I know of many fibromites/CFSers who have been rushed to the hospital thinking they are having a heart attack – ‘only’ to be diagnosed with ‘costo’ aka costochondritis.
Costochondritis is where costal cartilage in the area between your ribs and breastbone (known as the costochondral and costosternal joints) has become inflamed. Although painful, it is not a serious condition and in most cases the condition gets better on its own within six to eight weeks. We can go months on end without a flare up, then BAM! It hits you!
Costochondritis causes chest pain which is usually felt at the front of the chest. Typically, it’s a sharp, stabbing pain and can be quite severe. Some people may feel an aching pain.
For some people, it feels like they can’t take a deep breathe, others feel like they could be having a heart attack (and so on top of the chest pain, anxiety as well!) And it goes hand in hand with fibro and CFS as one of the many co-existing conditions as well – 200 !).
Here Are Some Non-Pharmaceutical Things That Are Helping Me Reduce Costo (and other!) Pain:
(I have been lucky enough to be able to continue to try new products and supplements (that are in no way sponsored btw!) and believe that the best word, as always, is word of mouth (or in this case, word of blog! :)). Of course I always read reviews – and know what works for me, might not work for others.
However, all of the products I do list aren’t only tried by myself, but over the years, I have bought many a heating pad for friends and shipped Salonpas patches across the world – as well as use in our own home. So, they are tried and tested by me (and my friends and family, too!) x
I am always surprised at the number of people I come across who are not owners of a heating pad!!! People! If there is any investment you are going to make in regards to helping to alleviate pain and discomfort, a heating pad is the way to go!
As Dr Harris McIlwain says in one of the best books I have found for fibromyalgia, The Fibromyalgia Handbook, is that the ‘best’ thing for us to do is to use ‘Moist Heat’, (which is a shower, bath, steam…). Twice a day, for 15-20 minutes at a time.
This heating pad has helped hugely. The cat likes it too! (That’s why he has his own now, it was beginning to be a competition to see how fast he could get on my vacated heating pad the moment I got up!).
Body Pillow (Ok, it’s a maternity pillow…)
This is definitely another thing that helps me hugely in regards to taking the pressure off of my back area, as well as giving me support under my legs, taking the weight off of my hips. Because it is quite thick, it gives me a lot of support and I am able to put the heating pad and ice packs into a much better position by using this.
I have the pillow turned upside down to what this picture shows – so that the long part across the top is actually underneath my knees – giving more support and taking the weight off of my hips. I also am able to adjust it so that it is under my arms, hips etc – all I can tell you is that this pillow really does the trick!
(It is also great for resting the laptop on one side (so in the middle of our bed) to watch movies on, too!).
Yep. I can hear you yelling at me right now, ‘I can’t stand the cold, let alone ice!’.
I know that some of us are very sensitive to the cold, so this may not be a suitable option for you – but it is one that can really help if you are able to hack it.
As we know, costochondritis is inflammation – and we all know that ice can be very effective in the reduction of swelling, inflammation and pain.
I have tried a lot of ice packs (for medical vs. food use) in the past, and I can tell you, hand on heart, that these are THE BEST. The KoolPak freezes really quickly – and it lasts a lot longer once in use.
I am not sure how I came across these babies…but man, they really do work. In fact, in tracking my use on the FibroMapp App these are actually working better for me than any of my medications for aches and pains.
In fact, a couple of months ago, when I had a really bad migraine and nothing would shift it, I cut a patch up and put it on my temples….and it WORKED.
(So now, it’s easy to tell who has a headache in our home, because they have two white patches stuck to their heads – but that’s because they work!).
Actually, our friend had sprained his ankle in a sports injury and I gave him some…well, guess what? The whole team are now using them – so that says something! 🙂
This is another device, admittedly an investment, but a worthwhile one…I have had my Ultralieve ultrasound for 7 years now – and it continues to not only help me – but everyone else who has borrowed and used it! One friend swears by it for the arthritis in her knees and another for his back and neck pain.
The ultrasound accelerates healing fast – in 5-15 minutes treatment. It’s a pain free application used by health professionals and easy to use at home for:
- Sports injury
- Back and neck pain
- Shoulder injury or pain
- Sciatica pain
- Arthritis pain
- Knee pain and injury
- Sprains and strains
- Foot pain
- Plantar facilities
The Blurb from Ultralieve on Amazon:
How does Ultralieve® work on getting me better? Ultralieve® will deliver 1 million vibrations per second (1MHz) pulsed ultrasound waves with varying intensity levels deep into damaged tissues and is scientifically and medically proven device to treat a range of medical conditions.
Prof Tim Watson, Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Hertfordshire says “One of the therapeutic effects for which ultrasound has been used is in relation to tissue healing. It is suggested that the application of ultrasound to injured tissues will, amongst other things, speed the rate of healing and enhance the quality of the repair.” Safe, drug free pain management.
This an update…These ‘miracle capsules’ have become my ultimate ‘go to’ now regarding pain and inflammation. ‘Ouch Capsules‘. I have gone from being in tears to a smile and mobile within 30 minutes of taking these all-natural capsules!
Stay tuned as I continue my foray into giving up pharmaceutical medications and going the supplement route.
Costochondritis/Tietze’s Syndrome can be so painful and debilitating. Hopefully these 5 (now updated to 6!) things can help make a difference for you.