Patient Comments: Costochondritis and Tietze Syndrome - Treatments

Question:

What was the treatment for your costochondritis and Tietze syndrome? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: RvdnLB, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I went to the emergency room in 2005, with stabbing pain in my chest, felt like heart attack. I have been living with costochondritis since, now 2020. A massage therapist, for 3 years, every 2 weeks, helped me identify all hot spots and how much activity and stretching I can tolerate. When I have bad inflammation and swelling, I ice up all day and night, especially just before sleeping. Good news is, it won't kill me, bad news is, I'm always tired. Meditation and prayer are my life savers. Biggest thing is to just accept the limitations that come with this.

Comment from: oaksnacorns, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 05

I am a physical therapist with many years of experience using myofascial release. I now have my first patient with costochondritis/Tietze Syndrome and he responded very well. Treatment involved light hand pressure that felt like it was in the right place, then waiting till there is a decrease of pain, plus a couple minutes. Then when the pain changed location, the treatment went there. This is not to be taken as providing specific treatment for you. Find a bodyworker who does this.

Comment from: Shari, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I was diagnosed with hiatal hernia in 2013 and have gone through nothing but agony with both this illness and doctors who know nothing and label you. I have acid reflux, my chest hurts, right sinus always feels blocked, a cough that doesn't go away, and it's difficult to find a comfortable sleep position. The entire right side of my body hurts, it just pounds and doesn't let up. I have also been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, Bowen's disease, and Epstein Barr virus.

Comment from: Kenna , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

When I was 15, one night I was lying in bed and starting having these really bad chest pains every time I moved my arms or took deep breaths. I thought I was having a heart attack because of how bad the pain was. My left shoulder even started to go numb too. But what 15 year old has a heart attack I thought. I was freaking out and made my dad take me to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with Tietze's syndrome. I use to run cross country and track in high school and haven't had a problem ever since I started lifting heavy weights after high school. I can't even do pushups, pull ups, etc., without having extreme pain for the following week after. I'm 19 now but I really hate it. It feels so painful and if an attack happens when I am out with family or friends, it scares me and kills my whole mood. One night it got so bad I couldn't sleep for hours, I watched a video of physical therapists giving remedies for people with costochondritis and Tietze's disease. They said if you massage the ribs and in between that can help, which I do when I have an attack. But they also said to rub the back side of your lungs above and below the pain area as this also relieves pressure. The first time I tried this, the pains completely went away and I was able to sleep through the night pain free. But the next night, they came back. I take ibuprofen for the pain like my doctor advised but this really is awful. I want to be able to go play volleyball with my friends and to stay healthy and fit, but the pain worries me too much. I wonder if a heating pad or ice helps. I might try that next time I have pains and see what that does if anything. As I read in some comments above, I too am glad I am not alone in this. No it might not be something so serious, but people with Tietze's or costochondritis know this stuff hurts!

Comment from: BarbBat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I have suffered with fibromyalgia, GERD, IBS and costochondritis/Tietze's syndrome for many years now. As others have been told, it never goes away and I also suffer episodes. I've had all of the normal remedies, which never worked. However, I have found something that seems to work for me, at least for the moment and that is black seed oil. I take it three times a day in juice (tastes terrible), along with evening primrose oil and fish oil. All of these are anti-inflammatory. Of course, I also take ibuprofen but since the oils, I have cut down considerably with the medicines. There is also a certain point in the attack at which stretching will help but you have to be careful, you have to know when because at the wrong time, stretching will make it worse. All that being said, the black seed oil along with the primrose and fish oils have seemed to help me the most.

Comment from: Nicole, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I can't even count how many emergency room visits I have had because I thought I was having a heart attack. I remember one emergency room visit, I was crying with excruciating pain from my sternum area and the doctor could even feel the washboard like swelling, but they did not have any answer as to what it was. I finally at one point was told I have costochondritis but now believe it is also Tietze syndrome at times due to the visible swelling and the area it is in sometimes.

