Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Costochondritis- Stress, Anxiety, and Fear

If you're new to Costo and wondering if emotional stress, fear, anxiety, tension, worry, apprehension, or being nervous can cause an increase of pain in your costochondritis, you are spot on. You are not crazy or mental. =) You just have a cruddy condition called Costochondritis...which in turn can make you mental. lol.

I wish during the 2 years when I didn't know my diagnoses, someone would have not only diagnosed me, but told me how painful, yet non fatal this condition is.

Here's the cycle: constant pain in your chest....then Stress hits, Pain in the Chest doubles where the heart is, Trouble Breathing, Panic, THEN More Stress, More Intense Pain, More trouble breathing, More Panic...and the cycle goes on and on until it elevates and you end up in the emergency room. Most of us have been there multiple times and can attest to this traumatic cycle that can run your life into the ground.

These cycles can cause panic attacks, depression, and a lot of doubt about your health and sound mind.

Why does stress induce more pain with costochondritis?

When your body thinks it's in danger (real or imaginary), it begins to spring into action. It prepares the body to respond to the danger and protect you. So when you began to get stressed about anything in your daily life, these are just a few of the things that occur:

  • Your body begans to brace itself in preparation for defending you
  • Muscle tension increases to prepare for action

  • Breathing gets shallow and faster to supply more oxygen to the muscles and body tissue

  • Heart rate increases and heart increases its strength of contraction to pump more blood
So if you are stressed, your body begins to prepare to fight...everything gets tense, ready for battle. And since we know that bracing from lifting precious kiddos, talking, lifting weights, or singing can cause pain. Stress is in the same boat.

Stress = bracing = More Pain in Costochondritis.

So What do I do about it? My life is crazy, I can't cut down on stress!

I'm not going to tell you what to do. You have to make your own decisions. I personally have really stepped out of my professional and personal life this year. It's been extremely challenging and honestly- sad. But I'm dedicating this year to doing everything I can to heal. This means reducing stress in every way. As much of it as I can. My hubby supports me fully. So my life revolves around preventing my body from bracing in any way.

So take some time to really contemplate what you can do in your own life to reduce the stress induced cycle. Big or Small. It will help. Also, adding in skilled relaxation is a great tool. You can check out more about it HERE.

So when you start the cycle of stress, pain, difficulty breathing, panic....stop yourself. Don't give your control over to the panic. Tell yourself that you have Costo. Tell yourself that you are okay. Tell yourself that's it's inflammation. Tell yourself that you are safe. You have to find that trigger that calms you down. It's a must with this condition. My trigger is simply, "You are just inflammation." Sounds corny, but it's what I use. Then I place my hand where it hurts the most to calm myself down, and go through my body and relax each and every muscle while listening to music that relaxes me.

It's time to stop the cycle. I pray as you read this, you will find a way to reduce the stress in your life. It took me being in so much pain, I couldn't even smile when my hubby walked through the door just to tell me how much he loved me. This condition has seeped into every aspect of my life. And I know it's done the same to you. And for that, may I say I am so sorry. I am so sorry.

I use to think I was indivisible to stress. It never really bothered me. I know now that was a load of stinky horse manure. We can't change where we've been, but we can contribute to where we're going....

To panic, or not to panic....that is the question.

114 comments:

  1. hey lucy - did any doctors ever tell you they thought you had GERD? and what tests did they run to rule out other things? i have had no tests run and am frustrated!!! just been put on GERD meds. which aren't working.

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  2. YES!!! I was told I had GERD at one point b/c I had terrible acid reflux combined with the costo. It was really bad...made my costo so much worse each night.

    So sorry to hear you are having problems with your doctors. So frustrating.

    Do you have acid reflux as well as the Costo? Or did they tell you that your Costo WAS Gerd? I'm very curious about that...

    The best tests to rule out are heart problems...I had an EKG, a heart ultrasound.

    Once my heart was cleared of any issues, I did these tests:

    Ultrasound on area of chest where pain is (nothing found)
    *X-Rays- nothing found
    *Blood work - no major disease found
    *MRI on head, upper, middle and lower spine to rule out spine problems or tumors

    These tests were the best for ruling out any major issues. The cardiologist and the rheumy (make them do a FULL workup) are the best to rule out any other issues. Get in with a cardiologist. Once he clears you, go to a rheaumatologist to get cleared of major issues with lots of blood work.

    Then I'd call around and find a pain management doc. who's very well respected and ask the nurse if the doc is familiar with Costo. If she says yes, then I'd make an appt. and get diagnosed...then you can go from there.

    Back to the acid reflux. They tried to give me meds for that as well. I didn't take them...I started eating fiber one cereal every morning (1/2 cup) and take Papaya supplements with every meal (chewable tablets you can get at any health food store- they help your food digest). After 6 weeks, I had NO acid reflux at all. It was so awesome.

    If you don't find any awesome docs to diagnose you in your state...I have one in TX who can if it comes down to that.

    All the best to you, let me know if I can help in any way!!

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  3. Here's where I have trouble with GERD: when the costo constricts my esophagus so that I can't swallow properly, I get reflux. I am on Nexxium which I take only when it is really bad since it is expensive and I don't believe my GERD is a separate condition from the costo.
    And Mylanta has an ultimate strength which calms it down immediately as well.

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  4. crap i have no insurance right now though. just started new job. sucks!! my major pain is under my left breast to the right like in that corner. i know there is a rib there so i'm assuming that is what it is but scares me not knowing. you have pain in that area at all? i feel no lumps or anything. i work for malpractice attorneys and just heard of a case where a lady had invasive ductal breast cancer and just because whe had anxiety nobody listened to her. after two mammograms that were fine and an ultrasound, finally a surgeon took a bioposy of a lump under her arm. too late. i think hearing stuff like that freaks me out. ugh having no ins sucks and a new job that you feel like you can't take off from.

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  5. Brodaband1

    That sounds awful!! OUCH!! So glad the mylanta has been of some assistance.

    Hazelnut830-

    I'm so sorry your insurance hasn't kicked in yet. Major Major Major Bummer.

    Yes, I have pain in that area as well. Very normal for Costochondritis.

    Yes, I understand hearing stories like that are very discouraging and can make life scary. So did the Dr. you saw diagnose you with costo? Or with Gerd? I think getting a diagnoses is the first step to letting the fear and anxiety go. I hope you are able to get insurance through your job soon so you can have peace of mind. You are in a tough place right now, for sure.

    I will have you in my prayers this week. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    Hugs,
    Lucy

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  6. hi this is hazelnut but it keeps saying my URL has illegal something. so it's not working. anyway went to do thurs and he finally did a chest xray and ekg (which wasn't working properly but said it worked some and he could tell what he needed to know) ugh - but gave me some idocin? i think. have you tried that or mobic? i got some mobic from other doc so i am taking but can't tell much of a difference. this pain is so annoying. i feel guilty and mad at myself for always having some kind of pain going on in my body. headache, neck ache, costo. i don't want pain. i read books on anxiety and mind over body but nothin is helping!!!! ugh have you tried anything that helps. i just want this to heal!!!!

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  7. Hi Hazelnut!
    I so feel your pain...

    I haven't tried Mobic or idocin. Yeah..if they don't work, you are wise to toss them out. I know it's so frustrating....

    Sounds like you are in touch with your body, a very good thing. Advil, etodolac, and neproxim sodium have taken the edge off for me.

    Currently, what has really taken my pain down and I honestly believe will continue to do so is:
    1) Fish oil 2x a day
    2) Sleeping on my bak has been so hard but very helpful
    3)I'm doing skilled relaxation 2x a day for 20 mintues each time...have you tried this? I just started last week and I haven't blogged about it since I'm waiting a few weeks to see how it really does....but I'm geting a little excited aobut it...maybe try it? Your thoughts?

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  8. no i haven't tried it but will. i got a massage on saturday and she worked on my side. it helped alot. i also just put some Biofreeze on my ribs under my bra and it is alot stronger feeling than when i have put it on my neck before! it really feels cold!! my chiro gave it to me. i will try the skilled relaxtion. i guess it's like meditation? i need to study it more. it still makes me anxious cause i think "what if it's something else" or never goes away? you know? ugh prayers and optomistic attitude will do wonders i'm sure. do you take anything for anxiety too? hazelnut :)

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  9. Hey there Hazelnut!

    Glad your massage went well, that's awesome.

    The skilled relaxation exercises are built around listening to a relaxing CD and going through a series of exercises....would it be of any help if I did a post and described all the exercises so people could do them on their own? Hmmm...I might do that.

    What I did was find several relaxation CD's (close to meditation..but the goal of skilled relaxation is to re-train your body to relax in stressful situations, no matter how big or small...pretty cool stuff.) I got interested in it b/c I've read several success stories from people who healed this way....So I took the best exercises from all the CDs, found my favorite music...and then I go through them 2X a day...I think it may be a good thing to try. I know the anxiety can be just as scary as the pain itself. Your mind races through all kinds of scary scenarios.

    So they diagnosed you with Costo, but didn't rule out all the other tests...is that right?

    And yes, my friend. Quiet time with God every night is the only thing that's gotten me through. Are you a Christian? My optimistic attitude got me 2 years down the road- but that began failing too...then I started really reading my bible a lot and praying. It really does help renew the strength each day. Then one night I read the scripture Mark 5:32, 33....all about how this womans faith had healed her...and I realized I keep talking about my life and say "if" I heal...instead of "when" I heal. I'm sure you can relate to that. So now I say "when" I heal. Shortly after, I started this skilled relaxation stuff and I'm hopeful about it...

