Hi everyone. I am new and don't know if looking for answers on Costocondritis in the Fibro forum is appropriate, but I have heard Costo refered to as localized Fibro a number of times, although I don't personaly agree with that except that I can see how a load of tight painful muscles and trigger points all over the place could and living in chronic high stress could end up triggering Costo. That is what it seems to have done to me. I have also ran into allot of fibro sufferers with Costo. Enough that it seems to be way past the point of coincidence.
So I was wondering if there was Costocondritis sufferers here and if they had found anything that was particular usefull, and if any had actualy managed to heal this condition up?
I have been fighting with this problem now for about 6 years. It started off as a extremely tight chest and very difficult trouble breathing after a bout of extreme stress for a number of months. I was checked out at the hospital and sent home with anti-anxiety med. Just short of a total meltdown, I spent 6 days laying on a cousins couch 24 hours a day eating those meds and all the herbal muscle relaxers I could find on top of it.
The tight chested feeling never went completely away and progressed over the years to dull ache, then sharp pains, and then finaly full blown costo involving all the joints at the sternum, the ribs and the back area where the ribs connect. This level I have had for about 2 years now.
Not knowing what I actualy had, I didn't really start to throw allot of treatment at it until the last year. The first thing I did was buy a inverter to try to fix the back. I used this thing, completely turning myself upside down and hanging for a couple of minutes a day. Anything over a couple of minutes and I would get serious back pain going on my erector muscles. Which I thought was strange, since your supposed to be able to build up to hanging in these things for 10 to 15 minutes with no problem. No matter how long I did this, I could not get past a couple of minutes. If I did it everyday, in a few days I no longer had any sternum pain, but the ribs were killing me so bad I could barely stand to lay down on a memory foam mattress. I thought this was interesting as it seemed I had my choice. I could either have no sternum pain or restricted breathing, and lots of rib pain, or a minor amount of rib pain and lots of sternum pain, tightness, breathing issues. My conclusion was that the invertor was straightening my spine and posture and stretching the rib muscles, thereby taking the load off the sternum, but overstretching the rib and back muscles in the process, probably due to the Fibro. Since then, I have tried to get a balance going where I get the most benefit on chest relief without causing a load of back and rib pain. Every other day inverting seems to be the best I can manage.
Four months ago I started with a massage therapist that knows how to work the muscles between the ribs. When she first started, she found large amounts of scar tissue between the ribs on the left side lower area. She also noted that the intercostal muscles were extremely tight, leading me to believe that since muscles have memory, the rib muscles had learned to stay in a braced, guarded position.
Six weeks ago I started taking high doses of a combination of Glucosomine Sulphate, Condrotin, with MSM. Whether this is helping or not, I have no idea, but its probably to early to really see a difference anyhow.
Other then these things, all I can add is the usual treatment of taking Ibuprofen. Although I really don't seem to notice much, if any direct difference in how I feel taking it, other then upset stomach, I have noticed then when the Massage therapist rubs into the muscles clost to the sternum, they are not nearly as sensitive as when I was not taking the NSAID.
I would have to say that from how bad this was at its very worst, about a year ago, it feels in general to be about 75 percent improved, although there are some preaty bad days still and most of this seems to be dependent on whether I am doing or overdoing the stretches.
I would love to be able to add a hydrotherapy routine to all of this, because for me the rib muscle and back tension seem to be the key to giving the sternum a fighting chance to fully heal.
Any input from others that have tried different things would be greatly appreciated.