Comment from: jadedFangs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was just diagnosed with costochondritis almost a year ago, and I have been on trazodone, tramadol, Ranexa, and prednisone. I am now on duloxetine, cyclobenzaprine, hydrocodone, clonazepam, and nabumetone, not much of them have worked much. I have had an EGD (scope of stomach) looking for acid reflux, GERD, and heart burn, none of those found except for a small major hiatal hernia. I had heart catheterization, the PFT (pulmonary function test, etc.), and lung test, lungs are healthy and so is my heart. So now I go to have a bone scan of sternum and ribs to see if there is more going on and they are putting me on a new medication next week. I do not wish this on anyone, it is very painful and for me therapy didn't work and most of the medicines aren't working either. I feel for those who have lived with this for a long time, I hope that one day we all can feel some kind decent relief.

SLIDESHOW

Costochondritis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment See Slideshow
Comment from: diskatdreamer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I have had fibromyalgia for about 5 years and episodes of costochondritis for about 3 years. My first few episodes of costochondritis I was given prednisone, anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxer. The first couple of episodes went away in about a week. Last year's episode lasted about six weeks (it felt like much longer). I'd start to feel a little better when taking prednisone 3 times a day but then would get worse when I cut down to 2 times a day. After a few rounds of prednisone and not feeling any better my doctor had my heart and lungs checked out and they were fine. I just had to keep doing the same old thing till I finally felt better. During this time I missed quite a bit of work (I would think I felt good enough for work, go in one day and be in pain and gasping for breath when I finished my shift as a nurse's aide). I am now three weeks into a new episode. I decided that I would stay home from work and just concentrate on taking my medicines and get plenty of rest and maybe I'd do better than last year. I am having the same problems as last year and now my doctor wants me to have a cardiac consult and won't sign the papers for short term disability so that I can at least get paid for some of my time off. I have gone to pain management and talked about changing the way I take some of my medications and start physical therapy on Monday. I'm also thinking of trying a chiropractor. I'm just so frustrated and would do almost anything to get rid of the dull aching pain and the struggle to take a deep breath. I'm stuck in a vicious circle of not wanting to go to work because I don't want to accidentally harm a resident because I don't feel up to par and having to go to work to keep my job and pay the bills. Thanks for letting me rant! My thoughts are with everyone who is also suffering with costochondritis.

Comment from: Margaret, 65-74 Male Published: November 12

I am type 2 diabetic. I have itching and stinging when I inject and over the last two weeks have developed hives all over my stomach.

Comment from: Barbara, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I'm a 35 year old woman. I've had Tietze's syndrome for over 11 years, with no improvement. When it first started in 2004 the doctors misdiagnosed with costochondritis, but I've always had a large lumps on top of my left rib cage. It wasn't until 2013 when they finally gave me the actual diagnosis of Tietze's syndrome. I've been getting cortisone injection along with nerve blockers every 3 or 4 months since 2013. Unfortunately the lump and swelling are still progressing. My lump is now as large as my hand and starts just left of my sternum and ends under my left arm pit. Also I now have a new lump on top of the right side of my rib cage. My attacks make it hard to get a full breath. The only way I have been able to stop the attacks, is to find the biggest person I can find and have them push very hard on top of my lump and forcefully hold it until the attack subsides. I am hoping to get a referral to a rheumatologist soon. Naproxen, hydromorphone, and perks don't do much when it feels like I'm having a heart attack.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

In 1983 I had a spontaneous pneumothorax, which required leaving a chest tube in for 10 days. After release from the hospital, I began to have pain in my chest around the breastbone. My surgeon put me through ultrasound treatments which made the pain worse. He then determined that I had Tietze's syndrome. For the next 4 years, I suffered periodic debilitating attacks. I remember that at times, I just sat in a chair with tears running down my cheeks due to the severity of the pain. The only thing that gave me any relief was steroid injections into the swollen joints around my breastbone. Interestingly, we moved from Denver to Houston, Texas and the frequency of the attacks diminished and eventually stopped altogether. I always thought that the changes in barometric pressure contributed to the attacks. So, the condition may be benign, but the pain was horrible.

