Sp Greaney has been suffering from costochondritis for over 10 years.
Costochondritis (koss-toe-con-DRY-tiss) can affect people in different ways. Some experience a flare-up once or twice a year, but, for many others, it is a lifelong condition that they have to learn to live for the rest of their life.
Flare-ups can happen at any time and with very little notice. In this article, we will explore several aspects of this condition, including its causes, who it effects, common symptoms, and how to deal with it.
Symptoms of Costochondritis
Costochondritis will manifest itself as some sort of pain in the chest area, including:
- Tenderness in the breastbone where the cartilage is connected to your ribs
- A feeling of excessive pressure or a pinching in your chest area
- Pain spreading from your side to your back around the shoulder blade area
- Difficulty breathing due to pain in the chest
- Pain that is aggravated when you sneeze or cough
- Sensitivity to cold or hot weather
Stress can also lead to costochondritis-like signs. Anxiety also sometimes causes tightness in the chest, which aggravates these symptoms.
See Your Doctor First
If you're experiencing chest pain, the first thing you should do is visit a doctor. You need to get proper treatment and confirmation that you are, in fact, suffering from costochondritis and not a more severe heart condition.
Costochondritis Is Caused by Inflamed Cartilage
According to the Mayo Clinic, costochondritis occurs when the cartilage that connects your ribs to the breastbone becomes inflamed. This inflammation then leads to extra pressure on the breastbone area, which then causes pain in this general area.
The United Kingdom's NHS concluded that costochondritis can occur due to straining your chest from excessive coughing, injury, a viral infection, or chest trauma.
Any one of these can then put a strain on your chest area and can contribute to the contraction of costochondritis. If you work a very labor-intensive job or if you have a very active lifestyle, then these could also be why you might be more prone to this type of condition.
However, not every patient has excessively strained their chest, which can be confusing for anyone who gets diagnosed with this. It can take a while to get a diagnosis for costochondritis. Doctors will often carry out other tests, such as an ECG or a Holter test, to ensure that you are not having issues with your heart.
How Do Doctors Diagnose This Condition?
To confirm that a patient does not have heart problems, the doctor will carry out tests to eliminate different variables. A patient could have underlying conditions, such as angina or a blockage in the heart, which are extremely serious. If the tests come back negative, they will look at your lifestyle to see if there are any other underlying issues to help determine a diagnosis.
If a patient has pain in their breastbone, simply pressing down on this area will cause extreme discomfort. This is a key symptom of costochondritis. The doctor will start under the chin and continue down the chest to the sternum. They will press down on each area to assess how severe your pain is. The littlest bit of pressure will cause immediate pain. Sensitivity here is a key factor in helping the doctor determine if you have costochondritis or not—the pressure will feel extremely unpleasant and you will be sore each time the doctor presses on this area. Once you get a diagnosis, you can start to move on with your life and learn to live with your conditions.
How to Relieve the Pain
There is no cure for costochondritis. However, there are a few methods you can use to relieve the pain. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory gel: Apply a strong prescription anti-inflammatory gel 3 times a day.
- Anti-inflammatory pills: Nurofen or Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory painkiller. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle, or follow whatever your doctor advises. Take the painkillers for 3 days at most. After 3 days, switch to the other option. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if the pain persists for 5 days or more.
- Paracetamol: If the pain is mild, then you might be able to survive by taking Paracetamol. It isn't as strong or as addictive as the medications mentioned above, but only take it when you are suffering from pain. Don't become addicted.
- Hot and cold treatments: Apply a hot water bottle to your chest area to help ease the pain into a dull throb. You can also apply cool compresses or patches.
- Transdermal patches: There are patches you apply onto your skin to the pain-afflicted area. These are usually prescription-based and gradually relieve pain over the course of a few hours.
Avoid Triggering Another Costochondritis Flare-Up
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to avoid repeatedly suffering from costochondritis. If you don't live with it on a daily basis, then you are one of the lucky ones—some people experience pain on a daily basis. However, even if you don't have it each day, you still need to be aware that it can come back at any time. Make sure you don't do anything that could cause a relapse, such as:
1. Heavy Lifting
You will have to adjust your exercise routine now that you have costochondritis. Exercises that put pressure on your chest and upper torse—such as weightlifting or push-ups—can aggravate your condition and cause a flare-up. I myself am very cautious when using dumbbells, as early on I noticed that excessive stretching above my head or behind my back would intensify my pain. To reduce the chances of straining my chest and causing a flare-up, I avoid doing these routines.
While light gardening work is allowed, any gardening that involves lifting heavy rocks, blocks, paving flags, or shrubs and trees can result in exhibiting costochondritis symptoms a few days later. Light gardening, such as planting vegetables and flowers, is fine and won't aggravate your costochondritis.
3. Moving Furniture
Many of us do this without thinking of the repercussions. While you might not think that lifting furniture or bed frames would be an issue, it can, in fact, cause major problems for those who suffer from costochondritis. Be sensible and let someone else do the heavy lifting.
4. Getting Sick
If you suffer from costochondritis, it is vital that you try to stay healthy. Try to avoid getting colds, the flu, or even a viral infection. Increase your intake of Vitamins C and D by either taking supplements or by eating foods high in these nutrients. You can take vitamin supplements in tablet-form or capsule-form to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape—especially in winter.
Getting sick can aggravate your costochondritis. Coughing, sneezing, and a fever will put pressure on your respiratory system. Once you recover from your flu, your body will be at its weakest, and the coughing and sneezing will put pressure on your chest, aggravating your costochondritis. For the next week or two, you can expect to have pain in your upper body, especially in the chest, ribs, and back.
5. Cold Weather
Try to stay as warm as possible on cold days. The winter months are extremely difficult for me as I find that the cold aggravates my condition. Those who live in cold climates need to avoid being outdoors for long periods of time. If you must go outside, try to dress warmly and spend as little time standing outside in the cold as you can.
Who Suffers From Costochondritis?
You could be young, old, fit, unfit, healthy, or unhealthy and you might still get costochondritis. Any age group and any gender can be affected by this condition. However, women are more prone to suffer from this condition compared to men, and costochondritis is a common cause of chest pain in children between 10 to 21 years of age. To date, there is no conclusive research that tells us why certain people get this condition, especially if they haven't performed any physical activities that are known to cause this condition.
People who suffer from costochondritis often find that sudden movement, coughing, or sneezing after suffering from the flu can cause this condition to flare up. Sometimes, certain forms of exercise or physical activity can aggravate the pain.
In the long-run, it's important to make lifestyle changes in order to reduce the pain associated with this condition. Costochondritis affects all aspects of your life, and sometimes even the most active people can be impacted by this condition.
When one learns that they have costochondritis, they often find it bewildering—how on earth they could get this condition? It often seems to appear out of nowhere. In addition, when you first start suffering from the symptoms of costochondritis, you might confuse them for other being symptoms of other conditions, such as heart problems.
Costochondritis Is Different for Everybody
Costochondritis is a very painful condition. The first flare-up will be very severe and extremely scary. Anyone who has experienced chest pain knows that is can be very painful and extremely uncomfortable. I initially had flu-like symptoms along with chest pain. I couldn't eat and had difficulty breathing. Luckily, I got diagnosed pretty early on, which is not always the case.
Because of its symptoms, you might initially suspect that the pain could be due to a heart condition and not costochondritis. Many of us will suspect that we are having heart problems because the pain occurs in the same area. That is why it is important to get it checked immediately. If you experience any pain in and around the chest area, you should always be seen by a doctor in case it is a problem with your heart.
The pain is unique to each person and everybody will experience it in different areas and at different levels. For me, it sometimes feels like pins and needles. Other times, especially when I feel pain in the center of my chest, it feels like something is pressing down or pinching that area. Imagine you have a cross on your chest and back—that's where my pain radiates from.
Costochondritis might disappear for some people, but for others, it just never goes away. A flare-up can occur at any time.
Find a Way to Cope That Works Best for You
On days that you suffer from costochondritis, you need to slow down and take it easy. Try to avoid doing as much as possible. Things like vacuuming, cleaning, and bending down can aggravate your pain. Over time, you will learn to recognize the symptoms of costochondritis and will know with a flare-up is coming on. When you start feeling the symptoms, don't do any strenuous work or exercises that can exasperate them.
Costochondritis is an unusual condition because some people only experience it once in their life, while others aren't so lucky and have it for life. Sometimes, it can go away for weeks or months at a time. Then, when you least expect it, you can get a flare-up. For those who have to live with it on a daily basis, it can affect their job, lifestyle, and it can prevent them from doing things they might normally take for granted.
There is no particular time frame during which you can expect costochondritis. While the winter can be especially difficult for costochondritis patients, flare-ups can also occur in the summer. If you work in a high-stress job, if you have exams coming up, or if you're going through a difficult time in your life, this can trigger your costochondritis.
The first time you experience costochondritis is the worst, but afterward, your symptoms might not be as severe. For others, this is not always the case—each time they get a flare-up, the pain is as bad as the first time. There is no cure, but patients can get cortisone injections that might help you cope and can even help eliminate the pain. Other patients are more inclined to look at alternative medicine, specific foods, or special medicines to help them cope with this condition and live their life as pain-free as possible.
