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How Costochondritis Could Explain Your Chest Pains

Sp Greaney has been suffering from costochondritis for over 10 years.

The Reason for Your Chest Pain

The Reason for Your Chest Pain

For some people, costochondritis (koss-toe-con-DRY-tiss) is a condition that can make their life and daily activities very difficult. It affects some people in different ways and can impact your ability to do simple daily tasks. For others, it can have a lasting effect on their mental health.

Some people can experience a flare-up once to twice a year, but for many other individuals, it could be a lifelong condition that they have to learn to live with for the rest of their life.

Flare-ups can occur without warning at any time and without very little notice. In this article, we will explore several aspects of this condition, including its causes, who it affects, common symptoms, and how to deal with it.

Costochondritis Is Caused by Inflamed Cartilage

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 factors can then put a strain on your chest area and this can then contribute to the cause of costochondritis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, costochondritis occurs when inflammation occurs between the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone. When the cartilage becomes inflamed, it causes extra pressure around the breastbone area, and it is this pressure that causes the pain associated with costochondritis.

Daily activities where you are doing excessive lifting or moving of boxes or containers from one location to another as you would in the packing bay of a warehouse or a storeroom of a logistics company are jobs that require a lot of physical labor. In these positions, you would be putting extra pressure on your upper chest area, your shoulder, and your back, especially if you didn't have the proper training or equipment for the job.

However, there are also many instances where people might get diagnosed with this condition due to other issues like long-term health problems, or because they did certain activities over the years that might have strained their chest, sides, or shoulders.

Unfortunately for some people, it can take quite a while for them to get a proper diagnosis telling them that they have costochondritis. Many times doctors will often carry out other tests on you, such as an ECG or a Holter test, to ensure that you are not having issues with your heart prior to diagnosing you with costochondritis.

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 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.

The inflamed cartilage puts pressure on the chest, which causes pain.

The inflamed cartilage puts pressure on the chest, which causes pain.

How Do Doctors Diagnose This Condition?

Some physicians may carry out other tests to determine that you do not have an underlying heart condition prior to diagnosing you with costochondritis.

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A patient could have underlying conditions such as angina or a blockage in the heart, which are extremely serious. If these tests come back negative for any heart problems, then they will look at the lifestyle that you lead to see if there are any other underlying issues to help them determine a cause behind this condition.

Test for Costochondritis

The test that is carried out to determine if a patient is suffering from costochondritis involves a physician pressing down on the upper chest and sternum area. If you have costochondritis, then this pressure will be extremely painful. This is a key symptom of costochondritis, pain in the upper chest area.

The doctor will continue pressing down on your upper chest area and gradually move down toward your lower chest area close to your sternum. At each stage, they are assessing your reaction to the pressure to see how painful the area 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 torso—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.

2. Gardening

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?

Anyone can suffer from this condition. No age group is exempt from getting costochondritis. However, typically women are more prone to getting this condition compared to men.

Costochondritis has also been seen as 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 symptoms of other conditions, such as heart problems.

The pain from costochondritis can be confused with pain from other problems, so make sure you see a doctor to get properly diagnosed.

The pain from costochondritis can be confused with pain from other problems, so make sure you see a doctor to get properly diagnosed.

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 it 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.

Dealing With Costochondritis Symptomss

When you have a costochondritis flare-up, you need to learn to listen to your body and slow down. Try to avoid doing any physical activities. Avoid any housework as things like vacuuming, cleaning, and bending down can cause aggravating pain.

Over time, you will learn to recognize the early warning signs of a costochondritis flare-up. When you start to feel unwell don't do any type of strenuous work or exercises that can exasperate the pain.

Costochondritis is an unusual condition in the sense that some people can only experience it once in their lifetime. For other people they aren't so lucky, they have to learn to live with it for the foreseeable future.

Sometimes, it can go away for a few weeks or months but 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 every part of their life, like their job, and their lifestyle, and it can also prevent them from doing things they might normally take for granted.

What Can Cause a Costochondritis Flare Up

There is no particular time frame during which you can expect to get a costochondritis flare up.

  • In the winter it can be especially difficult for costochondritis patients as flare-ups become more frequent during colder weather. That doesn't mean that you should not expect to have any in the summer, some people have them all year round.
  • If you work in a high pressure jobs then the stress of long hours and a poor diet can lead to flare ups at unexpected times.
  • If you are attending university and you have upcoming exams then the pressure from studying and the worry about passing them can lead to stress and this can cause a costochondritis flare up.

What Area is Affected by Costochondritis

The first experience of costochondritis as well as each subsequent flare up can be very painful and very difficult to deal with.

For some people however this is not always the case. Each time that they get a flare-up, the pain will be bad but not nearly as much as the first time. This isn't always the case for each persons.

Some people have see their daily activities become significantly reduced or in some case become non existent due to the crippling pain associated with this condition.

Treatment of Costochondritis

There is no cure for this condition but patients can get cortisone injections that might help them cope with the pain or in some cases it can 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 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:

Awww Katie

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, 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:

Hi Katie

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

Best regards


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:

Hi Katie,

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's always lurking and if I lift something too heavy, or a twist the wrong 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 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 extr