Patient Comments: Costochondritis and Tietze Syndrome - Symptoms

Question:

What symptoms did you experience with your costochondritis and Tietze syndrome? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Lilsoph94, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

I have suffered with intense rib and chest pain now for the last 8 years. I went through many tests and doctor visits, and they told me it was costochondritis. The only thing is, I don't actually get much of the pain in the sternum. The pain is in my back ribs, between my shoulder blades. The pain is so intense that I lose my breath and have to curl up in a fetal position. The pain also comes through my shoulders and arms. Wonder if this sounds like costochondritis.

Comment from: Vince, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 07

Excruciating pain on the right side of my chest is my symptom of costochondritis.

Comment from: Angela , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

My costochondritis pain started while I was pregnant. I remember waking up in excruciating pain on the left side in my rib area, and I thought something was wrong with the baby. So my hubby rushed us in, and they claimed it was pregnancy pains. Well it is 2.5 years later and that same pain is in my chest, breastbone, left upper part of my ribs, shoulders, etc. It's hard to rest because I have 3 little ones and I don't want the pain medicines they throw at me. I haven't worn a bra in 2 years because it hurts too bad.

Comment from: Janice N, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

The doctor's surgery sent me away in an ambulance with symptoms of feeling like having a heart attack. Pain radiated down my left arm and neck, and I had severe pain in my jaw, and swollen glands. ECG showed I have a pristine heart. Previously having had blood clots in my right lung, we checked that but I didn't have them in the left lung. I have swelling in the left side of my chest, pain comes and goes daily on and off. The costochondritis pain is so severe and brings me to tears, and heat packs and pain killers just take the edge off. I'm used to keeping active swimming, but not at the moment as it is too debilitating.

Comment from: T, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I went to the hospital with shortness of breath, coughing, anxiety and chest pain, got sent home with a diagnosis of a bad asthma. A week and a half later after it wouldn't go away and chest pain was worse. They did a CT scan and said I had pneumonia. Pneumonia went away and breathing is good but I have horrible pain in my sternum now that can radiate through my lungs to my back. They did an x-ray and said I have costochondritis, and that it should go away in about a week. It's not gone, I'm going to be going back soon.

Comment from: Sher, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I have had costochondritis for 31 years! Mine has never left and it's made my breathing shallow so I get viruses in my lungs a lot! I don't go to the doctor for it anymore, I just know what it is. I need to nap a lot with it.

Comment from: clintono, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

I have had costochondritis for about 4 years now, and it is horrible. I have had a heart attack 15 years ago, so every time it gets real bad I think I'm having another one. It bothers me every day of my life and it seems to be getting worse. I take tramadol every morning and it helps for a while but when it wears off the pain is back. During bad attacks I feel really gassy also. I have been to several emergency rooms and doctors and have had all the tests the others here have had, with no success.

Comment from: teacheng123, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

I am 59 years old. At age 45 I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the left breast (had 36 radiation treatments following a lumpectomy). Ever since, I have experienced intermittent excruciating pain and swelling in my rib on the left side. It feels at times as though someone is taking a vise wrench and squeezing and twisting. The pain is agonizing. I've not been officially diagnosed with Tietze's syndrome but am in the process of ruling other conditions out. I'm positive it is Tietze's.

Comment from: Fed up on VA, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 27

I went to the Veterans Affairs (VA) for pain in my chest, sometimes severe, and that was two years back. Finally my wife and I did research on the net and found a 100 percent match for my symptoms, costochondritis, and now feels like Tietze's syndrome as I have swelling now. I got sent to stress and orthopedic doctor, nothing there. Told VA pain was often severe that I woke up at night screaming! Nothing back except 'sorry about your pain blah, blah'. VA has 100 percent lackadaisical attitude, my one pass on Google search nailed. I am now doing exercises, which help. VA remains silent on why they missed it.

