Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Costochondritis- Most Common Symptoms

  • Pain is characterized by tenderness in the places where ribs attach to the breastbone.
  • Sharp Pain
  • Pain can extend to the shoulder and back (after 3 months of Costo, my shoulder and back starting hurting)
  • Pain when sitting for long periods of time like at a computer or driving
  • Dull, gnawing, constant pain
  • Pain worse when eating large meals.
  • Pain worse when eating fried foods, especially night shade foods. EX: Tomatoes, white potato based foods
  • Any of the 7 costo-chondral junctions may be affected
  • More than 1 area of the ribs are affected in 90% of cases
  • It occurs most often on the left side of your breastbone, though it can occur on either side
  • It may radiate pain to the back, shoulder or abdomen.
  • The most common site of pain is fourth, fifth, and sixth rib
  • Pain increases as you move your trunk
  • Pain with deep breaths or in some cases, all breathes
  • Stabbing
  • Can simulate the pain of a heart attack
  • Tightness
  • Burning
  • Severe cases- Unable to even pick up a pen without pain
  • Pain with lifting, pushing, pulling, sneezing, coughing, long hours of driving or using the computer, repetitive motions and caffeine
  • Cold, rainy and humid weather also make it worse
  • Discomfort wearing a bra
  • Pain worse during stress

The Rib Cage- pain at the sternum- ouch! My pain in ribs 1-7 from the sternum to my back in my left side. Fun. =)



  1. Lucy - Kris - hi!!
    hey my costo felt better after a week on Mobic but then i started doing my usual things - like liftingmy son, etc. and it's back! i lost my job tooand maybe the stress didn't help. do you ever get sharp stabbing pains like to the upper right side of your breats? that is scary! it's like a quick stabbing off and on. i hate it! i wonder if it could be mymuscles but then never had muscle pain that was stabbing before. i have had this months ago with my costo. i'm so mad it came back!!!

  2. Hi there!

    So sorry to hear of your pain and stress. I definitely get stabbing pain in different parts of the chest depending on what I've done that week. Very normal for costochondritis. Have you tried skilled relaxation exercises? This plus not lifting anything has really helped my stabbing pain.

    Hugs and healing to you,

  3. Thank you Lucy! I was looking for information on my pain - chest/ribs hurting right underneath and off to the right side of my right breast. I think it came from wearing underwire bras for up to 12 hours a day while on vacation. It became very painful to breathe and cough but it's finally going away after 4 weeks because I try to untie the bra as much as I can. Great to find out there's a term/condition for this though. Thanks for all the great info.

  4. SOOOOO glad you are feeling better! That's gives so many of us hope. Hugs to you and hope you get pain free asap!

    Thanks for updating me on how you are doing,
    Lucy =)

  5. Hi Lucy..I dont know if this is the same..my pain is on my left side..when I touch my rib or breast it seems to hurt..when I breathe..its pressure..breathing I can feel a constant tightness..I also wear underwire..due to haveing no breasts..they are padded and push up the little I have..I have been without a bra for a week now. I am very concious when I go to work as I look very flat without my bra on. Im hoping this is what it is, very scary to feel this pain all the time. Its the deep breaths I cant seem to take...Thanks

  6. I really hope that you feel better after some time going sans-bra. I know it's really tough and painful. You hang in there! Keep me posted on how you are doing!

  7. My pain is on the right side above my breast and then it travels to my right upper back and right arm. Taking Celebrex 200 mg twice daily.
    I have slight to no pain when I lie down. Does this sound familiar to anyone.

  8. I personally do not have pain in that area of the chest. I do have pain in my right upper back sometimes and pain in the arm- feels like I'm wearing an arm band. Have you been diagnosed with the condition?

    Hope you get to feeling better so soon!

  9. Hi there!

    I am a 26 year old female, wondering if anyone has similar problems to me?

    I have had a dull aching pain across my lower left ribs for about 3 months now. At times it feels so uncomfortable its as if my left ribcage is stuffed with tennis balls! The pain can radiate into my back and abdomen. I seem to feel worse after eating large meals. I have also been experiencing sharp stabbing pains in my upper left breast/chest.
    I have been to hospital where they have done ecg's an echocardiograph and various other tests to rule out heart problems.

    I have had the worst 3 months of my life.

    To top it off last night I have found a large lump on my left breast. The lump is tender and mobile. I am awaiting a scan for this.

    I would really love to hear from anyone with similar problems? Such as contocondritis and lump on breast together? I have allsorts running through my mind and I am worried sick...

    Thanks so much

    1. Did you get a follpw up pbecause im going through the same thing i have a lump on my letter upper breast as well. Im talking to my doc on friday its my hole left side of my rib cage and my left upper breast that hurts. Ive been diagnosed with this for 10 years now. Please let me know thank you

  10. Rebecca,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds really rough. I know it's traumatic and scary.

    Have you read through the entire blog to get tips and such?

    I have all the symptoms you have, minus the lump in the breast.

    I've been told to go 100% gluten free since I'm affected by meals as well. Don't know if this will help you or not...just putting it out there.

    You hang in there- if you are affected by your diet- that's a HUGE clue and a great place to start. You may get really bad after large meals...but whatever your are eating between the large meals can keep the pain there.

    Hugs to you, you hang in there. You are not alone. Praying for you,

  11. Hey,

    I'm only 17, and I was diagnosed with costochondritis less than 2 months ago. I thought I would share some of my additional symptoms with everyone.

    I am having many of the symptoms listed above, but I am also waking up in the night with a racing heart, and sometimes I wake up with a jump; scared that I'm not breathing properly. It's such an effort to breathe sometimes. Does anyone else wake up in this way? I find that I suffer much worse at night, and I too have to sleep on my back.

    My doctor wants me to have a blood test to make sure that it isn't arthritis-related. I hope it's not. I'll be having these in the next couple of weeks, I'll let you know how I get on!

    I would like to thank you for this great blog, because it has calmed me down, knowing that I'm not the only person suffering in this way, and that actually most of my symptoms are normal - (But horrible!)

    Thanks again :)


  12. Sophie,

    Thanks so much for your comments and letting me know the blog has been helpful to you. That really encourages me to keep it coming, so I really appreciate it!

    You are too young to be dealing with this! =(

    Ahhh yes, the racing heart. Booo!! I too have this symptom and know many other costo folks who have it as well. It usually happens at night, usually when laying down. at least for me and those I've talked to. It feels like your heart faces, skips a beat and you can't breathe for a second. It's really scary.

    My PT says that this is the cartilage having a spasm, and since it's near the heart, they all feel connected. I'm not sure I quite understand or support that theory. But that is one theory. I'm glad you are going to rule out all possible complications, that's really really wise. I'm so sorry you are having such scary symptoms, you are so not alone!

    BTW- I've gone gluten, potato, and tomato free this past week and haven't had the racing heart thing happen once this week..food for thought...wild, huh? We shall see...

    Keep me posted on how your testing goes?

    Hugs to you, you hang in there, okay? I'm always here to listen or just chat!


  13. i dont have constant pain some days a re good and some days are bad, i feel hopeless some times and have began having anxiety since my diagnosis. some times i have pain but have trouble palpatind where it is exactly. any one else like that?

