I never thought of costochondritis until I experienced severe chest pain due to it. On a fine day, suddenly, I experienced pain on my right side of the chest with heaviness. Initially, I ignored the pain considering it as pain due to the wrong posture while sleeping, however, the burning pain got so worse to the extent that I was unable to focus on my work. That was when I started to run to the hospitals. The pain in the chest was radiating to the right shoulder and then to arms. As the pain was on the right side of the chest, I avoided to go to the Cardiologist and consulted the Gynecologist who, after careful manual examination, didn’t find any lumps and concluded that probably it is Musculoskeletal and it may be Costochondritis and advised to take the further opinion of an Orthopedic doctor. Orthopedic advised doing X-ray and 3D scan of the sternum bone and some blood tests to rule out possibilities. And finally, it was diagnosed as COSTOCHONDRITIS.
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the sternum or breastbone.
Tietze’s Syndrome: It is a rare Musculoskeletal disease or a rare form of Costochondritis characterized by chest pain and swelling of the cartilage of one or more of the upper ribs (costochondral junction).
The pain resulting due to Costochondritis can range from mild to severe, and it affects the chest wall and rib cage. Usually, the pain is unilateral, but, sometimes, it may be bilateral. The symptoms can mimic the chest pain associated with a heart attack.
The following variations of pain can be observed:
- It may be sharp stabbing pain over the front part of the upper chest.
- The pain may be aching, dull, and constant.
- The pain occurs only with movement.
- The pain worsens with a deep breath, strenuous activity, touch, and sneezing or coughing.
- The pain in the shoulder and arms, burning pain in the ribs.
- The pain usually decreases with rest, movement, or slow breathing.
- It may be also associated with difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
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In most cases of Costochondritis, the cause of the condition is not clear. The possible causes of Costochondritis may include:
- Trauma: Physical trauma or history of direct injury to the upper part of the chest (from sports, fights, or accidents) may cause costochondritis.
- Viral respiratory infection
- Muscle strain: Strenuous exercises and physical strain resulting due to activities, such as heavy lifting, or severe bouts of coughing may lead to costochondritis.
- Tumors in costochondral junction: Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors can cause costochondritis.
- Arthritis: Costochondritis may be associated with ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Respiratory infections: Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, and Pleurodynia may cause costochondritis.
- Psychogenic illness too may lead to costochondritis.
There is no specific test to diagnose Costochondritis. Based on your symptoms and physical examination, the doctors diagnose the condition. The doctor can find out the tenderness and can assess the pain levels. Your doctor can also look for signs of inflammation and swelling.
Apart from the physical examination, doctors might order some blood tests, such as ESR, CRP, Vitamin D, calcium, Rheumatoid arthritis test, and HLA-B27 test, and X-ray chest to rule out other possibilities. Also, you may need to undergo ECG to rule out the heart condition.
Conventionally, most of the cases of Costochondritis are treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In some severe cases, the doctor may prescribe local anesthetic and steroid injection.
How Homeopathy Helps Treat Costochondritis?
Homeopathic medicines are selected based on an individual case study, incorporating the study of the disease symptoms as well as the emotional sphere. Homeopathy works wonderfully in cases of Costochondritis. The pain control is quite effective with homeopathy and that too without any side-effects whatsoever. By using homeopathy, we aim at reducing the frequency, severity, and duration of the pain. Homeopathic treatment would aim to offer a significant pain-relief, lessen your symptoms, improve your mobility, and improve your lifestyle to as normal as possible. It also helps in reducing your dependency on conventional drugs.
So, if you notice any of the symptoms discussed above, kindly get yourself examined by the health expert and do the necessary investigations to rule out all the possibilities.