just about shot me off the exam table!! I now wear a Lidocaine patch during the day and take an anti-inflammatory med if needed.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I was diagnosed with costochondritis after heart attack was ruled out at the emergency department of our local hospital. Probable cause was viral. I saw my chiropractor who is skilled in using special "Olympic tape" to support the sore chest area. I had immediate relief and was able to sleep in a prone position for the first time.

Comment from: Skylark, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

This is day six since I was diagnosed as having costochondritis. I was prescribed 50mg of prednisone.

Comment from: Skylark, Female (Patient) Published: September 01

See my earlier comments (Skylark). This is day 3 of my Costochondritis. I manage the pain by sitting up and moving a little as possible. I must sleep by sitting up. A male member of our household, male, 30ish, came down with the exact symptoms when he woke up this morning. Since he knew about my issue, he immediately started taking Aleve, which seems to diminish his pain. He also has pain in the neck, chest and shoulder in the same locations that my pain is localized. This leads me to believe that this is contagious, although no one has mentioned this before.

Comment from: mightyfibromite, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I was diagnosed with costochondritis about 10 years ago (after a spinal tap, EKG, EEG, and removing my appendix). The doctor squeezed my ribs together and it helped alleviate the direct pain. On days I know it's going to be a problem, I bought a pair of Spanx that does all the way up to the bra-line and it helps. Sometimes about pushing everything together, like a wrap. While Spanx are expensive, I've found they work while off brands don't work as well. n

Comment from: Sheilamamo , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

After several hospitalizations for possible heart attacks, I was diagnosed with costochondritis. To my relief, it was not my heart. The doctor has recommended curtailing my physical activities until the swelling calms down. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication. I have been so frustrated but finally feel relieved.

Comment from: ThankfulinIL, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I just got home from a two-day stay in the hospital. I went through testing for lung and heart problems to find out I have costochondritis. This is a very tricky condition for the medical providers to diagnose. Thankful it is not too serious of a condition.

Comment from: RevJRB, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 15

I've been dealing with chronic costochondritis forfour4 years now. I've had the corticosteroid shots, all the NSAIDs, and nothing has worked. The pain is severe and the only thing that works for relief is opiates. They don't stop the pain but they sure make dealing with it easier, can sleep and move and walk.

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I was suffering from very crushing chest pain and couldn't even drive my car. I suspected a heart attack. All the investigation revealed that everything is normal. My doctor diagnosed me with costochondritis.

Comment from: erielaken, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 19

I told the doctor in the ER that I noticed I got almost immediate relief when I took hydrocodone at 500mg for occasional back pain. Since it worked, she suggested and prescribed the same drug, though at reduced strength. It worked. The pain of costochondritis was intense.

Comment from: punzi2, Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I had this for over two months and someone recommended a chiropractor and within 2 treatments it was gone.

Comment from: karen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

First I thought I was having a heart attack because I was having trouble breathing. After my emergency room visit it was proved I was "fine." I found a heating pad on the most painful area helped, along with large doses of Ibuprofen. Also I found sleeping in an upright position in a reclining chair helped a lot. It took about three days of sitting around and going slowly about my activities and then I was fine. I've had no flare ups for over a year now, but this was extremely painful in the process.

Comment from: flaka, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I was diagnosed today with this condition. I was having pain in my chest and thought I was having a heart attack. I have been under some extreme stress over the last few months and since I am 61 years old I have heard that stress can cause stroke or heart attack. I was relieved when my doctor told me it was not a heart condition. His advice to me was to try to stay calm, relax, meditate and exercise and try to avoid stress.

Comment from: Lines, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I have suffered from chronic costochondritis for seven years. After consulting many physicians and different forms of treatment, the most useful for me was a course of an aspirin based anti-inflammatory, 5% Lydoderm patches and Ambien. Since I was advised cartilage does not have significant blood flow, it is difficult to get the drugs to the inflamed joint. And because I was treating with an aspirin based drug, it can be hard on your stomach. Flare-ups come with unknown triggers.

Comment from: Hope, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

Most of the time I'll drink a cup of hot water and that does the trick right away. The water needs to be as hot as you can stand it. Drink slowly.

Comment from: islandgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I've had this bad cough for 7 years now, and recently, I started to experience these severe sharp pains on my right side under my right breast. It was the most painful experience. I've had it 4 times already and I thought it was heartburn. Even the Doctors haven't been able to figure it out. While I was suffering for 5-6 hours I tried everything I could think of. Then, I thought of 800mg of Ibuprofen and lo and behold it helped. After all it is used for inflammation. Yes, next time I get it through all my coughing I will indeed use my 800mg Ibuprofen.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Costochondritis - Experience

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  • Costochondritis - Symptoms

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REFERENCE:

Firestein, Gary S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, Ninth Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2013.

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