  14. Hi there,

    You hang in there, I know it's not easy and hoplessness is a darkness that tries to envelope all of us. But you fight it!! I did go through a serious bout of anxiety and depression, very normal since the pain feels heart related. Once I was able to confidently have a diagnoses and know what was causing all the symptoms, my anxiety started to go down. Skilled relaxation exercises really helped me.

    And yes, sometimes it's hard to pinpoint where the pain is coming from in the ribs. Very normal as well. I'm so sorry for your pain. Hang in there, keep searching, and keep me posted on how your doing!

    Hugs and Healing to you,

  15. Hi,
    I am 29 years old. I found your site and I was told by my doctor I have costochondritis. Mine is above my left breast. I get swelling in my upper sternum and across the upper breast area. The pain radiates up there at differant spots all day long. I have had this pain come and go for the last five years never knew what it really was. We moved my bedroom around and the pain started the next day and hasnt left since its 10 weeks for me now. I took off 3 weeks of work they have me on muscle relaxers and mobic. Nothing seems to work. I already have a high stress level so I was wondering if this could be making it worse. I am at my wits end with this and I have 2 young boys to raise and it's so hard to function with this condition. I feel like I am making them suffer as well.

  16. Bzrsgirl,

    Thanks for sharing your story with me. My heart goes out to you. I know this is a huge challenge with out children, and with 2 precious little ones, I'm sure toll this is taking on you is quite heavy.

    Yes, stress is a huge trigger for costo. It can make it flair, or make it worse once it's already been triggered. If I were in your shoes, I'd try skilled relaxation exercise daily and occasional sauna time, to try and give your body some down time to heal- so that it's not always in the "brace" position. But of course, no pressure from this end, just throwing it out there....

    Hugs to you, keep me posted on how you are doing?


  17. Hello everyone,
    I believe I have Costo and never thought about it. I just know that for years I've had tenderness in my chest wall. Being a massage therapist I've had tremendous luck doing self massage almost everwhere on my body soooo I just move my breast tissue out of the way and massage between the ribs and wah lah the pain goes away. Becareful not to press on the breast tissue and try to make sure you are under the breast tissue and on top of the chest wall.

  18. Hi Connie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and what works for you! We really appreciate your advice!


  19. Hi,
    First I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your blog, Lucy. What a blessing you are, and so generous to spend this time helping others.

    I received my diagnosis yesterday. FINALLY!! :) After years and years; probably about 100 emergency room visits; humiliation after humiliation; doctor after doctor telling me that basically I was only experiencing anxiety attacks; thousands of dollars spent; and many precious moments and opportunities missed, I finally have a diagnosis. I am so thankful to God.
    My mother died of a massive heart attack and pulmonary embolism when she was quite young without warning. So when I started having chest pains several years ago, I was convinced that I was going to drop dead of a heart attack all the time. I was visiting the ER once a week, and living on Xanax. Then the pain would go away, sometimes for a year, then return sometimes for a week, and sometimes for a couple of months, and I would be back on the merry-go-round of ER visits and anxiety medication, CT scans, X-rays, blood tests, EKGs and more anxiety mecication. Yes, I was having anxiety attacks, but something was causing them, but I coudn't convince a doctor that it was physical.
    I have been in tremendous pain for about the last two weeks and especially the last week. And off I went to yet another doctor visit. On the way, I started praying fervently that God would give this doctor direction and discernment and give me an accurate diagnosis. Well, God answered my prayer! I have been reading non-stop about this condition today, and am fully convinced that this diagnosis is absolutely 100% accurate. Even about the underwire bras that I had to stop wearing about two years ago. I am so thankful to have a diagnosis. I am certain that the diagnosis along will do a great deal to help my anxiety issues.
    I play the violin, and am quite certain that this has contributed a great deal to my Costo, among other things of course, but I believe that playing the violin for hours at a time is out of the question now, and unfortunately, I may need to give it up entirely. This is a very very sad possibility for me. But I haven't been able to experience the joy of playing with the pain anyway. I pray that I won't have to give it up. But, I would sooner do that than miss out on any more quality time with my family and friends, which is more important to me than anything else.
    Thank you again, Lucy, and to everyone else who has contributed here. May God Bless You.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Barb,

    I just about teared up reading your story. What a gift to know what is causing your pain. YAAAAAAAY!!! I celebrate with you!!! And what a testimony to God's goodness that you prayed for the doctor and got a diagnoses. Awesome!

    I so feel your pain in everything you wrote. I know the fear and anxiety you have walked through. And I pray that you will have a lot of peace knowing what this pain is. I can tell you after 2 years of not knowing, this 3rd year, while really painful, has been so much more peaceful.

    And you're a musician? That tugs at my heart strings. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and for your kinds words about my blog. You have no idea how much of a blessing that is to me.

    Many hugs to you! I'm always here to chat or listen.

    Hugs and healing to you,

  22. Hi Lucy,

    I posted above somewhere a while ago, about some extra symptoms I was getting and I also mentioned about my doctors wanting me to have blood tests. Well an hour ago, I finally overcame my phobia!! I had a blood test. I still can't believe it now! In a few days I will share the results with you all!

    Ohh and can costo show up in a blood test?



  23. Hi Sophie!

    Great to hear from you! You go girl!!! I'm so happy for you that you over came your fear and did your blood work! That rocks!! I'm celebrating with you! Please keep me posted about your results!

    As per your post about wanting a forum for everyone to share what makes costo worse? I will totally put one up this week. Sounds like a great idea! Thanks for your input and sharing how you are doing!

    Hugs to you!

  24. PS- I've never heard of costo showing up on blood tests...but they can test for levels of inflammation in your blood work.

    And they can test for all kinds of reasons/issues that can cause costo- which is great. keep me posted! =)

  25. Heya Lucy,

    I've just been down to the doctors once again, I started to feel really light headed and heavy, my arms, legs felt all heavy, and I felt really funny. I've started to develop a cough which isn't helping matters.

    My mum thinks I may have fibromyalgia (with which costo is a symptom). I hope I don't. My mum has it. Its horrible!!

    I've booked an appointment at the doctors again on Friday where I will get my blood results, and possibly have an ECG. Im worried about it all. Is the feeling of palpitations normal? She checked my blood pressure and pulse etc, she says it's my body reacting to pain, but I'm not so convinced. (She said my blood pressure and pulse were fine)

    Sophie :)

    PS- the doctors have given me the oral version of the flector patch you've spoken about, because they don't offer those in the UK :( I'll let you know how it goes!

  26. Hello Lucy and everyone,
    After reading your hopeful helpful blog and thinking of a well-crafted greeting, I'm finally ready to make my 'debut' on this site--in fact this is the first time I've ever really 'blogged.' So here goes...