You will have to learn to cope with costochondritis as an individual. You will find your own ways of dealing with it, and what works for you might not work for another person with the same condition.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can costochondritis last for over three years?
Answer: Yes. Costochondritis can be a long term condition that many people have to learn to live with. With costochondritis, a flare-up can occur and this can last for weeks or months at a time and for some people, they simply have to learn to live with the pain indefinitely if nothing helps ease the symptoms once they get diagnosed.
© 2011 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on May 13, 2020:
@Kristi Taylor, this tenderness in the centre of your breast area where your breastbone is located is a classic symptom associated with costochondritis. Doing something physical can cause the issue to arise and then it become an everyday occurrence where the pain can vary in strength from day to day.
Kristi Taylor on May 12, 2020:
I lifted hand weights above my head over three years ago and then began having pain around my right breast! It is tender to touch in center of chest and press on it. I also is painful To twist torso or sit and lay down. It feels better when I am up and walking around. Had heart checked, stomach and ct scan of chest and all normal.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on March 27, 2020:
@Kimberly. Yes, it's one of those conditions only those living with it will understand. I am glad that the hub gave you some answers. Take care of yourself.
Kimberly on March 25, 2020:
Thanks for this article. I have been dealing with this pain for so long. I had no idea why it keeps coming back. It is.so painful. Now i have a better understanding of what it is. It is easier to live with something if you can understand it. Much love to you.
Katie-m on September 06, 2018:
Tiffany yes I do. However I do suffer from fibromyalgia. I’ve had MRI’s and X-rays etc and seen a neurologist and all I was told was there’s nothing sinister going on! As well as my chest and rib pain that goes all the way round the ribs in my back, I get numbness and tingling in my neck and jaw, shoulders, arms, back hips legs and feet. I do know that when inflammation in any area can cause compression of the surrounding nerves. I was scared so much for years thinking was something seriously wrong with me. I don’t get how it can just happen and that’s it for life with no explanation or some kind of appropriate treatment. It really does suck
WilliamArthur on September 05, 2018:
That doesn't sound like Costo to me, Tiffany. I'd seriously suggest that you see a Neuro Surgeon and look into the possibility of it being spinal nerves.
Tiffany on September 04, 2018:
I would like to know if anyone else experiences back and hip pain along with tingling and numbness in the back, ribs, chest, and even up to my face.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on August 05, 2018:
@ Tiffany Nicole, feel free to vent on here anytime. :) Sorry to hear about the impact this had made on your life. It's must be terribly frustrating to get knocked of the path you are on by something that came out of nowhere.
Hopefully you find something that will work for you in dealing with the symptoms of this condition and that it allows you to get back to continuing on with your future plans.
Tiffany Nicole on August 04, 2018:
Hello group. My name is Tiffany and I've been suffering with chest pain, shortness of breath, and depression for about 9 months now. I've had multiple x-rays, echocardiogram, holter monitor, angiogram surgical procedure, lung CT scan, breathing tests, talk therapy, psych evaluations, blood tests, and currently on 10 different meds. I was enjoying my life working full time, being a wife, mother, and part time college student studying criminal justice. Since the pain began it has continued to get more intense and now the pain is not only in my chest but in my upper back so badly at times I can't do anything. No one seems to understand. I thought maybe I am just going crazy and its all in my head. My lungs and heart are fine. I haven't been to work in over a month. I wasn't able to keep up with the physical demand so I went on medical leave. Idk how long they will be patient about this. I barely leave the house except to go to the doctor. Hurts to do basic daily living tasks. Very depressed. Going back to the doc in a few days. I'm currently trying indomethocin to see if it helps pain. It doesn't. I noticed I'm not alone in this battle and will look into things some of you mentioned like trying a gel. I find cold therapy doesn't work but heat does for a few minutes. Feel like this is ruining my life. Thanks for letting me vent. Best of luck for everyone.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 06, 2018:
@WilliamArthur, that's a very interesting deduction. I wouldn't have put those two things together. Be interesting to see your doctors opinion once you present your findings.
I think 10 years ago, they wouldn't have even known where to start in regards to Costo. There is a lot more things about Costochondritis that people need answers for because of how it impacts each individual differently.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 06, 2018:
@Nickel38, That's a lot of different meds you've been on to treat the different conditions. Sorry to here how bad things have been recently for you.
I know morphine patches are an option here for fibromyalgia sufferers. Could they be stronger than Lidocaine patches? A prescription is required in this country for them though.
I know many who have Costo do complain of arm, chest, back and side pain, but I haven't read on here about a side effect that feels like a pulling in espophagus or trachea area. My sister has gastritis and when she gets a flare up she drink full fat cow milk. She got sick of taking meds and tried this. Not sure if it works for each person though.
With conditions like costochondritis & fibromyalgia, people who aren't aware of the conditions have no idea what it's like to live with it on a day to day basis. A lot more research needs to be done to make the public aware of what it's like for people who have to live with these conditions.
WilliamArthur on June 04, 2018:
Okey...I spent the day with my Neuro Surgeon and came up with yet another strange explanation-and it's one that surprised me. The area of chest pain and the intensity of the pain does, indeed, indicate that it can only be originating from a large Nerve. The 3rd and 4th Thoracic nerve, to be exact. My MRI scan did Not, however, show any impingement-no pinching of it. The nerve is, however, definitely inflamed and in heavy pain. What he suggested was that it was, surprisingly enough, from my 50 years ago having......Chickenpox. One out of every 3 people who had it will eventually develop Shingles. Shingles does not Always have the rash or blisters but the extreme nerve pain is still there. And,yes-it Can last for Years, not just the normal 2-3 weeks one associates with Shingles.
So now, the big question is, Can it be fixed? Unfortunately, there lies the rub. Sometimes it Can and sometimes it Can't. There are treatments that can be tried. My next stop is to take this Neuro Surgeon's report to my own Doctor and see what all He suggests. After 5 years of this horror, I'd like to shove the report in his mouth! If he had listened to me years ago, Maybe it would have been more able to be beaten. He was so paranoid that all I wanted was Pain meds-and the truth is, I absolutely hate pain meds and generally refuse them-even after surgery. Today, I have no clue. It would have been nice to be able to enjoy and be active in what time I Do have left, but a half a Decade has been lost.
WilliamArthur on June 03, 2018:
I've come across yet another theory that I am investigating. Thoracic Nerves. It's certainly looking possible, as nothing else I know of can generate the level of pain that this condition can engage-aside from that of a Nerve. I do know that I underwent a cardiac quad bypass and was opened from literally one end to the other and had 54 staples,etc, and the degree of pain from this was not even Remotely as strong as this chest pain mystery condition. So, it may be a wild goose chase, but it's definitely something that I want to check out...
Nickel38 on June 01, 2018:
I’m losing hope or faith I will ever feel normal again. I was diagnosedi tially with pericarditis ( now resolved) costochondritis and now gastritis or esophageal inflammation. My rheumatologist also says I’m on the middle of a severe fibromyalgia flare as well. I can’t take orals nsaids , did 5 days of prednisone ( had to get off prematurely due to severe side effects , then did a 11 day medrol pack. I feel like I’ll never get better. I have severe chest tightness ( it’s not my heart per heart mri) crushing shoulder pain and lower back pain. I take a muscle relaxer now twice a day , tramadol 4 Times a day ( already on it for fibromyalgia) it may help fir a few hours but then I’m back on the bathroom floor ( thats the only way I can get some relief) I’m also doing lidocaine patches and my dr put me on gabapentin. I feel like something is pulling on my esophagus or trachea each time I breath . I domt know of that is the costochondritis or gastritis. It feels like I can’t sit up for a long time . My boss doesn’t understand nor do my coworkers . I’m beyond frustrated and depressed . I havent been able to work for 5 weeks and the rate I’m going it feels like I’ll never be able To Go back to work I don’t know what to do and I’m tired of being in pain!
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on May 11, 2018:
@Josie, that's an unusual method of dealing with a flare up. I don't think any of us have heard of that before. Thanks for sharing this advice.
Josie on May 10, 2018:
I’ve had Costo for five years, with flare ups every once and a while. The only relief I have ever found was going to a chiropractor. After suffering 24/7 for six months straight, I finally saw a chiropractor. He pretty much saved my life. At first I went every other day, then pushed it to every three days, and kept pushing back and back, to once every 6 weeks. Now I’m in the middle of a flare up and restarting the once every two to three days but I know I’ll get relief eventually. Please find a chiro who knows about this condition and try it! It might give you back your life! Good luck.