    I currently don't take anything for anxiety. But I definitely have in the past. Cause we all know this Costo can make us CRAAAAZY!!!
    Lucy. =)

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  10. OK, I just posted about the skilled relaxation...let me know your thoughts!
    Hugs,
    Lucy

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  11. I see a lot of women ( I think ) posting here. How about a man?

    I'm a 45 yo father of 2 young sons. For 8 months I've been having pain strictly on the left side of my chest. I've been scared and afraid to tell my wife. The pain would get worse throughout the day, especially after losing 2 key employees recently and my mother dying suddenly. The day would get stressful, the chest pain would start, I would get extremely anxious and it would be come a vicious cycle. I can't tell you how scared and anxious I have been the past few months.

    Today my wife was out with friends and my stress was up quite a bit thinking about work, my moms death, etc., etc. My doc had prescribed a small dose of valium a few days ago because I was just about to lose my mind with anxiety. But I have to take about 5 just to get calmed down a bit. I just didn't want to take it cuz I don't want to build up resistance to it and need more and more.

    So, I started looking for real aspirin today. Couldn't find any so I took an ibuprofen. 20 minutes later, my chest pain subsided. This shocked me. So, I started looking on the net.

    I am convinced this is what I have and it's exacerbated by all the stress in our lives right now.

    Again, I can't tell you how scared I have been about this. Still going to have blood work done but everything I've read on the net points to this. And, my anxiety has decreased a lot as a result.

    Todd M

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  12. Hi Todd,

    You are right, lots of estrogen on here- lol.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like you have had a really rough time, I really feel for you! I know the pain is excruciating and scary all wrapped in one.

    I pray you are able to find a doctor familiar with this condition so that you can find some peace even amidst this pain of this crazy condition.

    Hugs and Healing to you,
    Lucy

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  13. PS- Way to go figuring out what you have! I wish I would have figured it out quicker. Being proactive with Costo is the way to go.

    Thanks again for sharing,
    Lucy

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. Dear Spam folk. Flee from my blog. I don't want to take my time deleting your comments. That is all. =)

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  16. Lucy, I stumbled upon your blog and skimmed through it....I will be a follower now for sure! I came down with costo 2 years ago and still get flare-ups occasionally. Yes, my anxiety makes it worse and yes it always freaks me out that it's my heart. I try to talk myself down that's it's the costo but easier said than done. I am going through a bout right now. Thanks for the blog !! ps I wanted to leave my name but not figuring out the url thing. Anyway, it's Nicole :)

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  17. Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for commenting! Pleasure to meet you and so glad your going to follow the blog and be a part of our little costo community! I'm so sorry you are walking through this pain and I know anxiety is such a icky thing with costo. And you've had it for 2 years? =( I'm so sorry!!

    Keep me posted on how you are doing!

    Hugs!
    Lucy

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  18. Hi Lucy,
    Thanks for the warm welcome. Yes, it started exactly 2 years ago. Fortunately, I only have flare-ups occasionally. It just seems like when I do have it lately, it takes so long to go away. I am on my 2nd week currently. It seems to be dissipating this week, but the moving around is what worries me. This week I feel it more under the left breast and sometimes even centered. I did have my heart all cleared the first year I had gone through all this, a couple times actually...but how do you decipher between heart and costo? I've never had had problems and no family history but if I feel anything near the heart or center I get extremely anxious :( I haven't seen a rheumatologist--is that recommended??
    Thanks,
    Nicole

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  19. Oh I forgot to mention, I do have 2 young children, one of which is a 3 year old and my family and I are pretty positive the lifting and carrying, etc. is what caused it for me. Then of course my anxiety about it which makes it take off! I was interested in reading up on your diagnoses of Celiac as well-I found that interesting as my Dad was diagnosed with that last year--and I did have the blood test for it as it can be hereditary, but it was negative.

    Nicole

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  20. Nicole,

    Hi there! So sorry you have Costo- glad it only flars occasionally. So it's getting worse these days? Taking longer to go away?

    As far as the question about the heart and the costo- I have to give the answer of only a doctor can tell the difference. =) But I did have a doctor tell me that if I could reproduce the pain by physical activity or pushing on the affected area, I should have peace that it's my ribs. Or something is causing the pain to be there in my ribs.

    I totally understand your anxiety. I know how scary it is. My heart really goes out to you. As far as seeing a rheumy, for me it was a good thing- helped me rule out a lot of auto-immune issues. Helped give some closure to some of the fear I was feeling.

    Sounds like you have some precious little ones- i love kids! So fun!

    I thought all of my costo was due to the lifting as well- and yes- the Celiac is a wild diagnoses, I was SO shocked, to be honest. I'm going to go out on a limb and be a little bold here. I'm not trying to tell you what to do- but I'd pursue the Celiac again one more time. Lots of tests can be negative when it comes to Celiac. Just a thought...the main reason I say that is that your Dad has it...and also, you are noticing increasing pain and it taking longer to heal- both auto-immune markers. But I'm no doctor- just sharing my thoughts. =) Or maybe just try the gluten free/dairy free diet and see what happens? Keep me posted on how you are doing?

    Hugs,
    Lucy

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  21. I just found this great blog. I'll keep my story short and to the point. For two years I've been suffering with ongoing left chest pain that radiates along my left arm and my neck. I've had every cardiac screening known to man and my heart is clear. I have been diagnosed with anxiety which began when I had palpitations, racing heart and...of course...the dreaded chest pain. My doc two years ago diagnosed costo, took a steroid and it was better. Now, two years and many, many doc visits later, my anxiety is flaring up quite frequently, and consequently so is the chest pain. I used to be a very, very active young mother, a runner, and everyone's 'go to' gal for everything. I feel so limited and so frustrated. Has anyone else on this forum experienced costo pain that also radiated to the upper back? Has anyone else experienced GERD-like symptoms? I'm really excited that, perhaps, I have found a forum where the people seem intelligent, concerned, and focused on getting better!
    Jill from Missouri

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  22. Jill,

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Yes, you're not alone. I've have had GERD like symptoms as well as back pain. For me, it was due to Celiac Disease, much to my shock.

    At your leisure- read through the blog and all the comments by the amazing readers,and you'll find TONS of people with similar stories to yours. All really series about seeking healing. I've learned so much from everyone who was kind enough, like you, to share their stories. I know how frustrating this journey is, and my heart so goes out to you.

    Hugs and healing to you,
    Lucy

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  23. Lucy, your blog is a huge blessing; thank you so much for creating it. I've had Costo for 6 months
    and, yes, through daily note-taking/observations I see the connection between stress/anger/anxiety and more chest symptoms. Also, after reading some of your blog just 2 weeks ago, my husband has a more compassionate understanding of this condition. You rock, Girl...

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  24. Janny,
    Thank you for taking the time to share that with me. It means so much to me to hear comments like this. Thank you! Hope you get to feeling better so soon, my heart goes out to you!
    Hugs,
    Lucy

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  25. Hi Lucy~
    Thanks so much for posting this blog. I, like many on here have been fairly convinced at one time or another that I was having an MI. I have been a nurse for over 15 years-and it is scary thinking that you will be one of "those" people who ignored the signs of something very bad. I was recently diagnosed with costo after having an EKG/chest x-ray and a blood test to check for a pulmonary embolus...all normal of course, which relieved a good portion of the intense anxiety, but I am still battling episodes of the costo. Have you heard anything about psoriasis as being a possible cause? I have it and was just curious...thanks again for putting this out there, I know it is wonderfully helpful to a great many of us!!
    Thanks~
    Grantsmom

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  26. Tiffany,

    Pleasure to meet you, I'm so sorry for the circumstances. I know how painful and challenging this whole process is. So glad you got a diagnoses. Okay, so as per the psoriasis, that's a GREAT question. I'm going to give you an answer based on my own experiences. I would, without a doubt, look into auto-immune disorders. Those 2 markers, chest pain and psoriasis are strong auto-immune disorder markers.

    I had both of them, and that's one reason they were able to determine that I had Celiac disease (with both the psoriasis and chest pain). I would get tested for Celiac and go from there.

    Also, to see if your costo is coming from your pain, I'd try some pepto bismol or other stomach acid neutralizer of your choice, and see if your pain ceases. Then you'll know that your chest pain is possibly coming from your stomach.

    Id try all of that, and then I'd start looking into other auto-immune issues/possibilities.

    And I'd keep a journal of your food intake as well, to see what's triggering your attacks.

    Keep me posted and hope you get to feeling better so soon,

    Lucy

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  27. HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE WITH COSTOCHONDRITIS--

    I'm 26 & am diagnosed with costochondritis.
    At first I thought it was just bad allergies, which I've always had. First I had sinus headaches, then throat & coughing. So I just thought it was an upper respiratory that moved to my chest. I've also been to the emergency room several times & my dr's office. Chest x-ray, Cat scan & EKG came back normal I was told. ER diagnosed me with inflammation of the lining of the lung.
    I went to My Dr's about a week later as I the pain did not alleviate. He diagnosed me with costochondritis, instructed to take anti-inflammatories. He instructed to call in 2 days if I did not feel better. So that I did & I was back again. He thought it might be Gastro-intestional (GERD) So they prescribed GERD meds which didn't help anything. I called my dr. later that day & told him I was still in alot of pain. He instructed to go to the ER & get a CAT scan for possible pulmonary embolism. That night I was back in the ER, all tests (cat scan, EKG & chest x ray) came back normal & I was diagnosed with costochondritis again. They gave me 1 mg Vicodin for pain which did not help, it only deprived me of sleep. Heat therapy works for the duration that it's applied.
    It's been 2 months now. I still have constant pressure on my chest (all day, every day) & it hurts to breathe (all day every day)Stress makes it worse, however being in pain all of the time is stressful. Vicious cycle. Sometimes I get a shooting/burning pain in my upper left chest area. Sneezing intensifies the pain/pressure.
    I was recently examined by a Nurse Practicioner who went through each one of my ribs to find several trigger areas. She also examined my shoulders, arms & back to find several more trigger spots. She even did an EKG right in the office. My own doctor did not even do that. The nurse practicioner put me on 400 mg Magnesium & instructed taking it with mineral water. She also put me on 1 MG muscle relaxer which has minimal effect. I was instructed to follow up with Orthopedics would not see me because they "don't deal with ribs" Well now its in my arms/shoulders so now they will see me. I also have a caridology appt to rule out anything very serious. We'll see what happens. I may see a pulmonologist due to the fact I have always had bad allergies & I have always got short of breath with little activity.