    First of all thanks to all of you for bravely and generously sharing your stories/remedies, and especially to you, Lucy, for not only creating this blog (it is awesome, even the questions seem to touch on what I've been going through, I like the new look to the site by the way!), but also taking the time to write back and answer all our comments (and here I come with my laundry list!)...you should be getting paid!!!
    Speaking of getting paid/working, I loved your bit about living in a crappy apartment in Queens and doing Broadway!! And no, I can't name any Broadway stars (sorry! But they sure have good music! Oh wait, Sara Brightman! Does she count?), and--not that I'm qualified to judge--I don't think it's a selfish or "want to be famous" thing either. I think it's a blessing to have a dream and you gotta keep believing that you're gonna be able to do it and/or even that it's part of your purpose in life. I don't think I've read the Bible as much as you, but I wish for you discernment, wisdom, and guidance (well I wish it for me too, and for all of us!).

    I find it heart-breaking that you had to stop in the middle of your tour because of this darn illness. I'm a musician too (piano) and when making music, I definitely use my whole body (I get into it), and costochondritis (if that's what I have) has definitely gotten in the way...thankfully I still can play but I feel limited. I can't even imagine what it's like if you're a singer--your chest/breathing is pretty much the power behind your voice (if I understand correctly).
    Well I'm not just writing to thank everyone I (of course I have an ulterior motive)...I have a Doctor's apt. coming next week, and I'm hoping to express myself, and possibly get some feedback on some ideas I have. Also, I've ALMOST read the whole blog from top to bottom (I realize now that I missed some comments--didn't open them, gonna check those out in a bit).
    Lucy, thank you for publishing every little detail about all the things you've tried. I thought my 8 doctors who can't tell me what's going on was bad--then I see you've had 75, plus a gazillion tests, plus a whole bunch of home remedies (and not to mention all the medical stuff you've been through as a kid--jeez I guess I could have it way worse). Having read all that, I now have a better idea of what to avoid, and what to expect when trying new things. I so admire that you're not giving up or not resigning to living a life that's just so-so cuz you have a chronic condition. You're being a leader in all this so we don't have to.

    So I've gone on for like 5 paragraphs already and I'm not even sure I have costo. Having compared the symptoms, costo seems like the closest thing to what I have, although there are some differences, so I was hoping to bounce my ideas around.

  27. [PART 2]

    The main difference is--although I feel a bit guilty for admitting it given all the pain you guys feel--

    --I don't really feel pain!

    Not when anyone touches or puts pressure on any of my ribs/sternum, and not even when I'm having my 'flare-ups.' And I don't see any inflammation (though I know Tietze syndrom is the costo-like condition where you actually see inflammation).

    What I DO experience though, and what's been very difficult to deal with, is my shortness of breath! I feel almost like the woman who was training for the London Marathon, who said that when she tried to go for a deep breath, it felt like her 'innertube' (lungs) couldn't inflate all the way. It's as if there's pressure on/around my ribs--like they won't expand all the way.

    For me it's like that almost all the time. It seems to be worst when I need a fast quick breath...which occurs quite a bit, even at seemingly mundane things (like opening heavy doors at say Olive Garden). Because of that, I have a hard time exercising (yeah I used to do a lot of bench presses), dancing, laughing, and mainly talking. When I carry on a normal conversation, I keep running out of breath cuz it feels like my being pressed together.

    Yes I feel like there's pressure on my chest--pretty much constantly (worse at night, and/or after working out too much--yes I still do a little and now I'm also doing granny walks and the lightest dumbells). This makes it so that I feel constantly short of breath. Especially when exercising, lifting, laughing, crying, talking more than just a few words at a time (yeah I've had to start emailing a lot more now too).

    Despite not having pain (and actually I do feel dull pressure on varying spots around the ribs throughout the day, but never excruciating like what you guys feel; sorry to 'rub' it in), costo seems to be the closest diagnosis for other reasons:

    -I experience chest cracking
    -I started noticing my symptoms right after a bike crash where the handlebars slammed into my chest (so if I've got costo, it's probably the 'trauma' kind as opposed to the infection kind)
    -I experience--quite often--the feeling of having a heart attack: thankfully I've never had one so I don't know what it's like, but for me, this shortness of breath I'm mentioning will get particularly bad, especially at night or when I'm doing a lot of talking. Then it's like the tightness in my chest reaches a 'critical' level and circulation seems to really slow down in my limbs and I get lightheaded. The ONLY thing that seems to help when this happens is laying down, and actually falling asleep for like 15 minutes (then everything in my chest kind of loosens up)--if I don't lay down, this tightness does not go away and pretty much screws up the rest of the day until I do lay down. Is this similar to what anyone else feels when they think they've had a heart attack? When I'm at work or somewhere where I can't just lay down and I have this experience, I try to keep a Vic's Vaporub inhaler that I can suck on discreetly (as if I were smoking a cigarrette), seems to help a bit; but there's only so many times I can fake having to turn around at work to 'cough' while I'm in the middle of talking to someone.

  28. [PART 3]
    -Here'a another symptom I'm curious to know if other costo sufferers have experienced: when i have an empty stomach, it's also very hard to get a full breath in. It feels as if my internal organs have all "fallen down" inside my torso and so my lungs or ribcage is sorta stretched flat and collapsed a bit. Does that make ANY sense? Like maybe the ligaments/tendons that hold it all in place have gotten detached since my crash (not even sure if this is how it all works). Then, when I eat (and it has to be a real meal w/meat and/or protein, not just carbs or starchy food), I immeediately feel normal. It's as if my stomach's full, so it can prop up all my organs and my lungs or diaphragm are no longer contorted. Of course, when I've looked at myself in the mirror I see absolutely no change.

    -Also, to get a full breath in (when I need it which is not every breath), I have to lean forward and push my collarbones (and thus my whole ribcage/thorax) up and out, and even then sometimes the full breath doesn't come in.

    I know Lucy you recommend getting a real diagnosis. So far my pulmonary tests, chest x-ray and EKG are normal, no asthma, bronchitis, nor emphysema. I look normal too (of course)...kind of dreading the whole "going to the umpteenth doctor's appointment after the last said 'you're fine' " business, not to mention all the bills. I live in L.A which sometimes feels like a disjointed/fragmented city. While in some ways that's a blessing cuz of the plethora of Dr.'s out here, it's also overwhelming in that (I think) there could be a higher chance of a bad doctor or at least for complications/poor communication (for example, I had to go to Chinatown to get my chest x-ray, which the Dr.'s office then lost, so I had to go again on another day and miss work...at least I can still work, right?). I guess I'll try going straight to a physologist (sp?) like you Lucy, and I'll try to find out ahead of time that they have experience diagnosing/treating costo. And I'm TOTALLY gonna try your tip of dressing up dishevelled and desperate (maybe I can find a credible witness to go with me). No more going to these dr.'s offices trying to put on a false air or feeling like I'm burdening them w/some problem that they're skeptical of anyways.

    As far as remedies, I've tried reducing the amount of stressful activities in my life, I've cut out heavy weight-lifting, I've tried observing if certain foods trigger my condition. I've tried 'bracing' my ribcage less (but I probably do it still anyway) My lung dr. prescribed me xanex which does help me not worry as much about the problem (but doesn't fix the root cause). I've been to about 6 chiropracic appointments--not so sure about the 'adjustments' but the ultra-sound therapy seems to help sometimes (he said it's supposed to break up scar tissue which he supposedly found on my cartilage while looking at my x-ray). I've tried "Bodytalk," which is pretty cool--it's like acupuncture w/o needles and does make me feel refreshed afterwards but unfortunately I think hasn't resolved my condition. I've tried Prilosec cuz I thought maybe my condition was related to possible silent GERD (no heartburn here). I've tried Sauna-ing. Anti-inflammatory drugs I've tried are just typical otc; no major relief noticed so I've stopped.

