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WABob
11-01-2005, 01:33 PM
Hey Guys,

The past year and a half to two years I have been getting pains in the chest that seem to be coming from the cartilage that joins the ribs to the sternum.

I've seen doctors and an O.T. who have said there's not much I can do but take glucosamine to help rebuild the cartilage or anti-inflamatories, neither of which have worked over the past year. x-rays have shown up nothing.

it doesn't hurt anymore or less when I climb, play footy or netball but hurts a fair bit when I get up after lying down on my side (leaning on my elbow) or sometimes other positions.

Someone suggested it could be muscle related - I have been shirt-fronted playing footy before and my neck still gets a bit tight every now and then..

any suggestions on what to do?

cheers in advance..

sydunisportsmed
11-01-2005, 02:00 PM
This is a tough one, because non-unions of the rib joints definitely do exist, but they are very hard to treat (and even prove on imaging). I honestely don't know the best (or any) way to treat them. It is probably worth trying a cortisone injection to take pain away (and see whether this works). Maybe some sort of bone stimulator or shock wave or ultrasound might help stimulate healing.

The good news is you won't die of it and it shouldn't get worse.

WABob
12-01-2005, 11:25 AM
Cheers, not overly fond of the idea of cortisone, I not so sure it will fix the problem, but I will see about the others you mentioned and if they are done in WA...

if anyone else reads this has any suggestions they are welcome..

hhh
12-01-2005, 01:00 PM
What can cause this problem is that you have an excessive thoracic kyphosis, ie: rounded back. This approximates the sternum with the symphysis-pubis (creating sterno-symphyseal syndrome) and jams up the sterno-costal joints creating joint and therefore compensatory muscle problems. That may explain why when you lay on your side and load your joints, you get pain. Easy way to check for this is to get someone to look at you side on and to see if your shoulders and head are well forward of your body. You can try improving your flexibilty through the internal shoulder rotators, particularly pecs, to open up your chest and some mobes of the mid back eg: rolling backwards on a gym ball. Hard to make a functional diagnosis without observing or assessing you but give this a go. This can get advanced further if it proves to be beneficial, but list some more details such as age, occupation etc

WABob
12-01-2005, 03:58 PM
I'm 25 and work in an office - in front of the computer for most of the day. I've only just started here so I am currently fixing my desk so it is ergonomically good for me (ie. raising the moniter,keyboard and phone in correct reaching distance and setting the chair properly....) and am still waiting for a couple of things...

not sure what else you would want to know.

I'll give the gym ball a bash and see how it works out....

Luke
14-01-2005, 04:04 AM
I've got a sure way to stop your problem. Don't lye on your side for too long. This should completely resolve all symptoms.

It could easily be the result of an old shirt-front and now some subsequant instability. If it is, try building your chest up which will help support the area and therefore less load will go through the area when propping yourself on your elbow.

RoWAOT
17-01-2005, 04:58 PM
Can I suggest you ask your doctor for some more tests? Whilst x-rays are a good place to begin to look for underlying causes, they can often miss important structural abnormalities or damage that could be contributing to your pain.

If the pain is due to excessive kyphosis as suggested, stretching the pecs and front chest should help. Also strengthening the upper back muscles (eg. lat dorsi, rhomboids) and shoulder stabilisers (such as rotator cuffs) can assist in correcting posture and result in lessened rounding of the shoulders. It can also "draw" the shoulders down and backwards which will take the load of your costal joints.

If it is due to front chest weakness resulting from being shirt-fronted, and you try to strengthen these muscles, you risk merely stremgthening the strongest muscles/side and only making the weaker group of muscles even less advantaged. Therefore, any exercises to strengthen this group should be closely monitored and supervised to ensure you're doing them correctly and most efficiently.

Did you ever have the pain before the football injury??

Did the glucosamine help??

Brother Chuck
18-01-2005, 07:11 AM
As a Paramedic, injuries of this type are common sometimes in the work place as well as with sport related injuries. Rib Cartledge Injury is a tough cookie. It takes a long time for complete healing. And the pain is very simaliar to injury against the plureal lining of the lungs.

One caution to all who have this type of injury. If at anytime you have a rubbing sensation against the lung and an unproductive cough or if you feel as if you can not take a full breath: go and have another opinion from another doctor.

I injuried myself on July 4th of 2003.. I fell posterior on a flight of steps while carrying weight. I landed on the right 7th posterior rib. That was bad enough, but the mechanism of injury caused a tramatic streach on the anterior of my chest wall...almost causing a penumothroax. The pain was intense to say the least. And I felt the pop of my cartledge pull away.