Comment from: Avvie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I'm 25 and got diagnosed with costochondritis about 2 months back when I experienced a very sharp pain on my chest in the middle of the night, thinking it was a heart attack. I felt fine after a while, the pain subsided slightly but throbbed the rest of the night. I went to the doctor's the very next day and during the consultation the doctor asked me to do a series of arm/chest stretches and lifts just to ascertain the painful spot and did an ECG. She finally diagnosed it with costochondritis and it was a relief to me as I thought I had a heart issue. She said perhaps it was due to stress, as my job in sales tends to be long hours at work and sales targets to meet. I was prescribed with an analgesic and Anarex (painkillers). However, 2 months later, the pain came back for 2 nights in a row before I decided to go back to the doctor's. Doctor said that it would recur (I couldn't believe this, to suffer the rest of my life with this!) and there's no known cause but it occurs mostly in women than men. He (a different doctor) prescribed me with analgesic and Anarex as well, and sent me on my way. I guess this is a condition we have to live with.

Comment from: ActiveOne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am and always have been very active. When I was 17 to 18, I started having chest pain intermittently during soccer games. Sometimes I worked through the pain and sometimes I have to lie down on the sidelines until the pain receded. My doctors thought the linings of my heart and lungs were irritated from activity and no course of treatment was pursued. Five or six years later, still very active, I suddenly developed severe chest pain that would last all day. My doctor diagnosed me with costochondritis. I was prescribed anti-inflammatory pain relievers, which helped with pain but had horrible side-effects. I tried the steroid patches, but I they did not help. In the end, I discontinued all exercise (yoga, spinning, lifting weights, running) for 9 months and took naproxen when needed. Rest seemed to help the most. Overall, costochondritis is very frustrating because I felt there was no control over the pain. I literally had to wait it out for months.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
Comment from: zappa123, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have an autoimmune disorder which causes soft tissue swelling. I have been on mild immunosuppressants for over fifteen years. I get flare ups which often present with costochondritis, actually Tietze"s. I am surprised by how other patients here find that it is annoying but they are functioning. When I get this it is bilateral and severe. I"ve had to go to emergency many times as I am not breathing sufficiently. Cortisone shots directly to the area of the swelling work best but it"s hard to get appointments. I take anti-inflammatory drugs daily (huge stomach ulcer but no choice.) I am just wondering if anyone else has this Tietze's this severely. I can barely move my arms, head, neck or upper body at all due to extreme pain. In the past this has gone on for months (I had to be hospitalized).

Comment from: ginnylou, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I have had three open heart surgeries and if this had happen on left side I would have called my medical alert. I woke up with severe pain under right breast. It hurt to breath. This occurred on the Monday before New Year's Eve. I could not get hold of anyone. I e-mailed a friend who is a doctor. He contacted me immediately and advised me of that it was costochondritis, but he also advised if symptoms spread or worsened, I would need hospital. I stayed in bed and symptoms are slowly improving. I feel much empathy for people who have this on recurring level.

Comment from: clb2013now, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I am a 51 year old female who had a heart attack two years ago and now have a damaged heart. I've been to the emergency room several times since and they check out my heart and it shows nothing. Sometimes the pain goes away within hours, sometimes it is days and I can't even sit, have to be lying down or standing. The physiotherapist suggested to my doctor about costochondritis and he agreed. I have a swelling that keeps popping up between my neck and shoulder and we just assumed it was from the neck. I do have some neck and upper back structure issues too. To top this all off, I'm diabetic and steroids send my sugar way off, ibuprofen sends my blood pressure way up. So, ice and pain patches both over-counter, with fentanyl (when it gets bad) is how I am treating it. I am still going to the physiotherapist and she is helping me work with posture to possibly keep the attacks down, gently, slowly strengthen the muscles to support the chest. She helps with the inflammation with massage too.

Comment from: Valerie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

A few minutes after having a flu shot I had a violent reaction; broke out in a sweat, could feel my heart pounding, and then I vomited violently. Two days later I was in agony under my ribs and was unable to bend forward without feeling I was having a heart attack, a tight band around my chest and pain down my arms. When I stooped the pain would ease from acute to severe. The doctor diagnosed Tietze's syndrome and gave me steroids and pain patches. He said as I have long term fibromyalgia, and the Tietze's will flare up with the fibromyalgia. I am often in despair with the pain.