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  28. Thanks for all the encouraging words/stories. I have had this for about 6 months and it is not going away, but the cycle continues(stress = chest pain, sweating, other anxiety symptoms = stress = etc). I have yet to find a doctor who really acknowledges what I believe and what this blog says. Did anyone keep excercising/lifting while they had it. I have read some places to stop working out as it may hurt you worse, while others say to keep excercising because it will make you feel better. Also, the doctors you found... were they general doctors or specialists. If specialists, what kind?

    Thanks again

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  29. help please... trying so hard to not return to the doc! i just was offered a new job, however im so scared to go without insurance for the time between jobs...can anyone tell me what im experiencing is normal for costo...

    started in nov 09...chest pain/pressure, pain in left arm, left shoulder blade, jaw.... went to doc have every test to rule out my heart (ekg, echocardio, halter monitor, ct scan on chest, stress test, blood work, bone scan, the works!) and everything came back perfectly healthy! so...i was diagnosed with chost...they gave me anti-inflamitory which did nothing and i began to get really scared, so they told me i have anxiety and send me on my way with some xanax. took for about 2 months, everything went away and up until the last 2 weeks, i was fine. over the last two weeks everything has come back worse! pain/pressure in chest radiating into left arm, next, jaw, left side of face (almost sinus) and I'M SCARED!! i'm back on the anti-inflamitory and xanax for 4 days now... is this going to be enough? could i have possibly developed a heart condition since being checked last?? PLEASE HELP! you are all so wonderful for helping people like me!! THANK YOU!

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  30. Hi everyone, I'm just on here to share my story as it's good to know that someone out there is going through the same thing. My costo started in 2006 (when I was 26 yrs old), doctors think as a result of my posture - I had pericarditis (inflammtion of the pericardium, the sack surrounding your heart) and to ease the pain of that I leant forward a lot for a few months, therefore crushing my ribs. Even though the inflammtion of my pericardium had gone down I was still experiencing strange and horrible symptoms, constricting of chest muscles, gasping at night, panic attacks, tingling/pins and needles, pain radiating all around my back and ribs. Everyone I saw for months scratched their head and said they didn't know what was wrong with me, it was so frustrating and upsetting. I know my own body well and had never experienced anything like this before.

    I finally came across a doctor, when I was in Central America on holiday, who said he thought I had Tietze syndrome/costochondritis. When I did research into it, it all made sense.

    I've now been suffering with this off and on for 4 years. The best things I've found for me is anti-inflammatories, sleeping on my back, having a warm relaxing (not hot) bath, putting ice packs on my chest when it's really bad. Having physio and continuing the stretches the physio gave me and generally staying relaxed, which is easier said than done!

    My latest bout started 2-3 weeks ago, I'm 2 months into a new job, which is busy, stressful and I'm sat on a poor quality chair most of the day staring at a screen. I've no doubt these have all been contributory factors. I had a panic attack on the train to work this morning (I work in London, UK) and it was horrible. I can sometimes talk and breathe my way out of a panic attack, not this time. I had to ask the guy next to me to speak to me and keep me distracted in the hope of calming myself down. It did work, thankfully but all day I've been exhausted and emotional as a result and had to leave work early.

    It's so difficult to explain to people what's wrong with you because they can't see it, and if they've never had a panic attack, they understand even less. I'm constantly worried that I'm going to take months to recover and will end up missing so much work I get laid off, I don't have a husband or anyone who can support me financially. All of this makes my stress levels worse when I can feel it flaring up.

    My new boss is not being very sympathetic, I'm hoping that will change but in the meantime I shall visit websites like this to realise I'm not alone and to reassure myself that someone out there understands what I'm going through.

    Thank you to Lucy for hosting this site and I hope we all get better soon!

    Kirsty x

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  31. I have been diagnosed with this 2 years ago (went in thinking I was having a heart attack!!) and my doctor said that the contributing factor is my frequent panic attacks. I have read online that doctors have said that cost and panic attacks don't go hand in hand at all, but I beg a HUGE differ!! I only get pain in my chest when I am under a big attack. (In fact, I am having right now!) I have been prescribed Xanex for the attacks and I take pain meds to lesson the pain. If you get regular panic attacks, don't let your doctor tell you that panic attacks can't cause cost. They are very wrong....I am a walking example!

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  32. P.S. Kristy, consider talking to your doctor about the panic attacks. He can prescribe a low dose of anti-anxiety meds, which can take the edge off of the attack and make you able to function again. I was in the same boat as you until I go the nerve to talk to mine about them. Now I am so thankful I can take Xanex when the attack gets out of hand. (I don't take it often because I don't want to become addicted to it) Trust me, you will be so relieved.

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  33. OMG I can't tell you how happy I am to find your blog but I'm sorry that you suffer from costo too. I have lupus but developed costo over 2 years ago, I've had every treatment known to man. One thing that did help was acupuncture but I can only get 6 sessions on the NHS. I had a paravertebral nerve block last year which left me pain free for 6 months. I had a repeat block this week & it's flared the costo as bad as ever. I know if I call a doctor on a weekend they will admit me to hospital as a precaution.....although the way I feel at the moment I'd be happy to just for the pain relief!! Thank you so much for taking the time to blog about your experience x

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  34. I have had barretts for 10 years that I know of, I also have a small hernia, dreadful reflux and poor ph study results. In dreadful pain constantly, but now being told it is costo??? Does anyones else believe these things are not related? Coincidental? Feel miserable now.

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  35. Wow, this is an amazing blog and I so wish I'd found it in February when I got my diagnosis - My usual GP was away so I saw a younger guy, he checked by rib compressions and gave me an instant diagnosis. It then took me until September to figure out that emotional stress is the trigger (I say emotional as it doesn't get worse around unversity due dates). Settled down lots when I started going out with my first boyfriend :)

    Thankyou :)

    Calicat20: your symptoms aren't costo....next time call an ambulance of head to the emergency room

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  36. SOME ONE PLEASE HELP ME!!
    I have been in and out of the doctor/ER for 5 months now. Everyday I feel chest tightness/discomfort and sometimes pain. the pains are in differnt areas however very sore on left side of breastbone. I have had ekg and blood work and thats about it. The morning usually not as bad as the nights. I get pains in my left arm as well. Nothing really moves or radiates there. I just get a pain in a specific spot in my left arm. Is that normal>???

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  37. Do u guys with costo feel tightness in chest or pressure or feeling of fullness???? I have been told nothing wrong with my heart but want to make sure. is this something you feel with costo???

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  38. Hi, I have had these chest pains for the last year and have been told it is anxiety which I know isnt(although I have had a stressful 3 years), it is only these pains that make me stressed. I called 999 the other day and was took to A&E where they did ecg's and everything was fine, they said it could be cotso or reflux brought on by stress and to carry on taking my Omeprazole and Ibuprofen but nothing is helping and it is driving me crazy. love Gail

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  39. WOW, I am SO GLAD I found this blog!! I have been feeling chest pains for the last 2 months. I have gone to the ER twice, and had a stress test done for my heart. Both times I went to the ER they told me it was Costo. I have 2 young children and am a stay at home mom. The chest pains have gotten so bad that I then start to panic being at home by myself with my kids. My doctor says that it is all in my head and is just panic attacks, but I believe the panic attacks started as a side effect from feeling like I am going to have a heart attack. I have seen a cardiologist, and he pretty much told me I was too young to be having any heart problems. He ordered a stress test anyway, and told me everything came back normal. When I looked at a copy of the results, it did say I had a mild leaky valve! I guess this was considered "normal" to him. I have been worrying myself sick looking stuff up on the internet, but truly do believe I have costo. My whole left side hurts at times, from the bottom of my rib cage to the center of my chest, into my shoulder and arm as well as my back and sometimes my neck. I have a 9 month old, and probably hurt myself lifting her wrong or something. I was even given a few xanax to take if I am having a major panic attack, but really don't want to take them unless I absolutely have to. This blog has helped give me a little peace of mind, I really thought I was the only one feeling this way. Here's hoping that we can start to feel better soon!