Just one week ago having thought the tear of my rib cartledge was healed...I had to lie on my stomach to perform some general labor and much to my suprise I heard a type of pop in the same area of my rib and the pain was back.........

So, in closing examine your mechanism of injury when you recieve these fractures closely...this will determine very much you course and for what you are in for as far as the length of time to heal also any postions of discomfort that you want to avoid at all times not to aggravate the injury more...and like me when you think it is healed ...think again before you put any pressure on this area.....now I am back to the Healing all over again.....

toddphysio
18-01-2005, 02:20 PM
In response to WA Bob:
I too suffered from a similar complaint for a few years. Has no one mentioned costochondritis? (inflammation of the rib cartilage), or tietze's syndrome? It can be reproduced by pushing on the rib of the affected cartilage. Mine was aggravated too by lying propped on my side, and also after lying on couch with head and neck flexed forward propped on arm rest. I feel it is brought about by compression of the cartilage between the ribs and sternum. I tried all the suggestions such as stretching pecs, improving thoracic spine extension, mobilising costovertebral joints, etc. However, simply avoiding the aggravating activities worked for me. If no luck, may want to see a rheumatolgist.

WABob
18-01-2005, 05:26 PM
hey toddphysio,

costochondritis was why I was put onto anti-inflamatories and glucosamine to help with it....

I stopped all activites for about 7-8 months with no change so I have gone back to doing it all because I was bored of not being active.

it doesn't hurt any more when I am active and somedays I wont feel it unless I press agaist my sternum and I do avoid sitting or lying in positions that agravate it.

thanks everyone for your imput I am going to try most of it and I am going to get second and third opinions until I find someone that can help or it heals itself..which I think was one of the only solutions that came up with costochondritis wasn't it...


RoWAOT: I can't remember if it hurt before the footy incident...I dont think so although my chest used to click when I ran up stairs or sprinted from a standing start and the glucosamine and anti-inflamatories didn't help even a little bit..

cheers

Maheep
18-02-2005, 01:26 PM
Hey man

I have the exact symtoms. started about 8-10 mnths ago. they were very mild and recently they got really bad. they started when i used to work out.. i was benching 225lbs and for some reason i bounced teh bar on my chest.. and thas when i felt a pain.. but dint think much of it.

ANd recently.. it got so bad that i went into emergency thinkin i was havin a heart attack.. had an ecg and xray done.. every thing came out fine. WEnt to my family physician and he told me i had gastric reflux (fancy name for heart burn) and injured cartillage. I searched the net like a madddddd man tryin to find out how to fix my cartilage but there is no set way to fix it other than resting.

my symtoms are pretty wierd sometimes:
i feel the pin in the teh center... then someitmes lower ribs and sides aswel.. but its mostly when i m lyin on my back and try to get up straight or if i lean my chest forward. i feel a sharp pain in the middle of my chest..

i guess i juss have to wait it out... see wat happens..
hope u are feeling better tho.

WABob
22-02-2005, 04:18 PM
Hey Meehap,

sounds similar. although I find my pain stays around the sternum and sometimes spreads out to the colllar bone. I get the same sensations when I am lying down & all that too...

I've been told the glucosamine works on most people (not sure why it didn't do anything for me) as it is supposed to help regenerate cartilage & make it stronger.

Magnesium helped me a little bit as it helped release tension from the muscles supporting the area.....

good luck mate, I'm still working on it. If I come across anything that cures me I'll let you know...

WABob
22-02-2005, 04:20 PM
sorry Maheep...I swear I have a small case of dyslexia...

goodlauck

danuttybabe
01-06-2005, 03:22 AM
I am a 22 year old female and was diagnosed today with tietze's syndrome / costochondritis. I have been reading the posts here on this website, and my symptoms seem to be different. My chest pains are brought on by emotional stress. It doesnt matter what position i sit or lay.. if i run or if i walk. The doctor did an ECG, which was clear, however by BP was 146 / 111, and my pulse rate was 101.
However, i am a full time second year nursing student, who is also looking after a chronically ill mother who has M.S.
Two more weeks for my mid year exams, hopefully i dont have a real myocardial infarction!!
I was wondering, is there any alternative treatments out there for this condition? I am already on Omega 3 for inflamation i get in my tissues around the knuckles on my hands. (i sound like a old woman). However i do find a hot bath and chocolate is quiet effective.
I dont want to be on pain killers for this condition for when it does occur. I want to be able to manage it before it gets too painful.
Any suggestions??

