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Hi, I've just been diagnosed as having costochondritis and it kills! Please tell me am I the only one that thinks that their heart is just going to give up on them, that their chest is in a vice constantly and then the pain will peak and really really hurt. I was given tramadol by the Amubulance people and it worked wonders, but the doctors won't give it to me because it is a replacement for morphine. Can anyone help me I've had three lots of tablets and so far, none have helped!! I have to be careful what I take as I need to be fully aware as I have two young children.
I was diagnosed with costochondritis in December, although I had the symptoms for almost 3 years. It all started one night with cramps and chest pain, and I ended up at ER. They found a kidney stone and blamed it for the pain! 2 months later, they figured I have pleurosy, i've been treated for that but there was no word of costochondritis. I kind of got used to taking small breaths since then, until last december when i saw a new rheumotologist. She diagnosed me with costo. and put me on Celebrex. I take one everyday and it helps if I take it regularly. My dr. says there's no cure for costo. but with Celebrex I have a quality of life and never any terrible cramps as I used to have. Hot water seems to help only temporarily, so I really recommend everybody to ask for Celebrex from your doctors. All the best...
Looks like many people experience this so differently, with the exception that it's painful to say the least.
Anti-inflammatory meds are usually the treatment of choice, and certain meds work better than others. Work with your doctor closely on this. There are many different meds to try.
Apart from that, here are other things that seem to help a lot of people, as mentioned in other posts:

* Local heat

* Local infiltration of local anesthetic, steroid, or intercostal nerve block (reserved for refractory cases)

* Biofeedback

* Gentle stretching of the pectoralis muscles 2-3 times a day (a good chiropractor can help as well, and also give you homework to do on your own)

* Avoid repetitive misuse of muscles.

Watch yourself carefully for improper posture at home or work place.

They say the outlook for most patients with costochondritis is EXCELLENT, although after 1 year, you may still have discomfort, and sometimes up to 1/3 of people still have tenderness when they press or "palpate" the area.
It's important to work with your doctor on pain control because overuse of Advil and other over-the-counter meds can be very harmful in the long-run, as you know.
Sometimes, inadequate pain control causes more muscle tension, and therefore you have muscle tension pain on top of the original cartilage pain, and it becomes a vicious circle.

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