Comment from: Ekimollavac49, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 08

I have suffered with costochondritis for almost two and a half years. Well, they are not certain if it is Tietze's syndrome. I have had all the tests, no heart problems. I do have some acid reflux but am losing weight and have that controlled, so it is not a factor in the pain on my ribs. What I find helps me and gives me a more productive life is eating very small amounts of food about four times a day at a sitting and that helps. I am sure I hurt my ribs lifting and straining with large boulders and landscape material. I just wish it would have healed by now. Hope this little bit helps anyone.

Comment from: DrWildcat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I was diagnosed with Tietze's syndrome after a visit to the emergency room (ER) for a possible heart attack. All my tests came back negative, in fact, I was told I should be a 30 year old. I was given a narcotic NSAID and methylprednisolone which helps while I'm taking it but the pain returns immediately. After many courses of steroids, we tried injections but again the pain simply returns. My doctor will not prescribe pain medication and I can't tolerate any more steroids, so I was basically told I'd just have to stick it out. The pain is excruciating a great deal of the time, but I don't know what else to do. It's been over a year now. I am making an appointment with a new doctor.

Comment from: CaraP, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I am a 25 year old female, I have been having chest pain for about 3-4 weeks now, and about a week ago I got sick with an average virus going around. Finally last week I went to see my family doctor and after I told him I was having chest pain he pushed on a few of my ribs and they were tender to his touch, and he diagnosed me with costochondritis. No blood work, no chest x-ray. I have had no accidents, or trauma to my chest. I think he assumed the virus came before the chest pain, but it was the other way around. He told me to take Advil twice a day and put a heating pad on the sore area and sent me on my way. I am not at ease with his diagnosis.

Comment from: Mcfalls920, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

In May of 2013, I starting having chest pains. My chest pains lead to a massive panic attack, which I had never had before in my life. My husband took me to the emergency room and I had chest x-ray, EKG and blood work done. All my tests were fine. I was told I had a panic attack and diagnosed with costochondritis. Since then I have suffered with horrible anxiety and panic attacks. Then I starting having acid reflux problems. I am taking Buspar for my anxiety and Protonix for my acid reflux but I have found no answer to help the costochondritis. I was told my anxiety was making everything feel a lot worse. It has been a miserable year dealing with all these problems. I spend most of my time going to the doctor for them to tell me nothing is wrong. But when you are in pain you can"t help but worry something is wrong.

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

I have had costochondritis off and on since my early 20's. They way I treat it is to reduce stress, apply a warm moist heating pad, and take a couple of ibuprofen. Then try to rest. This has always helped knock it out quickly.

Comment from: lsofrs, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I am a 58 year old female, nonsmoker, nondrinker, overweight, sedentary (due to injuries from auto accident) and have been experiencing this type of chest pain off and on for years; however, I have one symptom that no one else has mentioned - extreme amounts of trapped gas. When I have an attack, I can take only shallow breaths. The pain extends from my center right chest all the way through to my back, and feels like I'm being stabbed by a knife blade. Forcing burps helps slightly; taking large and frequent doses of anti-gas meds helps somewhat. ER diagnosed "non-specific chest pain." Cardiac tests revealed no heart problems. Endoscopy revealed nothing new as I've had reflux problems most of my life. I also have fibromyalgia, arthritis, and several herniated disks from the wreck. My gall bladder was removed approximately 7 years ago. I've been unable to identify triggers for the flare-ups. Any insight will be most appreciated!

Comment from: RAman, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

I have reactive arthritis, anskylosing spondylitis, and this. Probably related to the RA. I'm 25. I was diagnosed with RA at 20 and had to take a year off of school. I now have on and off days. Never can know when it is sore. However, it's moved into my chest. It's annoying to breathe. Best to take anti-inflammation drugs - naproxen is best for me. Best thing I did for RA - Lifting and building mass at the gym. I got serious with it. I wanted to build up and I did. At the same time the RA went away. However, Costochondritis has been aggravated by benching. Can't win at everything I guess.

