Hazelnut86: I did start Nortriptyline. With in about a week, I was feeling a lot of relief. And, it was working well for my depression issues as well. However, I am now finding out, I may not be tolerating the drug as well as I had thought. I didn't experience hardly any side effects at starting. And at a dose increase, it didn't seem like much either.
But at the time I increased the dose from 25mg to 50mg, I started to get what felt like a bladder infection. After going to the Urgent care a couple of times, I got in to the actual practice part of the clinic. Not with my regular doctor. The doctor I got that day explained how the Nortriptyline can cause urine retention, resulting in infection like symptoms. He asked why I was on it. When I told him about how it was chronic costochondritis, he asked if anyone was able to really explain it to me. He told me he also had it. It never goes away. You have to have coping mechanisms when the pain pops through. The Nortriptyline, is kind of tricking my brain into thinking there is no pain. He said he recommended seeing a therapist that deals with pain management. Which I do as well. So it was nice to kind of hear a little gem of wisdom from someone who has it as well.
Sadly, one of the other side effects of Nortriptyline is constipation. And that has been an issue with me since birth. A week after I saw the doctor about the bladder issue, I ended up having to go into yet another doctor in the practice. He explained the effects Nortriptyline can have on ones system. And I have never had such a problem with constipation as I have in my life. He had me start taking Magnesium Citrate and Miralax daily. And enemas. Not fun. I did have an appointment on the books with my regular doctor, which was actually today. After a xray, yes, indeed I have a issue. So, I am going to have to go back down to 25mg of Nortriptyline. If things don't get moving on that, I will have to go off of it altogether. And try another one. But it is entirely possible I'd have the same problem. Nothing is worse, than when you find a drug that is so helpful, yet, causes other problems, that at first, seem like a good trade, but really, are not.
I did start doing some free movement weights at the gym I go to. There is a chest exercise one, where I don't go above 20lbs. It works the muscles all across the chest. And with the lighter weight, it isn't straining it, so I can feel where I am getting stronger there. I have never been one to work out. Ever. But it has been a motivator to go, because I know it is also adding to helping the whole issue.
I do still have twinges of pain. But it is very brief. I have been able to resume most of the activities I was doing prior to any of this happening. The cold weather does seem to make a difference in if it pops through more. I live up north, so the temps have dropped, and that has been noticeable.
You mention it feels like heartburn for you. One thing, when I was in the process of getting diagnosed, I couldn't breath. My fam practice doc wanted me to start prilosec or similar for heartburn. I said I didn't have heartburn. With all the medications I was taking, it was causing indigestion of sorts, with out any symptoms but difficulty breathing. A few days into taking that, that issue went away. But I take a handful of pharmaceuticals at night. And for me, it is not a option to not take them. So, adding prilosec to the nightly cocktail had done wonders, and helped with some of the chest pain. I don't know if that is something you have talked to your doc about, but honestly, I was quite shocked that indigestion was a culprit in a different way.
I hope some of this helps. I have a whole laundry list of annoying, yet non-life threatening ailments. Honestly, I wish I were a hypochondriac. It would make my life easier I think. So going to the doctor, going through the processes, the tests, all of that, is something I am used to. Not everyone is like that.
I wish you well, and I hope the weather doesn't get you down too much, and the pain remains minimal.