    What DOES work so far is: Ben Gay (most of the time), Ice (sometimes), and when I just can't sleep for hours cuz I can't get a full breath, I stick Vapo-Rub up my nostrils...been doing this since August of '09 when I had my bike accident.

  29. [Part 4--sorry I hope I'm not taking up too much space--last one i promise!]

    Like I say thank you Lucy and to others for sharing your experiences...I think I'm gonna try the herbal supplements MSM and what's that other one for joints? Gonglucose or something like that? No need to answer, I have it saved somewhere in my research. I'm also going to try those skilled relaxation exercises you mentioned. I think I'm also going to try to go and get my own MRI that I can take from Dr. to Dr. I may look for a medical massage therapist as well. Guess I should be thankful I'm a guy (I know I should be for a lot of reasons) and I have a flat chest so therapists/chiro can actually touch all my ribs/sternum.

    I also may try that Candex that Angela mentioned--although I don't think I have Candida, or at least that it's the main cause of my illness, it sounds like anyone could develop yeast/fungus buildup to some extent and that this remedy couldn't really do any harm.

    Also, again thank you Lucy for paving the way with the unconventional stuff (and I sometimes feel a little let down when I read on to find it didn't 'cure' you--maybe all of it is contributing to some slow cumulative cure)--don't think I'm going to try that liver flush JUST YET--but I'm not ruling it out as it seemed to work for some bloggers.

    Part of me thinks deep down that at least part of my answer is going to be major life-style changes--i.e. REALLY cutting back on all the gazillion activities I'm involved in, REALLY eating super-good, REALLY saying no to all the things I want to do...I don't know how you've done it Lucy, I'm afraid to go down that path. Not even that I think I can do it, but more 'cus I feel like I'll have to put my life on hold, without a guarantee that any of it's gonna work. I guess that's what you call Faith, right?

    Oh I have another question, have any of you costo sufferers tried any of these medicines?

    "cosnofax" found at

    or "cidrical" found at

    I'm skeptical that both might be internet "snake oil" (especially with those overly-optimistic but vague testimonials on the side!).

    Gosh I've practically written a book, and probably a boring one at that so sorry to go on for so long, thanks for reading, and for having the space for us to meet and express ourselves, get ideas etc.

    Thanks again a whole bunch. I can really feel the honesty and love coming from this blog and so I keep coming back to it.

    And greetings from L.A! (I did happen to walk right by the Oscar after-party on Sunday night, of course it was all blocked off to the public so I couldn't see anything or any stars)

    -Peter, 29 y.o. male

  30. okay not my last one--
    sorry i noticed a typo in the last one...cidrical is found at www.cidrical.com

  31. From one musician to another, Hi Peter!!

    Can I just say that I'm so sorry you are dealing with this! But it was great to listen to where you've been. I felt like I was listening to someone talk- you write really well and very funny!!! I can tell we share some of the same humor- haha!

    Okay, so i also want to thank you for all the really kind things you said to me. It means SO MUCH to me. Generous people like yourself remind me of why I'm doing this blog and keep me going. So thank you with all my heart for the encouragement. And it's people like you, who share their story, that will totally help others behind them. So thank you soooooo much for taking the time to put your story out there. You are not alone and I KNOW it will help someone. You rock for doing that!

    Now let's see if we can help you. =) So, here's the delio, wow that you don't feel pain. But brother, if it hurts to breathe, that counts. lol. And that really stinks! eek!I'm so sorry for what you're going through. What I do relate to is the pressure on the chest and feeling like the ribs won't expand. For me, there were months where it hurt so bad to expand my ribs that I would breathe as shallow as I could for as long as I could.

    I think you are very wise to do a lot of digging and go into your doctor appt. really prepared next week- and disheveled with someone cleaned up looking at your side-lol.

    I do have a question for you. How did you treat the symptoms in the weeks following the crash? Did you go about life as normal? Or notice the pain was better when you rested? You are dead on about the fact the the costo is reacionary. It reacts in equvialence of pain to the activity that the person does. The more you move etc, the worse it gets. I would suggest, just my thought, of seeing a sports doctor. Like a doctor who takes care of a professional team there in CA. You may have already done this, so I may be a broken record. But if you are seeking a diagnoses and can't find a pain management or GP that deals with costo or knows what it is (smart move to call around and find out- I was so happy when I read that!) - then I'd research the doctors who deal with sports injuries in your area. Baseball players, volleyball players etc docs may have seen this injury before and can diagnose you- just a thought.

    As far as the heart attack wanna be costo symptoms- I do get better when I lay down and really relax- I don't fall asleep- but I wish i could!

  32. PART 2!!!!

    As far as the Stomach and eating helping you- Peter, I'm afraid I'm of no help in this department. I totally get what you are saying, but I cannot relate. I'm hoping that someone else who reads this will be able to relate and offer some support and advice. Cause that sounds crazy and double eek!

    And good for you about not apologizing for being in the dr. office office, I was like, "YES!! Preach it!"

    As far as the taking time away from life to heal...you nailed it. I know if you make the choice to "step away" from life and really rest that it will be so hard. And you're right, there is no guarantee. I pray that if you do this, that it will be a quick and speedy recovery. Maybe rest is all your body needs. But you'll know in your heart if it's time to do this.

    As far as all the websites that claim to heal costo- I could be totally wrong and often am, but I checked them out a long time ago and they all seemed scam title worthy to me. Again, just my thoughts. But good for you for digging and really seeing what's out there.

    And I'd do snag that x-ray from the chiro who said he could see inflammation and take it to your next appt with you.

    Sounds like you have really been seeking out relief and for that, I commend you. I know it's not easy to keep going when the pain is there and the relief seems like it will never come. But let me tell you...people like you who push, don't give up, pray, wait, and discern which road to go down will find relief from this one day. You hang in there. Keep going!

    And yes, I too get let down when all the craziness I've tried hasn't worked-lol. Long live the liver flush! HAHA- GAG! But one sweet day, the relief will come. And so we press on!!!

    I don't really feel like I've been of much help, but thank you again for sharing your story. I will be praying for you tonight, k?
    Will you please keep me posted on how you are doing? I would love to know how your healing is coming- and Peter, it will come. You keep chugging, it's going to come. And you listen to the holy spirit in you, telling you which road to go down. Keep praying, listening, reading the word, and it will come to you. You'll know where to go.

    It's been a pleasure!


  33. Oh wow. Thanks so much for writing back! I feel..validated! Truthfully ever since my injury life's been a bit of a blur. I felt like i was just trying to cram in activites/rush through each day just so I could get the day overwith, at least at a subconcious level.

    So when I sat and "commented" (i.e. wrote a dissertation) on your blog, it felt good, like I was actually facing the 'real issues' of my life...and then as like a total bonus you wrote back, and w/totally helpful info and ideas!!

