Patient Comments: Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Treatments

What was the treatment for your costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?

Comment from: DrWildcat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I was diagnosed with Tietze's syndrome after a visit to the emergency room (ER) for a possible heart attack. All my tests came back negative, in fact, I was told I should be a 30 year old. I was given a narcotic NSAID and methylprednisolone which helps while I'm taking it but the pain returns immediately. After many courses of steroids, we tried injections but again the pain simply returns. My doctor will not prescribe pain medication and I can't tolerate any more steroids, so I was basically told I'd just have to stick it out. The pain is excruciating a great deal of the time, but I don't know what else to do. It's been over a year now. I am making an appointment with a new doctor.

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Comment from: ActiveOne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am and always have been very active. When I was 17 to 18, I started having chest pain intermittently during soccer games. Sometimes I worked through the pain and sometimes I have to lie down on the sidelines until the pain receded. My doctors thought the linings of my heart and lungs were irritated from activity and no course of treatment was pursued. Five or six years later, still very active, I suddenly developed severe chest pain that would last all day. My doctor diagnosed me with costochondritis. I was prescribed anti-inflammatory pain relievers, which helped with pain but had horrible side-effects. I tried the steroid patches, but I they did not help. In the end, I discontinued all exercise (yoga, spinning, lifting weights, running) for 9 months and took naproxen when needed. Rest seemed to help the most. Overall, costochondritis is very frustrating because I felt there was no control over the pain. I literally had to wait it out for months.

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Comment from: zappa123, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have an autoimmune disorder which causes soft tissue swelling. I have been on mild immunosuppressants for over fifteen years. I get flare ups which often present with costochondritis, actually Tietze"s. I am surprised by how other patients here find that it is annoying but they are functioning. When I get this it is bilateral and severe. I"ve had to go to emergency many times as I am not breathing sufficiently. Cortisone shots directly to the area of the swelling work best but it"s hard to get appointments. I take anti-inflammatory drugs daily (huge stomach ulcer but no choice.) I am just wondering if anyone else has this Tietze's this severely. I can barely move my arms, head, neck or upper body at all due to extreme pain. In the past this has gone on for months (I had to be hospitalized).

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Comment from: ginnylou, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I have had three open heart surgeries and if this had happen on left side I would have called my medical alert. I woke up with severe pain under right breast. It hurt to breath. This occurred on the Monday before New Year's Eve. I could not get hold of anyone. I e-mailed a friend who is a doctor. He contacted me immediately and advised me of that it was costochondritis, but he also advised if symptoms spread or worsened, I would need hospital. I stayed in bed and symptoms are slowly improving. I feel much empathy for people who have this on recurring level.

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Comment from: clb2013now, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I am a 51 year old female who had a heart attack two years ago and now have a damaged heart. I've been to the emergency room several times since and they check out my heart and it shows nothing. Sometimes the pain goes away within hours, sometimes it is days and I can't even sit, have to be lying down or standing. The physiotherapist suggested to my doctor about costochondritis and he agreed. I have a swelling that keeps popping up between my neck and shoulder and we just assumed it was from the neck. I do have some neck and upper back structure issues too. To top this all off, I'm diabetic and steroids send my sugar way off, ibuprofen sends my blood pressure way up. So, ice and pain patches both over-counter, with fentanyl (when it gets bad) is how I am treating it. I am still going to the physiotherapist and she is helping me work with posture to possibly keep the attacks down, gently, slowly strengthen the muscles to support the chest. She helps with the inflammation with massage too.

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Comment from: CaraP, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I am a 25 year old female, I have been having chest pain for about 3-4 weeks now, and about a week ago I got sick with an average virus going around. Finally last week I went to see my family doctor and after I told him I was having chest pain he pushed on a few of my ribs and they were tender to his touch, and he diagnosed me with costochondritis. No blood work, no chest x-ray. I have had no accidents, or trauma to my chest. I think he assumed the virus came before the chest pain, but it was the other way around. He told me to take Advil twice a day and put a heating pad on the sore area and sent me on my way. I am not at ease with his diagnosis.

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