Published: November 21

I've had costochondritis since I was about 8 years old but I had no clue what it was. All I knew was when it hit I was immobilized. I couldn't move and had to take very shallow breaths. Crying made it hurt worse. I'm 29 now so it's apparently not going away anytime soon. Fortunately, the bouts are far and few between and don't last for more than 10 minutes. I was maybe 25 when I finally found out what it was. This one in particular was a real nasty one. I thought I might have been having a mild heart attack. My mother took me to the ER where I got my diagnosis, but they treated it like it was nothing and sent me on my way. No suggestions of relief were given. What I've learned is that mine flares up when I overexert myself (almost always at the gym). I could get a heating pad or take an anti-inflammatory but it hurts too much to move so I just wait it out in one position and concentrate on very shallow breathing. Hope this helps anyone out there with this. I know how horrible it feels.

Comment from: Karen in Canada, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I have had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) for 40 years. Recently I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I take low dose chemotherapy (methotrexate) for the SLE and nortriptyline to ease the sleep issues of fibromyalgia. I have had bouts of chest pain that have become progressively worse in that they last longer now. I am currently having such a bout, sharp pain when I breathe in which radiates to my neck and right arm, and sometimes hurts right through to my back. The pain is also positional, and hurts more when I initially lie down. Because of a family history of fatal heart attack, and my own diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, the doctors all seem to fall back on a cardio diagnosis. I am routinely diagnosed with pericarditis - inflammation of the lining of the heart - caused by the lupus. I do not believe it is my heart, and all of the symptoms you all discuss for costochondritis describe mine as well. It does hurt when I put pressure on the sternum. I am dreading my upcoming cardio appointment because of this recent episode, as the cardiologist once caused me to die - literally - was asystole for 8 seconds, when he gave me a chemical stress test; a physical stress test was contraindicated with pericarditis. I believe he is now going to order an angiogram, another potentially fatal test. The emergency room visit ruled out heart attack, and pulmonary embolism. I believe I will stand my ground this time, and not proceed with the angiogram. I told my husband that if this episode does not subside by this week - that would be 1 1/2 weeks of this - then I would proceed with cardio options. However, after reading all of your comments about possible episodes of months in duration, I'm starting to falter in my resolve. I'll re-post when this is all over.

Comment from: Mary K, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes frequent strains and sprains throughout my body. In March, after being taken to the hospital in fear of a heart attack, I was diagnosed with costochondritis. I was told it would go away. Then thinking I had a sprain I was given physiotherapy for an unknown shoulder injury. Now, months later, I am still in agony, cannot breathe and am swollen from ribs through collar bone. It was Tietze's syndrome and not shoulder at all. Apparently this is going to be a chronic condition that is going to be more severe due to the soft tissue issues I'm already combating. Good times. Thank you all for your posts offering suggestions of relief. I will start trying them and will, in kind, post if I find one that helps me.

Comment from: Margaret, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I never feel healthy, I had costochondritis for 5 years and no help.

Comment from: Roc, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I'm 68-years-old and I have been diagnosed with costochondritis. The attacks are random with no apparent trend. They last 10 to 15 minutes - thankfully they go away with pain medications.

Comment from: Glenis, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I have had costochondritis and now Tietize's disease for some time now. I was diagnosed with costochrondritis first then later was found to be Tietze's disease. My doctor prescribed indocin 75 mg. extended release and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. They say the indocin is hard on your stomach but I have had no problems with it. You might want to ask your doctor if he thinks this is right for you.

Comment from: Jael, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

8 years ago after over a year of tests, scans, other diagnoses and treatments, eventually costochondritis was diagnosed within 10 minutes of seeing a pain consultant. The pain is extreme, specially after exercise, but never seems to have a direct cause. After years of all kinds of anti-inflammatories and painkillers, the only one that works is oxycontin - given to replace morphine. Am on the lowest dosage I can be but it works the best, allowing me to be active. Problem: the side-effects. I was told the condition would be lifelong, but am still praying it'll heal.

