Saturday, October 3, 2009

Costochondritis- Current Action Plan

Here's a picture drawn by Lynn Armede DeBeal. Thanks for sharing your drawing with me, Lynn! You captured it perfectly.

Alright folks- so I've thrown out a TON of things for everyone to try. I'm going to update you on what my crazy/hurting/sometimes hopeful/sometimes just ticked off self is currently doing:

  • The sauna 3 days a week- this is helping with the pain- sweat is good stuff
  • Walking 6 days a week
  • Jogging 3 days a week for 30 minutes- I JUST started this. Ouch. It hurts. But I feel more opened up in the rib cage after I do so. Gotta tape up the girls though.
  • No talking- Yup- keeping the trap closed. It hurts to talk, so I don't do that often. Not irritating the injury while willing it to heal is a good thing. I don't even talk on the phone anymore- I'm a texting machine.
  • Serrapeptesse at night- I take 2 pills a day. Does it help? Beats me. But a natural pill that eats inflammation Sounds good, though.
  • Fish Oil and Yarrow
  • Taking all vitamins, minerals, calcium, and Aciai berry daily. Gotta keep the rest of the body well.
  • Starting Yoga on my own today. Only poses that don't hurt the rib cage...I've tried it many times and it hurt like crap. But today I'm trying only poses that are pain free and will post them soon.
  • Light Stretching
  • Praying for healing and daily strength/along with journaling and bible reading
  • Medical Massage Therapy 2X a week
  • Skilled Relaxation 2X a week- very good stuff- helps with the pain.
  • Rest 2-3 hours a day at a 45 degree angle so I won't further irritate the ribs.
  • Ice daily
  • Keep a calender of everything I do and my pain on a scale of 1-10
This current game plan of trial and error has gotten my breathing pain on an average of 4/5 to a 3/4 this month. Yes, talking, moving, etc pain is much higher, but the breathing pain has got to come down. That's been my first goal.


  1. That drawing is the most perfect depiction of what living with costo is like. And I wish I had enough energy to do that list, but most of the time I'm lucky to do a couple of them.

  2. She did a great job, didn't she?

    Yeah, most days I try to rock the list out....some days though, I'm like BLAAAAH...aaaand back to bed. =)

  3. For over six months I've suffered from something! I have all the pain, tightening and discomfort (to some degree at all times) that many here have described. First, I was diagnosed with costo ... but then one evening when I was so panicked (due to throat tightening mainly) and went to ER, I was told it's GERD. At first I believed it. However, I don't respond to GERD meds (took acid blockers for over two months) and don't feel any "burning" and am now back to wondering if it really is costo. In what way does costo cause pain/discomfort in talking? What does it feel like? I've had quite a bit of that since this all started and am now soooooooo confused as to what's really wrong with me!

  4. Hello Anonymous,

    Bummer to hear about your situation. You are so not alone. Please read through the whole blog to see if your sympoms line up. I hope you don't have this!

    Does your chest hurt when your doc pushes on it? That's costo.

    Gerd can cause Costo.

    The pain when talking feels like uncomfortable pressure that gets better when I relax and don't talk.

    Does this sound like your case? Hope you get to feeling better so soon!

  5. Thanks for responding so quickly Lucy. My throat always feels tight, but much worse when other seeming costo symptoms flare. Uncomfortable pressure upon talking does sound like me too. Last weekend (when it was very cold) I got heavy tightening in the entire sternum region plus pain (sharp twangs and dull constant pain as well). The pain and actual muscle/tissue pulling sensations go all the way up to my collar bone area and then up the muscles of my neck as well - sometimes causing so much tightness and pulling that I get headaches. My new gastro specialist said that's not typical of GERD. Only the outer edges of my sternum seem to hurt to the touch. By the way, I'm a female who did rigorous cardio and resistance training for approx. 12 years before all this discomfort shut me down.
    Thanks for providing a place where sufferers can come to compare notes and gain some comfort.

  6. Oh Dear,

    Glad I could be in touch with you. There are so many of us out there dealing with this. Glad you found the blog.

    I feel so bad for you. I'm no doctor, but you sound like a classic costo case. =( Bummer times ten. If you have GERD- it can cause costo- which can cause all those symptoms you mentioned.

    I have had every single symptom that you listed, even the tight throat and headaches. Yuck.

    For me, when I started eating organic, mostly vegetarian, nothing fried and stayed away from food that caused inflammation like tomatoes and white potato based food. I was able to get any issues under control that were causing the costo or either contributing to the pain. I didn't have the burning either when they said I had bad reflux. I was so confused. But once I changed my diet- I saw that my food choices were prominent in exasperating the problem. Just a thought..

    After I dealt with that, the medical message therapist, skilled relaxation exercises and the cleanses are the best routes I've found thus far.

    I hear ya on the weight lifting. I was a personal trainer...I miss it so much. I'm sure you do too.

    Oh...and my pain is on the out side of my sternum as well...and under my left breast.

    I wish I was of more help. I'm always here to listen.

  7. Hi,
    I came across your site because I feel I have costochondritis. I haven't been diagnosed yet,but my situation is a little different. I believe I have costo from repetitive lifting.Although I dont get the chest pains that other people discuss. I get shortness of breath, and my ribs seem to be inflamed all the way to my back.
    Breathing deeply aggravates the ribs,and I tend to get a tight throat thats sometimes sore. I came home from the emergency room a few hours ago. All of my tests came back good,blood,xrays,heart etc..
    Ive read where costo doesnt affect everybody the same way.All I know is it's very depressing and causes alot of anxiety.
    This condition seems to come and go for me. I'll feel great for a few days, then out of the blue Im down for a few weeks. Anyway,just want you to know I appreciate this site!

  8. I am new to the whole costo scene. I am in the military stationed abroad. The base doctors don't know what to really make of it and how to answer my questions. Like, when will this all go away? I have been prescribed everything for pain from motrin to narcotic pain killers. I have mandatory PT tests that I must pass or I lose everything. In the past year, I have been diagnosed with migraines, sleep apnea, and now costo. I am falling apart... Any suggestions

  9. Costo Sucks, Been on and off for 4 years. My job requires heavy lifting and pulling. Been to ER several times, done the stress test, Echo, EKG's, bloodwork, all fine, I just wish the pain would go away. As a former Paramedic, I have bad anxiety about the left sided pain. My pain moves all over, sometime in collar bone, mostly on left sternum area,but can go to right. Was sent to mental health and DX with Hypochondriac. SUCKS!!