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Costchondritis

(19 Posts)
PopcornBits Tue 14-Mar-17 22:16:06

Can someone tell me about this?

Had breast pain and armpit pinching type pain for the last 8 weeks now. Pain is an ache in the front of my chest, it has at its worst referred to my shoulder and shoulder blade, also down the left arm.
I have had two breast checks, nothing sinister found.
She pulled my breast tissue to one side and pressed down on my chest wall and I had excruciating pain! She said chest wall inflammation.

I have always suffered from sharp pains when moving or inhaling. Never have I had this continuous deep ache that seems to change in varying degrees of pain and locations though, sometimes it's an ache all over my shoulder arm and back, sometimes it's a crushing pain in my chest, sometimes it's a sore spot on the side of my breast.

What always seems to be consistent though is the pain that I have under my left armpit, at the side of my breast, the chest wall there is always painfully sore.

I looked costochondritis up, and it says that the pain should be at the sides of the sternum. My pain mostly originates under my left arm it seems to wrap around to the front and back.

Would that possibly still be costochondritis?

redandwhite1 Tue 14-Mar-17 22:23:23

Ive had this

It's when you cough so much you inflame the rib cartilage. The pain is very much in the ribs not elsewhere

I got to the point I could contain my cough as it was easier than the pain, ended up with borderline pneumonia

Doctors can't do a lot...live off paracetamol and ibrufen basically!

Sorry to hear you may have it, it's not nice sad

PopcornBits Tue 14-Mar-17 22:33:30

That's terrible sorry to hear that. Are you feeling better now?

I've had sharp pains for as long as I can remember but this is the first chronic flare up, more than just sharp pain. It's aching in all different locations, it'll be different each day. No amount of painkillers or nsaids do anything.

I didn't even have a cough, mine just started with pinching in the armpit and slowly progressed from there.
I don't even have a reason for it, I'm having physio at the moment, he messed about with my neck and I could feel the top of my chest (close to my sternum on the left side) start to ache, and when he let go I had a sharp pain shoot across the top of my neck/shoulder/back area,

I'm really not sure if this is typical of costochondritis or what.

PopcornBits Tue 14-Mar-17 22:36:35

redandwhite thinking about it, yours sounds more like pleurisy. I've had that too. Sharp pain from continuous coughing. I don't think that's the same as what I'm on about, although the pain can feel similar.

Maidofdishonour Mon 20-Mar-17 21:00:15

I have exactly the same pains that you describe Popcorn. I had pleurisy 20 years ago and it left me with nerve damage in the intercostal muscles. It has flared up since I had a cold at Christmas and is now really painful. Every time I go to the GP they diagnose costochondritis but I'm sure it isn't. I am also having physio but no relief yet.

PopcornBits Mon 20-Mar-17 21:26:19

That's crazy! Haven't they sent you for any tests?
I know shingles can cause neuralgia pain which can last years. Never heard of pleurisy doing it, I have had pleurisy really not pleasant but I also noticed that it's not the same pain as costochondritis either.

My physio seems to think my frenic nerve is trapped and he also thinks that my gallbladder having had gallstones for many years (which has now been removed) is causing the problem hmm I beg to differ to be honest, never had these pains when I had the gallstones! It actually started 2 weeks before I had my gallbladder taken out!

ive realised that my pain is varies massively in intensity and also location! My chest wall remains inflamed the whole time though.

Bettertobehealthy Tue 21-Mar-17 08:51:31

Here is a suggestion - that may not be on your radar..! Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone and muscle pains. have you had your level checked ?
You can get a check from an NHS lab over in Sandwell, East Midlands. They privately will do a test for £28. Blood spot on blotting paper. Results e-mailed within a week. Here. www.vitamindtest.org.uk/ OR maybe your doctor will do a free test ?

Have a look here, as well ,

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/2377129-Quick-Self-Check-for-Vitamin-D-deficiency.

If you press on your shin bone , does that hurt , feel bruised. ? You are looking for effects of deficiency on other parts of your skeleton. Does your lower back ache , if you stand for a longer time ..?

Here is a thread where we are discussing Vit D deficiency ....it may be useful to you. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/2421492-Vitimin-D-can-it-have-this-effect

Anyway .....just a thought ! .

Best of luck

BTBH

PopcornBits Tue 21-Mar-17 09:08:56

Thanks it's funny you should say that really as my sister has just been diagnosed with vit d deficiency and she had all the symptoms you describe!
I'm pretty sure I don't as I take calcium & vit d supplements every day, unless it's possible to be deficient even with supplements?
The pains only confined to my chest arm and back.

