Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Treatments

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What is the treatment for costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?

Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided.

Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and cortisone injections have been used as therapy for the inflamed, painful cartilage of both costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome. Ice packs applied to local swelling can sometimes help to reduce pain and inflammation. Local lidocaine analgesic patch (Lidoderm) application can reduce pain.

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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: 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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