Thursday, November 19, 2009

Costochondritis- Tight Diaphragm and Abs

I don't know about you, but after 2 years with Costo, all of a sudden, my diaphragm started to get tight, tighter, and tightest. I believe all the "tensing," and shallow breathing that occurs causes the abdominals and diaphragm to freak out and tighten up like crazy, thus causing more discomfort. Gag. So I went in search of some answers to loosen up this area.

The answer for me is a work in progress with my massage therapist (who works on my diaphragm and abs weekly) this exercise I do once a day, and the stretching exercises you see if you scroll down. I had no clue just how tight the abs and diaphragm were since I was so focused on my ribs. But my massage therapist tells me constantly that a tight abdominal and diaphragm is no friend to the Costo.

Breathing Exercise for tight Abs and Diaphragm:

"Give it a workout by practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing. The inhalation begins with the diaphragm doing what every muscle does when it contracts, it broadens. Only at the end of a full breath might the shoulders ever so slightly ride up on the newly expanded thoracic region. As for the exhale, blow out, blow out, and now blow out. The exhale is when the diaphragm is relaxing and going back into neutral so give it a chance.

Once you have just watched and got in touch with your breathing for a while a good pattern to practice, at what ever pace is comfortable for you, is the 4-7-8. Inhale for a 4 count, hold for 7, and then gauge the exhale for an 8 count. Remember it is the exhale that is the measured test for respiratory efficiency. This is when the carbon dioxide is released from the alveoli and replaced with oxygen. Shallow breathing that utilizes the wrong muscles becomes a loop of self destruction that leads to neck, ab, and chest tightness.

Ideally, with each inspiration, the diaphragm is drawn down, the lower ribs expand outwards in all directions, and the viscera are pushed down and out, all this as the abdominal muscles partially release reflexively. With 'tight abs', the diaphragm cannot go down and the ribcage cannot expand, so breathing is restricted greatly." by Graeme Lynn and the Bowen Website.

PS- also, an oxy powder colon cleanse helped a TON with my diaphragm tightness. It's good to figure out if your diaphragm is actually tight from breathing shallow...or if your are in need of releasing toxins and candida from your intestines. Or maybe both.


  1. I am new to this site and posted this in an earlier blog, Lucy kindly suggested I post on the later blogs.

    I was bereaved in June 2008 – I was, and am, utterly devastated, beyond words. From June 2008 I was initially numb with shock and then in August signed up to do the London Marathon, nearly all my focus was on this. In October 2008 I started having discomfort under my ribs at the front, to the left and right of my sternum. I suffered quite badly with pressure here and indigestion. It did affect my training for the marathon and sometimes made me quite breathless.

    Finally went to the doctor when I had a right sided ache below the ribs and pain up under my right ribs, and burning pain in the left side under left ribs (abdomen area). The doctor thought it was without a doubt, ulcers and prescribed Omeprazole. I don’t think these really did any good. The pain I can only describe as a ‘bulging’ feeling under the ribs at the front like I have an inner tube there too big for the tyre! My symptoms seem to continually change. Returning to the doctor he arranged for an ultrasound to check my gallbladder – it showed no gallstones and looked ‘normal’ – although it apparently showed evidence of a fatty liver, although my liver enzymes from a blood test were normal.

    I did the marathon, but afterwards my grief became more intense as did my symptoms. Pain under the right rib and around under the right shoulder blade (not connected with eating at all) – sometimes pain and bulging in the left side and one of the worst symptoms for me is such discomfort at the base of my sternum, burning and aching all over the chest. I am ok when I go to bed, when I get up in the morning it starts off ok and then I get chest pressure and pressure upwards from the base of my sternum; it is not comfortable for me to sit, I also have a tight bulging feeling under my right arm at breast level. This pressure eases off, but often starts again at around 6 –7 pm when I am winding down from a days work, the burning and soreness stays with me in different degrees of intensity throughout the day. These symptoms also make me quite breathless I should add at this point I have been extremely emotionally stressed and depressed.