Bettertobehealthy Tue 21-Mar-17 18:04:26

pop
Well ... it does seem a lot less likely , from your description. However , if your sister is susceptible, then ... possibly. Also , this time of year is the worst from Vit D point of view , because sunlight does not have the strength to make it in your skin from Mid Oct to Mid April. i.e in the UK there is a 6 month period wherby you cannot make vitamin d in your skin , any deficency will get worse at this time of year, late winter/early spring. So, your only source will be food and supplements. If you are vegetarian ? , then almost none from food essentially- unless you specifically seek out fortified food.

If you are taking just a low dose of supplement , then that might not be enough . 5 or 10 ug. ( microgram ) i.e 200 or 400 IU , is a low dose. Although it is quite a common supplement. If that is all you are taking , then it might still be advisable to get your level checked out. Nothing to lose, sort of argument, but a great deal to gain.

Best of luck

BTBH

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Mar-17 18:07:39

Dd gets rib pain. One of the drs mentioned costchrondritis and also something similar.....will google in a minute. But I wasn't convinced it was either as neither seemed to fit properly.

With Dd she is fine most of the time, then a pain comes on quite suddenly. Shortness of breath, crushing pain with sharper shooting pain. Always left ribs.

She was very low on vitamin d and since starting medication gets these attacks less.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Mar-17 18:09:31

Tietze syndrome. Some websites lump it together with costochondritis but dr said they're a bit different. She wasn't sure which one but said no treatment for either so basically go away and she will grow out of it.

PopcornBits Tue 21-Mar-17 18:11:02

I am vegetarian. I take 125iu every day, so a low dose.
Maybe I am deficient after all.

I get sharp shooting pains Possumin I get it whenever I breathe or move suddenly/change positions, I have always had this but the aching is new.
I wasn't sure if it was related but I think it is as I've read that it can extend into the arm and back when its chronic.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Mar-17 18:23:07

When Dd has an attack it's worse when breathing in or moving. She gets a full ache for a while after an acute attack.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 21-Mar-17 18:24:27

You need to be taking 800iu vit d as a maintenance dose minimum. Dd was in 5000iu for a while and is now on 1000iu. However she refuses another blood test so no idea how much her levels have improved.

PopcornBits Tue 21-Mar-17 18:35:31

I get the ache after as well, sounds very similar! Actually had one earlier, it's left me aching in my shoulder even though the pain was near my sternum.
I think I should probably look at upping my dose!
I'll get referred back if physio doesn't work, so will mention it to the doctor then as well.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Tue 21-Mar-17 18:51:41

I had costochondritis about ten years ago, the pain was horrendous (worse than labour for me). I went to A&E after a week or so (chest pains are scary) and they diagnosed me there. I was prescribed co dydramol which took the edge of it (I'm allergic to ibuprofen which I think is the go-to painkiller for such things).

I went to an osteopath which really helped, the osteo was the first person who I felt like really understood how painful it was (it felt like knitting needles in the chest). He realigned my spine (I favour my right hand side so end up a big squished compensating for my weaker left side).

It passed in time, and though I've had the odd flare up since, it's never been even nearly as bad as the first time.

Bettertobehealthy Wed 22-Mar-17 10:53:08

pop ,
Your supplemental dose of vitamin D , is almost insignificant. better than nothing , sure, BUT , just enough to raise the average persons blood level by 3 nmol/Litre. Add in the fact that you are vegetarian , then I would say it has to be of great advantage to you , if you had that vit D level checked.
It has been measured that we need roughly 70 IU per day per kilogram of body weight. This would be from all sources , of course , sun, foods, supplement , sunbed. Your ideal situation would be to raise your blood level , if it is low , to at least 100 nmol/Litre , permanently. This is the blood level we humans evolved to have. Have a look here www.vitamindcouncil.org

I have posted quite a bit about the effects of low vitamin D here on mumsnet. Search my nick. Suffice it to say , because Vit D becomes a hormone , low levels affect many bodily systems, and can cause illness, aches,pains etc at many sites on the body.
Well , I'll get off my soapbox now ...!!

Best of luck

BTBH.

PopcornBits Wed 22-Mar-17 21:24:14

Thanks it's very informative and not something I would have thought of before if I'm honest so it's helpful.

PopcornBits Wed 05-Apr-17 19:59:24

Just wanted to quickly update:
I have had 6 physio sessions via NHS that did bugger all. He says trapped nerve.
I went to see a sports therapist today, she was brutal! Really worked on trigger points, the pain is all in my traps, teres minor, intercostal and lower back and ribs. Worst pain I have ever endured and I've had gallstones.

And now I'm sat in bed, and I literally have no nerve pain! She has magic hands. I think my problem is muscular pressing on nerves and referring pain into my arm and chest.

I did as you advised though and I'm now taking 1000iu vitamin d a day.

I will update next week at my next session!

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