General Question

MrsDufresne's avatar

How can I stop the pain of Costochondritis?

Asked by MrsDufresne (3547points) August 24th, 2010

Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage in between the ribs/chest wall muscles.

It hurts like **** when I sing, laugh, cough or sneeze.
I went to the doctor and had xrays taken.
He told me that it was costochondritis and that I should take his prescription of naproxin sodium and try not to use these muscles.

The problem is, not using these muscles is nearly impossible, because they are involved with breathing. (And not singing and laughing is like asking me not to breath air.)

What are some other methods (besides heat and anti-inflammatory medicines) that will ease this pain?

I’ve been considering going to a chiropractor. Would that help me?

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6 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know if a chiropractor could help with something like that. You might just have to take it easy until the inflammation subsides.

Cruiser's avatar

I would learn to belly breathe. Most adults breathe upwards into their chests and learning to belly breathe could take a lot of the strain off your rib cage. Lay on your back and lay your hands across your belly finger tips just touching….slowly inhale down into your lower abdomen and watch your belly rise and your finger tips separate…..gently exhale till your fingertips touch again. Increase the amount you inhale and exhale as is comfortable for you to accomplish.

zophu's avatar

Costochondritis doesn’t seem to be a long-term thing. I would just focus on relaxing until the inflammation calmed down. Maybe I’d try to get a massage or something but I think a chiropractor would just make the inflammation worse, popping things around, but I don’t know.

MrsDufresne's avatar

@Cruiser I am actually breathing this way as I am typing this, and it does seem to lessen the pain. Thank you.

Cruiser's avatar

@MrsDufresne You are welcome and I have been doing it today too and has helped me greatly! :)

augustlan's avatar

If the naproxin sodium doesn’t get the inflammation under control, your doctor may prescribe a steroid for short term use. In the meantime, you could try something that helps me when I have muscle spasms in my chest… take a deep breath (even though it hurts), expanding your chest, and hold it for a bit. Another thing that helps me w/ inflammation pain is to slowly stretch myself out. Maybe for your situation, stand up as tall as possible and stretch your arms over your head. Other than that, I wouldn’t mess with your chest area too much. Wait for another time to try the chiropractor. Hope you feel better soon!

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