Katie-M on April 25, 2018:
I wish I had these cards last week. I went for a job interview and there was no lift and I had to walk up 3 double flights of stairs. I could feel my chest and ribs shooting pain through my front and back. I sat down and they wanted to start straight away but I literally could not breath. I couldn’t explain that I wasn’t out of breath as a usual person wud be and I sat there gripping my chest. In the end the actual interview went ok but the start was awful and definitely was why I’ve not heard anything back. I wish people understood it a bit more. I was more and more out of breath trying to explain it to them where as usually if left alone to breath for 5 minutes I can bring myself round. The pain stays but I can breath and talk. I was so embarrassed and went home and cried. I even had an assessment a couple weeks ago from a disability assessor which was recommended by my doctor and he didn’t have a clue what I was on about. I feel like people think I’m making it up! It scares me as well as my dad had to have a triple heart bypass and I always think about it every time I get pains. I was told by a doctor 4 years ago that I had chosto after 2 years of having the pains and that it would be gone in 2 weeks with diclafenic. Needless to say he didn’t know what he was talking about. Wish there was more information about it so people understood. Anyway rant over sorry
Bettysame62 on April 24, 2018:
I hope you don’t mind if I tell you about a website I’ve come across. It’s called Stickman Communications, and has been set up by a lady with multiple health problems. I came across this site when searching for information cards I could carry to explain my condition when I’m having a bad time. I’ll describe the two cards I bought.
One is the I Feel Faint card and says I feel faint. This is normal. I will be ok soon. Please let me lie quietly and recover.
The second is the Breathing Difficulties card and this says I have a condition which causes shortness of breath. I just need to catch my breath. Please don’t make me talk. Don’t worry, it is my normal. I’ll be fine.
I’m taking both these cards when I fly later this week, hopefully this will mean that if I’m unwell, the cards will help people to understand and not try to stop me flying! That’s happened before. Also, I’ll always take these cards out with me to show people if I’m unwell, to let them know that I will be ok, and, that whilst I appreciate their concern, I will recover and be fine soon. I hate the fuss, but naturally I don’t want to be rude.
This site has many keycards and stickers, for a huge variety of problems, so I’m sure you could find something you may find helpful. Hannah, the lady who invented them, did so to allow herself, and others, to have the freedom of going out and not having to explain your condition, and not have to deal with well-meaning, but unwanted attention. Check it out, it’s excellent. If you like what you see, pass it on.
Thank you for reading this, hope it helps you as much as it helps me x
WilliamArthur on April 14, 2018:
Not mysterious or complicated enough? Here's one for everyone....You can have Heart troubles AND Costo....
Bettysam62 on April 14, 2018:
Hi all, I’m writing this from my bed. I’m in such a lot of pain, it hurts to breathe, even the slight movements I’m making typing this message is impacting on the costo. My chest feels like it has a huge, heavy and very painful weight on it. My back and shoulders hurt, and my arms ache so much and feel very heavy. I feel like I’ve lost the will to even try to get up. Painkillers aren’t helping. My gp doesn’t treat this condition with the respect and gravity it needs and deserves. I’m crying writing this because I just don’t know what to do. I always try to be upbeat about my many health conditions, but after days of every movement hurting, every breath painful and a chore, I’m completely and utterly fed up. I feel powerless. My husband is wonderful, but try as he might, he can’t take the pain away. I’m in a better position than most in that I don’t have to go to work, my children are adults, but when you are in the pit of despair and pain that costo brings, it feels that it’s just to painful and too hard to climb out.
I won’t say sorry for moaning. You all know what it’s like to suffer with costo, and this brilliant hub set up by Sangre is a wonderful place to vent frustrations, learn more, take tips from fellow sufferers, or even post your own tips.
Thank You. It feels good to air my frustrations
Take Care All xx
NewLifeOutlook on March 19, 2018:
Very informative hub! We've had many people in our rheumatoid arthritis and lupus community complain about chest pain, and many have found out that it's because of Costochondritis. Very interesting how many people with autoimmune conditions/diseases suffer from this.
Janine on March 03, 2018:
Hi Spilled Emotions
Please feel free to speak to any one of us, we all understand what you are going through.
Spilled Emotions on March 02, 2018:
Anyone here that I can talk to about my costochondritis to see if that’s what I have
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on February 18, 2018:
@RTalloni, yes, that is so true. Reading other people's stories on here about how Costo has impacted their lifestyle is an eye opener. Many have shared tips and treatments that they have tried to help them cope with Costochondritis and I'm so grateful to them. But it's one condition that we really need to learn more about as it really can derail your whole life.
RTalloni on February 17, 2018:
Sharing personal experience with such a condition is a tremendous benefit to fellow sufferers. What a person learns in their journey can be so helpful to others. I'm sorry that you and your readers have had to deal with costochondritis (and other health issues mentioned) but I am glad to learn about this in cases I or someone I know faces it one day. Thank you for the information and tips you offer here.
Janine on February 17, 2018:
I feel so disappointed for you, it must always feel like it's constantly one thing after another, and something has to take the back burner! I understand that with the teeth. If I need any mouth treatment I have to stop my cancer treatment for 5 weeks so I don't get necrosis. Then wait another 4 weeks after, before I can go back on it.
I know as a parent we try to hide as much as we can from our children especially when so young, but there are so many out there who are fantastic carers to their family, yes they miss out on a lot, BUT they also become amazing adults coz they've had to learn things like patience and empathy and sympathy etc, and they learn who is faking it aswell. So if your 5 year old wants to massage mummy's back then let him. If they want to help around the house then let them, turn it into a game and remind yourself that it's only something they will need to learn as they get older, plus the housework gets done at the same time lol.
I totally get it when someone moans about something that you know will get over within days, and you are stuck like this for what seems forever, there really is little sympathy to be given lol
I'm okay...now, thanks for asking. I had a 2 week hospital stay with pneumonitis that was touch and go for a while but I managed to pull through this time. I came home this week, very weak, but am determined to get stronger each day. I have things I have to do with my kids before I go anywhere, starting with a nice holiday hopefully in April/May time then build on the memories :)
Katie on February 16, 2018:
Hi William I have heard of capsules that have the calming ingredient in them and not the part that makes you wired or hungry and I’ve read studies about teenagers in America having access to this and being 80% pain free! However this is not an option in the UK as it’s classed as illegal and only given as a one off if it’s prescribed but I’ve only heard cases of cancer patients and having to smoke it like it would ‘normally’ be taken. We are so far behind I feel with controlling pain her in the UK. They would rather you try as many pain killers as possible that most the time do not work. If it’s proven elsewhere that this works then why are we not catching on!
Hey Janine so thoughtful of your post and asking about me! I really appreciate it honestly. Unfortunately I did not have it done as I have 3 wisdom teeth that need taking out and they will use lidocaine as well as an anaesthetic so they found it too dangerous to give me the infusion and then have the other when go into hospital! I was so ready to have it done and prepared myself and done all my research. I even took your advice and thought even a week without pain to do things with my children! Bake cakes or go to the park without mommy saying we have to go mommy’s chest or arms or neck is hurting. However it has not been cancelled but deferred for 6 months after my teeth extraction. On some level I’m hoping my wisdom teeth extraction may ease my jaw and neck pain but in the back of my mind I know it more than likely won’t as I have all the other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Sometimes I just feel hopeless as I do the best I can but as a mother I absolutely hate saying I can’t do this or that cuz I’m either in pain or it will put me in pain. It has a massive effect on the family. For example my sister pulled her back the other day and was in pain and it sounds horrible to say but I had hardly any sympathy for her. Everyday I say I’m in pain but I get I’m moaning or it’s a mental think and think positive. I’m sure people think I’m making it all up. I’m 32 years old and being made to feel like a hypocrite. I was actually looking forward to my infusion having speaking to you but its not going to happen yet. When it does I will def post and let people know how it goes. This Costco is getting more and more regular and lasting longer each time I have a flare up. Sometimes I can’t even talk. My son who is 5 even asks me now if I need my bk or neck rubbing. I feel so guilty he even feels the need to look after me! I lost my job last year due to this condition as there were things I just could not do anymore. I just wish there was more research on costo and on fibro as costo is a symptom of this condition. I’m fed up of certain people thinking it’s made up or something you get titled with when they find nothing sinister! (Actual words on my neurology report ‘nothing sinister)! Anyway rant over I’m so sorry I just needed to vent. I’m 32 and have 2 beautiful children I should be able to do things with.
Anyway lol how are you Janine?
Janine on February 16, 2018:
I'm just checking in with you to see how you are with things after you had the infusion?
I hope it has left you more mobile with far more movement so you've been able to look after and play with your children at least
WilliamArthur on February 16, 2018:
I thought I'd posy a quick note about an odd discovery I made by accident. Medical Marijuana. I tried some the other day and was amazed that it took the pain completely away-for the first time in years. Marijuana with a high CBD content does not get you high, but I was quite surprised that it did, indeed, take the pain away. THC Will get you high but will also work on the pain, so you may want to avoid it and concentrate on the CBD Marijuana instead. It may not be for everybody, but I just thought that I would mention it here. I have, literally, tried everything that I can think of now, and this comes pretty darn close.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on February 16, 2018:
@Bettysam62, that's a very interesting theory and I would be very interested to see of there is a correlation between costochondritis and fitness levels.
When you think about the areas it does impact and how it stops some people from doing basic everyday tasks, it can be frustrating.
