Costochondritis worse with this cold weather?

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Camden's Mom
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/23/2008 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, guys - happy to have found this board. I was diagnosed with costochondritis several months ago after scary chest pain, a trip to the hospital, and appointments with a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, chiropractor, GP, and rheumatologist. I know you've all been there!
Anyway, the pain comes and goes, and luckily I have not had to make any major alterations in my life, although I avoided the gym for a while and have gained some weight. I am getting back into it lately, but being very careful with weights and my pectoral muscles. I use Ben-Gay, Capsacian(sp?), and ice packs for the pain when it gets bad. This will usually happen at work - sitting at the computer for hours(and I'm sure the stress of my job) triggers it. My rheumatologist prescribed anti-inflammatories, but I didn't find they really helped and I am paranoid about heart attacks(even though I know what this is, can't quite get it into my head that the chest pain is not heart-related).
The pain had been much better for the last several weeks, but I have been havng a flare-up lately and am wondering if it has to do with the very cold weather here in NY. I know that when I tense up against the cold, it seems to get worse. I have been for rolfing sessions(a kind of intense massage) and the therapist said that learning to breathe and move through my chest will help the pain - the tension makes it worse. I've started yoga recently and find I always feel better after a class.
Has anyone else noticed a correlation between the cold weather and their pain?

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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 11/23/2008 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I have that same chest pain, had my first attack last summer while staying at a motel, I was in town to visit my sons. I thought I was having a heart attack. I took an aspirin (I think that's what Bayer says to do, and I layed down for about an hour with no sounds, no lights nothing, just quiet. My biggest fear was more that my sons would find me if it was a heart attack, because only they knew my whereabouts. Like I said, it lasted about an hour. I modified my schedule, met briefly with my boys and headed straight home, terrified it would happen again. I haven't been completely re-assured it isn't my heart. My Primary Care Doc said, it's likely anxiety and gave me some sedatives. He also said to go straight to emergency if it happens again. he has been quite helpful with the Fibro thing where other doctors treated me like a hypochondriac. Does anybody know anything about the etiology of this chest pain?  Is there a website I can access to find out more?

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 11/23/2008 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Camden's mom,
I don't have costochondritis, but I have everything else. haha
My whole body seems to sense when it gets colder, and everything gets worse. So it wouldn't surprise me if its bothering your costochondritis.
Be careful with sugar and carbs, and those seem to really make my muscles and joints feel worse too.
You do okay with the Ben-Gay? I'm thinking if you have fibro, that might irritate your nerve endings too much. I've also heard that massage can make things worse for awhile..........or even all the time for some of us. The Ben-Gay and ice packs seem like opposite things. I think I would use warmth all the time. I use a heating pad alot. Hopfully all that EMF won't kill me.

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 11/23/2008 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Camden's mom and welcome. You can get pain in your chest from shoulder pain too or from GERD. The cold has an affect on my body. When I'm cold I can't move and it seems like the muscles tighten up. It was in the teens this morning, glad I'm not out there. I couldn't sit in a desk chair for long without my ribs and everything else hurting.I use moist heat for everything.
luv and hugs
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2740
   Posted 11/23/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi:  I live in MN and my pain and FM symptoms increase dramatically in cold weather; so much so that my dr. keeps encouraging me to "go south" each winter. (Wish I could afford that!) I agree:  muscles seem to tense up and spasm.

Terrie B
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 11/23/2008 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   

I have noticed that the cold weather does make symptoms more intense. Since I have only been DX a few months, I think I have yet to see all that the cold weather has to offer. The chest pain that I have had has pretty much been constant since the beginning of September. While the temperature here has dipped down a bit, it has mostly stayed pretty mild... mid to high 60's. At times, the chest pain is so severe, I just lay in bed trying to find a somewhat comfortable position and cry. Ibuprofen seems to help ease it up a bit, but it NEVER goes away. Being warm does help, but I get hot so easy and then I'm grumpy and throwing the blankets off...


Stay warm!!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 11/23/2008 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
The cold weather bothers me also. I am always looking for ways to dress warmly. This year I purchased snow boots. I live in Seattle and it is in no way as cold as New York but it still bothers me.

In fact I grew up in Manhattan and can only visit that area during the months of May and September. Brrr


Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 11/23/2008 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
The cold weather messes with me also. . . The pain in my chest really gets to flaring whenever the weather changes even :) Oh, well. . . I'm sure it could be worse. At least I can get up and out doing things :) I hope you get to feeling better all of you!!!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort :)
God Bless Each & Every One Of You :)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/13/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   

I have noticed a definite correlation between cold weather and my costo pain. I live in Chicago and we get bitter cold and I've noticed when the temperatures drop below 35 degrees F I start feeling discomfort.


I suffered my first painful and prolonged Costo attack in December of 2007. The condition became chronic and unbearable. After ruling out a heart problem, my doctor diagnosed me with Costochondritis. I put cold on it and it made it worse. I was in agony. I switched to moist heat and that helps quite a bit. Anti-inflammatory medicine was of limited help and was causing stomach problems. My doctor recommended acupuncture. I went in for a combo of acupuncture and cold laser therapy and it provided relief within a couple days. I had to have about 6 weekly treatments lasting through the end of January 2008.


