Costochondritis and Tietze’s syndrome are painful, inflamed areas in your chest and rib area. Here’s a list of 5 things (listed below), which can help reduce the pain and tenderness. Ps. they’re not drugs! Just great alternatives to help relieve pain – naturally.
What is 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!) Costochondritis also goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia and CFS as one of the many co-existing conditions as well – 200 !).
5 Non-Pharmaceutical Things That Can Help with Cosotchondritis Pain
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I have been lucky enough to be able to continue to try new products and supplements 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, as well as 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 the following 5 things I have chosen for costochondritis are tried and tested by me (and my friends and family, too!).
And more to the point – a heating pad.
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! Faffing around with a hot water bottle? That is old school! And microwaveable heat packs? They don’t hold the heat for very long, either.
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. Not only is it plush and XXL, it also has a moist heat option, too.
Ps. 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!).
2. 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, the body pillow gives me a lot of support and I am able
I have tried a few different body pillows, however the Sanggol Body Pillow is THE BEST. (In fact, mine is over 5 years old, and is still as puffy as it was from the first day!).
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!).
3. Ice Packs
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 KoolPak freezes really quickly – and it lasts a lot longer once in use. In fact, I would say that they are leaps and bounds better than other ice packs I have tried.
4. Salonpas Patches
I am not sure how I came across these miracle patches from Japan…but wow, they really do work.
Beyond helping to take the edge off of costochondritis pain, 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! 🙂
Amazingly (and rather miraculously), the also work on bruises, too. And sprains. And strains. And arthritis. One patch lasts at least 4 hours, if not longer.
5, Red Light Therapy/Cold Laser
Red light therapy is known to help reduces inflammation and increase blood flow, as well as accelerate tissue repair, too!
It can help to heal cells with non-thermal red light therapy with non-evasive treatment. Great for neck, shoulders, knees and hips as well as for spasms.
Light, easy to use ergonomic design.
Here’s a great FDA approved Red Light Therapy device.
Costochondritis/Tietze’s Syndrome can be so painful and debilitating. Hopefully these 5 things can help make a difference for you, as they have for me.