SLIDESHOW

Costochondritis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment See Slideshow
Comment from: cdg, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 22

I was just diagnosed with costochondritis. It's been almost 2 weeks. Already I had 2 emergency room visits. When will this go away! I literally feel like I am having a heart attack about 80 percent of my day. Early morning are good until 10 AM, night time it doesn't really stop (gets worse at night) until I fall asleep. Even then, I wake with sharp pains. I am 32, 180 lb. I thought I was healthy. I hope I won't have this for the rest of my life.

Comment from: JoanneS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I was diagnosed with costochondritis about 3 years ago. I think I have Tietze's syndrome because mine is definitely chronic. It flares up out of nowhere sometimes. Today is a perfect example. I feel tremendous pressure on the left side of my chest. My ribs are definitely flared. It's so uncomfortable I don't know what to do. I have gone to the emergency room multiple times when this happens. Today I am just dealing with it. My new primary doctor is testing me for autoimmune disease. I'm glad someone is trying to figure it out instead of just asking me to accept it. I just started back with acupuncture and I do see a chiropractor every 3 weeks which does help also.

Comment from: Angry Bird, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 08

I have severe pain to the chest wall, the rib cage, and the sternum and am nauseated to the stomach. It has been over a year now with costochondritis, and now the pain is also in my back down to the tail bone and the pain never stops. It has been like this since I had the joint/bursa shots in October 2016.

Comment from: Gabriela W., 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I have had costochondritis for about eight years now. It all started when I was 18 years old. I kept waking up in the middle of the night with chest pains and feeling like I was having a heart attack. A few months later I decided to go see a doctor about my pains. I was submitted to so many exams just for them to tell me that it was probably my gallbladder. After a good while the doctors decided to remove my gallbladder. They told me that within a few months my pains would be gone. Well, my pains slowed down a lot but thanks to my gallbladder being taking out I started to gain weight. Then one day when I least expected it my pains started again, so I visited the doctors again until I ended up with a heart specialist who was very surprised to see a 20 year old girl sitting in his waiting room. He was the first one to tell me about costochondritis but he never gave me anything for it just told me to check back with my doctor on the problem he believed I had. By then I was sick of doctors so I decided to just work with my pains. I started placing hot rags and bags of ice on my chest as soon as I felt the pains. I changed jobs. I am now a bank teller but sitting down for two or three hours bothers me sometimes. Also some nights when my left arm hurts I have learned to just sleep in a way where my arm is under my body, but as soon as I wake up my pain is back. I've had anxiety attacks because as soon as I feel the pain I get very nervous, especially when I'm driving. I have a huge fear of fainting while I'm driving because of my anxiety attacks. Right now I'm working on that. It's hard waking up every morning not knowing what's next, not knowing if you would even make it back home safe. I hope that everything will get easier to handle and live with as time goes by. I have decided to start taking turmeric pill. My dad has been taking it for a while and he says they work wonders. I am willing to do whatever just to not feel this pains and have anxiety attacks. One of the things that make my chest hurt more is picking up heavy stuff. Also moving heavy stuff. Also when I have my menstrual cycle, and my bras make me hurt more. I just wanted to share my story out there. It's very nice to know that I'm not alone in this. That there is people out there feeling what I feel, and that I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do.

Comment from: Honey, Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I have been having pain on my left side of my rib cage and breast bone. I have had bouts of costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome over the years. But this time it is lasting about 3 months. I am glad to be able to connect with others that have this problem. The pain is on my side and sometimes under my breast bone. Everybody hang in there you are not alone.

Comment from: Eva, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I have been diagnosed with costochondritis but I believe that it is Tietze's syndrome. I have pain on my left side, in my left breast going towards my back. I also have pain in my shoulders. I have been taking amoxicillin 500 mg but even this does not give me any relief. When I first felt the pain I thought it was my breast but the doctor said that it is in my rib. My left arm gets swollen. I really do not know what to do.

