I'm currently still dealing with costochondral pain. However, it comes and goes. Right now, we've got a cold patch going on and have had snow, and it's bothering me. I can feel it in my back and my lower ribs if I push on them. I'm fully convinced that costochondritis is a bracing issue for me. It has gotten better since I've been pregnant and had my baby. I no longer need to take Tylenol or Advil for the pain, though I'm afraid that if I tried to do some pushups that the force to the chest would bring it all crashing back again. So I avoid that kind of stress to my chest cavity.
All that said, I want to address two really good questions that I have received in my emails since I began this blog series.
"As I sit here, I cannot breathe, I am so short of breath and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. . . . This simply can't be costo can it?"Absolutely, it can be "costo". All of those things can be costochondritis or it can be something else. That's why it's important to seek a doctor to rule out possible lung issues or heart issues first. Then you can find someone who knows about costochondritis, such as a chiropractor or a message therapist to help you. I've heard that there are doctors out there that know about it too. I've just never personally met one.
"Is there anything you can tell me (specific) about your diagnosis? The traits that you know for sure are linked to Costochondritis?"For me, my costo began with a chest cold. I felt like I had a slug in my bronchial tubes. Lots of coughing. Prior to that though, I've now realized, I carried my stress in my shoulders. When I go out in the cold, I brace my chest. My chest cold was in the winter time, January to be exact, so with the winter bracing that I do combined with my nasty coughing, I got costochondritis.
Do You Have it?
I cannot tell you if you have it. I'm not a doctor or a nurse, so all I can do is offer to you what I personally have experienced. My suggestion to you is, if you suspect you have it, go to your doctor and ask about it. Likely you will have test after test to rule out other more serious problems first. And that's good. Then if you get the diagnosis of costo and want to know how to help it, seek out a massage therapist, a chiropractor, an osteopathic doctor--anyone who may know about it. You will very likely want to start with one of those three or all three of them to relieve your pain. And what I've found in searching is that different things work for different situations, so if you're like me, you'll try a lot of things. Some may work, some may not. So don't get discouraged if you find nothing is working. For me, my biggest help was skilled relaxation. And once I get more motivated to putting the time into it, I'm going to get back to that and "fix" it for good.
If you're reading this, you're battling pain. My hope is that you find your road to recovery soon! Blessings!