    I feel...empowered! Well actually I feel empowered to let go of some of my power, i.e. "control." I feel like another person from this blog did when she commented something about finally just "letting go" [of picking up her teenage son's socks under the bed or something]. The control freak/speed freak in me (not the drug, just speed in general) doesn't like it, but it does feel kind of nice to slow down and listen to my body.

    Thank you so much for praying for me! I'll pray for you too! Really I will.

    I LOVE the idea of checking out a sports doctor...no, no one's suggested it at all. I think it's a BRILLIANT idea. So far, I get the impression that doctors see me breathing and think to themselves, "he's fine." My pulmonologist actually said, "see, you don't really need to breathe that deeply!" I feel like a sports doctor would understand better that of course it's okay to breathe shallow-ly when you're at rest, but the rest of the time you're (well those who don't have costo) are up and about being active.

    Speaking of which, I'm so impressed that you tried to breathe shallow for a while (though it sounds like you hadn't much choice). It's crossed my mind to try to retrain myself, but everytime I tried I just got light-headed. I find too that as long as I'm not in super-hyper-adrenaline mode (i.e. my normal work-out or 'late for work' pace), I can sort of "coax" a full breath in slowly, esp. if I lift my rib-cage w/my collarbones. And, I remember reading a physical therapist's article you posted somewhere on this blog, encouraging us to keep doing light exercise, that seems to work for me sometimes (and it's not easy for me to stick to 'light' just yet).

  34. [part deux]
    Well thanks for asking about my treatment when I first had the crash. At my first appointment they told me since I had no serious break in my ribs, and that there wasn't much to be done for ribs but let the body heal on its own and to come back in 3 months if it hadn't. Despite reading somewhere online to cut back on weightlifting (I didn't know about costo back then in aug. I thought I had a rib fracture), I still kept up my same schedule (and weightlifting routine). Looking back all these years, I think my weight-lifting, esp. upper body, may have had some improper technique--like maybe instead of stressing the muscle, I was really just straining the ribcage (that would explain why everyone but me was getting buff! J/k!).

    But some days, and these are the tough ones--probably for all of us--my symptoms seem to come on full force for seemingly no reason at all. So again, I admire y'all for trying more 'indirect' things like diet and therapy. Sounds like that's been an important factor for some people.

    Well I'm very grateful for a lot of reasons. Thanks Lucy for sharing your support even though I'm pretty sure now that I'm not in as much pain as you guys (yeah it sucks to have to think about breathing EVERY 5 breaths, but beyond that I also feel kinda bad complaining about L.A. It ain't so bad--I mean if there are cream of the crop doctors then surely a big city like this would have them (I could be stranded in a small town). Also, I'm grateful for having this problem during the internet and information age....I mean wow your email mant a lot...I really do feel more empowered/understood (and yeah I find your sense of humor hilarious, wish I could laugh out loud, ha ha!).

    Well despite all the support you're giving us random strangers, I'll tell you in advance to not feel bad if you can't for some reason write me back if I comment/commiserate in the future. Setting up this blog and writing me w/all your ideas has already been such a help. Don't neglect yourself and I have faith that you'll be huggin' and hangin' out w/your loved ones just normally some day!

    Thank you thank you thank you!!


  35. Hey Peter!

    So I just got back in from out of town and read your great comments from today- you were up EARLY!! ...or maybe late? lol. I'm tuckered out and headed to bed- but will comment back tomorrow on all you shared with me!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Crazy and determined, Lucy

  36. Hey Peter,

    I'm awake and functioning today! lol. I was like a zombie trying to comment back to people last night- it was funny.

    So thanks for sharing all of that with me! I'm So glad you feel validated, that's awesome! I know this has been a rough journey for you since your accident.

    Your pulmonologist said you didn't need to breathe deeply?!?! AHHHH!! What in the world? lol. I really should do a "crazy sayings by doctors" post. haha...I think I might!

    Awww man, I really feel for you about not knowing about costo after your accident. I would have totally rested when all this started for me as well, if I would have known what was going on. I'm so sorry you were not told to not lift at all...eek. But the good news is: since you didn't really rest, maybe you can heal if really put the work into resting? Just a thought. I think it's those of us who really rested after the initial onset of costo and it doesn't heal...that can be in a real pickle long term with this condition if the costo is trauma related. So I feel really hopeful for you. I would totally lay off any upper body exercises and abs and see if you notice a difference. Just a thought. I can be kinda bossy, so totally don't feel like you have to do what I say- lol- I'm just mouthy sometimes. =)

    As far as when the symptoms come on- I can totally identify with that, my first attack was when I was just driving to work. Sometimes i wouldn't even feel the pain(in the beginning) when i was lifting stuff- it would come on at random times. Double eek.

    Keep me posted on how you are doing, kay? Hugs and healing to you!

  37. Hey there! Thanks again for your comment and feedback. Sorry for being slow here on my end...I'm glad you have other people that write in (well not that glad, cuz that means more people are out there suffering from this madness!). And thanks too for your ideas--be as bossy as you want to be :) !

    Ha ha, feel free to include my dr.'s quote if you decide to do that post after all. Can't wait to read what other wacky things would go up there!

    Well thanks for the good news (I know it's not you that decides my fate, ha ha--but it's great to hear something encouraging)--yeah that sounds possible, that my body still has a chance to heal right if I just rest. And I'm so sorry for those who've tried resting--maybe I'll be in that boat, but for now I will publicly commit to commit--at least publicly on this forum--to staying on a 'middle ground' path (i.e. no extremes in terms of lifting/exercising/talking/over-booking my schedule).

    It's been helpful to read some of the recent comments about resting--and feeling useless--I'm glad you've made a commitment to healing and getting closer to God. Also very good that your partner supports you!

    Well I had my Dr.'s appt. today. I DID go in not quite as put-together-looking or as 'chirpy' as I usually am (I know I could've done better on the 'needy' look). And while I don't feel like I was able to express my ideas/symptoms fully before he tuned out (I'm starting to develop a sense of that--but gotta keep having faith; I think he does care/knows what he's doing and nobody's perfect). I DO think I made some serious headway in that he agreed to go for a PET scan (in a couple weeks--of course!).

    This, incidentally, is the same dr. who made the afore-mentioned breath comment. As soon as (and if) I reach some sort of end with him, I AM going to make an apt. with a sports-medicine dr. (have started looking). For insurance reasons (= money reasons :), I've decided to keep going w/this doctor...the good news too is that he seemed to know what costochondritis was, given that he said that it might show in a PET scan, which, he said, was sort of a newer version of a Gallium Scan (which according to some websites I've found is/was used to help diagnose costochondritis?)...maybe I'll get to start posting in your "getting diagnosed" section!

    Well, I'll keep you updated on my progress. It's so cool to have pen-pals who can relate on this! Thanks for continuing to bravely share your story. Good job on going gluten-free and I hope you get some conclusive results from your Celiac test!!

  38. Hi Peter,

    No worries about taking your time to respond. It's always a pleasure to talk with people on the blog- but there's never any pressure or time expectations from this end.