injuryupdate
01-06-2005, 02:25 PM
This is a tough condition to treat. I don't know why it gets painful. Seems like popping a rib cartilage is painful but 99 out of 100 of them go on to heal - can't work out why 1 in 100 leads to chronic pain. However, it makes sense as chronic pain from non-unions is recognised in many other areas of the body, so why not the rib cartilage?

danuttybabe
01-06-2005, 05:33 PM
i do not have all year round pain. I found that i has similar symptoms last year which lastes 3 - 4 weeks. I now have got these symptoms again, but they are more intense and have lasted 3 weeks with no relief.
The only things i can think of is that, it is coming onto winter and the inflamattion in the cartliage is sensitive to cooler weather - like arthritis.
I have heard of people taking glucosamine, however the tablets do not work. So i will try the natural powder form from a health food store, and give that a whirl. BUt in the mean time, i am back on mobic, advil, and heat packs. Strangly though, cold packs are meant to reduce inflammation, but i find coldness makes the symptoms worse.

Unregistered
16-07-2005, 10:25 AM
Hey all just read through this post... I had an injuiry about 2 years ago on DJ decks when I wasn't really fit enough to be playing. It had an injuiry in my right side from straining and bouncing around like a mad kangeroo to my crazy dance music. From my experience with this condition I have noticed that it comes and goes quite anonymously... I recently had a chest X-ray but they couldn't find anything at all.

I've put it down to one simple thing... missing or damaged cartlidge.

I have been taking medication for it... I find that Cod Liver oil, Glucosamine, Bromelain (This is magic for this condition with me), and Aloevera seem to help the inflammation.

For those of you who have tried glucosamine I would be interested to know which product you bought and in which form. Do not buy the Tablet form, get it in a capsule, with HYDROCHLORIDE, especially if you have issues with your stomach when taking medication. I got mine from here: http://www.ardernhealthcare.com/glucosamin.html and I can say they have helped me 100%, I took 3 a day solid for a few weeks and after that I noticed a signifficant improvement in my condition. I'm still taking them and I intend to take them for atleast another month to make sure I am properly healed.

My symptoms include clicking and popping of the ribs on on the right side towards the back. I cannot lay on this side when I sleep or put any pressure on it at all. The pain is a dull pain now, but before it was very sharp and annoying.

Hope you all get well

Mat

Unregistered
30-08-2005, 03:55 PM
just reading through the emails from the start.... iam a 33 female who has had a disease called Ankylosing Spondilitis for the past 7 years. it is a form of inflammatory disease and my initial symptoms started with chest pain from the cartilage area. i had no idea what it was and thought it was from excessive swimming... i would wake in the morning with severe pain through the chest/ rib muscles and sometimes found it hard to breathe. the pain then went to the hips. i was diagnosed through blood tests and xrays.
i have managed to remain off anti- inflammatory drugs by maintaining a low starch diet and frequent swimming/exercise. my advice would be for any rib/chest cartilage pain to get it checked with a rhuematologist.

bombermad09
30-08-2005, 04:49 PM
Why the bloody hell didn't your doctor tell you how to fix it?

Unregistered
26-10-2005, 03:45 PM
I am a 22 year old female and was diagnosed today with tietze's syndrome / costochondritis. ... I was wondering, is there any alternative treatments out there for this condition?

Hi, I have been living with tieze's for about 8 years now. It's an inflammation of the rib cartilage, I am not aware of any cause or trigger for my 'attacks'. My first attack was so bad that I could hardly breath, it lasted for several days before anti-inflammatives calmed it down. I can go for over six months between bouts, or I can get minor attacks within weeks of each other.

Now if I get small but constant pain in any of the regions I associate with the illnes I first wait a day or two to see if it goes away on its own - it usually does. If not then I take aspirin, my doctor described it as a pretty brutal anti-inflammatory, but it *usually* does the trick. For longer term control I use a blood zapper, I get slack, but if I use it regularly then I don't get attacks (if I get lazy and don't for six months then I do get attacks).

Blood zappers (do an internet search for 'dr beck blood zapper') are not allowed to be sold as medical devices, they are sold for 'research purposes'. The last time I looked they were about $50). They involve putting some electrodes on your wrist and mildly electrocuting yourself. Doesn't sound pleasant, but everyone that I know that uses one will swear by it.

The illness is *meant* to be rare, but without going out of my way I have met/worked with two other people that have it. One woman had a specific form that only affected the centre of her chest where the ribs came together. For me it is more often either where the lower floating rib joins the long length of cartilage that goes to the breast bone, or where the ribs meet my spine. For both of them and for myself it seems to be a permanent condition, it only strikes intermittently, and you can go for months without an attack, but it's permanent. Sorry, but there it is.