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  40. I have been dealing with costo for four years. Was in the er 6 times everything was normal keg blood work Eco pulmonologist cardiologist gastrologist just have mild gastritis and gerd pain comes and goes. Chest tightness, fullness ,anxiety

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  41. How great to find this site. I was going to keep this brief but decided I will tell my story in case it may help someone else.
    Today has been a day of great revelation!!! I have finally found out I have costochronditis - after 3 years of misery & so many tests, specialists, visits & stays in hospital, a ride in the ambulance ....you name it I've been there!
    My diagnosis was made by my chiropractor - God bless him & then confirmed this afternoon by my gastroenterologist.
    Three & half years ago I suffered my 1st Menieres disease attack - that took another 6 months for a diagnosis to be made - I have lived with the horrors of Menieres on a daily basis since then. All the time I was being told it was anxiety & was tried on numerous anti-depressants (despite the fact I wasn't depressed) & then finally got put on appropriate medication. Not that the medication helps much!
    All the while there was this underlying chest pain that could not be figured out & again was put down to anxiety.....I just knew that something was wrong but no-one could tell me what despite all the test etc.
    I was convinced there was something wrong with my heart & of course that just made the pain worse....I would check my blood pressure numerous times a day & was forever on the lookout for signs that it was something sinister.
    I now feel a lot better even though the left side of my chest hurts like crazy but I at least have a diagnosis. When I read through the posts I wish I'd known the name previously - would have saved so much worry.
    I will now get on with my dizzy existence & maybe just knowing might help lessen the dizziness I experience.
    Thank you to all who have posted - I can relate to so much of what you have all been through....tomorrow is the start of the rest of our lives & I know my life is going to be better just having a name to put to my symptoms....good luck everyone!

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  42. I have been suffering with a stabbing pain under my right breast for about 3 years. It comes and goes and sometimes seems to radiate to my back and also effects my breathing. It is at its worse now and so decided to have a chest x-ray. This turned out to be clear, but the radiologist said it could be costochondritis, which however could not be seen on x-ray. I have started taking some anti-inflammatory tablets for these last 4 days, but I have seen very slight improvement. I am too scared to do any other check-ups (perhaps blood tests or heart related) and the fact that I suffer from a lot of anxiety is not helping much. Well done everyone for sharing and would appreciate any comments. Thanks.

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  43. I have absolutely no idea what is wrong, but I have had a pain in my left side for the past 4 weeks, which has now started to radiate to my right side. The pain is piercing through to my back and often burns. I often feel breathless, although I don't sound it, and I'm just fed up of feeling unwell. I have had 2 chest x rays, clear, numerous blood tests which haven't flagged up anything significant to medical professionals and a course of antibiotics, as according to 2 GPs, my chest is grumbling. Im beginning to panic with worry and feel extremely anxious as nobody knows what's wrong :(. I'm constantly crying because the pain is so bad and I can't get comfortable. I feel so debilitated as I can't get on and do everyday tasks that I use to on a reg. basis. :( :( :(

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  44. Anyone out there:



    This is a great thread. Costochondritis seems to be the sneakiest, most difficult "disease" ever. The problem is, its not life threatening, all the tests come back normal and your Dr's only see you the days your Costo isnt "unbearable". I have even driven to my Dr on the bad flare days so he could see me agonizing in pain.

    My costo has been bothering me for 6 months. I didnt think much of it at first as it started out like a very faint pinch in left chest. Now it has escalated despite my limited to zero movement or activity. Sleeping seems to cause more pain than standing still. The pain can range from a 6 to a 10. Some days i cannot move and am forced to a hunched over position, breathing at all flares the sharp pinching even more.

    My tests to date include EKG, Cscan, Xrays, chiro visits, multiple Ortho visits, and still NO RESULTS.

    I am looking for some sort of solution other than painkillers which seems to be the only way to get through the bad days. This disease hurts me more every morning, subsides slightly during the day as long as I do zero activity and then repeats itself. Its a vicious cycle.

    What remedys are out there besides "rest and recovery"??



    I will try anything.

    -Joe

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    Replies
    1. I have had costo now for 5 years and it flares up when I am stressed I have since taken up yoga which has helped me alot I would recommend this exercise to anyone who suffers with costo it helps me with my anxiety too

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  45. Hi Guys,
    its good to see this blog is still going - it looks like everyone is feeling how I did when they find it - I had a diagnosis but my GP didn't say anything about the factors that influence it. My costo settled down heaps last year (pretty much exactly when I started my first relationship!) and although the relationship didn't go the distance and I've been a tad stressed over work and changing universities and finding a flat, its still not back at the levels it was at. Just one strange thing, it hit pretty hard when I was at home with Mum (I left home a year or so ago), watching a news bulletin on Queensland (as I'm in NZ, Australia is our closest neighbour so we got a lot of coverage on the flooding) and my costo hit quite hard, just not hard enough for it to hurt to breathe or for my Mum to notice that something was wrong. After that it settled right back down again.....strange!

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  46. So blessed to find this blog! I think this may be what I have. My only question is, did anyone start having panic attacks BEFORE getting the chest pain? I started with really bad panic attacks about 6 months ago and only developed the chest pain in the last couple of months. My panic attacks and chest pain are brought on by physical activity more than emotional stress. I was put on low dose anti anxiety which helped, until I started actually doing things again. I noticed yesterday that there is swelling on my upper rib where the pain is. Maybe Tietze? Hoping to get to the doctor this week.

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  47. i also have been diagnosed with costo...dull pain in center of chest. ekg turned out fine too. this thing sucks big-time. sometimes the pain moves, (lower chest (both sides) to the back b-tween shoulder blades, back to upper chest (both sides)!) naproxen made me feel crappy, so i stopped using it. using a heating pad right on the sternum seems to help a bit. sooo frustrating!

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  48. I was told I have costo but in a matter of fact kind of way. Last night, after another trip to the ER, I decided to take costo more seriously. I went to the ER last night because I literally could not take a deep breath, it was then actually hard to just breath normally. ER treated me for asthma (which I have never been diagnosed with), but could costo feel sort of like asthma or bronchitis within the chest area? I also have the pains, from sternum, left side of chest, right side of chest, neck, back and even up to my jaw. There is no anxiety or panic, after the last year, I really take everything in stride, even when I had a hard time breathing last night. It is what it is and I have to do what I can for myself at this point, because I am really tired of trying every prescription that I have been given (too, too many to even mention). Wishing you all well and hoping in the future you find the answers that will help you. I am going to try the relaxation techniques, sounds like it would be good for more the just costo. Linda

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  49. Great blog! I have been challenged with Costo for 2 years after a torn ligament injury in my chest from working out. It mimicks GERD however an endoscopy ruled out any digestive problems whatsoever. I have pain from my clavicle down to the bottom of my ribs on the right side. Times of stress intensify it although I do not suffer from anxiety nor panic attacks. The only thing that tones it down for me is natural anti-inflammatories (Zyflamend is great) and a warm bath, as well as rest. Hoping one day it will disappear completely.

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  50. Thanks to this blog i can now say that i might have found the source of my chest pain. Im in college and i started having chest pains during exam week back in may. I was very stressed. 4 days of panicking and insomnia pushed me to drive to ER. got diagnosed with gastritis. Antacids did nothing. Stress got worse pain got worse. Sever panic attacks soon came and i got put on zoloft and xanex. Started to go insane in my mind thinking i only had a few weeks left to live or i would be like this for the rest of my life. I also had the idea that even if the pain ever went away, My mental state was doomed for life. No hope. Didnt like being on anxiety meds so i trained myself to overcome the panic attacks and stress and got off meds. Went to chinese herbal doc. , got put on a herbal tea for gastritis. Herbal doc. had me go to cardiologist and did stress test and ekg. Im only 18 so of course doc. was just like dude your fine trust me. The tea Helped for a few days then all came back.(seems the idea that i had finally found the cure drove the pain away). So now the tea isnt working and i am straight up confused about what is going on. Today i went to a gastrointestinal specialist and told him my symmptoms. He was confused because i didnt have any gastritis symptoms. No stomach pain no nausea no vomit. Gave me a real weird look when i said pain in left arm. So now im getting a camera put down my throat next friday even though he doesnt think i have gastritis. Came home from doc so confused i though i would do some of my own research. Came across costo then this blog. Sounded like what i had so i poped two aleve and hours later pain had gone away. I have been to the doc for this over 10 times and i keep geting reasured that its just gastritis.
    -erik

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  51. I am glad that I found this blog. I was diagnosed with costo about 9 months ago. I had a mammogram done to be sure that it was not breast cancer and the doctor at the Women's Center diagnosed me with costo. I have a very medically involved daughter that requires total care and lifting. She weighs 99 lbs. and I do a lot of lifting with her. The doctor said that I needed to quit lifting her for a while and take 1200 mg. of Motrin for three days and rest. It didn't help and I can't not take care of my daughter. Unfortunately my husband lost his job two years ago & he worked two hours away for a year and is unemployed again. I have pain in the left side of my breast, under my arm, down my arm, up in my neck and jaw. I don't get the really bad chest pain very often but have had it a few times where it hurts to breath. I had to have a mole removed that came back atypical but begign on my back. When they gave me the shot near my shoulder blade I about came off the table. The pain was so bad. I went for a massage to see if it would help and I was amazed the spots that she found on the front top of my chest and under my arm in the front hurt the worst. I expected it to hurt more in my back and down my arm where I experience most of my pain. I was wondering I feel itching and tingling a lot on my back, on the left side of my breast, and down my am. Does anyone else have that? I have been under a great deal of stress latelely and I keep wondering if it could be something else or is this a typical symptom of this. Fortunately we have insurance but unfortunately with such a high deductible that I can't really afford to have anything done right now.

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  52. I just posted the last message and I forgot to ask one more thing. I feel like I have swelling along my left breast especially at that time of month. I know there are times it is so noticeable that I walk with my arm out so it doesn't rub. Does anyone else have that?

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  53. I just had a car accident last month and began experiencing chest pains within a week of the accident. I am also suffering from a neck, knee and shoulder injury, but after many tests, my doctor diagnosed me with costo. I had thought that my asthma was just spiraling out of control and I was stressed and anxious due to the car accident, but now it seems like all of the things that I have been experiencing are similar to what manyof you describe. I guess I'm wondering if costo is due to a car accident or trauma, will it go away sooner or later? Or does the cause have nothing to do with the duration. My doc seems to think that my asthma is making it worse. I have gotten 9 cortisone shots in the past three weeks...it doesn't help. Either way, I'm glad to. Know that it isn't just me. Although my hubby says he sympathizes, I wonder how long that will last....how long will he do the vacuuming, and bathe my daughter, and let me sleep late. Has costo affected anyone's marriage??

