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Anyone here with Tietze's Syndrome or Costochondritis?

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  • Anyone here with Tietze's Syndrome or Costochondritis?


    Long time stalker, first time poster here I have been recently diagnosed with Tietze's syndrome and was wondering if anyone here has been through this or something similar (like costochondritis).

    For the past 5 months, I haven't been able to really ride besides walking around on my western horse in the pasture. Severe fatigue, migraines, and tietze's seems to have been the magical combination that has rendered me a blob most days.

    Tietze's is a condition where the costal cartilages in the sternum are swollen and inflamed. Sometimes this can resolve in 12 weeks, sometimes it's chronic. My doctor thinks it's the latter Especially since I haven't responded to the lidoderm patches or anti-inflammatories. The only thing I haven't been diligent about is...rest. He told me to try and not do anything. No lifting over 5lbs, no twisting, and limited movement. Well, having 4 horses to take care of at home, you can see how this is pretty much impossible!

    Just looking to see if there's anyone else out there who has Tietze's or the similar costochondritis...or anyone who has had to deal with doctors orders of rest and having to still care for horses.

    After some rocky health issues, I am back in the saddle and getting fitter everyday!

  • #2
    I was diagnosed with chronic costochondritis about 15 years ago, after being so sore I could not hardly stand anything touching, much less poking.
    One doctor, trying to examine me for my yearly visit followed thru that "being sore" when I practically fell out of the exam table when he poked around there.
    He said, once the diagnoses was clear, that there was nothing to be done.
    He did tell me to try over the counter pain killers and try to give it a rest, not lift, etc. and see if it improved some.

    It has not kept me from doing anything, including riding, but as he has in my chart, "if she calls with a bit of pain, get her in asap".
    I also went thru several severe surgeries without any pain killers on rehab, so yes, costochondritis is extremely painful, unless you can ignore pain.

    Are you sure the fatigue is part of that, or some other that needs to be addressed on it's own?


    • #3
      I have the costo as a wonderful side effect of my connective tissue disorder. I also can partially dislocate my sternum at times ever since HS when I had to bounce the bar off my chest bench pressing alone. (Dumb, I know.)

      The costo sent me to the ER in the last few months one time. I thought I was maybe having a heart attack. It was a spasm under my right armpit though. I SWEAR by my infrared pad from Venture Heat, Epsom salts, and meloxicam. Not sure if it is suitable for costo, but it is an RA drug that targets joint pain. It helps me remain mostly mobile.

      A GOOD PT who does myofascial release or craniocervical massage is a God send too.
      "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
      you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


      • Original Poster

        Bluey- The fatigue isn't associated with the Tietze's, but my doctors think I just get so tired from all of the pain (from everything else, my arthritis and what not). When I don't take the pain med (Tramadol), I end up having to nap in the afternoon just cause I get so exhausted from the day.

        Also, my doc told me that every time I feel the stabbing pain in my chest I am making the inflammation worse

        PalominoMorgan- I've never heard of an infrared pad before, but it looks cool after a quick google search! Might work a lot better than my rice sock

        Thanks so much for your replies. It means a lot to know that I am not the only horse loving person out there dealing with this!
        After some rocky health issues, I am back in the saddle and getting fitter everyday!


        • #5
          Originally posted by PalominoMorgan View Post
          I have the costo as a wonderful side effect of my connective tissue disorder. I also can partially dislocate my sternum at times ever since HS when I had to bounce the bar off my chest bench pressing alone. (Dumb, I know.)

          The costo sent me to the ER in the last few months one time. I thought I was maybe having a heart attack. It was a spasm under my right armpit though. I SWEAR by my infrared pad from Venture Heat, Epsom salts, and meloxicam. Not sure if it is suitable for costo, but it is an RA drug that targets joint pain. It helps me remain mostly mobile.

          A GOOD PT who does myofascial release or craniocervical massage is a God send too.
          I can't think to let anyone near my chest to do any touching, much less massaging.
          I can't hardly stand clothes when they get tight while moving around.
          Glad that you have some kind of PT that works.

          I will say that at first it was worse, now the past few years I can manage better, is not quite as sore.

          As for that kind of fatigue, well, I also get easily worn out any more, but I thought that is part of being old.

          You know how people like to walk up to you and hug you?
          Well, I become a grumpy bear if someone tries that.
          No, you are not alone, but to protect your sore ribs is hard when most of the world doesn't really understand that you ARE sore, not just touchy.


          • Original Poster

            Haha yes. I definitely have been quite a grumpy bear lately. Hard to explain to people that hugs, pats on the back, and picking up anything over 10lbs is extremely ouchy.

            My doctor's huge concern is that I'm only 21...and having to be on all of these drugs is no good for me

            Bluey- Do you notice the pain at all when riding? I'm the type to ignore pretty much anything when riding, so I'm thinking I might be able to start back as soon as a little more of the inflammation goes down.
            After some rocky health issues, I am back in the saddle and getting fitter everyday!


            • #7
              Riding is ok, but I think you may have a more severe case than I do and other problems, so you may have to compromise some in what you can do or not.

