Costochrondritis/ Tietze syndrome

Posted by Fiona @fiona, Jul 12, 2011

Would love to hear from anybody who has any info on this disorder. I get flare ups 5-6 times a year.Costachrondritis has been mentioned but I have yet to get a diagnosis despite MRI and CAT scans and x-rays. Stabbing, sharp pain starts in the left rib cage and within days I have upper stomach and back spasm which is only alleviated by complete bed rest ie. being still. During an attack, just moving my arm in a certain way, or coughing will provoke a spasm. I feel generally unwell , tired and out of sorts. It has been suggested that allergys may set it off.Sometimes when I have an extra strenous exercise session or even cleaning house can start it off. Flare up will last usually 7 -10 days. Cortisone shots into / between ribs on left side have worked pretty well but I dont think that is the answer long term. Anybody know if there is a blood test to look for Tietze? Apparently the difference between that and costachrondritis is actual inflammation in cartiledge…I have also read that the condition is associated with arthritis and auto immune conditions…I am in remission from moderate colitis. Also I noticed during last episode that my hands felt arthritic -sore tender finger joints. I would love to hear from somebody who recognises these symptoms – I am frustrated and bewildered and fed up with this seemingly untreatable and difficult to diagnose condition. Otherwise I am a healthy , engaged and youthful 50 year old! Last question: What kind of doctor does one see to discuss this condition?

@lisalucier

Hi @shshank_gaurv,
It appears you may be under the impression I am a medical professional. I am not, and am therefore not in a position to provide medical advice. Mayo Clinic Connect provides a place for community members (patients, family members, caregivers) to share their experiences and connect with those who’ve faced similar experiences.

You may be interested to read more about Connect here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/about-this-community/.

As moderators, we help connect people with similar health issues and ensure that the community is safe, welcoming, respectful and inclusive. Here is some information you may be interested in about how and why we moderate:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/about-our-moderators-and-mentors/. As we continue to keep this discussion going about costochondritis, the likelihood of other members joining in increases.

Researching costochondritis on Mayo Clinic’s website, chiropractic adjustment is not one of therapies recommended, per http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/costochondritis/basics/treatment/con-20024454. Additionally, here is information you may wish to read about chiropractic treatment, what you can expect, how to prepare and potential risks: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chiropractic-adjustment/basics/what-you-can-expect/prc-20013239.

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@lisalucia:. Thank you for your reply and link to Tietze. Yes, just breathing deeply and waiting the spasm symptom out, not moving, is the only thing I can do. I generally only have a few moments of that painful sudden spasm.Interestingly, I’ve always been baffled by the cause other than reading an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs..
But the link points to osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondilitis of which I have both may give me more understanding. I have Fibromyalgia also so that must factor in. Doc said if you press on both sides of your breast bone and it’s very tender, most liking costochrondrtis and not heart attack. Advil was recommended when I had a one time long severe episode. Helped.

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Hi @virtuous69

Tietze syndrome (also called chondropathia tuberosa or costochondral junction syndrome) is a benign inflammation of one or more of the costal cartilages.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tietze_syndrome
The main presentation of the syndrome is significant, acute pain in the chest, along with tenderness and some swelling of the cartilages affected, which is commonly palpable on examination. Perceived pain is often exacerbated with respiration. Although many times it can be extremely painful, to the point of being debilitating, Tietze’s Syndrome is considered to be a benign condition that generally resolves in 12 weeks. However, it can often be a chronic condition.

Costochondritis symptoms are similar to Tietze’s, the prime difference being that the pain radiates to the arms and shoulders in the latter.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/costochondritis/basics/definition/con-20024454

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Hi, I saw this discussion and had to join in. I recently was diagnosed with Tietze Syndrome and have been completely confused with how I got this. I have swelling in the middle of my chest and spells when my breathing is so restricted and or chest pain that feels like my breast bone is broke in two. My lite symptoms is the feeling of a heavy chest.

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Welcome to Connect, @ladibabe,

Costochondritis usually has no clear cause; when swelling accompanies the pain it is known as Tietze syndrome. Sometimes, however, it can be caused by injury, high impact activities, arthritis, or join infections. You can read more details from Mayo Clinic, here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/costochondritis/basics/definition/con-20024454

I would like to introduce you to @dawn_giacabazi, one of our volunteer Connect mentors who has some experience with costochondritis. Dawn, do you have any insight for @ladibabe?

You may wish to view these discussions on Connect, where several members share their experiences with Costochondritis:
– pain: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pain-229ca6/
– Chest pain conflicting diagnosis: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chest-pain-conflicting-diagnosis/

I’d also like to invite @beahind @barbvh @jerseygirl926 @vickiekay @mrschew to join in with their thoughts.