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  54. Wow...this describes me to the T!! I always knew I had it since high school, my first onset, because my father told me, at that time, that he had it as well. From what he said and what I have researched, it is genetic, but not really a cause for concern. It is just something you have to live with that comes and goes and there isn't anything that can be done except taking anti-inflammatory medication. However, with me, it has always been right at the end of the rib cage, on my left. My mother claims I have a "floating rib." I guess it is a small defect that I always had, but also not a huge concern healthwise. However, lately I have been having some mild chest pains ever since I started my medical assistant program at my local community college and it has never really went away. I immediately assumed anxiety which is part of it, but not the whole reason, I guess. I guess, it is directly related to the costochondritis. At least, that is what I am getting here. I had no idea that it could effect your breathing pattern and cause anxiety-like symptoms which in the end causes you to have high anxiety. Sounds confusing, but makes a lot of sense. But, now what? Well, I think I might pop an advil and see what happens. If the advil works then I know what it is. If it doesn't work then I'll know that I was right the first time. Granted, either way, I am still right about the anxiety. I just didn't realize that costochondritis can cause it to occur. However, I don't really lift anything heavy. Actually, I don't lift anything heavy at all on a regular basis. I just go to school, study, spend time with family and friends, and see my boyfriend when I can...you know, normal stuff that young people do (I am 27, by the way) But, I do have the added stress of all the stuff that needs to get done to continue on with the program along with getting the work done and passing the competencies. Just a little information, I have ADD. So, with that said, I thought, originally that it was OCD. Then, as I looked deeper into it Generalized Anxiety sounded more like it. Actually, from what I've read, the sites basically read me like a book...lol. I was like "Wow, that's me!" I was chuckling as I was thinking this:) But, no matter how much research I do and how much I learn, the pain is still there and the breathing issues continue to be there as well. They don't really get any better or worse. However, at times, when I am relaxing with my boyfriend or we are out somewhere doing something fun, the chest pain and breathing problems seems to be less and my mild cough due to trying to take in more air seems slightly improve. One of the things that exacerbates the pain is sitting or laying down unless relaxing with the boyfriend. It seems as though laying down or sitting down makes the pain a little worse, but not bad enough for too much concern. It is concerning, for sure, but something I'm just keeping an eye on. This has been going on for about two weeks now. I have never really had this problem. Last year I did have Viral Pneumonia whiich caused some breathing problems and drye coughing as well. But, I was also feeling tired and sluggish during the day too. I feel fine, physicaly. I don't feel tired or sick in general. Just the chest pain which cauases some anxiety issues. Well, I will see what happens...going to take some Advil now...

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  55. thank god.... the first few paragraphs describe my situation completely; or at least what I presume and hope is my situation. The chest pain scares the hell out of me and I often contemplate whether or not to go to the ER, but then it subsides and I choose not to.

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  56. so thankful and emotional after reading this....
    the drs are right....thats it.......i have this crap.............
    :(

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  57. i knew the stress was added was such a huge contributing factor....
    cried so hard readin this......this is my condition....it could be worse. i guess......

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  58. so many thanks to uuu! for the great info......
    or shud i say not so great.....for us both
    LOL

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  59. OMG! I am so happy to have found this site. I know that I'm not alone with this pain.
    I was diagnosed with Costo back in 1998 or so. At first the doctors didn't know what was wrong and thought I might be having a heart attack. The pain was so bad it would wake me up at night. I couldn't get comfortable. At that time I didn't know how to treat it to make it better.
    I have found that taking Advil and using a heat pad on my back helps. When I get a flare up it seems to affect my back more than my sternum. It feels as though someone is ripping off the muscles on my spine. Lovely visual, I know. When I get a flare up I get knots on my spine. My husband will work them out and then my back feels bruised, but much better. He says they are my battleships along my spine. He can feel the knots up and down the spine.
    Lately I have been having pain more in my chest. I have been having shooting pain when I try to breath deep. My sternum feels tender to the touch so I think it is inflammed.
    I am under a lot of stress because I am going to school and taking quite a heavy course load. Plus, it is quite humid where I live. I read once that humidity will affect costo, just like stress.
    I'll stop blabbing now. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. It stinks to know that we are all suffering from this.

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  60. Hello Lucy, Your Blog has been very informative. I am 33 years old a mother of 2 teenage kids. I recently went through a stressful time in my life with my husband moving ahead of me with my children to San Antonio, Texas and I stayed behind to finish packing and await the closing of my house that took forever. When I finally arrived to San Antonio all sorts of craziness started happening, sharp pain on left side of chest, heartburn, excessive burping, panic attacks due to pain. After seeing 4 doctors , a visit to the Er and a cardiologist and being told time and time again I was healthy, that I was having anxiety attacks. I was finally diagnosed with Costochondritis, after going to last Dr. & telling them if I have anxiety it's due the pain in my chest, arm, shoulder and side, waking up to my arms being numb, no one could seem to tell me what it was. I am not one to visit the Dr. or take meds so for me to be complaining you have to understand there is something wrong. Finally was told that it what it was,Costochondritis & I was given antiflamatory meds, anxiety meds to help me sleep and slow my breathing so I don't hyperventilate due to pain in sleep. Mine seems to be worse when I sleep. I seem to be doing much better. Would love to know what meds you were given to manage pain. Thanks, Monica Lopez

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  61. Hello I am a 25 year old college graduate. I have lived with chest pain off an on since I was 19 years old. For me it started with having anxiety attacks. I treated the anxiety best I could and it went away for 6 years. Around 24 I had frequent heart burn, and drinking alcohol would cause me chest pain the next day. I quit drinking alcohol and got my stomach tested for reflux, but I do not hae it. Felt better for weeks and then the anxiety came back and had what felt like a three day anxiety attack. I seen a psychologist but he was awful. I am waiting to get in with a anxiety specialist. The Dr. precribed me some xoloft to treat the anxiety about a week ago. The last week I ahve been doing very relaxing things and avoiding all stree. I have been feeling pretty good about myself. Tonight around midnight I started having breath taking chest pains Pains sharper than I have eve had before. My dr. never even mentioned costo but I am famiiar with it. I thought I was going to die tonight. My poor girlfriend tries so hard but nothing she does helps me. I paced my house shaking for an hour before I was able to calm myself down. I have been tested for heart problems, asthma and even had a holtor monitor put on me. Exercise is difficult for me because I get the chest pains while exercising. So I am left with no outlet to relieve my stress, but the only thing im stressed about is my health. Just mostly ranting at this point, but sorry we are all going through this. It is reassuring to know other people are having chest pains as me and not dropping dead of heart attacks at 25 =). I hope we all find an answer together.

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  62. Hello,
    I have not been diagnosed with Costo but after reading this blog Im pretty sure this is what I have. It started 2 years ago.
    It was this sharp pain in my sternum, right in the middle. And the more I moved around to relieve the pain the worse it hurt. I cried in pain. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I could barely breath. I got my heart tested and all I got back was that I had an irregular heart beat. Then my Dr. said it was acid reflux, which I never felt any heartburn or reflux of any kind. So I knew it couldnt be that. Then it went away for a year and just started back up a few days ago. And it only happens after 5 or 6 pm which I seen a couple people say the same thing. Which is odd.
    Then I also seen someone say something about psoriasis and Costo. And I was wondering what these two had in common. Because I do have psoriasis. And when I started reading this blog I saw someone mention taking aleve so I did and that was 30 minutes ago and the pain has defintely subsided. So thanks for that. So if anyone knows if costo and costo are connected please let me know. And Celiacs Disease. If you eat a Gluten free diet does that help Costo symptoms? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. You should definitely try a gluten free diet for at least three months to see if that helps your symptoms, especially since you also have psoriasis. Any kind of rash usually means a gluten sensitivity. you can have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance without it showing up in a blood test. The only way to know is to try the gluten free diet. Follow it strictly and read labels! There is a lot of hidden gluten in most things you think are safe to eat. A blood test will show if you have Celiac, but doctors aren't really on board with gluten sensitivities because they can't prove them. They also aren't real excited about trying a gluten free diet without proof of Celiac either, but I have done it and it is working for me. Good luck!

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  63. Hi Lucy, this was really helpful, I have had all this symphtoms as you said, but every time I was starting to feel better...pain came back and panic started again. The cycle (pain, panic, more illnesses due to panic, pain...) has been going like for 2 months, but I really feel better than before, and after reading this, I feel just amazing. God bless you!

    I hope all the people with this same problem find their way out, and they will, its not easy, but if you want to heal (body and mind), you will.

    David.

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  64. I've had costo for about 8 years in conjunction with fibromyalgia and an undiagonised foot condition which I have had now had 4 surgeries for. I now have been diagnosed with a fourth condition which there is currently no name for. Needless to say pain has been a part of my world for a long time. My pain is managed through a significant amount of medication, physio a healthy dose of ignoring the pain and getting on with my life. Last night I had breathlessness come on very quickly and last for over 40 minutes eventually relieved through some diazepam. I have had breathlessness many times before however, each time my chest has been sore beforehand. This time it wasn't. I didn't panic I knew it was the costo but was a little perturbed at the change in symptoms. Has anyone else experienced this with costo?

