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Costochondritis/Rib pain

Ever since I was 17, I've dealt with a rib slipping out of place (and now two). After tons of research and a talk with my doctor, it sounds like Costochondritis. Usually, 2 to 3 visits to the Chiropractor to get it popped back in solve the problem but this time it seems like its having difficulties staying in place. Its starting to concern me and I just dont know what to do. I dont want to keep visiting the Chiro cause it always seems like a temporary fix. So far, I've understood that Costo can be treated, but never "solved".

Do any of you on here know anything about it or what I can do to help?

The pain level is immense and it seems that only Aleve and heat help...very temporarily. Are there any tips/tricks I can try to help with the pain or to help the "swelling" of my sternum go down?

I have also wondered, if anyone else on here experiences this, do you have "light popping" noises that happen on the back of your neck when your rib is out/costo flares up? I also experience either fake extreme hunger or fake nausea (no throwing up, just the crazy nausea)....does that happen to anyone else??

Any info/tips would be appreciated!


  • Hi
    I was diagnosed with costochrondritis years ago, the pain is terrible
    When having a flare, i just lightly touch the area in my ribs, sternum or chest area and it THROBS and hurts for days at a time.
    I was given Plaxil, an . Anti-depressant known to relieve pain, but it did not help me at all with my pain.
    I take NSAIDS like Ibuprofen only when i cant take it anymore.

    I was also then diagnosed with a herniated disc at T 10-11 so now i wonder do I have both problems, or maybe my Costochrondritis was ALWAYS a herniated disc in my thoracic spine

    I am here for you to talk to at anytime
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • BlackieBBlackie Posts: 2
    edited 12/10/2013 - 9:00 AM
    Hi Rose ,with costochondritis it may help to take Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements,sometimes it can be a bit of trial
    and error getting the right mix with these supplements.The other ingredients that manufactures put in like Boswellia can also
    help or do nothing at all,it really comes down to what works for you as an individual.Similarly with anti-depressants,though when you get the one that works for you usually they are pretty good and can provide good pain relief and much more so
    than supplements.Spine health does have a list of aniti-depressants that have shown to provide good analgesia,i would
    suggest to keep trying different ones until you find one that works well for you.
    With regard to you having a herniated disc in the thoracic spine,i would be very surprised if that is actually the case,as it is
    very rare to have a herniated disc in the thoracic spine unless you have had serious trauma take place.The fact that you have really bad pain radiating out of your sternum really does point to costochondritis.You will probably find that you have a
    multi level problem due to the fact that your pain is lasting for days from only minimal disturbance.
    Getting good pain relief is important as the effects of ongoing pain can.be very debilitating ,very draining physically ,mentally
    and emotionally.Our own bodies produce very powerful drugs to help alleviate pain many times more powerful than morphine
    and with regard to addiction their has been many hospital studies done on people who have taken powerful pain medication
    for severe pain and very rarely is their every a problem of addiction develop with these individuals.In saying that their is some
    medications out their that do have a propensity to produce stronger influence on the body and sometimes addiction can
    result.Usually ones G.P is clued up to drugs with this potential and only use these type of drugs as a last resort or in
    special circumstances.
    I hope i have helped in some way Rose take care.

  • stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
    edited 12/10/2013 - 10:10 AM
    Just your replying to my post helps more than you will ever know
    Yes, I was put on PAXIL, an anti-depressant and it gave me no relief
    Besides the CostoC, I am wondering if my old duodenal ulcer is rearing its ugly head again and that is what is causing me the pain.
    Also using a cane, is putting some pressure on my arm and chest area
    I DID have trauma to my thoracic region. When in a head on auto collision, the airbag deployed and went into my chest.
    It did save my life and prevented me from going into the windshield of the car, BUT, airbags are not fluffy comforting things.
    Thanks, I will check into your suggestions though
    Thanks again and hugs
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 12/10/2013 - 12:11 PM
    Rose there is treatment for your ulcer. It is caused by bacteria not stress, food or anything else. Ask your GP. Tastes awful and makes you feel sick for a few weeks but it kills the bacteria. I had mine when the cure was first discovered. probably at least 15years ago - the Dr experimented on himself - gave himself an ulcer then cured it - to prove ulcers were caused by bacteria. After the treatment I have never had another stomach ulcer. There is no excuse for ulcers not to be treated these days.

    My rib above my damaged vertebrae comes out of place all the time. I get my ribs and vertebrae aligned into the correct mechanical place. My physio tapes it into place as it has been out for so long my muscles really try hard to spasm it out again - so when she puts my vertebrae and ribs in correct mechanical alignment - sometimes it takes an hour and I go every week - the tape helps to keep it in place. She uses something underneath the tape so its not touching my skin somehow but if I don't have it taped it goes immediately out again. A muscle relaxant may also help to keep it in place. Mine goes out to the right so I have to bend to the right all the time, if I bend to the left, there is nothing to hold it in place and it pops out again

    Try a physio as they are gentler but make them feel your ribs and vertebrae and ask her/him to put them in alignment and tape them. We are both hoping the longer it is taped the longer my body will adjust to it being in correct alignment. It's a slow process. Don't let them put you on a tens machine and go away to treat someone else. Tens machines made mine worse. I found a brilliant sports physio who has to get professional athletes back to sport.

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