Comment from: huskywalker, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I was told I had tietze's syndrome, can't take ibuprofen because of high blood pressure pills. Co-codamol is a waste of time, tramadol doesn't work. I just want to be able to walk my dog, anyone tried acupuncture? 6 months now and I am really fed up.x

Comment from: LoJo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

To RAman: please get a Lyme disease test. In 1990, I was misdiagnosed as having early onset RA and suffered for months before I asked for a Lyme test, which was positive. I was given a 28-day round of IV antibiotics and only have minor joint stiffness as a result.

Comment from: Wendy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I was diagnosed with Tietze's four days ago. Mine is thought to be as a result of radiation therapy for breast cancer. My main symptom was severe chest pain. It felt like a thick stake through the middle of my chest and sharp pain in my lower right ribs. I felt waves of nausea, too. I was checked for a heart attack during three visits over a four-week period, along with angina, and gall bladder and liver conditions. I had loads of blood tests. My oncologist felt sorry for me having pain for so long without knowing the reason. I am at work, but know I would be better off resting. But no work; no food! Heat packs, anti-inflammatories, and analgesics take off the edge for me. Good Luck to all.

Comment from: bizzyali, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I was diagnosed after I had my three children. The physical therapist said it was because my ribs moved, making room for babies in the belly. I had kids too close together and the ribs didn't have time to go back. I spent all my time on our couch; I slept on it for a month and could never get up. My left arm had no range of motion at all; I held it as if in a splint. One day I got seriously sick – I was coughing a lot from a sinus infection. I thought I was having a heart attack, and every time I breathed, I thought I was going to die from chest pain. My doctor ran an EKG right in his office, sent me for X-rays, an MRI and a stress test with a cardiologist – all of which were good. After all that torture, I got to do PT, where I was diagnosed.

Comment from: Casey, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

I have been diagnosed with costochondritis and have been dealing with is for just over a year. It started with a coughing illness. After some very hard coughing, my chest hurt for a few days. It has been off and on since, and has landed me in the ER a couple of times. After anti-inflammatories did not fix it, we tried physical therapy. After that, I got some steroid injections. The doctor did the procedure incorrectly and punctured my lung putting me in the hospital for a week. After all of this, I am back where I started, and hoping it will just go away.

Comment from: Nanny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I was misdiagnosed of having a torn bicep and arthritis in my clavicle joint by one doctor and was to have surgery. I was scared to death because I knew in my heart a torn bicep did not hurt in my chest area. I asked another doctor if the MRI was read clearly and of course it was not. I do not have a torn bicep I have Tietze syndrome or costochondritis. It is very painful, and I can not take cortizone shots so I have to deal with it on my own and get plenty of rest. I can't work because raising my arms higher than my shoulder is severely painful.

Comment from: JBug, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I found out today that I have Costochondritis. Never even heard of it before but I am taking Hydros for the pain and Prednisone for the inflammation. It still hurts a bit I can move now with slight pinches.

Comment from: Mae, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

I was just informed that I have Tietz syndrome after many times to the ER which has not been fun. I also have gout which is under control and I am being treated for high blood pressure for which I am taking water pills.

Comment from: Sammy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I was diagnosed with Tietze syndrome about a year ago. Initially, I had cortisone injections into my back and epidurals. They provided temporary relief and I was getting this done every couple of months. The last time I had the epidural, an assistant pushed the bed up at the wrong time and the needle plunged into my back and caused me great pain. Since then I have been trying to deal with the pain on my own and this past week it has flared up increasingly. I am still looking for a home remedy for the pain.

Comment from: newland sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

The treatment for my costochondritis and Tietze syndrome was total rest for eight weeks, then a little light movement, and eventually after five months I was as well as I am now and was before. I only know one other person with this condition. Turning in bed, sitting upright, breathing, were all sometimes unbearable. Driving was really difficult and standing to cook was sometimes impossible. The probable cause is anxiety, I can think of nothing else, nor could my doctor offer anything but paracetamol … but he did diagnose it.

