I've just been doing some reading and research about this type of pain. I've experienced the stabbing and sharp pains like most of you talk about ... but recently, I've also had what feels more like a constricting pain like a boa constrictor is squeezing me around my diaphram. It can even make it hard to fully breathe in or out. The interesting thing to me it that it appears to be either the same or very similar to what some MS patients call the "MS hug." (MS patients and doctors may take great exception with my saying this ... but I believe there is some correlation between the two.)
I found some articles about this type of pain/constricting feeling ... one of them suggested that it could be caused by Intercostal Muscle Spasms. The Intercostal Muscles are the muscles between the ribs and breast bone and attach to the cartilage, that then attach to the bones. Evidently, the condition of Costochondritis effects the cartilage and bones in the same area. Sooo, it would make sense that the Costochondritis could be caused by Intercostal Muscle Spasms. Sometimes Costochondritis is caused by overuse (i.e. workers, athletes). Hmmm ..... what's the difference if it's caused by a muscle that's spasming on its own? Hmmm ....
In my opinion, the specifics of many diagnoses just might depend on the doctor's specialty or scope of experience. What do you think? And ... it's okay with me if you tell me I'm barking up the wrong tree.
The one suggestion I have about helping to alleviate the pain in your back, ribs, pelvis, legs ... where ever it hurts ... is to take the time to gently gently gently STRETCH. I've suffered with dibilitating muscle spasms upon arising for way too long ... until I learned to allow at least 5 minutes to stretch before going about my day. Some may say, "I don't have 5 minutes to stretch" or "it's too painful to stretch." Well ... my experience is that it's worth setting the alarm clock 5 minutes early to allow for it. Your body will thank you. Gently supporting the muscles you're stretching is vitally important, too!
When you first awaken in the morning, don't rush to jump outta bed.
Move slowly ... gently stretch out your muscles. Kinda like you see your cat or dog do. Round your back, wriggle your hips ... whatever, it's all good. I can even do it while I'm still lying down!
Circle your feet ... flex your feet ... squeeze your tush muscles together. Gently push one hip out to the side ... then do the other side.
Just kinda go from head to toe and gently stretch or squeeze/then stretch every set of muscles ... particularly if they are tight or painful.
I even will sit on the edge of the bed and slowly bend over like I'm trying to touch my toes. The key is that I support myself with my hands on my legs, especially as I come up again. Repeat it if necessary a couple more times.
If my hips are really bad, I lie on my back and put my foot up on the opposite leg ... like how most men sit when they relax. You hold on to your knee or thigh and gently pull your leg toward you. It will hurt ... so stop and just hold it for a moment and then slowly release it. I will repeat this several times and alternate legs. (It's the same type of stretch that many dancers use to stretch out their pelvic muscles.)
The important thing is to do it all very slowly. Support yourself. Don't try to lift any of your muscles or limbs unassisted. Do as much of it while still lying in bed. AND ... Avoid any sudden movements upon arising and going about your business.
I will stop throughout the day to do more gentle stretching. It has made a world of difference in the amount of muscle spasms and the level of pain I deal with each day.
Let me know if it works for you! ~fingers crossed~
Sending love ~*~ Karen free2bfree