Unregistered
17-01-2006, 12:27 PM
I think you have just informed me of what I am suffering with. I have just read your article, and you described what I suffer with at least once a week. However, I am specifically like your associate you spoke of. My pain is right in the core of my chest. Ironically, I am suffering from it as I type on this laptop. I have never heard of tietze's syndrome before...no damn doctor has ever suggested it to me. I have started some research on this pain and found Omega 3, Emu oil and jelly (believe it or not) is suppose to help. There is no way I'm taking anti-inflamatories twice a day for the rest of my life. Do you know of any mineral/herbal based remedies that I could try? This pain is getting beyond a joke. Thanks for your time and I hope you are feeling better.

WABob
24-03-2006, 01:36 AM
Hi everyone, i'm back.

still suffering sad to say but I am feeling heaps better and feel I am getting better.

In my original post I said I had been to a Doctor & and Occupational Therapist, I?ve given up on doctors for this as I find most GPs prescribe you with something & say come back soon. I did however try a different Soft Tissue OT (at the persistence of my GF) and I have to say she is doing wonders...the OT that is.

The pain in my chest was/is causing my neck & back muscles to tighten and in doing so places more stress on my chest so they are continually affecting each other in a vicious circle.

I started off seeing her once a week and she worked on releasing the tension in my neck and back and then working around to my chest. After a few months I am out to seeing her every 2-3 weeks depending on if I do something stupid and aggravate it and hoping that I will be able to push out the visits even further.

I have found the OT to be excellent and to be helping the pain and I am not taking any other form of medication, herbs, electric shocks or anything & I feel better than I have in a long time.

So I say to you all keep looking for someone who can be of a help or willing to find out the best way to help because their are people out their who can or know something others can't be bothered finding out.

If anyone is in Perth and wants to know who I am seeing please contact me

Cheers

WABob
24-03-2006, 01:39 AM
send me a PM and i'll get back to you...

Newmum
30-03-2006, 09:11 PM
I was diagnosed with Costochondristis after the birth of my first child three years ago, after months and months of medical tests. I was breastfeeding one night when I had my first attack. The pain was worse than labour, which I had only experienced three weeks beforehand. It started in my chest (bottom of my breastbone) and then radiated through to my back, where it paralysed me. I was taken to hospital via ambulance and Have been admitted another two times since then. The attacks last about 10-15 minutes.

I am not altogether convinced that I have Costochondritis. Even though I am very tender in the ribs to touch, I don't feel constant pain between attacks. I was told to take pain killers while experiecing the pain.

Has anyone else experinced this kind of pain?

Unregistered
15-06-2006, 09:37 AM
Hi Newmum

I have just been diagnosed with costochondristis or otherwise known as Tietze's syndrome.
Yes it is very painful. I have been put on a drug called Mobic for 10 days. If this doesn't work then I will have to have injections to the area. This is all I know about it right now, but yes it is very painful.

blessings beth

Lokipuss
21-06-2006, 07:52 PM
Hi Bob,

Did you pay any heed to the message posted by the lady who mentioned she had Ankylosing Spondylitis? I have the same condition and my condition started with the exact pain you are describing in the rib joints across the chest. The pain would move from day to day and sometimes the only way I could feel it was by pressing on my chest or on the very end of my collar bone. It was very strange. Then the pain seemed to spread across to the muscles in my upper back and shoulders... only I now know that it wasn't muscular pain I was feeling, but inflamed joints. Once again very strange, so hard to diagnose.

My advice would be that if your pain continues get your blood tested for a protein called HLA-B27 as most people who have this gene also have AS. After that your rheumatologist will be your best contact.

Best of luck!

Cheers, Jacki.

Unregister
18-07-2006, 05:33 AM
Hello I am from the Uk and having suffered what was eventually named costochondritis I am due to have two cortisone injections on 20th July 06. Has anyone out there had such injections and what were the results ? I am really hoping that following the injections that I can resume jogging to keep off this excess weight gained since my enforced period of non - exercise !!

Look forward to some news !

steely834
18-07-2006, 09:49 PM
Hi, finally i have found someone with the same problem as me, as the same with you i have the pain in the chest, i noticed it about a year and a half ago and i only feel it when i do push ups or weights i have had numerous x rays which some doctors say i have a fracture and other docotrs say i have an abnormality, but everything is the same as your stroy, i had a bone scan which showed inflamation of the bone. On saturday i was kneed in the chest playing footy and i have never been in so much pain in my life i i am seeing a specialist next friday to find out what exactly is going on but not even the doctors at the hospitatal knew any suggestions???