Well, at the end of November 2008 I start getting a familiar feeling again. This time I started acupuncture and laser therapy early before the pain became too debilitating. I went in for thre treatments and noticed an improvement. If I felt a little bit of discomfort, I applied moist heat (cloth filled with beads that one can microwave). Today we have temps in the low teens with wind chills below zero. My Costo in at about a pan level of 9 (10 being the worst). I may have to go back in for acupuncture/laser therapy.


I planned on going to the gym today to lift weights but do not dare with this condition. Deep breaths are difficult today.


All this makes me wonder the following:  Do I really have arthritis?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 1/13/2009 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I never experienced it much any other season, but my chest has been hurting me this winter let me tell you...
I'm sorry, Camden's mom for everything you have been going through with so many different doctors and chest pains and whatnot.. But I welcome you!! Glad you have found us!
21 years old
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, Irrational fears

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
i live in newark, england, where it has been snowing on and off since christmas and my pain definitely gets a lot worse during the cold weather.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 434
   Posted 2/10/2010 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have chronic costo.  I definately think the cold weather has had an effect on it and the fibro and other things I deal with.  I was in the ER last June thinking I was possibly having a heart attack but all tests came back OK and it was chalked up to the costo and I was given anti inflammatories and a muscle relaxer (which I never took due to my sensitivity to most meds).  I have a hiatel hernia and gerd also so I pretty much have some type of chest discomfort all the time.  But yes this cold weather has definately taken it's toll on me this year.  I've never noticed the cold weather being a really big factor for me, but then again this is the coldest winter we've had in ages.  Soft hugs to all!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/10/2010 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I have this too! It hurts soo... much and it burns like anything. Sometimes I role over in my sleep and I wake up in so much pain. It feels like there is a fire in the center of my chest. It hurts to breathe because my ribs move.

Has anyone tried acupuncture? My doctor does a mild form of it, which I have found to be helpful, but it doesn't last. I am thinking about seeing someone who specializes in it or knows more about it. I hate taking pain medication because I get so tired and constipated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 2/13/2010 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   

I get the pain in my chest too and I have been sent for the echo cardio stress test thing a ma bob twice and both times everything was normal... i was worried about it though because both sets of my grandparents have had heart attacks so I too am paranoid about heart problems even though I am still rather young.  At times the pain will be so bad that I just end up stopping in my tracks and feel as if I can't breathe... I keep getting told it is anxiety or allergies but I didn't really feel anxious and I get the pain all the time it doesn't really matter the season.  Like right now it actually hurts a little not the stop in my tracks but enough to be uncomfortable.  I am finding that now that I have the diagnosis of fibromyalgia I actually am getting answers for all the "strange" medical problems that i have encountered.  Now I am wondering if my trip to ER in ambulance not knowing what happened and then not being able to talk when I figured out what happened or even the craziness with tylenol and benadryl actually is the fibromyalgia. I have tylenol and benadryl on my allergy list because with tylenol I kept getting sick to my stomach every time I tried to eat something and benadryl well i ended up in emergency with almost siezure like episode.  I just felt like I had to keep moving because if I stopped moving it hurt really bad as long as I was moving I was okay but my body was getting sore from moving.  Hope that makes sense... anyone experience anything similar....

I also seen on the list of symptoms about sensitivity to noise.  My ears are so so sensitive to sounds.  the florescent bulbs they buzz it used to drive me crazy in school when i was younger and no on else seemed to notice.  at work we have alarms for everything that go off and I can hear the dumb things on the other side of the building and have to go hunting for it because it drives me nuts other people will say i didn't hear it going off.. I always look at them like they are stupid i just never got it but is the sensitivity the fibromyalgia or do I just have super hearing

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5011
   Posted 2/13/2010 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I have chronic costo-something-or-other. My pain doc says it's slipping rib syndrome from ribs that were broken loose from the cartilege in an accident by my seat belt. The pain is about the same. Depo-medrol injection helps some, but it's three ribs. so not as much relief as I would like. I wish I could have a couple more injections, but the limit is 3 a year and I needed two for sciatica.

Middle of the chest pain can be from hiatal hernia, one of those things that can contribute to GERD. After my wreck I thought I was having a heart attack. I'd had one a couple of years ago and the pain was in the same place - sub-sternum. But it was from a hiatal hernia. Mine was caused by my stomach being pushed up into my chest where it got stuck. Most hernias are sliders, meaning they move up and down, in and out of the chest and are not harmful unless large. Most people get these by the time they are my age, 65, and don't even notice them.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/28/2014 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I too have noticed that a change in seasons has affected me, and will bring on an episode. I was diagnosed with costochondritis in 2010, after an ambulance ride to the ER.
Yesterday was the coldest day so far this fall, and the episode sent me home from work.
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