    I permanently feel chest soreness inside, my bottom ribs feel very sore, my back is sore and aches and I feel sore through my sternum. The symptoms of costochondritis seem to fit; I would really appreciate anyone else’s input.

    Sorry for the long post, but this site seems so helpful. Thank you everyone

    1. I was diagnosed with a bad case of costochondritis 7 weeks ago. I have all those same symptoms. My doctor is also sending me for tests on my gallbladder, but it happened simultaneously with the chest condition, so that confuses me. I'm relieved to find someone else who has those symptoms of the "inner tube" under the ribs that gets worse as the day goes on. Now I know I'm not going crazy. This is absolutely miserable to live with. I feel rotten most of the time. I see you posted this a few years ago. Can you tell me the result?

  2. This is what I wrote Judy back- just sharing with everyone. And Judy, you are precious, hugs and healing to you!!

    Dearest Judy,

    You are in the right place to post. You can post on any of my posts and I get an e-mail about your post and will respond. So feel free to post anywhere and I'll read it.

    If you would like some of the folks who read it regularly to reply, I'd post it on the the most recent date post in November. Maybe copy and paste what you wrote, then repost it to get more feedback if you like?

    There are some wonderful people in this community who will support you, listen, and give advice as much as you need it.

    It sounds like you haven't been diagnosed? Is this correct?

    If you have been diagnosed, these symptoms seem to fit perfectly for costochondritis. The biggest key for me is that it hurts for you to sit. that's HUGE indicator of costochondrits. I personally always have more pain when sitting and try to avoiding as much as possible. Eek!

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you have had a challenging year. And for that, I'm so sorry. Stress is a hugs factor in Costo. It can cause it and exasperate the problem once you have it.

    I'm not a doctor in any way, but one route I'd take is to start eating a healthy diet, lots of fiber, walking daily, possibly do a full body cleanse, and start doing skilled relaxation exercises every day- 2x a day for 20 minutes. You may already be doing all of these things. And if you are, that is awesome! For me, I also did some counseling as well to deal with my stress and emotional turmoil that I was having when the costochondritis began.

    Thanks for letting me know that the site has been helpful to you, that's encouraging for me to hear. I'm here anytime for you.

    Hugs to you,
    Wish I was of more help.

  3. clohman1965@outlook.comApril 16, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Hi all!
    Oh I feel like I am dying here.
    I have not been diagnosed with Costochondritis or Tietze yet. I know that is one of them. I am so sick of it! Nine years now. Test after test.
    Gallbladder out. More test. I can not find any one to diagnose me here in Evansville Indiana. Been here and there and everywhere. I am so sick of it!
    I am so ready to cut it out myself!
    My work does not understand. I am in shipping and packaging, it's killing me. I have to get a new job , I know.
    I wanted diagnosed first.
    Thanks for the venting. Take care.

  4. Just wanted to add I have these same tightness symptoms, the terrible pressure and bulging feeling up under both ribs, like I swallowed a beach ball.

    I have had this now for over 3 years-it all started with what they think is pericarditis-it is often misdiagnosed as costochronditis. You must get an echocardiogram to diagnose it usually, and its rare so no GPs usually see it-or they diagnose it as costo.

    Along with the pericarditis you have to take NSAIDS and stomach meds-and I believe either stomach/intestine yeast overgrowth, gastritis, or the heart issues itself cause this feeling. maybe a combo of them all.

    I have some irregular heart issues, a certain kind of bouncing movement called septal bounce, which comes from inflammation of the heart or constriction. This goes along with pericarditis.

    To find out if you have this, you'd need to have inflammatory markers done in bloodwork too-something called CRP and SED rate. Both point to inflammation in the body. Work on stomach issues first, do all you can to kill yeast, get a good probiotic, an acid reducer etc and see if it gets better. If not, you ight want to ask for some further tests to make sure its not pericarditis. It is misdiagnosed constantly it won't kill you, but hurts, and can eventually cause constriction of the sac around the heart which then must be removed by surgery. (only by large medical centers with a lot of experience in this, such as Mayo, Cleve Clinic etc) Good luck to all!