Bettysam62 on February 16, 2018:
It’s awful that so many of us are suffering from costochondritis, and the medical profession do very little to treat or even recognise this condition. Barbara wonders if alcohol could be a trigger. I don’t drink alcohol and I’ve had costo for many, many years. I suspect (and it’s only my opinion), that sitting in the same position at the table for a few hours is more likely the cause. Even for the fit and healthy, staying still for any length of time can cause stiffness in parts of our body, it can be a strain on our skeletal frame. With myself having so many health problems, I spend quite a lot of time sitting, or lying down. I’ve learnt to get up and walk around the room a little, every so often, it keeps everything a bit more supple. Some of you may think you can’t do this when in so much pain, but it’s worth it. I struggle up, hold on to a walking stick and often, even if it’s just a shuffle about for a few steps, you’ve moved your joints, bones and muscles, and every little helps.
Best wishes to you all.
Janine L Smith on January 12, 2018:
Your welcome, I'm so glad you have decided to go for it, even if is a pain having to be re-referred to the specialist for as long as you can, and if it does work maybe you will change things for the better and get a campaign going saying how much it works huh?
I hope you can keep us updated with your progress during this first cycle and I hope it brings much relief for you.
Katie-M on January 11, 2018:
Thank you Janine. My pain specialist said it’s a long cycle, once I feel ok he will discharge me after the infusion. Then when I start to feel pain again I will have to get a referral again from my doctor to him which takes anythin from 6 months onwards and then to see what he says again. So it’s not something the NHS will allow you to continually have if works. I’ve felt it this week though my ribs especially in my back are in agony. However today i do feel unwell it’s as if my body knows I’m going to be unwell and gives me serious grief before hand. I do agree there isn’t enough research on it and sometimes I feel when I say I have costo or fibro and I’m havin a flare up that people think I’m having them on. My doctor has offered to prescribe me stronger medication however I have refused with the children as I can’t be feeling drowsy or out of it with children and also driving. I had my pre op today and the actual infusion on the 19th so fingers crossed it works. Thank you for your comments. I do hope you get some options too
Janine L Smith on January 11, 2018:
I've been trying to do my own research and you are right there is not much out there, but what I have read has been positive on the lidocaine infusion, in the fact that it also gives relief to your fibromyalgia aswell. apparently ketamine helps aswell. I totally get that you think the worst in bad situations, when you're in constant pain you believe that you won't be disappointed in anything if nothing works. But surely you have to try whatever is offered coz there may be just that one thing that you find helps your situation. So please don't give up hope, and give it a go not just for you, but your children too, and if it doesn't work then you won't be disappointed will you? Lol
Katie-M on January 09, 2018:
Hi Janine thank you for your comments. Since bein poorly I’ve always thought the worst and worst situations. That way I don’t get disappointed in anything. I’ve had so many let downs. Yeah I’ve tried amatryplayne gabapentin prgabalin and a number of other tablets over the last few years with very little relief or difference to my pain. I also tried good painkillers which relieved me a bit however I’ve had my gallbladder removed and now can’t take them for some reason. Yeah I’ve researched it and seems ok but there’s not many comments on people actually having it done and what I have read is very mixed so I’m still unsure. Just wish it would all go away
Janine L Smith on January 09, 2018:
Katie, I would take the pain free weeks/days/months and not even think of the possibility of it coming back anyway coz that's just too negative , at least you'll be free of it for a while would be such a relief in itself, especially so your children get their mummy back for a while. I would take anything research how good it is or not and decide for myself. I use to see an osteopath who would put my ribs back in place, and the last time I saw him was when I found my lump, and he put my ribs back in place and my doctor ordered me to go home and lay flat on my back for 5 days to keep them in place, which I did and I believe that made such a difference for my own personal situation, unless of course it was masking the cancer, that we may never know.
But good luck in what you decide.
Have you researched this Lidocaine Infusion? And have you tried things like Pregabalin?
Katie-M on January 08, 2018:
Hi all I’ve posted on here before and have been reading your comments. Costo is awful. I have it alongside fibromyalgia which has its numerous pain sites and other frustrating and disabling symptoms. I’ve recently got a blue badge (uk) which has helped me round the shops not having to carry shopping etc that far. That’s when I can get to the shops. I was wondering if anyone had tried or knows of a lidocaine infusion? I have been booked in by my specialist for the 19th and I’m in 2 minds whether to cancel. Apparently it gives short term pain relief anything from weeks to 6 months. Knowing me I’ll be back to normal in a week. I hate being in pain and my friend is saying 6 months without pain is better than none. Which I u derstand but for someone in pain and feeling down enough about it as it is, I don’t want to be free of pain to be able to do things again and it all comes crashing back in a matter of weeks. I would be so depressed. However I have 2 children and would love to be able to get to the park without being laid up for days after. I’m just so confused. Any thoughts welcomed pls x
Janine I’m so sorry for your illness. Reading your story reminds me of my appointment at the pain clinic where he told me that one of his patients had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and costo and she went for a scan months later and they found a tumour in her lungs and had died a week later. If they had not just fobbed her chest pains off as costo she may well still be alive today. Maybe there is a link I don’t know but I do think there’s got to be more research on this! It can’t keep being ignored
WilliamArthur on January 06, 2018:
Costo is one of the most debilitating and crippling conditions that I'd ever Not heard of. It can lay you up for days at a time and then suddenly stop as suddenly as it began. It can go totally away for several Months and then pop up as strong and painful as it had ever been-and just out of the blue. Pain meds don't seem to touch it at all. You can be falling down dizzy from narcotics and Still the pain is there as hard as ever. Physical Therapy? Forget it. Herbal Supplements? Most have more placebo than help. It's a horrible and crippling condition and most doctors have no clue at all about what it is or what to do about it(if there Is anything that Can be done about it, that is). This thing Needs to be heavily researched and a cure found for it, like, Yesterday!
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 05, 2018:
@Janine L Smith, thanks, that would be great. Take care of yourself.
Janine L Smith on January 05, 2018:
Thanks Sp Greaney.
You do great with Hubpages, keep it up, who knows one day this site might just be the voice forward as there are unfortunately so many sufferers on here. Unfortunately my cancer won't get any better, but if this costo goes then I've won one battle lol.
Good luck to everyone out there, I will keep popping in if anyone wants to know anything xx
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 01, 2018:
@Janine L Smith, that's a lot to contend with. Sorry to hear the cancer has come back. I hope you are doing well & that everything turns out ok.
Thank you for sharing your story. I hope too that they do more research. Who could have predicted that you had another underlying issue. Very scary.
Let's hope that sometime in the future research catches up because this condition needs to be addressed.
Hope you & your family have a wonderful 2018.
Janine L Smith on January 01, 2018:
Hi I messaged here a couple of years ago and to say things have changed drastically would be an understatement!
I got costo back in 2014, I was in so much pain my Mum and daughter became my carers coz it hurt to breathe or talk, walk or use my arms without excruciating pain. I was like that continually for 17 months straight.
Then New Year's Day 2016 I found a lump in my breast and although it did turn out to be a stage 3 cancer, as soon as I found it, the costo just seem to disappear overnight, and a couple of gp's have said that it was probably masking the cancer.
Anyway I went all through 2016 having my treatment. I use to joke that you could give me cancer any day as that's a doddle compared to the costo. (Careful what you wish for lol)
Moving on to 2017 and I'm finally getting my life back after being so ill for so long, then my legs start hurting to the point where eventually they just hurt all the time even through resting, and lo and behold my sternum starts playing up again, so I go and have a bone scan done and unfortunately the cancer has now spread to my bones, my sternum being one of them, so not only do I have the cancer but also the costo to contend with. But it does make me wonder if there could also be a link between the two. I wish there was more research so people don't have to go through what I have, as I have read many stories similar to mine, where the costo is just a mask.
It's horrendous and I feel for all those who have to suffer with this dibilitating illness , and may our voices be heard one day, that we need more research and resources and possibly cure.
Good luck to you all, oh and can I be the first to wish a very happy 2k18
Amy Helm on December 02, 2017:
I have recently been diagnosed with costochondritis. I am experiencing my second flare up since being diagnosed about 7 weeks ago after several tests and an overnight stay in the hospital. I have no idea what brought on either of these attack’s. It is very frustrating I feel like I am going crazy. I just don’t understand how this happened especially when I felt perfectly healthy 7 weeks ago. I am on my second round of steroids 2 different stomach medications, anti depressant and a muscle relaxer when the pain is bad. I am 45 and have never taken this much medication at one time in my life. I am really struggling to wrap my mind around this.
Barbara on November 04, 2017:
I experienced a severe attack last night after a dinner party during which I had two drinks. This is not the first time it’s happened after sitting at a dinner table for several hours and consuming a couple of drinks and was wondering if alcohol could be a trigger.
Christina on October 26, 2017:
Turmeric helps. I took it when I was first diagnosed, and it helped me so much. Of course, advil does the trick fast! However, I've noticed that the cold makes it so much worse, and I hate it so much!
Scayra on October 06, 2017:
Hi, I have suffered cotohondritis last two years. Before one week I have tried magnesium chloride and my pain triggered by cold air has despaired.
