For the past few days i have been experiencing some chest pain and i was terrified that it was my heart. I went to my gp today as the pain has still not gone and i was told that i had costochondritis.
I just wanted to ask what is costochondritis and is it related to heart problems? as anyone had costochondritis before?? How can a doctor be sure it is costochondritis and not something more serious all he did was listen to my chest?? Please advise....
I have costochondritis, the pain can really mimic that of a heart attack however. Most doctors will rule out heart related pain by doing certain blood works and running an EKG.
Mine gets so bad at times, I am in tears and when the pain radiates to the front, it is awful. I know it is the costochondritis however, I have had many tests done, and I know I have inflammation in the ribs, at times, you can actually feel the cartilage between them, that is how swollen they are. My acupuncture helps some and so does my chiropractor, also, sitting in a hot tube with Epsom salts. Other than that, just taking a couple of Advil at night before bed is all I can do, I have not been prescribed anything else.
Jerry: Thanks for the website. No my doc just listened to my chest and didn't do any EKGs etc.
Sassylassie: Does the pain sometimes feel like a burning pain? Initially my pain is at the front of my chest but can it spread to the back? I was told that with costochondritis the rib is tender/painful to touch but have you ever had it where it ISN'T really that tender to touch but when you move it just hurts??
Because it isn't that painful when i press in the area i keep thinking it might not be costochondritis and it maybe my heart instead??
If you were having a heart attack, it is unlikely that pain would be the only symptom that you would have. More than likely it would be accompanied by exercise intolerance.... and by that I mean simply standing up.... Nausea, vomitting, sweating, breathlessness.... the list goes on. A week down the line without treatment, you certainly wouldnt be able to write this!
Additionally, movement of the ribs and breathing in/out wouldn't affect the pain. It would be pretty much constant and unbearable. I would imagine that the pain that you are feeling is pretty sharp.... The pain of a heart attack is totally debilitating and heavy crushing in nature 'like an elephant sat on my chest' is the most common description!
By listening to your chest, the doctor would have heard the grating of cartilage as you breathed in and out. I'm sure if it was anything worrying the Doctor wouldn't have allowed you to leave the clinic.
Yes, my pain goes to the back, in fact, it can cause my upper back to have very sever spasms. Another thing that you "might" have, but, it does not really sound like it is a hiatal hernia, these can cause chest pain as well but, from the two posts I read, I would say you DO have the costochondritis. I have had it hurt to the touch big-time,and other times, just a dull ache with no pain getting worse upon palpation.
Like Bloke1981 said, you would know it if it were a heart attack, he described the pain perfectly. And, I too agree that if your doc thought it was even minutely related to heart, he would have kept you for further tests and observations.
Thank you so much for responding!
I don't know why but i'm just so paranoid and anxious lately :(
Yes you are both right common sense says it can't really be related to the heart but when your'e anxious nothing seems to register!!
Sassylassie: Today i've been experiencing a weird burning but almost itchy sensation in my back in the same area. Have you ever experienced anything like that before? Its almost like a normal itch but deep inside the chest somewhere and no matter how much i scratch it is still there!
I am a recent ex smoker and so anxious now that if it's not heart related it must be something a lot worse and related to my lung!! I quit smoking some time ago but all the worries and anxiety are still there
I have not had itching,but, I have had the burning, I have also had back spasms. It could be just a good case of "nerves" going on.
Congratulations for quiting smoking!! How long ago. I really doubt it is your lungs; I have read that from the very day you stop smoking, your lungs start to "repair" themselves, and after a few years, they are almost as good as a non-smokers. It really amazes me.
That darn anxiety can cause so many problems, and it seems like once it starts, it is almost impossible for it to stop. I have this wonderful book, called "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes, I tell you, it has been a gift from God, it is so easy to read, yet,she covers all the symptoms of anxiety that all folks have. You can still get it on line from Borders or Amazon. It is so worth it, I would certainly look into it. She writes like she is sitting next to you, it is so comforting. This might help to set your mind at ease too.
MedHelp also has an anxiety forum, that might be an idea too. I have joined, but, have not posted there yet.
Anyway, hope some of this helps. I know the feelings you are having, and I truly think that anxiety is contributing to most of them.
I've had chest pain come and go for 3 years now. I know exactly when I pulled my muscles/tendon/whatever. I was carrying my 4 year old daughter and my 1 year old daughter in carseat up a flight of stairs. I've never felt so much pain in my chest. I can't seem to get rid of it though. My kids are now 7 and 4 years old. I would like to not have this pain any more. I've been researching treatments but can't' find anything. I've read that it should only last a few days and to take ibuprofen. The pain comes and goes. But when it comes back it's for at least a week. It's been 2 weeks this time. Sleeping, carrying my kids, passing a dish across the table, breathing sometimes hurts. How can I get rid of it forever? I'm 37 years old and when it hurts I feel old and week. I'm not old and week. I'm strong, a hard worker and full of energy. Help me please...
Have you tried asking your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist. Tell them what is going on and see what they have to say. I hurt my back once and initially when it happened I had pain in the center of my chest. In any event it sounds like you need to get it diagnosed to find out if it is a slipped disc or just a muscle issue or something else. Finding out what is wrong should help you to resolve the issue.
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