Today we are going through how to treat chronic costochondritis pain. Here are some three things you can do from home to manage your chest pain.
Treat Chronic Costochondritis
Below are the following steps you can try and ask your doctor to guide you manage your chest pain.
Try over-the-counter Painkillers
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are most likely to be effective. Ask your doctor if he recommends using non-prescription painkillers. These medications may provide you with some relief. If you are taking any kind of prescription medicines, it is advised to consult with your doctor before starting any over-the-counter medications.
A doctor is the Best Person
Your doctor is the best person to advise you of any potential interactions between the over-the-counter medications and your other medications. Do not forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult the doctor if you will take them for more than a few days. Make sure you talk to a doctor before using these medications even over-the-counter medications if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease or are prone to stomach ulcers or internal bleeding.
Give Some Time to Heal
This may mean depending upon the complexity of your disease and situation, that you have to refrain from strenuous sports for several weeks. Costochondritis chest pain is usually caused due to activities that stretch the cartilage and muscles around the chest wall. The number one doctor prescribed treatment as avoidance a rest from the activity that is causing the discomfort. The pain usually fades away after a few couples of days or weeks. But be patient, it could also take up to a few months to treat chronic costochondritis.
Rest is Always Helpful
The one thing that can help is rest. Do it until you no longer feel pain. Another thing you need to do is gradually reintroduce physical activity into your daily routine to give yourself time to build up lost muscle and stamina. You need to be particularly cautious of activities that need sudden sharp moves, or high stretch on your chest muscles or put your body at risk of receiving blows to the chest. These include tennis, baseball, golf, basketball, and karate.
Apply A bit of Heat
Apply heat to the area that is sore. This can be effective and help increase the blood flow and relax muscles that may be tight. You can also use a hot water bottle or a heating blanket. Avoid applying the heat source directly to your skin. If you use a hot water bottle wrap it in a towel to protect you from burning yourself. Apply the heat for 5-10 minutes and then remove it to give your skin a chance to cool down.
You can also put an ice pack on the affected joint to treat chronic costochondritis. The joint is the sore area where your sternum and ribs connect. The ice can help minimize the swelling and soothe the inflammation. A bag of frozen peas or corn wrapped in a towel makes a quick candy ice pack.
It is not recommended to apply the ice pack directly to your skin. After 15 to 20 minutes remove the ice pack and give your skin a chance to warm up. Repeat this three to four times daily.
Exercises Best for You
Stretch tighten chest muscles around the joint but be careful to do so slowly gently and only with the doctor’s approval. The doctor may recommend you to a specialist. This is done in cases to learn what types of exercises would be the best for your case. You can start nice and easy by stretching your chest muscles with slow deep breaths.
Don’t Try Hard
When you feel comfortable and ready, add pectoral muscle stretches. Another way to do this is to brace your forearm against a doorway and then slowly lean forward until you feel the muscles below and around your shoulders stretch. One of the excellent ways to relax and stretch are yoga poses combined with deep breathing. You can also try the Sphinx pose to treat chronic costochondritis. Lie on your stomach while supporting yourself through your elbows. Then open your chest stretching up & backward. If you feel any sort of pain by these exercises, stop immediately to avoid hurting yourself.
Keep on Experimenting
While sleeping, experiment with different positions until you find one that minimizes your discomfort. Try to avoid positions that put pressure on the joint that causes pain. It will probably be uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach.
Improve your posture to reduce the strain on your chest sitting or standing with a hunched posture is likely to aggravate your costochondritis and increase your discomfort depending upon the current situation. One of the daily tasks you can do is to practice sitting, standing and walking with a book balanced on your head. Concentrate on opening your chest and letting your shoulders rollback. Hope this information will help our readers to treat chronic costochondritis or manage chest pain.
This article is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. Hence, all readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any medication or exercise.
Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Matsko is a retired Physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He received his M.D. from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007.
This Post Has One Comment
A good thing to add – lidocaine topical cream to apply on the ribcage with a sponge. This is the only thing that’s worked for my costochondritis.