Katie-M on July 22, 2017:
Hey those who have posted I seem to get these notifications like a week after or month after been posted. Im so sorry for those who have been suffering. All I can offer is the power of positivity!! I suffer from costo and after 3 years of tests and feeling like no one was listening to me, a wonderful consultant has diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. As much as I was fighting this diagnosis it's the only condition that relates to everything I have been going through. However there's always an underlying condition and mine was a serious B12 deficiency at below 170. In the U.K. though this is only thought of as just underlining. 250 I think it is and US is below 500. After staying indoors and worrying over my symptoms I suffered from a vitamin D deficiency as well. However 3 years later it was too late and treatment for these deficiencies didn't work despite my levels now being normal I suffer from pain and spasms all over my body not only my chest and arms and hands. All I can say is please keep on at doctors and professionals. We are not making this up!! It's true and real and it hurts and it's depressing and disabling our everyday life. Good luck to you all x x
karen on July 18, 2017:
Mine is from an autoimmune disease.
Mbali on July 11, 2017:
I seem to suffering for the past few years now and the past 3 weeks have been unbearable. I lost all hope of getting help when 6days ago I was rushed to the DR and they suspected Gastro which I was admitted and the specialist did all tests like gastroscopy, blood tests, xrays, ultra sounds and EGG and they all came back fine. However when I was suffering from the pain my high blood goes high and my pulse raises to 209, mind you from just laying in bed. I thought the doctor would do something cos this happened more than once while admitted in hospital, but brushed it off and said if that had to happen it would mean I am a very sick person. I just felt like he didn't believe me and everything happening was all in my head. Same day on a Monday he discharged and he said don't worry you will be fine. When I tried to ask him a question he just cut me off and that's how I left the hospital. It's really sad when the doctor doesn't believe you and think you are making up stories they think you can go on with your life as normal. Immediately after being discharged on my way home in the car I has the attack and next day morning I had the attack. And now you just don't have anywhere to turn to. What I realised is that the pain killer don't help much for the stabbing pain maybe for the mild aching pain left by the sharp pain cos as much as I was in hospital on a drip I would still get the stabbing sharp pain but no one was willing to listen to me cos they thought I am fine. Probably thought I was taking everything as well. I felt like I was looking my mind.
I am from South Africa - wish to hear more stories from Africans just like AntonJVR. SA doctors need to be informed about this condition cos I left the hospital and was told there's nothing wrong with and you will be fine .
I have had costochondritis for many years on May 12, 2017:
Never experienced such pain as last few days
Kaelly on March 24, 2017:
Hi lovely people and fellow sufferers.
I have been reading through the comments on here and am so relieved that I am not alone.
I am 53 years of age and two years ago encountered my first costachondritis attack. I seriously thought that I was going to die that evening! I am not one to run to the doctors every five minutes, and certainly not phone for paramedics. However, that first time I did just that. I was literally on my knees trying to deal with the pain. Obviously, I believed that I was having a heart attack. After an ECG at the hospital at 3 a.m. In the morning, I was told by a doctor that I had costachondritis. It was as if he was suggesting that I was overreacting, but the pain was excruciating!
I have since had four more attacks and last Saturday evening, for no apparent reason, it happened again. I have heard that some people say that the first time is the most painful. I can honestly say, this was certainly not the case for me. I have never known a pain like it! I could not stand, kneel or lie down. I didn't know what to do with myself. I took some iboprufen en tried to lie in a , that I could just about manage. I could barely breathe and I perspired so much that it was dripping off the end of my nose, and down my spine.
The only way that I can explain the pain to other people, is that it feels like something is trying to burst out through your chest.
I feel for all of you and how I wish that I could take the horrific pain away from you! Unfortunately I can't, but sometimes just knowing that you don't suffer alone is comforting.
God bless all of you
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on March 06, 2017:
@Rachel REvoy, Thanks for your comments. This is all from my personal experience about how I cope with this condition.
There is some information on the internet about this condition but no genuine research has been done.
Rachel Revoy on February 12, 2017:
An interesting overview that points out a lot of things about costocondritis, but only at the surface level of each of these issues. Maybe then this is a good article to send to people who know someone who is suffering because then they can get an overview of the information.
Badash1279 on January 31, 2017:
I was diagnosed 5 years ago with this horribly painful condition. I was trying to exercise as a part of my New Years Resolution, and went a little over board. I have never felt right since. I woke up with such pain, and a cold sweat last night, with that hear attack pain, and went right to the Dr. She says, you've aggravated the costo again, sigh. I am trying to find out if this is something that goes hand in hand with rheumatoid arthritis? or Lupus? These run in my family, and I have multiple joint issues, and can barley walk sometimes and I am only 37. Thanks for any insight, and hope everyone finds relief!!
GRACIE ELLSWORTH on January 19, 2017:
My nine yesr old granddaughter suffers with costochondritis. The attacks are so severe she had to go to the hosptital three times in a week. this was before I knew what was going on. It was the most scariest thing I ever witnessed to see a young child go through so much pain. What pissed me off that at two of the three ER I took her to blowed it off like she was faking. Of course I snapped because they know nothing about her bubbly ways. Always happy and full of life and now I'm seeing the life look like it's being sucked out of her. I pray for her all day every day to ask God to lift this beast off her. My heart goes out to all of you who suffer from this.
Bettysam62 on January 12, 2017:
I've had Costochondritis for about 11 years now. Go on the nhs website and it still says that Costo only lasts a few weeks! I've written on this page before and said that I use a heat pad which eases the pain, I also drink ginger tea. I have Rochester ginger drink from Holland & Barrett. I take ibuprofen and also paracetamol, sometimes paracetamol and codeine. I still faint when the costo is very bad (so I faint regularly). My gp still doesn't take this condition seriously. Because of the fainting I asked him for oxygen (on recommendation of fpmy nephew who is a doctor), but my gp refused saying I didn't need it, so my nephew recommended a company online, I sent for some oxygen, followed nephews instructions of using it, and now I wouldn't be without it. It doesn't stop the pain, it eases breathing during an attack when the lungs are following instructions from the brain not to inflate so much to help ease the pain. This means I get much needed oxygen, I relax a bit and I don't faint as much. I don't know if any of this helps any of you, but just thought I'd tell you. Best wishes
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on November 20, 2016:
@Lottie First off, I hope you are doing better in regards to your treatment after breast cancer.
I think everyone will have sympathy for you, and understand where you are coming from. Your story of how you came to suffer from costochondritis is interesting, and I hope other woman reading this come to understand how such a procedure can have a lifelong impact on your health. Thank you for sharing your story.
Lottie on November 19, 2016:
My costochondritis is the result of a pre-op MRI of both breasts, prior to my lumpectomy/SNB; NEVER AGAIN will I let them do that to me. The horrible pain of being in a position that made all my weight being supported by my sternum while it was lying on top of a sharp-edged metal bar for 45 min. was the worst pain of the whole breast cancer treatments' experience. I met another woman during radiation therapy who volunteered that same opinion one day as we awaited our turns.
The fact that now my ribs/sternum are now weaker as a result of the radiation probably doesn't help my incidents of flareups.
aly parker on September 25, 2016:
Ihave just been diagnosed with costochondritis, after having 5 episodes which required having to call the emergency services, as i couldnt breath. My first episode was over a year ago, when i was taken an empty cup to the kitchen,it was very scary. I had no idea what was happening. I have had 4 episodes since each time having to be admitted to the hospital.
It does look like this condition was due to having a tram flap surgery from a result of breast cancer. I am waiting for a bone scan to definitely confirm this condition
GabrielaW on August 10, 2016:
Hi everyone...I have had costochondritis for about eight years now. It all started when I was 18 yrs. 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 summited 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 with in a few months my pains would be gone. Well my pains slow 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 visit the doctors again until I ended up with a heart specialist that 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 learn to just sleep way to 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. Specially 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 pray and 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 being taking it for a while and he says they works wonders. He is a Lymphoma cancer survivor and he says Turmeric after sport pills have help him very much with his pains. So I have decided to try them. I am welling to do what ever just to not feel this pains and have anxiety attacks. Some 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.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 03, 2016:
@Sarah Bake, personally I find that stress aggravates my Costo. I haven't gone down the route of injections, but use meds, gels, and I've tried some of the alternative methods mentioned on here. One comment on here from Chris mentioned tumeric tablets and Andrew mentioned ginger water, (I used ginger tea), as ways to help alleviate severe symptoms. I used both of these and I found that they helped. My Costco didn't disappear, but it did lower the pain.
Sarah Bake on April 02, 2016:
Hi iv had this over 2 year but only got diagnosed a year ago with it I'm on omeprazole every day but I can't take ibuprofen as I have gallstones what else do people recommend I try as my doctors don't have a clue x alson can stress make it worse anyone know please xx
Bettysam62 on January 17, 2016:
Katie-M, I'm sorry you are suffering so much. I hope your pregnancy goes well and doesn't impact too much on your costochondritis.
My gp declined my request for oxygen saying it wouldn't really help.
Maybe what we all need is to be treated by a go who actually has costochondritis, then maybe the whole medical experience would be more enlightened and we would be treated properly, and with a more sympathetic response to the debilitating affects of this awful condition.