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  65. WOW! These symptoms are just like mine, its such a relief to see maybe Im not crazy. About two years ago I noticed it kinda hurt to breath, so I assumed I was gettins bronchitis or something and didnt worry to much, a few days later I noticed a bruised feeling in my rib cage with certain areas really hurting to the touch. I gave it a month or so (thinking i must have unknowingly injured myself)when I didnt feel any improvement I went to the Dr who immediatley diagnosed Costo with no test to rule out anything else. As time went on and I didnt get any better I went to a gastro Dr who tested for everything and said I was perfectly healthy (except I was in pain all the time)went back to my regular Dr, who clearly thinks Im crazy, he prescribed Xanax and sent me on my way. (I am allergic to Advil, NAproxen, every narcotic pain killer Ive ever tried and just about everything else, I can take Tylenol and aspirin) eventualy after about a year the pain seemed completely gone, now all of a sudden it has reappeared in a different location (under the breast at the beginning of the rib cage)and I can hardly breath, move or even stand up straight so I went to an urgent care center who felt my rib and said oh its just Costo, take some aspirin youur fine. Well now I am going between OK im fine and oh no may have an emboli. All of that to mostly just to vent and to say maybe I am fine and just need to learn to suck up the pain and get on with my life. does this ever go away? or do you keep getting once youve had it?

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  66. Hello Lucy and to others fellows who have experienced the same condition, my name is Ruby. I just read your testimonies about your experiences with costochondritis. I all feel for you and for that I just want to share my personal experience because I'm very happy to see a lot of people who have suffered/suffering the same pain as mine and of course knowing that there is nothing wrong with me (mentally). Currently, I haven't been to my work for a week now and today I'm scheduled for a follow up visit with a doctor.

    I first experienced this pain around March or April this year while I'm at work. It's very traumatic because I never felt this feeling before, difficulty breathing and chest pain (big time). I've been healthy for the past years of my life and never been hospitalized for any major condition. I am rushed to our company clinic. My PR and RR are high, teary-eyed, and I'm shaking because of fear, for this the doctor who examined me initially diagnosed me with "anxiety". He let me rest for an hour and sent me home because its almost end of my shift - no tests, no medications, no follow up consultation. To tell you the truth I'm very unhappy being told that I'm just anxious and being in trouble without receiving any help. Not a good experience.

    I rested for a few days, the pain goes away, so I thought its over. My mistake was I didn't see other doctor to ask what's really happening because I thought I am okay. (Assuming can kill - I learned it the hard way)

    After 2 months everything was going fine not until this June. Before going to work the pain struck me again. The feeling is familiar so I know I had to see a doctor right away. I undergone a lot of diagnostic tests that's why I truly understand the feeling how you need undergo a lot of lab works (CXR, EKG, CBC, etc.) to find out or rather rule out other conditions with the same or similar signs and symptoms and end up with nothing but this. The doctor can't find anything wrong with my heart and lungs and there I meet costochondritis. Not very familiar with the condition so I did some research. Very enlightening, I learned a lot stuffs about it.

    Right now, I also have colds that aggravates the pain so I am being treated for two conditions, URTI and costochondritis. I've been prescribed to take medications and been told to have a lot of rest. Still figuring out what are the other things that make it worse and I'd like to thank you all for all of the things you have shared that might help me too. In return, if I figured out something else that may add to this I'll go back here and share it you guys.

    I know this is quite a lengthy story and I thank you in advance to those who spend their time reading this.

    Thank you Lucy and to you guys! Have a great day ahead.

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  67. I was also told I suffer from anxiety and stress, that is why my chest hurt. turned out that I have a immune deviation where my antibodies does not recognize virusses as intruders an thus do not fight againt them. My costo is caused by a viral infection in my costal cartlidges! I have widespread viral infections, and have been sick with a sore throat and chronic bronchitis for almost a year. And as you all know - coughing is extremely painful for a costo sufferer! the only thing that keeps me from being very ill is Beriglobin injections every 4 weeks. It's made from pooled human blood plasma, containing antibodies. (I am actually being injected with other people's blood plasma - kinda eeeuwh). lastly, I would just like to thank each and everyone for sharing their stories, I feel that at least all you guys can understand what it feals like to be in pain 24/7 all year round! as my family, friends and colleques cant even try to understand! be blessed and hope you all get well soon!

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    1. Hello Colette du Toit,
      I have been diagnosed with anxiety and costochondritis, however it has been in conjunction with psoriasis which started before the costo. I am wondering if I may be dealing with an autoimmune issue as well.
      Which kind of doctor diagnosed you with an immune deviation? Do you know which kinds of tests they have to run?
      Thanks and hope you are doing well.
      SmithC

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    2. How did they diagnosis your viral infection?

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  68. I was diagnosed with costo back in May, 2012. After all the testing (chest x-ray, EKG, stress test, bloodwork, emergency room visit), in July I went to the chiropractor and she noticed that my ribs were out of alignment. I have had several flair ups, which we think is a result of a gluten intolerance. So I am trying a strict gluten free diet to test that theory. When I am most inflamed, it creates less space in my chest and my ribs pop out, which is very painful in the front and back, and hard to get comfortable. Then the inflammation goes away and I feel good for a few weeks. She tried another experiment on me and used kinesio-tape on my ribs and that really releases the inflammation/toxins. (It also makes me feel a little nauseas, which means it's working.)

    Here is the latest routine:
    Inflammation > kinesiotape > excruciating pain > 3-4 rib adjustments a week > inflammation goes away > 1-2 adjustments a week > ribs become more stable > pain goes away > then we start over.

    So in addition to watching my diet closely, that's what seems to be "working" for now. I really hope that with dietary changes I can eliminate or reduce the inflammation. My chiro says the key is finding out why I keep getting inflamed. Once we can figure that out the ribs should remain stable.

    She also gave me some exercises to do with a foam roller and tennis ball. I use them both against the wall on my upper back.

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  69. I forgot to add, I take about 4000-6000 mg. fish oil, glucosamine chondroitin, Tylenol every 6 hours, and just added Meloxicam 15 mg.

    I go to bed with a heating pad on my back at night for 20 minutes or so, then at about 6 am I take my Tylenol and an ice pack until 7 am when I get up for work.

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  70. A reply would be helpful and calming. Im 17 and was diagnosed with costo in november when I had an anxioty attack and ended up in the ER. The following 2 weeks were painful and very depressing Im normaly very healthy and I havent seem to gotten better except for the stomach pain that has gone away. Then the trouble breathing at night was and still is very scary always telling my parents every night how much I loved them because I thought I wouldnt wake up the next day. Now some days I feel the pain in my ribs and have trouble breathing and others i feel fine then I go back to the pain and sadness and thinking something is really wrong with me. IF someone knows a treatment and how long it can last it I would be extremly greatful. I just want to be my old self again. Please

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    1. Hi there- I'm 20 and was diagnosed with costo after several horrendous trips to A+E (where I was basically treated like I was either insane or a hypochondriac). I was first told it was indigestion (please), then a chest infection (with no cough...), then simple muscle pain (that comes and goes, gets worse, and seems to radiate?) before finally being properly diagnosed. It was really debilitating for a while. I almost dropped out of University because I couldn't cope with the stress/constant thoughts that I was going to die, I was having panic attacks daily and my poor long suffering boyfriend was clearly being affected by the lack of sleep and stress. I texted my entire family telling them I loved them and then went to A+E because I felt like my chest was going to burst. No one around me seemed to understand (because it's easy to think panic attacks are just feeling a bit jumpy and costo is just a bit of mild pain) and I felt so alone that I genuinely (if briefly) considered killing myself because at least then I'd be in control of what was happening to me.

      Whilst I can't tell you an actual medical treatment, the thing that has helped me the most has been positive thinking. If you've had heart problems ruled out through the various tests and had costo confirmed through elimination/physical pain when touching the side where your ribs touch your sternum, you are going to be fine. The key is taking one day at a time and dealing with your symptoms whilst remembering that anxiety is not only unnecessary but making your symptoms worse and more frequent. I know how hard it is to either be thinking about the pain/panic constantly or be experiencing it- but once you start to control the former, the latter is more easily dealt with (via pain killers, various techniques and a fair bit of a willpower).

      I hope you're not feeling too alone and if you want some support I'd be happy to help :)

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    2. Try not to worry I had costo since Nov. I can feel it going away and I'm hoping it does. To treat it I take motrin, warm baths and rest. Once I realized it wasn't fatal I started to get better. So just keep calm and fight through the pain.

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    3. Hi...i was having and still have the same situation like yours. Doctors said that i have anxiety n yes i admit it. I've been trying to control myself each time the pain n the panic come but i sometimes feel goosebumps, pain and the uncomfortable feeling at the time. Does costo give u the palpitation and goosebumps as well?

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  71. I havent been diagnosed with costo, but I really think I have it. It didnt start until about a week before I got bronchitis. Which was a week after christmas. Its gotton worse. Anxiety has gotten worse. Dont see my doc until the 25th. I have the pain under my ribs. I also have bad neck pain that goes into my arm. My back also has spasms. I even feel numbness in my face and neck. Most is on the left side of my body. Ive had ekg's, chest xrays, and blood work. Everything is normal... Depression is worse. Im tired of not feeling normal. Full of anxiety and pain. I just want to be me.

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  72. Oh, I almost forgot. Thank you for this blog! This has helped me out alot!

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  73. I had a "costo event" in February 2011 and was thrilled to have a name to the weird, pressure, uneasiness in my chest as well as the anxiety and racing heart I had that would get worse with physical activity and stress. I still have it and take it day to day. One thing that helps me when people ask about it is - I tell them it is like arthritis except that instead of inflammation of the joints, it is inflammation of the cartilage. Just like people with arthritis have bad days or things that hurt them, so do I. That makes it more concrete to people. I have to remember to breathe and to put my shoulders back and stand up straight - otherwise, my chest starts to tighten and my shoulders pull forward and it gets worse.