@ladibabe, have you spoken to your doctor about your breathing issues? How do you mange the pain, currently?

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Hi, @shshank_gaurv, @virtuous69, @ladibabe, @xelanoel, @dawn_giacabazi , @behind, @vickiekay , @rubickscube and @annieecruz. All of you have mentioned costochondritis at various times on Mayo Clinic Connect. Just wanted to check in with you and see how things are going with this condition and your pain?

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@lisalucier and all: yes I do.suffer from costochondritis. My pain comes on suddenly usually between the fourth rib. can be very very painful and last a number of minutes but usually I don’t have it as all day long.The interesting thing is I can get it anywhere within any rib in front or in back or in the ribs attached to my sternum. When I first heard about it I had an on-site nurse at work call my doctor because I thought I was having a heart attack and she asked me to press the muscles to either side of my sternum And if they were sore which they were ,she said it was costochondritis ,to go home and take some Advil and rest. The problem I have is when I turn over in bed the pain can be excruciating between any one of my ribs, back or side usually. I just have to bite my tongue and try to breathe in as deeply as possible to get oxygen to the muscle and wait it out and usually it goes away within a few minutes so I do not suffer any long-term pain like some of you. And that’s really all the info that I could offer. So blessings to you who suffer this rib cage pain, that’s what it’s called on internet.especilly if you suffer this pain on a prolonged basis. Virtuous 69

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@lisalucier and all:. P.S. I’ve noticed that it I’ve eaten any kind of a meal that causes me to bloat ,I feel like my bra begins to tighten like a vice, and when that happens that could cause me a doozy of a costochondritis flare.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @shshank_gaurv, @virtuous69, @ladibabe, @xelanoel, @dawn_giacabazi , @behind, @vickiekay , @rubickscube and @annieecruz. All of you have mentioned costochondritis at various times on Mayo Clinic Connect. Just wanted to check in with you and see how things are going with this condition and your pain?

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@lisalucier @virtuous69 @ladibabe I have been on Medication And Physiotherapy for 5 months now. Condition is stable. Its not improving in any way. If I miss physiotherapy sessions for a week or 10 days – symptoms r back. But if you compare the condition to when it was diagnosed and today – I would say 70-75% improvement. Deep Breathing (Inhaling) Increases it – while exhaling doesn’t. I take a muscle relaxant mixed with ibrufen SOS. A high protein diet (0.8* your body weight) does help a lot. Till today – am very very cautious of my Torso And Shoulder movement. As the pain May increase if I strain that part. As mentioned by others – my pain area is T4,T5,T6 mostly (sternum).

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@virtuous69

@lisalucier and all:. P.S. I’ve noticed that it I’ve eaten any kind of a meal that causes me to bloat ,I feel like my bra begins to tighten like a vice, and when that happens that could cause me a doozy of a costochondritis flare.

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@virtuous69 Eating more or eating wrong – which causes Bloating – does cause the Flare. For that I try to have a Rabiprazole 20 mg and a Digestive Enzyme SOS. Its does help apart from the Muscle Relaxant (that too SOS)

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@ladibabe

Hi, I saw this discussion and had to join in. I recently was diagnosed with Tietze Syndrome and have been completely confused with how I got this. I have swelling in the middle of my chest and spells when my breathing is so restricted and or chest pain that feels like my breast bone is broke in two. My lite symptoms is the feeling of a heavy chest.

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T4,T5,T6 maybe the pain area – Advil May Help(SOS). Gabapentin (Prescription Drug)

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@lisalucier

Hi, @shshank_gaurv, @virtuous69, @ladibabe, @xelanoel, @dawn_giacabazi , @behind, @vickiekay , @rubickscube and @annieecruz. All of you have mentioned costochondritis at various times on Mayo Clinic Connect. Just wanted to check in with you and see how things are going with this condition and your pain?

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@lisalucier A few things I think I should mention. Lately I Have started getting Brain Fog. I forget things a lot (as in not able to recall when needed). Have become boring – as in – the things I used to enjoy doing earlier – now I find them really boring. Earlier I used to react to things fast – now I don’t (which is good). I don’t get angry that easily (which is good as well)

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@lisalucier

Hi, @shshank_gaurv, @virtuous69, @ladibabe, @xelanoel, @dawn_giacabazi , @behind, @vickiekay , @rubickscube and @annieecruz. All of you have mentioned costochondritis at various times on Mayo Clinic Connect. Just wanted to check in with you and see how things are going with this condition and your pain?

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Hi, @shshank_gaurv. Thanks for sharing some of the things that bring you relief with your costochondritis. Are you thinking that the brain fog, not enjoying things you used to enjoy and being slower to get angry are related to the costochondritis or the medications for it?

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