Warchief
21-07-2006, 03:22 AM
Thank you very much for all the information i got from this thread. I have been experiencing this chest pain for more than 2 years now. Mine is not that painful so i just ignore it until now. I feel cracking sounds in my chest sometimes whenever i stretch my upper body, move my shoulders or neck. I don't know if it is related but the pain reduces a bit when i stop smoking few weeks ago. All of the chest xray that i had showed no problem in my lungs. My doctor just gave me vitamins for the bones but i did not cure me. I will try taking glucosamine hydrochloride i think this will work for me.

Anthony

injuryupdate
21-07-2006, 06:23 PM
This is a pretty tough injury to treat and live with. I don't know that there is any injection or surgical treatment that is guaranteed to work for this problem.

Granma to 2
10-08-2006, 05:39 PM
I was diagnosed with costochondritis back in 1997, after I had had my gall bladder removed due to severe pain, but then i continued to have the severe pain after the operation. I ended up in outpatients one night and when the doctor on duty, who didn't know me, started pressing around in the area i nearly hit the roof when he touched my lower ribs, and stated that I probably had gall stones. Hubby quickly informed him that I had just had my gb out 3 months previous. Was only after that that further investigation found the real cause. I have tried so many painkillers, have been on anti-arthritics also, but nothing helps except bedrest. I find it comes on worse when i am doing things that require slight bending, ie, ironing, washing up, etc. I can be down on all fours in the garden and it doesn't worry me then. Am very very sick of the pain.

louddha
11-10-2006, 09:34 AM
Thank you very much for all the information i got from this thread. I have been experiencing this chest pain for more than 2 years now. Mine is not that painful so i just ignore it until now. I feel cracking sounds in my chest sometimes whenever i stretch my upper body, move my shoulders or neck. I don't know if it is related but the pain reduces a bit when i stop smoking few weeks ago. All of the chest xray that i had showed no problem in my lungs. My doctor just gave me vitamins for the bones but i did not cure me. I will try taking glucosamine hydrochloride i think this will work for me.

Anthony

wow, i can relate to what a lot of people have said here on this thread... me too, chest x-rays, nothing... here, take some advil, that's what they said at the ER, too. waste of money. my chest likes to pop and crack and tear these days when i stretch my upper body. hurts when i get up from laying on my side, too. if i'm driving and going in reverse to park or back up, looking over my shoulder hurts. it's weird though, i can play footie all day, or excercise no worries, no pain, i'm just getting sick of trying everything under the sun to heal this. i'm noticing that caffeine- bad, sugar-bad, stress-bad, stretching my chest-bad. feels like i make some progress, then look up after reading a book or something, maybe stretch just a bit.. then pop, craaaaaack...teeeeaaaaarrrrr... feels like i just ripped my chest apart all over again. oh please, someone help w/ something. i may see a rheumatologist, sounds interesting anyway. any more feedback would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

apex-1976
08-11-2006, 03:21 PM
I to have the chest pain, my pain started while i was doing dips about 1 1/2 years ago. Since then i have gone to two different doctors both done x-rays and said they did not see anything. They said that i needed to take time off from lifting to let it heal the first time i took 2 months off and it seemed to get worse and i took a month off in June and did not see any improvement. So now I always sleep on my back (this helps a lot) Do not do any dips or decline presses. After I finish a set of flat bench i hold my arms out to the side and let my chest stretch before i get up. (If i try to get up immediately after i rack the bar i cant hardly stand the pain.)

Dubster
29-11-2006, 08:46 PM
As a regular swimmer i found i was getting these problems you are discussing and have found too that lying on my side etc seems to agrivate the problem i have found that Deep Tissue massage has really been helping me out with this problem , Thai massage is what i have been going for and it seems to do the trick. Good luck all .

WABob
19-01-2007, 05:30 PM
Hi everyone,

It's amazing. When I first started this thread I didn't know anyone who suffered similar pain or that I would get such a big response from people looking for help with the same thing.

I would like everyone to know that I don't suffer the pain anymore and I owe my thanks to a Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist!

I didn't use any glucosamine or anything else (although they probably do help) and now I forget that I even had it.

Goodluck everyone I hope you find the help you need and that you get the results I got.

If anyone wants help to find out where they can find an OT in Australia let me know and I'll see what I can do..