              I hope that will go away just like it came and you will not have any more problems later.

              Mine didn't show up until I was past 50, so we can't compare.

              I hope they can patch you back together soon, the medications today are awesome for those kind of odd problems.


              • #8
                I'm "too young" for all this too. The body doesn't care.

                The myofasical release and craniosacral massage isn't really massage. It is more about addressing trigger points. When my PT did the one on the right side of my neck that he said had been there about 15 years I groaned with pleasure. He was a goof and made a comment. In my head I thought "Oh My Gawd.... that was better than any orgasm." It felt THAT good to get the spasm/knot to release and then the blood flow resumes to that area as it should. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

                It's not massage massage, but something else. That said I also go to get tortured by my massage therapist (deep tissue) because it keeps my pot from boiling over, aka my muscles from keeping me in a C hunched position, etc. I cry every time but it releases some knots and buys me time for my body to rebuild them.
                "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                • Original Poster

                  Hmm I have a great therapist who has done trigger point work on me before. Maybe I'll give him a call and see if there are any indirect points he can address. Wonder if he could fix the rest of my pain, then my body will heal the Tietze's itself ha.

                  Realized this morning that I couldn't pull down another hay bale by myself without yelping in pain, so I had the boyfriend come and move two weeks worth of hay down from the top of the pile

                  The horses are luckily pretty low maintenance...probably still more work than the doc would like, but too bad! No way I'm sending them away while I get better. Maybe I can rope one of the neighbor kids into helping me though.
                  After some rocky health issues, I am back in the saddle and getting fitter everyday!


                  • #10
                    I faced with Tietze's syndrome when I was 29 years old. I tried a lot of treatments, let me tell what helped to me. Treatment contains from 3 parts which should be started simultaneously to make synergy effect:
                    1) Nimesil - NSAID, 2 times a day for 7 days
                    2) Capsicum Plaster. I cut it to strips of 14x2cm (use iruler.net when you have no real ruler at hand) and apply 2 or 3 strips every day (removing for taking shower) for about a month.
                    Do not use a whole piece, because it may cause skin irritation after continuous use.
                    3) Gym. Not so often, but regularly. Walking uphill (as cardio exercise) and hyperextension. Still going to gym for prophylaxis and because that's really increasing energy and feeling of well-being.


                    • #11
                      Yes, years ago, and now very well managed with:

                      ibuprofen to decrease inflammation. Biofreeze rubbed on several times a day. Relaxation - any anxiety tightens the chest up making it worse. Don't move heavy items all at once - proper lifting techniques whenever possible. Don't take five days off then move a bunchf of books/hay bales/etc. Hot baths. Pilates/core-strengthening exercises to support the back and thus support the chest.

                      It was terrifying. Now when I feel it starting, I start ibuprofen, Biofreeze (or Polar Lotion/etc.), and it goes away. I can crack my sternum when it starts and usually avoid the worst.
                      LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...


                      • #12
                        I had some severe chest pain a few years ago - very localized, and acute, and initially I was sent to the hospital because it was right on top of where the heart is, so there was fear it was something cardiac... Not the case. The dr. narrowed it down to costochondritis and I was on pain meds, even had an intercostal cortisone injection to reduce inflammation (major ouch!!!) which didn't work. I could barely work, couldn't lift anything and was generally miserable. Thankfully I wasn't riding at the time, but I wasn't able to snowboard that winter.

                        I ended up seeing an osteopath and after multiple very painful appointments the pain slowly subsidized - not sure if it was a 12-week thing or if the osteo actually helped.

                        Since I broke 2 vertebrae in May and I've been in a corset, resting, physio and now back to my fairly physical job, there are some very brief but painful moments where it feels like someone is stabbing me in the ribs - sort of feels like the costo but not as bad and thank goodness it's not for long, but I sure hope it doesn't come back.

                        And yes, cracking the sternum is an odd relief!


                        • Original Poster

                          Funny to see that this was my first post on the boards haha. Anyways, since then I've been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis...and it's quite aggressive for me at the moment. Costochondritis is something that goes along with AS.

                          I ended up getting cortisone injections, 3 times...and then gave up. They only helped for a few days (then I would probably overdo myself) and then it was back to normal.

                          Now that I'm on a lot of different pain and anti-inflammatories, the costochondritis isn't that bad...but I still have inflammation there. Switching from Humira to Cimzia soon to see if we can put my AS into remission, as it has already fused 4 disks in my spine I now pay a girl to come and pick out my horse's feet daily (I can't bend over that far anymore). I almost have her trained so I can just sit on a stool next to her.
                          After some rocky health issues, I am back in the saddle and getting fitter everyday!


                          • #14
                            yup, I ended up with chronic costo after a double mastectomy. There will be no poking and prodding, pressure and contact at all with the chest and ribs! I cant even breath if someone/thing hits it wrong. Stress makes it worse.

                            Riding is ok as long as I am not on a puller or one who hangs. I also have to admit, I am now very cautious because I am afraid to fall off and land wrong. Barn chores are usually ok, sometimes if I haul to many buckets or grain I am sore. Yes, the moments you wonder if you are having a heart attack aren't much fun.