I have had Costochondritis for 15 years now. When it first happen I went to the Er I thought I was having a heart attack! Now I know what it is. I do just what it says below ( I add a pain pill) and it it goes away aroud 24 hrs later. I have to sleep up right because the pain is to bad when I laydown.
Hope this info helps.......
What is costochondritis?
Costochondritis is a common, but poorly understood condition among patients with chest wall pain. Costochondritis is a syndrome of chest wall pain that is due to inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall. Costochondritis means that the area of the junction of the rib bones, breastbone, and the associated cartilage has become inflamed. Depending on the extent of the inflammation, this condition can be quite painful. The condition's course generally is self-limited, but the patient often experiences recurrent or persistent symptoms. No specific lab studies exist for costochondritis.
How can costochondritis be prevented?
Though the causes of costochondritis are not well known, avoidance of activities that may strain (e.g., the repetitive misuse of muscles) or cause trauma to the rib cage is recommended to prevent the occurrence of costochondritis. Modification of improper posture or ergonomics of the home or work place may also deter the development of this condition.
What are the symptoms of costochondritis?
The most common symptom is pain over the front of the upper chest (the area of the sternum). Because of serious conditions, most importantly conditions related to heart problems, costochondritis should only be diagnosed after excluding other more serious problems. Some patients fear they are having a heart attack. Due to the difficulty of diagnosis and fear of heart related problems, many patients develop anxiety or panic associated attacks. The most severe pain is usually between the breast and the upper abdomen. The pain may be greater when in sitting or reclining positions. Stress may aggravate this condition. Costochondritis pain is usually worsened by activity or exercise, and can also be severe when taking a simple breath. Often simply touching the area involved will be extremely painful for the patient. Because of the many nerves that branch away from the chest, pain may be experienced in the shoulder, back, or arms as well. Pain can also be associated with a feeling of tightness in the chest. These are also the symptoms of a heart attack, so it is always necessary to take them seriously. When called Tietze's Syndrome, the pain is accompanied by redness and or swelling in the areas most tender.
What is the treatment for costochondritis?
There is no definitive treatment that will cure costochondritis, however there are several helpful things to do in order to help manage the symptoms of this problem:
In order to decrease the inflammation, you will have to avoid activities that cause pain and exacerbation of the inflammation. Exercise, deep breathing, and strain on the muscles of the chest may worsen the symptoms of pain and slow the healing process. As a general rule of thumb, avoid or limit activities that worsen your pain.
Ice Packs or Heating Pads
Whichever of these techniques help to decrease your pain may help you better manage your symptoms. These are just two suggestions that may help you with your symptoms. For other suggestions read information on chronic pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications help with two aspects of costochondritis. First, they help decrease symptoms of pain making patients more comfortable. Second, they help to decrease inflammation, which is the primary problem. Check with your doctor before taking NSAIDs as they have potential side effects.
that are used to reduce inflammation have been used to treat costochondritis. Examples of such supplements include ginger root, evening primrose oil, bromelain, vitamin E, omega-3 oils, and white willow bark. Glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate, which may aid in the healing of cartilage, has also been used. Other alternative therapies include acupuncture and massages.
See Your Doctor
There are patients in whom this problem persists for some time. See your doctor to ensure nothing more serious is going on. When Costochondritis does not respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), Celebrex or Vioxx are often prescribed. Occasionally, costochondritis will be treated with cortisone injections, but this must be discussed with your doctor. You may be given a local anesthetic and steroid injection in the area that is tender, if normal activities become very painful and the pain does not respond to medications. Infectious costochondritis should be treated initially with IV antibiotics. Afterward, antibiotics by mouth or by IV should be continued for another 2-3 weeks to complete the therapy. You should see a doctor during recovery, and then once a year. Infectious costochondritis requires long-term, close follow-up.