Cheers
Rob

43mexman
22-01-2007, 02:01 PM
hello every body , please excuse my english, iÓm a guy from mexico and have about 26 yeras without speaking in this language, the reazon of this note is that i have been suffering a pain similar at yours, except that mine will start like 5 minutes after i had a spice meal, i suffer of gastritis, too.
i read someone mentioned something about an omega 3 or some sore of oil, does it works?
can this chest pains kill you ? i thougt at the begining i was having a heart attack
i`m scared to death. thank you all

ronopotamus
15-02-2007, 11:58 PM
I'm have been having similar problems (if somewhat less severe) to the people above. I am a juggler, 24 years old, and often use my upper body while practicing/playing. I have had quite a few problems with my back and shoulders the past couple of years. In trying to fix this i noticed that my posture is very bad (something i attribute somewhat to losing around 5 years of my life to being hunched over a keyboard, playing computer games, between the age of 11 and 16).
Two months ago, during a time i was exercising, stretching and playing more than i had in years, I first felt a pain in my chest like it was very constricted and tight, i tried stretching it and eventually i heard a loud crack. This gave me some relief and the next day i had forgotten about it. This has now happened around 5 times, sometimes i found i couldn't crack my chest - such as 3 days ago and i can still feel it (although it almost feels better).
The pain is often followed by very sensitive area in the centre of my chest,where the ribs meet.
Anyone else with bad posture and previous back problems with the same thing?
Has anyone tried to fix it through posture related things, such as alexander technique?
What about strengthening the chest, back and shoulder muscles? could that help?

May i wish your chest every success

ContamGuy
23-02-2007, 11:46 AM
Gday all and WABob

10+ years back tore chest/sternum/cartilage wrestling with a wheelbarrow in a car (don't ask!)

Keep reinjuring, particularily by freestyle swimming - get no real time response, just saw to very painfull next day. To date use anti inflams and recover - but cheeses me off that can't swim with confidence.

Anyone know of best technique for diagnosis? so that can develope tratment/prevention as keen to swim again. MRI? Ultrasound?

Also Bob - you have had joy with Soft Tissue OT in Perth - how can I get contact?

Cheers

WABob
01-03-2007, 12:12 PM
Hey ContamGuy,

Just letting you know that I have sent you a private message

If you don't get it let me know & I'll e-mail you..

Cheers
Rob

atsui
15-05-2007, 10:44 PM
I to have the chest pain, my pain started while i was doing dips about 1 1/2 years ago. Since then i have gone to two different doctors both done x-rays and said they did not see anything.A lot a like with me. I started having these pains in my sternum area about 6 or so years ago. I was very happy with how well I did with dips that I decided to add a lot of weight by putting a bunch of books in my backpack. Put two desks on both sides of me, planted my hands on each of them, started doing the dips and on my 5th one I went down too far and heard all these crack noises and felt pain in the middle of my chest and fell to the floor. The pain didn't stick around all day, but when I did certain motions with my body I would feel the pain again, sometimes very bothersome. It hurts the most when I try dips... I'll be in minor to major pain for weeks if I try one or so of them. It's a lot better than it was 3 years ago and I'm guessing it's because I stopped doing physical activity then when I left the Navy.

The things that bring the pain is anxiety, stress, panic attacks, sit ups, push ups(which always seem to cause pain to come after doing some of them), and especially dips. A long time ago it was even caused by laying down a certain way.

Had x-rays done and they didn't find anything.

I have took a lot of notes from this thead.. thanks everyone for the info!

Cheers and good luck everyone. Hope we all can find some good treatment of this issue.

MacDaddy07
21-05-2007, 02:27 AM
:(
A lot a like with me. I started having these pains in my sternum area about 6 or so years ago. I was very happy with how well I did with dips that I decided to add a lot of weight by putting a bunch of books in my backpack. Put two desks on both sides of me, planted my hands on each of them, started doing the dips and on my 5th one I went down too far and heard all these crack noises and felt pain in the middle of my chest and fell to the floor. The pain didn't stick around all day, but when I did certain motions with my body I would feel the pain again, sometimes very bothersome. It hurts the most when I try dips... I'll be in minor to major pain for weeks if I try one or so of them. It's a lot better than it was 3 years ago and I'm guessing it's because I stopped doing physical activity then when I left the Navy.

The things that bring the pain is anxiety, stress, panic attacks, sit ups, push ups(which always seem to cause pain to come after doing some of them), and especially dips. A long time ago it was even caused by laying down a certain way.

Had x-rays done and they didn't find anything.

I have took a lot of notes from this thead.. thanks everyone for the info!