Comment from: libra57, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I was told I have costochondritis, but I think it is Tietze"s syndrome. When an attack starts it is on the right side, it radiates across my chest to the left and into my left arm. It lasts 15 minutes. It is so excruciating I cannot move. I start sweating, my chest swells up to a point I want to take my bra off. I have tried Tums and lots of them, and eating toast bread. I find if I eat a biscuit every morning I cut the rate of having attacks by 75%. I started having these attacks 2 weeks after I had my gallbladder out. That was 2 years ago. I also find if I start bending or twisting too much it will bring on an attack. Once I feel it start there is no stopping it. I just stay still and wait until it passes.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
Comment from: Cheryl RN, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I am dealing with pain under my armpit and across the right side and under my breast. I had pneumonia exactly 4 weeks ago, supposedly that was on the left side. I coughed with that, but had no pain in my chest. It was only after I picked up a cold and was coughing from that that the pain started. It feels better some days, then it feels like it flares up. Sometimes naproxen at night makes it feel better. I have no shortness of breath, I still have an occasional dry cough which aggravates the pain. The pain is not in the center of my chest, it"s more under my arm on chest wall and alongside underneath breast. I did have some pain in the breast to my back, I felt like I could draw a straight line from that to my back and that"s where the pain was. Palpation made it worse. This definitely started with my coughing about 3 weeks ago. I"m not sure it is costochondritis/Tietze"s syndrome, but it sounds like it.

Comment from: Juanisha, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I am a 35 year old single mom of 2 and in September 2013, I was on my way home from work one evening and it hit me, out of nowhere. I was having severe chest pains and I was driving with no one else in the car, thankfully, when I started having the chest pain. I hadn't been sick in about 3 months prior to that, I had pneumonia in June 2013, but I took all of my antibiotics and felt great after that. When this hit me I was feeling great, no aches or pains, I thought I was having a heart attack, my whole left side was numb and I was in so much pain all I could do was cry. It took 2 trips to the hospital before they diagnosed me with costochondritis. Finally I was given steroids and atenolol, put on a nebulizer and an inhaler as needed. After a week of being in bed and missing work I was back on my feet. However, here it is December 2013, and I'm starting to have these symptoms again and I'm wondering if this costochondritis is back.

Comment from: Alen1234, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I have been experiencing tailbone pain that comes and goes, but about a month ago I had a few months of chest discomfort which I though was most likely costochondritis or Tietze's syndrome. I wonder if anyone has experienced both of these, wonder if they are connected.

Comment from: chilewilly60 , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I was just told today that I too have costochondritis. Funny thing is I have no symptoms like the rest of the posts here. I have no pains in my ribs, mine started with what appeared to be a mass or swelling on my left collarbone which is very painful, burning feeling that goes up into my neck around my shoulder and sometimes on my clavicle. After reading up on it I would say I have absolutely nothing that suggests this to be costochondritis. I went to a very prominent ENT who told me to rest, ice and take Motrin.

Comment from: Flo , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I suffered a very stressful event and mental trauma 2 months ago, then developed a sharp, gnawing pain and sometimes itching on the skin, located on the bottom inner edge of the left ribs, probably around the stomach area. I thought it was a stomach acid pain, in fact for 2 months, but no medications taken for this were helping. I also have pain if I press on my all rib and sternum joints on both sides. I think it must be costochondritis.

Comment from: mbwwalz, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 16

Another condition that can cause costochondritis is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). Chest pain was the first sign my daughter had when she was younger, it often appeared during the 2nd part of her cycle when women's joints are naturally looser. Both of my daughters and I finally have been diagnosed with EDS and we've all experienced costochondritis. We believe it is associated with our ribs moving around because the costal cartilage has little strength with our EDS. I use Reiki to help calm my daughter when she is having a bad bout of it.