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  74. In December 2010 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer - following lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and herceptin I have been clear for 2 months. However after one mammogram I fell in the machine and pulled by back - I have since them had bone scans, ct scans all of which are clear. I now have sternum pain and pain across the top of my right (breast cancer side) breast. Everytime I mention it to the dr they ignore it. I think reading all the blogs that I have costochondritis but no one listens - it does make me anxious and then it gets worse. How do I make someone listen. The dr this week gave me meds for Acid Reflux.

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  75. That should have been 2 years not months!!!

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  76. About a month and a half ago I was rushed to the ER for a suspected pulmonary embolism. They did tests (but no blood test... that would have been helpful) and sent me home because everything was perfect aside from the excruciating pain, anxiety and inability to breathe properly.
    I was scheduled for an ultrasound and a blood test and in the meantime I was given tablets for acid reflux (which didn't work at all) so they prescribed me Nexium (which also didn't work). They kept telling me that it seemed like it could be GERD or gallstones.
    The ultrasound was done on my abdomen which bothered me because the pain was in my chest. It felt deep inside my chest and slightly to the left. It was tight, it was throbbing, it was stabbing, it was dull and achey. It always changed.

    I got the results back from the blood test and they concluded that I had costochondritis from that. I was told to just take ibuprofen because it's an anti-inflammatory unlike paracetamol which would be useless. It went away but because the trigger for me seems to be heavy backpacks it comes back frequently. I'm 17, nearly 18, and I'm in the biggest year of my high school life and I can't even carry around all the textbooks I need without being in immense pain.

    I feel horrible for all of you suffering, I would never wish this upon anybody.

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  77. Went to the ER with heavy feeling in my chest and feeling totally NOT like myself. I suffer from anxiety and GERD. After many tests, I got the diagnosis of Costo...did not know it is hereditary until my Dad showed up at the ER and explained to me that my Mother and Grandmother suffered from it too. Heating pads,ice packs, turning on the humidifier and taking Tylenol are part of my nightly ritual for bedtime. I do not wish this pain on anyone. The coughing is quite aggravating too. Anyone else use heat/ice packs? I hope this passes and we all heal soon. Hang in there everyone.

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    1. I had chest pain for about a week - I called my FP and they sent me to the ER. Stress test clear - CT scan shows a 2mm nodule on my lung which the doctors are not concerned about. But I still have the same chest pain. Steroids made it go away and Naproxen or Ibuprofen makes it feel better. I have no shortness of breath or cough to speak of. The FP has not diagnosed me with anything. I am sure I have Costo. If I do nothing I have no pain. As soon as I get active my chest hurts. Even being on my feet at work makes my chest hurt. Anxiety is at new all time high. Trying to de-stress but it is hard.

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  78. my tribulations:

    I'm 36, male. I've been to urgent care, emergency room, nuclear stress test, blood work, checked for lymes disease, CT of chest, and an endoscope. All are good thankfully, but my chest hurts constantly, I have difficulty breathing and I feel like my head is in the clouds. I get these weird spikes like taking away my breath, can't breath and fells like my heart stops for a second. I get very winded easily now, I am a bit out of shape though. A doctor friend of mine gave me a quick exam and said it was Costo she was familiar with it as she has had it before. She said it last six months to a year. I hope that it goes away before then, this is terrible. Anxiety seems to make it worse. I haven't found anything that makes it better. My wife thinks i'm crazy. I have a stressfull job which doesn't help. I get into tense situatious and feel like i'm gonna pass out. I have an appointment with another cardiologist just to make sure there's nothing wrong with my heart. I hate feeling this way. It's like being sick with a really bad flu, sex drive is down, i wearn down quickly, get cold easily. Best of luck to other Costo suffers.

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  79. my tribulations (2):

    forgot to add that i have constant pressure in my chest with very tender spots on my ribs (left side) but combined with breathing problems this get very nerve racking. The bottom of my sturnum also gets tender to touch from time to time. hope this helps

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  80. I have been diagnosed with Costo about 8 months ago. Does anyone get a tight , full type feeling in their chest? I have anxiety as well when this feeling comes on.

    Cheers

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  81. Ive been suffering with this for about a year now and I got it from my viral infection bronchitis. Costo has made me put my life on hold this last year, I had to quit my job at a law firm, ive been staying home for a year, havent been able to do anything not even go to the store really, thats how bad this is for me, I live in seattle and the cold air really bothers me, also my anxiety is at an all time high, along with stress. Ive been to the doctor multiple times, ive gotten a cat scan they didnt find anythin wrong with me. I noticed when im angry or stressed or in cold weather it feels like i have a hard time breathing which makes my anixety go to an all time high. I dont know what to do about this, the only things i have been doing are using a heating pad, taking ibprofen here and there, capcsium scream for my chest, and praying to God that he takes this from me! I never heard about thsi condition until I got it, and Im 27 years old, its been really tough for me, especially during bad flare ups which im currently having. Anyone know of anything else that can help me? I dont have insurance due to me not being able to work so i wanted to try physical therapy but no money :(

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  82. I've been diagnosed with having costochondritis too.My last flare up was in the early hours of Tuesday morning . Its so frightening at the time but after reading lots of comments i think it was brought on by strenuous lifting at work . I just want it to go away and get back my life. Sometimes I feel staff at work think i'm just making up the pain to get a day off work

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  83. It's been tough for me since I was diagnosed with Costo during October. I've recently gone to my doctor and a Heart Attack was ruled out. I was given Naproxen to deal with the pain and an injection and they seem to be working fine. The only thing that gets me worried is if Costo is causing some shortness of breath and a stronger heartbeat.

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  84. I have been following this post for not quite a year yet, but... I felt I had all the symptoms. Everything you have all posted, I have felt. Well, yesterday I got the diagnosis from my ortho that I have costo. I hadnt even brought it up. This has been a very rough year emotionally and physically. Anyone who has any helpful things that I can do at home would be very appreciated. I would not wish this on even my worst enemy.

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  85. I have been suffering from costo for a couple of years now but never this bad. Went to the doctor twice last week, and debating going again today/tomorrow. Came across this blog and I believe that my anxiety over having a more serious condition is making my costo worse. No tests were run but Doc says heart sounds fine and blood pressure and pulse are fine. Gave me predinsone, flexerall and zanax to help with anxiety. Still feeling pain and soreness in chest and left arm, neck, shoulder. On top of that, feeling some side effects of medication (yesterday was last day on prednisone so hopefully that goes away). Feeling a little better after reading all the comments about anxiety related to costo. Hoping to find a way to manage the pain and control my anxiety and get my life back. Here's to a healthy new year!

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  86. I needed this today. Thank you so much - I am going to use this!

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  87. 35 year old male. This condition has almost ruined my life. Have suffered this condition for 1 year. Have had 5 hospital admitions all the bloodwork done and everything comes back clear. I have only been diagnosed in the last 2 months. Tried naproxen and other NSAID. None of them work. Prescribe tramadol painkiller. Which made it worse. Now I have my work hassling me to go back and I can't. I'm in pain all the time, this condition has ruined my life

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  88. I got rid of my symptoms by applying Vicks Vapor Rub on my ribs where they hurt - the warmth helped the healing.

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    1. Im going to try that as my left ribs are the worse I say they pop they swell n I sit with a heat pack on it I hav used a heat cream for the past 3 yrs but find ir no longer works so yhanks fof rhe tip

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  89. Hi everyone,
    First time writing on a blog but i do read a whole lot of them, i believe it helps better than googling things up and then getting all anxious. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks since 2009 and that's when i started having a lot of panic with my heart and chest....the first time i had chest pains i thought it was something with my heart so i panicked and rushed to the ER but come to find out it was costochondritis, they did an ekg and chest x-ray....ive had that happened to me about 4 times...i would rush to the ER or go see the doctor and they would tell me i have costochondritis.....i didnt get it for about a year and just recently i was doing some aerobic workouts and it came back....ive been getting some jaw pain on and off and mostly having trouble breathing and back hurts....i dont have severe pain but it is so uncomfortable....im trying to stay calm and not panic....can costochondritis come back even afyer a year of not having it? Im not physically fit and i am overweight which i have been losing some weight and i take metoprolol for high blood pressure, thanks
    Nia

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    1. Costo can return - it has a couple times for me if I lift too much weight

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  90. Hey. Anyone ever have swelling in ankle with costo? Ik sounds strange but I've heard that with anxiety can come swelling and every time I get an attack my left ankle swells...any ideas?

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  91. Hi everyone. I am a 45 year old male and am very overweight. I work and function fairly well until about a month ago. I had chest pains radiating to my left arm. I was dizzy and couldn't get comfortable no matter what. My blood pressure was very high and I found myself in a panic. I went to the ER where they did an EKG blood work and a Cat scan and ruled out a heart attack. Within a week I had the same symptoms and this time they kept me overnight. More EKGs and blood work no heart attack. The next day same thing back to the hospital same tests and finally the costo diagnosis. I am having frequent times when I will get a pain in my chest followed immediately by dizziness, panic and a flushing feeling. Everyone is telling me to calm down but what if they are wrong and it is my heart? I also have the gerd diagnosis. I don't know if it is related but after I eat I get a fullness in my left ear and my jaw aches a little. In the last six weeks I have lost 38 pounds which is the only good to come from this.
    Thank you for this site it really is a help. I am just tired of thinking every night is my last.
    Thanks
    Trey

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  92. Omg so glad to read everyones posts! Ive been diagnosed with cosco half a year ago. The dr. told me to take 3 advil with every meal for 10 days. Sounded crazy so I didnt. Have been having pain on and off and it took me months to realize that stress really brought it on. Now when I have anxiety and it flares up intead of panicking that im having a heart attack I figure out whats stressing me out and try to relax. Knowing what it is and not panicking takes away half the pain and helps deal with it.