For myself, costochondritis rules my life. I don't like it this way and would change it if I could, but I'm stuck with it all day, everyday, yet the medical profession still doesn't give this condition and its sufferers enough respect.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on December 06, 2015:
Hi JaJax, thanks for your advice I like your positive attitude. :) That's very true about many of us getting used to living with the symptoms and assuming that pain in this area is instantly costo.
With you living in a warm climate and seeing no change in your symptoms, just goes to show you that hot weather wouldn't reduce frequency of attacks. I think you just have to avoid doing things that can aggravate the body if you're one of those who just get a few attacks a year.
Sadly the people who suffer with it on a daily basis see this as part of their future life.
JaJax on December 05, 2015:
Hi there, I live in Jamaica and was interested in your posts and the direction they take. Couple of points....moving to a warmer climate may not necessarily be the answer! I have had costochondritis with its myriad of symptoms for about 20 years...it's always lurking and if I lift something too heavy, or a twist the wrong way....it immediately reminds me of it's presence. I deal with it by knowing it's not a heart attack and following the usual treatments, ...loose clothing, rest, mild pain killers and plenty of water...preferably fresh coconut water! The problem I see with getting so used to living with it...is wondering if I'll ever know if I get a REAL heart attack...and won't just sit there drinking coconut water! My no 1 tip above all... Is to try and keep your sense of humour.
Katie-M on November 14, 2015:
Hi Betty I too suffer from shoulder and upper back pain that travels down one or both arms and my neck front and back that affects my jaw. I'm glad you have mentioned this as every professional I've seen have said costo does not affect anything other than your chest/sternum. They should listen to us patients more and maybe come up with some up to date symptoms. I've learnt what I can and can't do and work have been supportive. I've constantly got numbnes in my fingers though unless I'm lying down. Strange. I have recently been given an inhaler for when my breathing gets heavy and I must say it does work. I think my breathing gets worse due to panic sometimes and I find calming myself down and taking a couple painkillers helps me but this can only be done at home. If anything happens at work I'm done for until I get home. It is scary though when those pains start hope you were ok that flight could not of been easy. I've recently found out I'm pregnant so I'm scared that my costo is going to get a hell of a lot worse with the added weight to be carried and stress etc and not being able to take my pain meds either doesn't help at the min. Hope all keeps calm but I'm expecting bad flare ups now and again. Considering the er doc told me it would last a couple weeks it's now over a year on.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on November 13, 2015:
Hi Bettysam62, that must have been extremely stressful. No one want to have a scary episode lile that while travelling. But at least help was on hand. Having an oxgyen tank could be an option in the future for those who have severe symptoms.
Bettysam62 on November 12, 2015:
Reading all the comments show just how much costochondritis impacts on the lives of so many people. It's great to hear how some people are coping. As I've said before, Costco affects not only my chest but my shoulders, upper back and arms to, one more than the other. On a recent flight I had a bad episode because of the costochondritis, and was given oxygen on the captains recommendation. Since then I've often wondered if it would be worth having oxygen at home. Has anyone else tried this? I would be interested to know.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on November 08, 2015:
Hi AntonJVR, I think many doctors have very little knowledge of this condion. While it's great they treated your initial symptoms, it's the continuing ones you suffer with after your initial diagnoises that you need to learn to live with. There are some ways to lessen the symptoms as mentioned by readers here, but sometimes attacks can still occur. Your job which involves heavy lifting is something that could aggravate your condition. 1 day off after suffering any symptoms of costo is not sufficient. Maybe explain your condition to your employer and he might be able to do something for you. Maybe you could be moved to a department with less physical work. If the pain is persistant, you might need stronger pain killers. But again, a lifestyle change would work better in the long run
AntonJVR on October 30, 2015:
So about 2 weeks ago i was diagnosed with Costochondritis 2am in the morning laying in the E.R unable to breath thinking my heart is giving up on me, they pumped me full of meds and sended me on my way at 4am, a day later 12am i landed in the ER again.. could barely breath. they are sticking with Costochondritis, the pain on my chest is not that bad, its something i can handle but the breathing is the absolute worst, they have me on a few anti allergie meds and inhalers, anyone else have the same type of breathing problems and if so how long before i can breath normally again? i feel that the doctors here in south africa dont really worry much about this condition, i was booked off for 1 day from work and my work intails heavy lifting! what am i too do?
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on September 07, 2015:
Hi Katie-85, thanks for your update. I am sorry to hear things have not improved since your last post and that your life has been affected so negatively. It would be great to see some cure for this condition in the near future because sufferers really need a cure.
Hi Celinka, Thank you for sharing your ways on controlling this condition. It is nice to find alternative ways that could help suffers relieve the pain for a little while if not indefinitely.
Hi Lisa DSL, thanks for your comment, I am glad you found this page useful. I think costochondritis is a condition which is misunderstood by a lot of people and only someone who suffers from it really understands how it fully impacts your daily life.
Hi Bettysam62, it would be interesting all right to hear if anyone has done this to help them cope with the symptoms.
Hi Lance in Franklin, thanks for stopping by. :)
Katie-85 on September 01, 2015:
Hi I have posted on here previously and just wanted to update I'm nearly 12 months on from my first pain in my chest and left arm. I suffered from whip lash as well as a hard pregnancy which could have contributed to my pain. I suffer from anxiety although my panic attacks have now subsided hopefully. I get 3 bad weeks with severe neck top of arm and under breast and shoulder blade pain but then a good couple of weeks that I cherish. Those weeks are what get me through my bad times. I had 6 months off work and no MRI or X-ray showed a thing but an ER doc (after a trip thought was having a heart attack) examined me and everywhere he touched on my chest and back he knew where I would be in pain. He gave me diclofenic and said would be gone in couple weeks. All I can say is it's not gone away but the way to get through it is to be positive and do as best to manage the pain as possible. I can no longer do house work as I could, play with my son as well as I could, shopping heavy loathing and struggle to drive some days. Nerve pain in my arms and muscles in my neck play havoc with me and my jaw. Work is not going well however they supportive of my condition and I've changed my hours to meet my needs and those of my family. My quality of life has definitely lowered not going out and definitely can't plan things it's a day by day. I'm not saying I'm lucky far from it and I envy those who only have it now and again. But when you feel it coming on stop what you are doing and breath. Try not to get upset as it makes it worse so does stress and anxiety. I'm thankful for sites like these so we compare. Reading my posts I wasn't in a good place due to the condition it affects all areas of your life. I hope there is someday a cure!! Be safe
Celinka on August 21, 2015:
I've had costo for a good while now. Starting by a wrong movement. I also am highly sensitive and extremely anxious. I have sought holistic ways to heal it since nothing else was working. I have been using gemstones and crystals on my body, as well as doing hatha yoga and chi gong, mildly, once a week. It has helped a great deal, so I wish to share. It felt like it was gone, I could wear bras tighter. Of course, I had 3 panic attacks in the same day after suffering a major stressful moment in my life. So it's back to its usual pains. So I'm back to no bra and using my gemstones again. But today, it felt really good. Only this evening did the pain start again.
I highly recommend, if you're like me, to look into some holistic forms of healing. Right now, I have pain, but last time it came back it only lasted a month, as opposed to its initial 6 months. Sometimes, ssince I'm prone to panic, I feel sporadic pain, once or twice and that's it. It's short.
If anyone has other types of holistic healing they wish to share with me, I'm willing to give it a try, The Hatha Yoga has really worked miracles, opening the heart chakra in a slow gentle manner. But I'm willing to switch it up a bit. But man, those 3 panics were intense. I hope this bout of pain doen't last too long.
Bettysam62 on August 06, 2015:
We've been considering moving abroad to a warmer climate. Hubby thinks it will be better for my health and definitely better for my costochondritis. I love my home and this country and don't really want to move. Has anyone here either moved abroad or know someone who has, and has it helped their costochondritis?
Lisa DSL on August 04, 2015:
Hello. I have been suffering with this terrifying condition since April and I have never felt such awful pain in my life. I tell people I'd rather go through birth again than go through this for one more day. I am so glad I came across this hub page and to know I am not the only one!! Before I was diagnosed people put it down to stress and several other things which was making me stressed because they wanted to pigeon-hole it in something they understood and not accept it for something they had no understanding too. My doctors have not be very helpful and do not understand why it hasn't gone. They have also told me that steroid injections are not available! N will not refer me to pain management. I have just gone on to morphine because the pains were breaking through the tramadol. I wasn't aware it is a permanent condition but this article has really opened my eyes. Thank u so much.
Lance in Franklin on July 29, 2015:
Hey ya'll. Sorry I'm late to the party, but I got here as fast as I could HAHA! I'm officially in. Did the whole "I think I'm having a heart attack" trip to the ER and can relate to everything posted here. There you go. Nice to meet everybody.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 17, 2015:
It is a serious condition that can be very hard to ever cure. There are a few people who are like you and suffer with it every day. Having it affect your whole life style is a very scary alright. The anti-inflammatories are the universal remedy for all sufferers it seems but they don’t work for everybody.
It is awful for it to start at such a young age as it can affect everything you do in the future. Sometimes the doctor doesn't understand how it is to live with this condition. Everyone of us have different Costochondritis symptoms. Even some lifestyle changes in diet and such might help with your symptoms. Trying to not let it affect your life is difficult. The first few months the symptoms will vary and it can get worse. But sometimes certain things can trigger attacks.