    I dig your public commitment to rest- lol!

    And I love that you went into your appt. "needy"- haha!

    Glad you feel more comfy with your doctor this time around. Keep me posted on the results of your scan? Glad he knew what costo was- that's great news. Sounds like you are really digging and pushing for answers- rock on- you are doing great!

    Have a great week,
    Pen-Pal Lucy

  39. Hi Lucy,

    I skimmed over this blog and finally found the spot to come to when my costo gets the best of me. 2 years ago mine started but I only get the flare-ups occasionally--I have young children and I think lifting the smaller one is what sets it off for me, as well as just normal day to day mom anxiety. I had every test run in the book the first few times I experienced it, worrying it was my heart of course. I have been going through a bad bout of it for about a week now. It seems like stress really just sets it off and it takes sooo long to dissipate. I have found a few friends/family members that have experienced it, but they've only had one-time occurences...lucky them! It sure is anxiety-filled, that's for sure. I know it makes it frustrating to my family because they don't understand it and it's not pain you can see on the outside. Someone once said it felt like an elephant sitting on their chest. I guess that's one good way of putting it, but I could use a few other choice words :) Thanks for this blog, my new home away from home!!

  40. Hi Nicole,

    Welcome to the blog! Thank you so much for sharing with me where you are. I'm sure it's really tough with children and picking the little cuties up. Please let me know if I can help in any way!


  41. Hi Lucy (and everyone)

    For the last 6 months I’ve pretty much gone though every test imaginable. I was hospitalised after a spider bite which cause me to get a really bad bacterial infection in my tummy. Ever since that horrible week I’ve had pain in my ribs on the right side. My doctor has tested me for liver issues, gallbladder issues ect and i felt as if he wasn’t listening to me when i said i feel it in my ribs, and more to the surface NOT underneath them.

    For the last few days the pain has radiated to my back kind of underneath my shoulder blade. Which now i see is a common symptom AND it dosnt always occur as soon as the initial pain starts!

    Im a wakeboarder. Just before i got sick, i went wakeboarding behind our boat and took a big stack to the water. I mentioned this to every doctor ive seen and they dismissed it. im almost convinced that i have costo. I have EVERY symptom. And its been hanging around for 6 months . Its so depressing and worrying, especially when you can’t get an answer out of a doctor.

    I see that sitting at a desk all day can agrivate the issue? Im at a desk from 7.30 to 5, 5 days a week.

    Guys... what do you think? Im sure i have this. Especially since nothing has come up in ultrasounds, blood work etc.

    Would going to a physio help me out?


  42. P.s

    Sorry to take up so much room BUT.

    If i twist a little sometimes i feels like something clicks or pops? Does anyone else have this problem?

    I cant take deep breaths either. It hurts way too mcuh in my back under my shoulder blade.

    The pain in the front of my rib is along the bottom of the rib cage? I see on the pic above you have cartlidge there.

  43. Tilly,

    I'm so glad the blog has been helpful to you!

    I'm so sorry for your pain. Sounds like you have been through a really rough time.
    I personally haven't tried a physio, but let us know if you give it a shot. I also don't have the clicking or popping, but I've heard of others who have.

    Is your pain in the bottom right of your ribs? Almost into your right side? Or only in your ribs?


  44. Thanks for replying lucy!

    ok its hard to explain so if you look at the above pic my pain is on the 6,7 and 8th rib (counting from the top down) and in the purple part. And my upper back near my shoulder blade. It hurts more to sit and less when i stand and to tak a deep breath it hurts. I feel like if i take a slow deep breath and lift my shoulders it make it easier.

    Do you think this is symptomatic of costo?

    Ill deff let you know about the physio.

  45. Hi Tilly,

    I wish I could say that I thought you had costo or not, but I don't think I can. =( If it hurts your chest to breathe, then yes, that's symptomatic of Costo. But if it hurts your back to breathe, I'm afraid I'm of little help. Bummer!!! I wish I was more help to you! I'm so sorry you are having this pain. I know it's really tough.


  46. Hi Lucy,

    I am a 29 year old female who was recently diagnosed with Costo. I had a terrbile respiratory virus at Thanksgiving - which led to coughing, sneezing - and then a few months later terrible muscle aches which the doctors diagnosed as Costo. I have seen multiple specialists and they all seem to think the same thing. I can't help but think its something more. I have had chest x-rays and blood tests and everything is normal.

    Recently I started icing my upper back and everyday and walking 15-20 mins everyday and things started to improve for a short while. But just this last week I had to travel and slept in 5 different beds in one weeks time. I have never had the pain my chest as bad as it is now. Have you ever heard of switching beds to flare up the pain? I feel like I am back to square one which is awful.

    Also, have you talked to people before who have had the ups and downs of Costo and actually got rid of it? I am at month 5 since my repsiratory infection - not sure if that would also mean 5 months into the costo.

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

  47. Rebecca,

    Hi there. Yes, sleeping in different bed can definitely affect your pain. Very normal for costo. and frustrating. Whether it's the bed or how you sleep on them, it affects the costo. Some people find sleeping on their backs is the best for Costo. I certainly have much less pain sleeping on my back.

    As far as people who have gotten rid of Costo, check out my "success stories" section. you can find it on the right hand side of the blog.

    Hope you get to feeling better. I know this condition is so hard in every way. The best advice I can offer is to keep digging and researching. I know it's so hard and painful, sending a supportive hug your way.


  48. Hey again Lucy/ Everyone

    Just thought I’d let you all know that i went to the physio therapist last night and he diagnosed me with costo. I asked him about the back pain i was getting (under my shoulder blade) and he advised that its common to have this pain associated with costo. He felt the muscles in my upper back and chest and they were really tense, im guessing due to me trying to “brace” myself all the time.

    I must admit it was a mix of emotions him telling me i have costo. It was great to have someone finally tell me whats going on and stop treating me for GERD, stomach ulcers, Reflux, Herina’s ect, but then its not the most enjoyable thing to have.

    The physio told me i have a lot of swelling around the joints and has written a referral to my GP to refer me onto a specilst to administer cortozone injections into the area. Im hoping this will get rid of some of the pain. Lucy i see that the injections didnt really help you much. Im PRAYING that since im 99.999999% sure i developed costo because of sporting injury and aggravation that it may help me.

    Anyways, i just thought id put forward what he told me and to let you all know that im keeping you all in mind and sending all the positive thoughts i have your way 

    Let me know if you want me to tell you how the injections go.

    Till x

  49. Hi Tilly!

    Thanks SO much for sharing how you are doing. I so appreciate it. And those who read your comments will appreciate it too!

    I'm sure it was a mix of emotions getting a diagnoses. It's awesome to finally know what the problem it, but I know a Costo diagnoses is really hard too. And for that, my heart so goes out to you.

    And no, the injections didn't help me. But I so hope they help you!! I truly do. I know this pain is TERRIBLE!

    And yes, please let us know how the injections go!? I would love to hear how you are doing!