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  93. I'm 15 years old and female, and I've been diagnosed with Costo for about 2 weeks, although I'm pretty sure I've had it for about 2 months. My doctor thinks its due to the stress of school, assignments, social stuff etc. if any other school students are here, my advice to you is to make yourself a timetable for after school to fit in time to do all your assignments and homework, and not leave it to the last minute. I also set aside an hour each day to do something that relaxes me, for example making bracelets or cuddling with my cats.

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  94. Thank you for this article!! I have been living with costo for 14 years and have been in and out of the ER 12 times in the last 2 weeks. This is a great read and has given me some real targets to achieve! Thank you for sharing your experience!!!!! --Andrew

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  95. Hi Diagnosed last Nov with Costo after bad burping and chest pain, went to Dr who treated me for Acide reflux went on Nexim and other medications nothing worked, went to Gastro specialist die the 24hr Ph acid test (not nice) results no reflux. Went to Cardio specialist got heart checked out all good. Got CT scan on Lungs and esophegus all good, got ultrasound on all major organs all good. Back to Dr and speicalist who diagnosed Costo. Weird how I get the burping as well, but now seeing a Physio to help my chest pain and working on my upper back to help with chest referrred pain. Also had Acupunture but didn't help much.

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  96. Three Saturday's ago I was driving from a friends after smoking the good stuff and I was thirsty light was coming in on one spot on my arm very intensely. My fingers and feet were tingling and my chest was vibrating and then BAM.......I thought I had a heart attack. I was on the side of the road waving for people to help; no one stopped. Went to the DR and they said it was a panic attack. I am like what... Now daily I am having the sternum vibrations and dizziness and cramping in my feet..ANXIETY. A few weeks prior to this I went into the ER with heart pain and he said costochondritus. I was like what. I work at a truck parts store and lift heavy items all day long increasing both anxiety and costochondritus. Do I sit up or lay on my back? Writing this blog did I spell everything right? Does wife still love me? Am I a hyperchondriach? You know where I am going with this. At 40 I really thought I was invincible..nope..I now go to Church with my family and no longer smoke weed. I quit coffee and pop and have cut down on cigs. I now breath purposely better and feel better. Breathing full and slowly is crucial to feeling better I swear. When an attack comes immediately breath correctly and walk around the tell yourself your still h acting small attacks like early quakes have small ones after the big one. Love yourself and laugh and freak in relax. Xrisxs/facebook..Ad if you need a friend because I could u see one.

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  97. By the way thank you Lucky for starting this blog for I have read almost all of the comments..I am on fluorine and like it. But two days ago was given hydroxizine hydrochloride. It made me so drowsy I slept ten plus hours but waking up like three different times and feeling a very fast low pressure heart rate. I will not take that again. Again thank you because just writing this helped me...

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  98. Didn't read all the comments here so my question may be redundant. Does anyone experience heart rhythm issues ("skipped beats", etc) when your costo is especially flaring up? I do and it seems that the swelling may be irritating my heart wall or something.

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    1. Hi. Pls read my exp below urs. I have issues w palps too. Because u mentioned swelling, have u ever considerd Teitze syndrome? Ask ur doc. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

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  99. 26 year old female here! I've had multiple trips to pulmonary doctors and a PCP for my recurring chest pain. I first was diagnosed with pleurisy last winter in the ER when I went in for chest pain that just wasn't stopping (February 2013). They did EKG, blood tests for blood clots, X-Rays. For that, I was given 800MG of ibuprofen to take 3x a day, for as long as needed. I have no idea if I took enough- long enough... the pain all went away eventually. But it would come back a bit in small twinges.

    Fast forward through the year following and I was getting the same pain, in the same exact spot. Some time it would last for a few days straight and then disappear. But recently (January 2014) it came back big time with a vengeance. I was having some GI issues then and had to get a colonoscopy done.That's really when I noticed my chest pain coming back. A stabbing kind of pain, sometimes more of an ache. But it never varied, was always the same spot. Now for me, I can't recreate the pain by pushing down on sternum or anything. My aunt, who is a nurse and knows lots about the heart, said sometimes the pain is really deep and can't be recreated that way.

    Getting more panicky about my chest pain, these last few months have been hell. The chest pain would last for a month.. disappear for a few days. Then come back. Leave. Come back. There has not been 2 weeks straight yet, I don't think, where I haven't been in pain. I went to pulmonary doctor wondering if it was pleurisy back again, or asthma, or allergies. It was none of those things. Then I went to PCP. He ran EKG on me, found it to be slightly abnormal ISH. Did a chest x-ray, perfect. Had me do TONS of blood tests. All great. Except my Vitamin D levels are VERY LOW.

    In the week between me initially seeing him (early April) and my scheduled follow up (mid April), I had a huge panic attack. All I was doing was Googling and thinking it was my heart, or a tumor, or something huge and scary that I was missing. ER ran EKG - totally normal. Did the tests like I had for pleurisy. All fine. I was crying in the ER, essentially hyperventilating. And the doctor told me she REALLY didn't think it was my heart at all. It was either pleuritic, or anxiety.

    So my PCP, when I went back, knew of all that going on. And he summed me up to anxiety chest pain. He really really thought it was costochondritis but apparently whatever on the EKG didn't show something he was looking for to validate that, and he couldn't recreate my pain. So he sent me on my way.

    The pain is back again and I'm a worried little mess. But my aunt thinks it's costochondritis. I am now on a steady stream of ibuprofen (taking 400MG, 3x a day about) and I used a heating pad last night that helped alleviate my symptoms some. So what do people think? Definitely costo? I've worked myself up a bit today and have felt a weird pressure in my chest. A little harder to breathe, though I think that's only in my head because I'm worrying so much. I've felt nervous all day but I'm trying to relax. I emailed my PCP and told him I don't think it's anxiety, I think it's costo and that ibuprofen does SLOWLY help me. So he said to stick on that - but if it worsens, to come see him. So I guess that's what I'll do? This has been going on for months now.

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  100. Hi Lucy: like ev1 else i'm glad i found ur site! My stress put me at 300 beats/min! Needless to say i landed in the emerg rm via the police...anx that's because i couldn't walk. I literally got to a plantbox and there i collapsed. Thankfully my son was w me; he flagged down a cop who was just passing by! I was adm immediatly. My heart was found to be clear (aft an EKG/ECG) but my heart Afib due to stress. My costo was a subsequent dx due to panic attacks. I'm now on meds to control my stress/anxiety. Ever so often, i can be doing housewrk and suddenly i realize my chest tighten up, then the worry, then the fear and poof! I'm in a whirlwind of my own making. Its better now esp aft getting a therapist. I urge all to consider that kind of help. It will make a huge difference. I hope my story helps someone else. Love

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  101. I'm only 21 years old and I was diagnosed with Costochondritis on Saturday after getting to the ER with what felt like a heart attack. With a history of high anxiety, it was easy to diagnose. I just spent the last few days asking, "God, why is this happening? Not being able to deal with the way my brain works is bad enough and now it feels like it is physically tearing me apart. What happened to my youth? Can I still go camping? Still have a drink? Sit and eat without forever feeling like my chest is breaking my ribs?" Then I found this blog and it has been such a relief to not be alone. To see that it does get better and that life CAN and WILL go on. I am pretty emotional right now, but just reading through your posts, Lucy, has brought me incredible comfort and the ability to relax. Thank you so much. I look forward to being at this blog everyday as I am sure it will help me stay sane.

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  102. Hi im 36 ys old mother of 3 kids 17, 8, 5 ive had costochondrites for 4 yrs I just recently had aset back n was in hospital again so its put me back to were I was 15 months ago I take alot of medicine lyrica , jurnista are my 2 main ones as lyrica is for the nerves that are all damaged and jurnista which is a morphine and is for the pain ive had many stays in hospital n trips to the emergency room my poor 5 yr old son gets so up set as this is the only way his ever seen me I get in so much pain I have extra morphine to take through out the day when needed its such a unfair life to live im on happy pills as I get so depressed about this n how it affects my family I hav a very loving and supportive husband, I feel guilty about all the money we spend on me with meds over $200 a month drs every 2 weeks n then specialist every 6 weeks now im on a waiting list for a really good pain specialist n I also now seeing a drug n alcohol counseling lady n on a waiting list for a councilor to to speak to deal with stress n anger n how to relax.

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  103. I was told by my gp 5 years ago i had inflammation of the rib cartilage .google has since taught me this is the same thing. It started under my left breast had it really bad for a few months and comes in waves .yes stress does make it worse for me but i do seem to be able to calm myself down now in regard to that pain but now i and getting it near my sternum .it started on saturday after i had spent the night vomiting yet i cant seem to calm myself down out of this one and google does not help the situation.
    Taken the regular anti inflammation pain killers which usually help but i need a new calming technique. Im 28 and according to my doctor it will always be something i will have to deal with yet the health anxiety that i now posse is just as hard to deal with as the pain .
    When im busy (not stressed) the pain does subside slightly which helps me realise that anxiety is half of the problem .
    Anxiety is something i have never suffered with but as the pain is in the chest area .you automatically think heart attack .
    I had my first painful spout when i was just 15 when a doctor stated that if it had been my right side. Would i have even gone to the doctor ? Which is very true i might not have done .
    My pain threshold is actually pretty high i can cope with the pain alot easier than i can with the anxiety .tips would be greatly recieved

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