Cheers and good luck everyone. Hope we all can find some good treatment of this issue.
Hey Atsui,

I thought I should reply to your message, Just like many on this board. I have the strange popping noise, now, in my chest. I am 34 years old in pretty good health. Like you, it happened as I was doing a set of dips. I too was very happy with my ability to do about 60-70 dips without a break. Then I got a wake up call....from out of the blue pain spiked through my chest. I had pretty much given up on weight lifting at that point. Until last year, then I took it up again. The pain had subsided but came back to greet me everytime I attempted a full body dip. Very annoying to say the least. But I could do other things. I could still bench, tricep pull, cable cross-overs, and use the pull-up All pain free. Until recently...I am not sure what happened but now when I lean back in certain chairs and couches, the pain comes back. One night I slept completely the wrong way (sitting up). I still have not recovered from that mistake. My chest literally started popping every time I got up or sneezed or looked the wrong way.

Now, everytime I go to the gym I fret about doing the bench. I am very disappointed in my results. It almost seems like I am starting over again. I can do a few sets and then bam-o chest pain again. Feels like a brick house caving in. So what did I do? Like many on here I have given myself more recovery time after going to the gym (4-5 days). I have limited my range of motion. I am also trying not to sleep on my side, lean on my side, sleep on my front side and when I stretch I am careful not lean too far back. This is a rather extreme approach but the popping has gone away (for the most part). If I do pop, it is now a small, almost unnoticeable click. I do still experience chest pain on an almost daily basis, for instance, if I should happen to move unexpectedly, or have to pick something up. I cannot exactly pinpoint when I will have the pain and when I won't. One last thing to say about this, I have just become a dad and to say that this chest pain is an annoyance is an understatement. Sometimes, as I go to hold her, the pain comes back. to put it quite bluntly it is the most frustrating thing I have every experienced. Just like everyone else, I would love to find a way to prevent this chest pain. I think that going to the gym and doing sets of cable cross-overs also helps to stretch and strengthen the pectoral area and this in turn helps to minimize chest pain but I can't do that freakin' exercise every day and expect better results every day. Please, anyone, feel free to ping me if you would like.

takiman
06-06-2007, 08:03 PM
Hi All, i have re-injured my chest three times now from going to the gym and lifting weights. It is very frustrating i can tell it is injured when i try and get up from lying down, also if i sneeze there is a sharp pain in my left side of chest. I believe it is micro-tissue tears in my chest. It takes me about 12 months to heal each time i injury it. My suggestion to speed up healing is to do no weights at all i.e. any lifting with your arms etc will aggrevate the problem. But even for myself i have still not learnt my lesson. After each 12 month layoff i have gone back to the gym and worked out for 3 mths at a time and to my dismay it becomes re-injured? I have just re-injured a week ago, and looking back i could feel the symptons coming on.

symptons included:
i felt my left shoulder was a bit sore after ever workout - I thought the pain was normal as you feel after a good workout.
The pain kept increasing until just lifting any weight was a pain in the chest.
Now the pain in my left chest region is extreme, i have pain in my chest when i push myself up with my left arm, i have pain when i sneeze or cough loud.

After the second time i injured it i read posts on the internet that said if u do any weights behind the kneck it can cause this injury i.e. shoulder presses behind the kneck etc, because the muscle around the shoulder/kneck is connected to the chest muscle and can cause problems. After another 14 month layoff I was strong again and decided to hit the gym without the behind the kneck exercise, but to my dismay it has re-occurred. Advice to everyone is to only use very light weights when u recover completely. Do not feel the temptation to increase the weights as you get more toned or stronger because u will surely do the same injury again. You can still built up and look fit with small weights and a good cardio routine. anyways if anyones has some tips for me would be great, for now i'm back to the injured list and may even check out surgery???? maybe there are some ways to strenghten the soft tissue in my chest, who knows? but OT might be another viable option.
any further advice would be good.

smarty
07-06-2007, 08:39 PM
I'm have been having similar problems (if somewhat less severe) to the people above. I am a juggler, 24 years old, and often use my upper body while practicing/playing. I have had quite a few problems with my back and shoulders the past couple of years. In trying to fix this i noticed that my posture is very bad (something i attribute somewhat to losing around 5 years of my life to being hunched over a keyboard, playing computer games, between the age of 11 and 16).
Two months ago, during a time i was exercising, stretching and playing more than i had in years, I first felt a pain in my chest like it was very constricted and tight, i tried stretching it and eventually i heard a loud crack. This gave me some relief and the next day i had forgotten about it. This has now happened around 5 times, sometimes i found i couldn't crack my chest - such as 3 days ago and i can still feel it (although it almost feels better).
The pain is often followed by very sensitive area in the centre of my chest,where the ribs meet.
Anyone else with bad posture and previous back problems with the same thing?
Has anyone tried to fix it through posture related things, such as alexander technique?
What about strengthening the chest, back and shoulder muscles? could that help?