    Hugs and many thanks for sharing,

  50. PS- So glad your physio knew that back pain comes with costo! He's a keeper- lol.

  51. Hey Lucy,

    Yesterday was the worst pain I have ever had after being told I have costo. (I live in Australia) and the weather has gone from very warm to cold nights. I drove to work thinking I’d be ok, but as soon as i sat at my desk all i could do was cry. I sheepishly called my boss and she sent me straight home. I booked into a new doctor who also knew what costo was AS SHE SUFFERS FROM IT TOO!! She was great to have some understanding from a doctor both medical and personal!

    I don’t like taking a lot of medication but she has suggested stronger pain med's and muscle relaxants until i can see the specialist to try the injections. These knocked me around a bit but i was able to get more hours worth of sleep last night, which I haven’t been getting recently.

    I thought of you as soon as she said she suffered from it! I can’t believe I was so lucky to find a physio who knew about it and a doc who has it!

    I read that chiropractic work didn’t work for you lucy, and it basically made me worse. I wanted to pass on a little into for everyone that i found out last night. My doc told me last night that Chiro work 98% of the time inflames the area more. And that it’s ok to have chiro work to prevent getting costo (making sure your ribs all have good movement and are inline) but once you have the inflammation it aggravates it = more pain. In my case this is a reason why i have such bad pain because I’ve been seeing a chiro 3 times a week for 4 months, and he never picked up on it :(

    Specialist app is all booked for the 27th April (2 days after my birthday) so I’m hoping for a late birthday present of PAIN FREE LIFE.

    Hope you are all getting there and thanks Lucy for creating such a great forum for us to vent and discuss costo. Its truly amazing. So a big thanks all the way from Australia 

  52. Tilly,

    Thanks so much for sharing all of that. I know you are walking through so much right now!

    So happy you found a doctor that knows all about costo. YAY! That's so awesome!

    As per the chrio- yes...I with you- OUCH!

    I pray you have a pain free birthday too!!!! Many hugs to you! Thanks for keeping me posted on your journey! I SO appreciate it!

  53. PS- let me know how the specialist appt goes?!?! Cheers to HEALING!!

  54. I stumbled upon this site early this morning, as I was trying to distract myself from so much costo pain. I'm a psychotherapist who, in theory, knows a great deal about anxiety, relaxation, etc., but when costo hits this hard, it's tough to remember it's "just inflammation". I think that sitting for long hours each day, combined with recovering from a respiratory virus has set off the pain in new and intense directions. My husband is also gone for a few days, so I'm more inclined to think I might die when I'm home alone:) Does anyone have thoughts re: the "correct" posture when sitting for so long? I notice I generally feel much better on days off, when I'm moving about. Is there a particular chair recommended for someone who makes their living sitting? Thank you.

  55. Hi there,

    Thanks for stopping by! Great question. My heart really goes out to you, I know working full time with this pain is TERRIBLE! Ouch.

    As far as the chair- while on tour riding a bus- I used one of those blow up lumbar support pillows- it really helped with the pain by keeping the posture up and chest open.

    Hope you have a blessed day,

  56. This is a wonderful site. I didn't start having costo symptoms until post-menopause. I do have a couple of questions. Mine is mostly under my right breast or upper right chest though, on one occasion at least, it has been under my left breast. I am wondering if others have experienced this. Thanks for being here.

    Susan in Atlanta

  57. Hi Susan,

    Glad you've enjoyed my little blog! Sorry to hear of your pain. I haven't heard of it starting after menopause- but I'm not surprised- with any condition, auto-immune or not- stress of any kind can for sure "turn on" a condition. As per it being under the right side- yes- very normal for costo.

    Since you mentioned you went through menopause- I'd ask a doctor to check all of your vitamin levels that can cause chest pain- Vit D, Vit B12, Magnesium, and Calcium. Such a change as that can cause huge deficiencies that could be a huge cause of chest pain.

    Hugs and Healing to you,

  58. Thanks, Lucy. From what I've been reading, I think costo can appear at any age. My vitamin levels all seem fine. In fact, my doctor said I have the highest Vit. D levels she's seen in some time. I'd be interested if anyone else of a more advanced age (50 to 60) has experienced costo.

  59. Yes, you are right, it can appear at any age- yet it's always as painful.Glad your levels are good. Take care and blessings,

  60. Hey Lucy,

    I had my specialist app yesterday with my rheumatologist. He spent over an hour with me and went over everything. He seems to think that it’s a cartilage issue as well.
    He has ordered me to have a MRI scan to show the cartilage and soft tissue.

    I wanted to let all you guys know of something interesting that he told me.

    I was concerned that I didn’t have costo because my pain in just down from the sternum. So I discussed this with him. He told me that you can get costo in the cartilage all the way down your rib cage.... because the cartilage flows the whole way down. I asked why when I look on the internet, costo is the inflammation of the cartilage in the sternum and he said its more common there but not limited it that specific area. As cosotchondritis means “Rib inflammation”

    This made me a little less worried. Not that I wanted to have costo, but sometimes the symptoms of costo may be passes up as something else. E.g. I’ve been getting treated for a digestive issue for 6 months!

    My MRI scan will be in about a week. Fingers crossed.

    Also my doctor advised he knew of some alternative ways to treat and cure costo. And said we will discuss them next time. If anyone is interested I am more than happy to report back on any tips he gives me (although I do feel Lucy, you have covered EVERYTHING)

    Sorry for taking up so much space. Just wanted to share.

  61. Tilly,

    Thanks so much for sharing all of that with all of us! Sounds like your doctor really listened to you- that's wonderful. Please keep us posted on your MRI scan! I'm so curious! And yes, for sure keep us posted on what he shares with you, I'd love to listen to any new advice or information- love it!


  62. hey andy from England here, i have been suffering with pain in my chest for months, I do a lot of rock climbing and thought that might be the route cause of the pain, how long am i gonna have to put up with this, I have just been diagnosed with a blood clot in the right side of my neck and due to have a operation in 3 weeks time to remove my top right rib, (theoracic outlet syndrome), however the pain in my chest is in the left side its so annoying and worrying at the same time, I also have a cyst in my head which the doctors are keeping an eye on all in all its not good news at the moment but i would love to get over all this as soon as possible and to carry on with my mountain biking, climbing and hiking. A consultant did diagnose condritis months ago and prescribed anti-inflams but i cant take these now due to the meds im tiking for the theoracic outlet sydrome.

  63. Andrew, thanks for sharing your story. My heart really goes out to you. I would really look into auto-immune disorders since you have multiple issues and pain hasn't resolved.

    I hope you are able to get back to your mountain climbing so soon! I love extreme outdoor sports as well. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  64. Lucy,

    Your costo experience sounds familiar to mine (started in front of chest near the #3 rim and moved to the rear between the shoulder blades), except you do not mention head aches. Have you ever heard of head aches as a side effect of Costo? Thanks for any information.

  65. Hi there,

    Yes,I have had headaches due to the Celiac, food intolerance's, hunching over due to the chest pain etc. So yes, I've had headaches for 3 years, they are terrible. Read through the blog and you'll see me talking about headaches a good bit, hopefully it will help a little.

    If you have headaches with your costo- I'd first look into how your muscles are tight, trying to comensate for the pain. If this isn't where your pain is coming from. I'd look into other causes for for your costo/head aches....food issues, auto-immune- allergies, etc. All the best to you, I know how tough and painful this all is!