I hope things get better in the future for you and that you get some control over your condition.
Crystal on June 14, 2015:
Hi all. Reading this has scared me further I have had this twice now and have just got it again, I had no idea it could be a more permanent condition it started with a chest pain that made me feel like I couldn't breathe and a stabbing sensation I thought I was dying and I am in no way dramatic I called for an ambulance and got seen quickly yet they couldn't pin point what I was suffering from after blood test and chest X-ray all they told me was my pain was muscular and told me to rest after a couple of days on anti inflammatory I started to feel normal again and now I have the same pain all over again a month later and it won't go away I have had it now for a month and it's got to the stage where I'm in complete agony some days are ok and bearable and then others really bad that I physically can't go to work i hate being ill and at home I'm usually a workaholic it was only going to a doctors surgery that was not my registered that I found out that this condition may be the cause of my on going pain however they told me the only thing I can take is anti inflammatory and this clearly don't work as its come back again ?? and I'm unable to take paracetamol for the pain as I'm allergic . Hearing all your comments has certainly made me realise that this is not undo able and can't just go away like the common cold and that scares me there's got to be something I can do to make it go away I'm only 24 I can't have my life altered over this ?
Bettysam62 on May 02, 2015:
Thank you Sangre for this hub. Whilst I wish no one has to suffer, this hub makes me feel not so alone. My costo hasn't improved for many years. I have good and bad days that's all. It gives me upper back pain too, and now I've been told that the heavy aching I get regularly in my arms is due to the costo. I still faint when it's bad and I can't breathe properly. I now rely on a walking stick to have something to lean on when I'm struggling with my breathing. This is a cruel condition, but sadly it doesn't get the recognition or the press coverage that it needs to make people aware of just what it is and how debilitating it can be. Take care all.
Janine on April 27, 2015:
UPDATE;-First thing I want to say is I really feel for you all, I have been living with this extremely debilitating condition for 8 months now and I have no quality of life at the best of times. As well as the solpadol I am now on 150mg of pregabalin 3 times a day. I am often off my face with them but although my memory is now terrible and I forget my words or where I am going in conversation, the pain is almost minimal but those times are few and far between, my chest feels like a ton of bricks are laying upon it which leaves me struggling to talk and breathe it's just awful.
Well I went to the pain clinic and was with the doctor for nearly an hour and was very thorough although no miracle cure unfortunately, but they can't put me on a higher dose of pregabalin, even though the highest is 600mg a day, coz my memory is so bad. But there is a cream which is made with hot chilli peppers they can prescribe me which gets to the nerves, or an anesthetic patch which numbs my sternum, but only one problem, I can't touch it lol.
I can't go back to work, as can't use the top part of my body, and I'm sure my 28 weeks of sick pay is nearly up so don't know what I'm going to do for money.
This condition does suck, but I try very hard to stay positive about things, also I wonder if costochondritis is connected to hypermobility, as my ribs and other internal organs are very hypermobile along with the rest of my joints, just throwing it out there :-)
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 27, 2015:
Hi Randy E Bautista, that is terrible. I feel so bad that you have suffered so severely from this condition. I wish that they would do further research on this condition and that we could learn more about it.
Many people who have suffered from this condition have many different symptoms but each of them suffer. You seem to have had a really terrible time with everything over the last few years. I hope that you are doing ok now even though you have had to adjust your whole life because of this condition.
Randy E Bautista on April 23, 2015:
I have been suffering with this condition for about four years now. Find this article very accurate and informative. I myself started suffering from this condition after a vehicle accident. My condition isn't in the cartilage but a separation of ribs to cartilage. I get inflammation where the separation exist not on the surface. I lost my voice for almost two years due to this and still have had issues breathing because of it. I wish they find new treatment methods or a surgery that might solve this issue. I have lost my life to this condition and haven't been able to go back to work because of it.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 09, 2015:
hi cazzie, if it works then I've give it a go. There are many things we don't know about this condition and there could be solutions like this that can improve it. Thanks for sharing the information. :)
cazzie on April 07, 2015:
Just a say u guys saw a guy on this other site post how he was able. To play tennis again he was taking 1000mg or ml fish oil cod tablets said it really helped I'm gonna try as I suffer from costo too
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 01, 2015:
Yes, I agree there, its funny how in a few minutes the internet can give you a diagnoses. :)
Still at least when they run the tests, there're trying to eliminate different causes. Hopefully in the near future you get some positive results from your doctors and they can start some treatment to get you back to your old self. I have never heard of that syndrome but it’s interesting to see that other conditions can cause similar symptoms. It can be confusing waiting to get some answers. Would something as simple as posture be a cause of this, it would seem so unlikely. One would not expect to suffer that badly.
I think all those factors will definitely be contributing to you condition. The thing is that you can’t stop your daily life especially when you have a family and have to work so it can be frustrating when all you want to do is lie down for a week.
Hopefully someone who has experience with Tietze’s gives you feedback, it would be interesting to compare the two conditions.
You are still young at 30, but it can sure be a trying time for anybody especially when they don’t expect to get knocked down with something that is affecting them on a continuous basis. You have a very positive attitude despite everything.
Best of luck with everything and I hope it all works out for you. :-)
Katie-M on April 01, 2015:
Thank you so much for your reply and the positive comments you have given to me. I find it hard wanting answers when you wait 4 weeks for an MRI and 8 weeks for the results for the doctors to not know what the results mean and look it up on the computer! Our health is in the hands of doctors who use the Internet despite telling us not to look ourselves. Rant over lol.
Nikki35 I feel your pain, I too have severe back pain in the lower part of my back and suffered more since carrying and having my 11lb 4 son 3 years ago. My scan that has just come back On my lower back shows I have lordosis which in turn is causing hip leg and foot pain due to poor posture and my hips and spine not being correct. This is as well as my neck and arm pain and costo!
Sangre I too agree that whiplash could be the cause of my costo or slowly brought it on, however I'm having to suggest thing to my doctor as I feel like they just want to refer me as they don't know. I have recently finished a course of B12 injections as I knew that this deficiency can cause nerve pain as well as a lot of fatigue and other complications like my memory or lack of concentration. My levels were low at 175 and although I'm feeling better in myself and have a bit more energy, my arm pain is still causing me grief.
I have read up on thoratic outlet syndrome which can cause arm nerve pain as well as shoulder neck and jaw so the jelly like lump at the top of my back may be the cause of that but again this can be down to posture.
I must stress that however bad I feel and how much pain I'm in, although differs from day to day good days ad bad days, despite the costo being separate that poor posture, incorrect shoes and having an 11lb 4 baby puts strain on your spine causing all kind of issues. I am definitely going to try natural inflammatorys and save my tablets for the bad days.
Is anyone familiar with Tietze's Syndrome? This would explain my arm neck and jaw pain as well as my inflammation in my shoulder and in between my chest. I noticed 2 days ago when I was struggling to get my breath that my chest area under the breast bone was inverting into my chest! Not sure what this is or the cause but never have I had it before.
I feel like I'm ready to be traded in at the age of 30! It's not happening we need to stay positive and think of the things we are fighting for. Don't let it get the better of you and when you have a good day don't overdo it just enjoy it
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 01, 2015:
That is true; having to rely on a prescription cannot be good for your body. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whiplash aggravated this. You really are suffering in a big way. That pressure in the chest was something I experienced as well and it sure felt like a heart attack even though I don’t know what one would feel like. Usually the breastbone is tender when they do a diagnosis and this is how they determine it is costo. I know on here some people have had the pain in different areas, so it seems that the condition can trigger off symptoms in other areas of the body.
I think some GP are a little quick to dismiss certain symptoms, my own doctor was great and diagnosed it in the first visit. Considering I was in tremendous pain, he could not fail to see I was suffering from something.
For all you know it might be a different condition and the underlying costo condition could be causing confusion. I know Bettysam62 and Sarah have had similar symptoms to you and from what they have described about their symptoms on here they were extremely serious and painful at times. There is not a lot of information out there and the amount of people who get in and have left a comment here about it sometimes get it for no reason.
I know on the internet they give specific reasons for a cause. But they have no research and no case studies on it so how can they really grasp what it is and what it means for a suffer.
I really hope you get some assistance and hopefully they find out more about the conditions affecting your arms and shoulders. I hope things work out for you at work and that they try to understand what you are coping with.
One form of treatment is Cortisone shots, but these are a last resort if the pain is just becoming unbearable. You would really need to think about this before going down the route. Also some people here have recommended herbal supplements. I take turmeric. Also Andrew on here recommended ginger tea. These are all natural anti-inflammatories. Even taking something natural cannot harm your body, but you might want to check with your GP in case of any reaction to your prescription medicine.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on April 01, 2015:
To be honest I really have no idea what triggered my costo. I can remember the time and the day that I got the attack. It was so unlike any pain I had ever experienced that it was shocking.
I still have attacks and I try to avoid doing anything physical that I know will trigger one. Stress I feel is a big factor behind it. I have gotten an attack due to stress and it can last a week in those cases. I have heard on here from some people who have experience pain in their back. So I do feel that it is just another symptom of it.