Comment from: maleka, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

The real problem started after I had a total thyroidectomy due to a multiple nodules in my thyroid gland. I had severe pain in my chest after the surgery but doctors refused any link between two phenomena. A chest wall surgeon send me for bone scan and so on but all were well. At last he said I had Tietze's syndrome and it is for some unknown underlying autoimmune disease. I feel pain in chest and sometimes in back and no drug really helps.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I have mild Tietze's syndrome. It started 6 months ago and I stopped lifting weights and suffered from a shoulder sprain. Suddenly I was having chest pain every day! I finally diagnosed myself which was confirmed by a doctor, after being misdiagnosed for a pectoral tear. Stress reduction seems to help, but I am looking for permanent relief.

Comment from: Jackie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I was just diagnosed with costochondritis after years of suffering with pain everywhere that my bra touched my ribs. I thought it was just breast pain and would rip my bra off by the end of the day. I have been doing acupuncture for the last 10 years for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and never thought of mentioning this pain until I couldn"t stand it any longer. One treatment to the ribs with the acupuncture and the pain is gone!

Comment from: marigold_34, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I thought I was having a heart attack! I have never had such severe pain in my life. Since I am a diabetic they were not sure it wasn't a heart attack either since it is different symptoms with diabetics. I still have the pain and am trying to take care of my two-year-old granddaughter. I can barely lift her and I have had this for four weeks. I had never heard costochondritis and it is extremely painful. I also am afraid to take long walks because I was at the park alone with my granddaughter when I had the episode. It was frightening because I had to walk back home with her to get help. The worst pain I have ever had and every time I do something exercise related and picking up my granddaughter is like an exercise of agony. I want to be able to walk again without fear and to exercise again.

Comment from: sunshinegirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I was diagnosed with Costochondritis/Tietze's this week. I am also a Fibromyalgia patient which through research I've found that "we" as fibro patients are more apt to have these conditions. I went to the ER on Monday and received a full work up-EKG, chest X-ray, test for blood clots, and was diagnosed with Pleurisy- which did fit some of my symptoms, but was getting no better with the simple treatment of a 4mg steroid dose pack. I followed up with a doctor today (Friday) due to getting no better and being in intense-severe pain, and having no sleep due to this all week. The doctor today was much more thorough, and did a physical exam and stated he could feel the swelling in my chest. He administered a steroid shot, gave me a higher oral steroid, and prescribed anti-inflammatory drug - Indomethacin. am still in A LOT of pain! Haven't worked since the ER visit on Monday, and don't know how I will as just laying in bed is killing me! No meds have helped pain so far. Hoping for more answers and suggestions, but have seen some interesting natural remedies-e.g. glucosamine, ginger, etc. Good luck to all!!

Comment from: wtfover, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 19

I am a paraplegic transitioning from a full time wheelchair to part time using forearm crutches. Apparently using the crutches caused the costochondritis. I thought I was having a heart attack! I went to ER in an ambulance and was given fentanyl several times which eventually helped with the pain. Now anytime I use the crutches I'm at risk for an attack, it's very frustrating as I've been working so hard for 3 years to get out of my chair. I have found that Lidoderm patches help; I normally use them for my back but discovered they work for the costochondritis also. Has anyone been able to find an exercise routine that works with this condition or any exercise that can improve it?

Comment from: laidupbeautician, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I was diagnosed with costochondritis this past week. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack when I first experienced costochondritis. I am a beautician who works 40+ hours a week. I'm starting to think I may have to choose a new career. I love my job and I'm hoping someone out there may have a natural way of healing. I can't take my prescriptions, which I feel do help and work. No work; no money. I'm open to any suggestions.

Comment from: sunshineaway, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I was just diagnosed with costochondritis. I had never heard of this before. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the ER and was given an EKG, lung X-ray, CT scan, and ultrasound of my stomach. I also had a blood test. Then I was told it is costochondritis. The doctor prescribed Valium to relax my muscles because I was getting spasms. This is my second day and I am feeling better than yesterday, that's for sure. I really don't want to get into taking all kinds of drugs, so I am trying to find out what herbal remedies would help my condition. Meanwhile, I will continue with the Valium, as it seems to be helping.

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