  66. I've been suffering from rib pain just under my left breast for over a week now. At first I thought it was muscle from a day of kayaking but it didn't go away. This morning it was really bad where I couldnt yawn or take a deep breath. Since I had a history of heavy alcohol drinking I had to keep checking that it was indeed the ribs and not an organ and it is definitely rib pain. I stumbled across this and will research this Costo more as many of the blogs definitely describe my condition. I had an unusually heavy dinner last night and am thinking this could be why it hurts so much worse today. THANK You for giving me a direction to check out.

  67. THanks for sharing that!! Hope you get to feeling better so soon!

  68. I have been having chest pains on my left side, under my left brest. The pain comes on sudden, sometimes it is dull and sometimes it is sharp and it is accompanied by a very heavy pressure. I do not have any tenderness pushing on any areas of my chest at all. It does not matter if I am taking a breath or not. I went to the ER and they did an ekg and a chest x-ray and told me I have costochondritis. I am curious how they "know" this for sure.

    Thank you.

  69. hello Lucy!

    Are you still reading the blogs now in 2011...you see i went to the ER a couple days ago with chest pain the doctor said i had costo he gave me some ibuprofen and some muscle relaxer i dont feel the pain any more but at night i wake up several times with a racing heart it feels horrible...so the pain isnt really there anymore but im still having a racing heart i feel like ima get a heart attack sooner or later...could this be just my mind anxiety or panic attacks i really hate the feeling that a racing heart gives you...and the feeling of not being able to sleep all night without waking up in middle of the night...one night i woke up with the feeling like my heart was stoping it really freaked me out :(

  70. I had suffered costochondritus for 9 years after an accident and then had 4th & 5th right & 5th left ribs cosectomy (where they removed aprox 5inches of rib and cartledge), that was in 1998 and since then my life has been pure hell, Its the very worst thing you could imigin, I have what I can only describe as full blown heart attacts every night

  71. hi there ive been in so much pain last 4 weeks, been to a and e 3 times both x rays blood tests and ecgs are fine, been docs he did test for thyroid liver etc but i get constant pain never goes away like constant tight chest then i have 2 young boys so walking up stairs or pushing prams triggers an attack like sharp shooting pains in back and chest, it also hurts to take a deep breath then i get the racing heart and makes me panic, doctor says costo but sometimes it doesnt actually hurt to push in my ribs its more when breathing and always in my back sometimes my throat feels like vibrating too, i have been so depressed last few weeks as im convinced its my heart, i also get pain under my right rib near my stomach possibly a strain from not wearing a bra past few weeks not sure im in agony any advice apprecitaed. thanks.xx

    ps 24 yr old female dont smoke or drink and im still breastfeeding

  72. My 13 yr old daughter has been diagnosed with this ailment. She has had this now for about 3 months... She complains of shortness of breath... stabbing pain ( as she describes a 1000 little knives stabbing her over and over) They have associated hers with growing pains.. The Doctor said that kids who had severe growing pains in their legs.. for some strange reason.. it moves up tot he chest when they are older... and this was true for her... She had severe growing pains. She says her pain is in the sternum and across the lower ribs. She feels better knowing that it is not her heart.. and she just had a EKG and a Echo and was given a clean bill there... but the heating pad doesn't seem to help her.. so going to try cold compresses..her main problem now seems to be the breathing, she says her pain is not as bad... but the breathing issue is continous.. deep breathing was a problem.. and still is. but now seems to be regular breathing as well.. This is pure agony for her... Glad to see a sight like this... I am going to tell her about it so she can read all the posts and reassure she is not alone in this. Thank you!

  73. My name is Kevin..I have been diagnosed witb Costo back in 2004. Kind of a sad story with a happy ending.I was driving a semi throuh Ohio and was on the phone via hands free device wih my brother who was somewhere on East Coast in his truck.Anyway, not to embellish too much, I was feeling tightness in left arm and chest for hours.I asked him what should I do and he said call 911. So I calmly pulled into a service plaza( was on foll road) called my dispatcher and called 911. An anbulance took me to Hospital.It was funny cause the heart rate monitor they hooked up to me was low on batteries...Anyway, While in ER they ran several tests and sent me on my way after about 3 hours.TOLD ME IT WAS COSTO..I didnt know what that was.The symptoms and pain went away with pressure on the left side.I still have pain and pressure today..Im starting a new job I think that might have triggered the symptoms back up...I rub my left side and it helps relieve pressure.Also I take an acid reducer pill to cut out on heartburn and reflux....I guess it never goes completely away...just dissipates or goes dorment for a spell...Thank you for this blog..I feel good reading all the posts and know Im not alone...

  74. Its me again..I just want to add that my pain didnt really start till I started working out again..Push ups and Abdominal exercises..I think I made the Costo mad...lol..I guess that would be fun..I cnt become a fat body..Exercise is my release from stress..Of course my doc said If I dont reduce stress it will kill me...Thats the most stressful thing I ever heard...Some help he was...Driving truck makes you lazy..I am starting a new warehouse job hopefully that will keep me motivated so I dont have to work out to much..I find that when I feel pressure in the left chest area or rib cage. To rub it..or put pressure against the muscle .It relives a lot pressure for me..I take an acid reducer to keep the reflux down dut it gives me gas...Cant win for losing..I think this is a no win situation...Anyway just some info to maybe pass along to other Costo sufferers...we arent a rare breed I find....thanks again for this amazing site...I feel better just posting this....

  75. Hey All! I've been diagnosed with Costochondritis a year ago. For me, it's a bit weird. The symptoms seems to "flare up" during rainy days and right before menstruation. I'm a 30-year old active woman who suffers from anxiety due to ongoing stress(but not to the point of medication management. For instance, today, I was sitting on the couch updating some information and then suddenly, BAM! I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in the right side of my chest. It scared the crap out of me and I immediately got up, walked to the bathroom and took 400 mg of Advil. It usually happens when I'm sitting still or in a rush. While I know this has nothing to do with my Heart (I've been to a cardiac specialist and had a sonogram of my cardiac valves and my heart), the experience is very scary...especially when you're alone. The specialist told me to take 400 mg's of Advil everyday for a week when I have a flare up...and that should take it away...at least for a while. Since then, I've had few incidents.

  76. I have had Costochondritis for about 3½ years now... some days are bad, some are better, but it doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon. I am here right now because I've been having a racing heart for about a week now, and wanted to check whether it was Costochondritis-related. Looks like it CAN be.

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  78. Barbdugan@optonline.netFebruary 26, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Hi I've had left lower chest pains for a few weeks now. Dull constant ache. Gets worse after eating and sensitive to the touch. At first I thought it was my stomach because the pain was under my ribs but now it's more on top of my lower left ribs. I had a cough around the time it started. Nothing works to help the pain except eating less. It's discouraging, I have fibromyalgia also.

  79. Certain types of Costochondritis Natural Treatment with herbs may help bring down cartilage inflammation. These natural herbs include: Noni Fruit, Arnica, Ginseng, Serrapeptase, etc.