I have not found a cure; I know that Andrew who commented here had cortisone shots which helped to ease the symptoms. But this is a last resort. I take turmeric herbal supplements once a day which Chris on here recommended. They are supposed to be good for inflammation. I can’t say that I haven’t had an attack since taking them, but they are natural and to be honest I would take anything that would reduce the occurrence or help to ease the pain.
nikki35 on March 30, 2015:
Here is my story I have had a really sore back for the last 4 years after giving birth to my heavy 10.1lb baby. i am female 5"4 weight 135lb healthy otherwise .. My back was giving me so much grief I was getting depressed then my anxiety started which then lead to this chest pain .. I was standing at the mirror and boom a sharp sudden pain.. like something was crushing my chest I immediately made a doctors appointment and had a ecg done which all read fine.. Then I was referred to the physiotherapist who told me I had costo.. since then my anxiety has stopped but my back pain is awful lower back pain and now at the top .. my costo is still there but not as bad as it was it is like a dull pain in my chest sore when I twist or do sudden movements my costo was in the middle of the sternum .. I am looking to find out if this sounds like other peoples symptoms was this the area you had it ? i believe mine has started due to stress anxiety and my dreaded back pain I believe there is a link with my back.. what do you think started yours? have you found any cures .. if anyone has successfully got to that stage :)
Katie-M on March 29, 2015:
Hi, I'm hoping people can help me Understand this condition. I'm 30 years old and female. I was diagnosed with costochondritis 3 weeks ago and was given diclofenac tablets to be taken 3 times a day. However I was told this is not a long term solution. I've had pain under my left shoulder blade since Jan 2014 after suffering from whiplash however in November 2014 I felt a sharp pain down my left arm and was left numb and in pain for weeks that travels into my hands. I saw a chiropractor and also occupational health due to being off work and both said I had tenderness and inflamation in the left shoulder area. It then traveled into my right arm with the same pain under my shoulder blade and then into my neck up to my ear to the point where I could not swallow. This comes and goes depending on my pain. I went to hospital struggling to breath having a panic attack and he pressed my chest which hurt so much considering I had no pain there other than shooting pains occasionally (until he pressed and I now feel it). Then round by shoulder area and sides. He diagnosed me with costochondritis but said it wouldn't affect the sides of my neck and completed a nerve test that showed no signs of nerve damage in my arms (despite the pain in arms, hands and fingers). The pain is more predominant on my left side with constant pain in my left arm. If these symptoms are possibly all to do with costochondritis then I've had it coming on for months despite my GP not giving me a physical after telling them about my tender shoulder blade.
Does anyone else experience this pain in their arms and shoulder blades and neck? I have read many internet pages that say yes you can but I have been told by different doctors that it can't affect the arms and back so I'm confused. I don't want to be diagnosed with fybromyalgia which is a word often used in my check ups, if it can be avoided by doctors doing the proper checks. I am being referred to a neurologist for the pain in my arms.
The diclofenac is somewhat helping however I have now been given amitriptyline to go alongside it which make me drowsy. I'm due to go back to work in 2 weeks as a trainer assessor in child care driving around and sitting on nursery floors or small chairs which isn't confortable at the best of times. I'm worried I may lose my job taking into account the length of time I've had the condition and the medication I am taking putting me at risk to drive. I'm lost if it does not go away or if my symptoms are showing signs of something else.
How does anyone work with this condition!
Any suggestions on chest support (sorry to be personal) as I can not wear a bra for more than 5 minutes
I would really appreciate any comments to help or even support my condition. It's scary, especially when your so tired struggling to get confortable to get a good nights sleep, that's without looking after my 3 year old.
Sorry for the lengthy comment. Thank you so much for any replies :)
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on March 27, 2015:
My first attack was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I don’t know which is worse, a severe attacks that takes you months to recover from or mild attacks with last a few weeks. I’m sorry that it gets so bad for you, believe me I wish no one has to suffer with this at all. It is such an unusual condition as well that comes on for reasons that you would never think of.
I am lucky that I only get mild attacks a few times a year, but I don’t think they are as bad as yours. It’s a pity that you have to suffer at all. I know that bad winters and stress (I think this is the main cause of it) are big factors behind my flair ups.
I use anti-inflammatories sparingly. I drink ginger tea, I also take turmeric supplements. Basically anything someone has recommended on here that I can find locally I take.
jily on March 27, 2015:
how do you keep up with your work during falre up of costo?when ever i get attacks i will be out of normal life for six months .luckily i have had only 4 episodes in last 17 years.MY first attack was mild but second attack was extreemly painful i thought i was going die.my costo sometime stays for months and sometime for
days it's a strange condition to live with it.i have worked out that stress and heavy lifting triger my costo.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on March 06, 2015:
Hi India, that is terrible. Best of luck with everything. I hope it all worked out fine for you. At least knowing what it is you have it the first step to getting the right treatment. Hopefully you get some relief from it. It is not a nice condition to have at anytime.
Hi Robin, it is annoying alright how the cold can aggravate it more. I have never heard of that product before, but if it gives some relief then it is worth a try.
Robin on February 19, 2015:
I have always had a bout of Costochondritis after bronchitis except this time around. It just came from the cold weather. I went to FL for 2 weeks and it stopped and as soon as I came back it started again. I have found that Noni juice (all natural) has helped reduce the duration of my attacks in the past.
India on February 16, 2015:
Hello, I'm a 20 yo female who was diagnosed with costochondritis a couple of weeks ago due to a cold that gave me an awful hacking cough. I've run out of the painkillers prescribed to me, and the inflammation hasn't seemed to clear up. Just a few minutes ago I coughed wrong (though pretty lightly) and white hot pain shot up my side and now every movement of my torso or right arm is painful. This article has me afraid that it will never go away! If it doesn't improve in a week or two I'm making an appointment to get it checked out again and talk about my options. Wish me luck!
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on February 06, 2015:
Hi Carmen, I think after a few days if there is no improvement you might see if you can get something stronger. If the pain is constant everyday then it is going to affect your day and what you can do.
Having difficulty breathing is not a fun experience and you should not have to suffer with it.
A few people who left comments on here have recommended herbal alternatives like tablets with turmeric and drinking ginger tea. Also you can place a hot water bottle to the area that is sore each night before you go to bed. These are just some forms of relief that people have tried, myself included. I hope that things get better for you and that it does not end up affecting all aspects of your life.
Carmen on February 01, 2015:
Hi, I was diagnosed with costochondritis last week by my doctor and prescribed ibuprofen three times a day for five days. My chest still hurts and it's painful to breathe so I don't think the ibuprofen has really helped, will it stay like this forever or can it clear up? Is there anything better than ibuprofen to use? Thank you.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 13, 2015:
That is awful. I’m sorry to hear that it is that bad. I hope things at the pain clinic work out for you and they can get you sorted with something that will help you out in the long run. If you get something stronger for the pain, hopefully you wouldn’t have to suffer in pain on a continuous basis.
It must be hard to raise a family and be struck down with this condition, the symptoms are extremely sever sometimes and I think only the sufferers really know how painful it is. Doctors can be understanding but it is still a condition that there is not really a lot of information or research done on. Your daughter is a good girl for looking after thing for you. :)
Janine on January 10, 2015:
Hi, I have costochondritis after getting gastritis, and it has left me in so much pain, I now haven't worked since it all started 5 months ago. One doctor I saw said it was the worst case he has ever seen in his 25 year career. I have all the usual pains in the ribs and most of the time I can't even touch my sternum, I can my ribs at times, but unfortunately I can't take ibuprofen coz that is what caused the gastritis in the first place, so at the moment I am on solpadol and 30mg mirtazapine to help with the pain and the depression the pain has caused, and now my doctor is referring me to a pain clinic so they can prescribe me with stronger painkillers. I don't sleep well, coz when I lay down it's like laying on a bed of hot nails. I don't go out much coz breathing and walking makes the pain unbearable, I can't stand for long so my 13yo daughter is relied on alot and now she has to cook and clean whilst I'm confined to the sofa these days. I really don't think doctors understand how debilitating and excruciating this pain really is :-(
Bettysam62 on December 12, 2014:
Hi, I'm sorry that there are so many costochondritis sufferers. I've had this condition for many years. At first it came and went, but now I have it permanently. Some days are better than others. For over a week now I've been in constant pain from my sternum on right side, going right under my arm and round the back, taking in my shoulders. The pain takes my breath away, frequently, and means I try to restrict movement as this makes it worse. It's such a debilitating condition. I still drink ginger tea and Rochester ginger drink everyday. I use ibuprofen gel and paracetamol, sometimes cocodamol, I take ibuprofen pills (but not with the gel), and I still use my heated shawl and heat pad. I did try Evening Primrose Oil capsules but after almost 6 months I've found no change. I try gentle stretching exercises when I can. I asked my doctor to refer me to a pain clinic, but Im not eligible because I'm restricted in what drugs I can take because of the Meds I'm on for other conditions. So, like you lovely people here, I just muddle through the best I can. I hope you find something that works for you. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and A Happy, Healthier New Year.