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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hooray for costochondritis.

   
Author Topic: Hooray for costochondritis.
Libbie
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For the past few months, I've been having really weird, sharp pains in my upper chest when I breathe in too deeply. As you can imagine, it's quite disconcerting. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, where I was told I have costochondritis.

Yay! Apparently it should go away on its own (eventually), but it's been hanging around for a couple of months. I have a really high tolerance for pain, so the sharpness of the pain itself isn't too troubling, but the persistence is SO IRRITATING. It's practically constant. It's starting to drive me batty! Arrgh!


Has anybody else ever had this before?

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ClaudiaTherese
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Sometimes anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen will help, over and above the pain relief. (Can help calm down the inflammation cycle, too, if you can tolerate that over-the-counter medication.) Hope you feel better soon! [Smile]
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Libbie
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Cool, I'll give it a try. It's especially troublesome today after having the doctor whack me in the chest a few times yesterday!
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Theaca
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They went to all the trouble of examining you and diagnosing you, and didn't bother to treat you? That's just... baffling.

Treatment is steroids or antiinflammatories, but the dose has to be fairly high for this problem. I usually recommend 600mg ibuprofen three times a day with food, or two aleves twice a day with food for 7-10 days.

If you have only one kidney, history of renal failure, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, are over 60 years of age, or are on the Adkins diet, then you shouldn't take those drugs. Instead call the office back in the morning and ask for recommendations for your costochondritis.

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Libbie
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Thanks, Theaca!

She said it seemed mild and isolated enough that she wanted me to try icing it first when it flares up. Then if it doesn't work, she'll give me prescription anti-inflammatory, which I guess has some kind of magical properties beyond those provided over the counter.

I'll try the icing for a few more days of annoyance before I go back. The main problem with icing is that it sometimes flares up at really inconvenient times, like tonight at aerobics, ha! It is getting less frequent, though. I'm just a whiner.

Thanks again for the info, though - very helpful! You're a doctor, I take it? [Smile]

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breyerchic04
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Theaca and ClaudiaT are both doctors, though I think CT is pretty much Pediatrics.
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Theca
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Actually, the over the counter and prescription drugs are not so very different, if you get the dosage right. The OTC stuff can work just as well or better than the prescription stuff in the right setting.

I've never heard of using ice for costochondritis. It makes some sense, I suppose. Ice is a good antiinflammatory sometimes. But I've never seen it used for costochondritis.

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Ryuko
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I have it and am on 600 mg ibuprofen, though when it started to get more spotty and happen every so often instead of every day, I only take it when I need to now. Still, it really really sucks.
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Telperion the Silver
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I think I have this from time to time. Feels like a piece of tissue is getting caught on something else and being pulled. In the area of the heart. Sharp pain when I breath in deeply. But if I take a really big breath and force my chest out it pops and goes away, usually. One time though it lasted for a couple days. Very uncomfortable. Haven't had it in about a year thankfully.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Telperion, costochondritis won't pop and go away. I wonder if, instead, you had a dislocated rib.

Costocondritis isn't a structural problem. It's a matter of inflamed tissue. On the other hand, a mild dislocation of the rib is a structural problem, and it can be pretty much fixed just by getting it popped back in place. There might be some linggering soreness, but that's usually about it. The immediate improvement can be dramatic.

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Dan_raven
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If my doctor told me I had Costocondritis, I'd expect him to be padding his bill.

I'm sorry but Costocondritis sounds like someone allergic to paying.

Or something a doctor invents to get people to pay up--like Inflamation of The Visa or something.

Or a neorosis about needing to shop at large warehouse retail outlets.

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Theca:
Actually, the over the counter and prescription drugs are not so very different, if you get the dosage right. The OTC stuff can work just as well or better than the prescription stuff in the right setting.

I've never heard of using ice for costochondritis. It makes some sense, I suppose. Ice is a good antiinflammatory sometimes. But I've never seen it used for costochondritis.

It seems to be working well enough. Apparently mine is really mild, although it sure doesn't feel mild sometimes. [ROFL]
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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_raven:
If my doctor told me I had Costocondritis, I'd expect him to be padding his bill.

I'm sorry but Costocondritis sounds like someone allergic to paying.

Or something a doctor invents to get people to pay up--like Inflamation of The Visa or something.

Or a neorosis about needing to shop at large warehouse retail outlets.

Heeheehee! Good one(s).
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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Telperion, costochondritis won't pop and go away. I wonder if, instead, you had a dislocated rib.

Costocondritis isn't a structural problem. It's a matter of inflamed tissue. On the other hand, a mild dislocation of the rib is a structural problem, and it can be pretty much fixed just by getting it popped back in place. There might be some linggering soreness, but that's usually about it. The immediate improvement can be dramatic.

Huh. I think I know what Telperion is talking about. It feels like something is catching and it is somewhat painful to breathe in. For me, stretching out the muscles by moving my left arm around seems to generally fix it. But I've had this happen since I was a child. Could I really have had a dislocated rib for that long?

--Mel

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ClaudiaTherese
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An intermittent subluxation would not surprise me.

----

Edited to add: you could also have a tendon that likes to catch on a certain area of bone, or any number of things. Mainly, though, I'd think it would be unlikely to be an ongoing inflammatory process if manipulation (internal or external) lead to a dramatic fix of the problem.

----

Edited again to add: more on subluxed and dislocated ribs

Any joint can be less structurally sound than one would like, and that can make it prone to repetitive dislocations. Kind of like someone may say "oh, I have this trick knee, and I always need to pop it back into place when it does this."

One of the problems, though, is that successive dislocations or subluxations can sometimes place such additional stress on the joint and microtears in the stabilizing structures that the joint itself has more problems long term than it would otherwise. There's certainly some evidence for increased rates of osteoarthritis in frequently-damaged knees, such as in profesional football players.

[ October 05, 2006, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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