Comment from: amethyst, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I have had chest pain for 5 years (I'm 22 now), and just got a costochondritis diagnosis a few days ago. I gave up searching for an answer because I was always told that I was fine after running tests. I ended up going to the doctor this time because it is so much worse than it has ever been before (can't breathe at night, constant heaviness in my chest, stabbing pain when I wear my backpack, or walk distances). My flare-ups seem to be associated with anxiety/panic attacks. My doctor just told me to take Ibuprofen, but I've switched to Naproxen for less dosing throughout the day. I believe my costochondritis is due in part to scoliosis and a back injury that I went to physical therapy for. I wish it would just go away.

Comment from: chavez24, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I've had Teitze's Syndrome for about 4 years now. I'm 17 at the moment and I've been in and out of the Emergency Room. Doctors always tell me the same thing, to take Aleve or Ibuprofen. It really hasn't worked at all. Lying down only makes it worse and having this syndrome can be very confusing. Working out seems impossible now because i seem to breathe heavily and it hurts a lot. The pain is really severe and nobody really seems to understand. Hopefully there will be more answers for this.

Comment from: Good Intentions, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

My Costochondritis was flared after disc replace/fusion surgery. Its been 10 months of stabbing pain to twinges. PT helps a lot and flextor patches and ice. Once it settles down I just move a certain way and it's back again.

Comment from: JMeanBean, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 26

I've had reoccurring Tietze`s for a few months now and the pain can make me faint it`s so bad. I use topical analgesic creams and stay immobilized for up to a week. Anti-inflammatory medications are helpful but hard on the stomach. If symptoms are a constantly reoccurring narcotics are helpful but addictive.

Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I have tietze, I'm in my 5th month. I am 85% healed. I take ibuprophen due to the length of time using medicine and safer than most. Do not carry bags of groceries hanging at your side. Do not drive a car with wide turns of the steering wheel. Do not carry heavy items. Do not dig in the garden. All these activities cause relapse and high degree of pain. Keep the arms relatively still and if you want to get well learn to just sit and rest, watch TV, read. Using your arms will cause the swelling. A desk job is OK - a job where you use your arms, you're in trouble, make adjustments. Take note of what you did before a pain flare up, this will help you to know your own body. There is life after tietze, this too shall pass. Once you feel your first healing, you will have mental relief and happy. Hang in there, we are out here who have gone and going through this.

Comment from: 8300mak, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I only suffer from Costochondritis [not Tietze] and was prescribed Medrol pain patches and 160 MG Ibuprophen every 12 hours by my physician.

Comment from: elsie1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I use topical ibruprofen gel; using 10% at the moment. My condition baffled all at A&E and was diagnosed at a breast clinic. I was told it could be my kidneys, pancreas, gall bladder, breast cancer and other things, I had had a very bad reaction to amoxicillin which lasted six weeks. It affected my bowels and I was in terrible pain and was admitted to hospital. The Tietze came on whilst I had the bowel problem but was not diagnosed by any doctor. Do not be alarmed if you get this swelling below your breast, I am now out of breath but happy it's not anything more sinister.

Comment from: janet, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

Two 20 celebrex to get it into my system and then take one when in pain. Hopefully it's short term, this is my first time.

Comment from: Florence, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

My doctor just diagnosed me with Tietze syndrome. I am a brittle diabetic on an insulin pump. I did not know what was happening as my chest was aching and I had difficulty taking breaths. Now I know. I'm on Motrin for inflammation and hope I do not have to resort to steroids due to even more difficult blood glucose control. I figured out that I may have gotten this from greatly increasing my exercise routine on my treadmill over the prior week. Hard lesson to learn!

Comment from: goldsmith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I believe some of you are not seeing the right kind of doctor. I have multiple auto immune diseases. Today I had a much stronger pain than usual. I went to a pain specialist and he said it was costochondritis. Next week I'm getting an epidural injection for a bulging disc in my neck. He is also going to inject that area around the sternum with a steroid. No one should have to live with this kind of pain. It will lay you out. Had I gone to the emergency room, they would have assumed I was having a heart attack. And to rule that out, they would have run all kinds of expensive heart tests and sent me home with a healthy heart. Seek out a pain specialist who can help you with this. I can't afford to be off work and laid out flat in bed in pain. Good luck to you all!

Comment from: sasha500, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I take Flexeril a muscle relaxer. It helps with the sharp pain. This is my first bout of it and so far has lasted two weeks.

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