Thursday, September 17, 2009

Costochondritis- PT's Point of View

Hello all! So I wanted to share with you what this physical therapist shared with me. I've seen 3 different PT's to no avail. However, I've interacted with Neil Chasen and what he said was interesting...thought I'd share.

"Occasionally, and typically following trauma, but not always, one can sustain an injury to the juncture between the ribs and the cartilage between the breast bone (the sternum) and the ribs. Alternatively, the irritation can arise between the sternum and the cartilage. I usually see these sorts of injuries after a motor vehicle accident where the seat belt coming across the rib cage creates the injury or when the chest is driven into the steering wheel is the cause. I have one recent case where the irritability was not traumatic at all, but came on after a case of severe and persistent coughing. Patients following open heart surgery often have to deal with this injury.

This is a difficult injury to manage because there is not much blood supply. The pain is seemingly irritated with breathing deeply. Palpation of the joint line can illicit pain. The pain can be bilateral, but is most often unilateral.

The best treatment for this condition is a combination of aerobic exercise, even though it might hurt to breath at first, ice on the irritated chest wall, and a therapeutic dose of NSAID's on board as tolerated. Physical therapy in the form of manual therapy is valuable to oscillate the joints to promote healing, but this is tricky and needs to be done very carefully." - Neil Chasen

Okay, for me, I've had a very difficult time with his theory of aerobic exercise b/c moving is so painful. As you all understand. =). However, this is something I'm looking into and started this week. I jogged lightly for 20 minutes in addition to my daily walk- followed by the sauna. It hurt to do so, but I have noticed an improvement in my breathing, and for that, I'm very thankful.

I don't think I could have done the light jogging until now. I've been on a little bit of a house arrest, no talking, no hanging out with folks, trying to get the inflammation down as much as possible. And I'll continue to do so.

Other forms of cardio didn't work for me b/c chest muscles are needed to swim, use the elliptical, arc trainer, etc...translation: OUCH!! I'll keep you posted. Remember if you try this theory out , it needs to be coupled with NO LIFTING anything. =)

The End.

1 comment:

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