May i wish your chest every success

Hi Ronopotamus,.
I too experience similar conditions as you and have searched high and low for reasons why, its good to eventually find this forum.
If i stand or sit in a slouched postion for a while, when i go to straighted up I feel a pain/tightness/ consricted feeling at the top of my ribcage, dead center. This pain is relived by streching my arms wide and back untill i hear and feel a crack / pop at the point of pain. the pain is then relived. but often some tenderness will remian. somthimes the crack is easy to achieve other times not so easy. Very rarely I will wake in the morning with severe pain, and will not be able to click. I have to purposly put myself in a slouched postion and then strech out the click to relive the pain. when its bad and you cant click its quite distressing, and even coughing and moving hurts. My doctor was pretty usless and said live with it, but i'm not happy with that! Asprins help with the tenderness, and watching your posture is a good thing!
Any advice / similarities you have, i'd love to hear!
Thanks
Smarty

MacDaddy07
09-06-2007, 08:38 PM
Hey Takiman,
I was wondering if you could give your stats as far as age, weight, bench weight, etc. I am trying to see if we have a similar condition. Your stating that this happened from a shoulder pull down. How much weight were you pulling down? I have had a similar occurrence but it seems to happen with some exercises not all. In fact, I find that if I isolate muscles it almost results in no pain. Only when I strengthen both arms does it sometimes result in a click.

bowmark55
14-08-2007, 07:50 PM
Hi my first post on here so bare with me.
I'm a carpenter and last week i was drilling holes in timber posts, had them on the ground and was bearing down on them with drill in (R) hand and close to chest to get best purchase to drill holes, when i felt and heard a "pop" sound from my upper (R) chest just under the "pec" muscle, didnt hurt at first but in the last 2-3 days has become quite sharp when i exert lateral force. Can be painful when driving and when rotating (R) soulder. It does cause concern when i breath sharply as well.
The noise it made was similar to when you make your knee, elbow or fingers crack?
Any ideas what might have happened?
Thanks Mark

angieliu
15-08-2007, 09:35 AM
It could be many things. I suggest that you rest, ice and use some voltarin or arnica cream to help treat the inflammation and take an analgesic like panadeine. If you don't feel any better in the next couple of days you should go and see a GP or a sports doctor about it.

pinarello65
25-09-2007, 10:18 PM
I seem to have this costochondritis type issue and my doc suggested maybe some cortisone injections in the rib area. What kind of practitioner would normally do this and can anyone recommend someone in SA?

starlynn
01-10-2007, 04:26 PM
Hey Everyone....
Well im 24yrs old and I have no idea how i got this!!!
It first started off where the middle of my sternum would make this clicking popping noise and it would hurt....then it just gradually got worse!
I even went into the emergency room b/c the pain was sooooo bad!!! I've actually gone 2x's to the ER and thats when they told me i had chostrocondritis!!!
Since then I've been on Indocin (which did nothing for me) along with Tylenol, also pain killers and muscle relaxers which just made me feel like a Zombie...So i right a way quit taking those!
I have also had a cortizone shot...in the E.R! (Did not work)
I've been on steriods for a week...and it helped for about 2days but thats it....lets see I've also had steroid injections to my chest....and the was the BIGGEST MISTAKE anyone could make!!! It was the most painful thing ever and i was in more pain from the injection for the next week!!! I couldn't even move my arms the pain hurt so bad!!!:(
When I get really bad....I have this overwhelming pressure and I can't breath b/c the pressure is sooooo bad...its so scary!!!
I am currently taking Mobic(anti-inflammatory) and when it gets real bad with the pain or the pressure feeling where i can't breathe...THE ONLY THING that has helped me is getting a little washcloth and soaking it with water, then placing it in the microwave for about 2 min....then applying the warm/moist towel to my chest!!! After about 4 treatments of those i begin to start feeling better:)

Im really bummed...b/c i can't work out the way i use to...i have gained about 10lbs b/c im so depressed and anxious over this thing that I have...I used to run all the time and the minute i attempt it...I can't breathe for about three days...i have constant pressure and pain in my chest:(

Any ideas on natual things i could take or any other workout plans that would help me???
Thanks Bunches!!!
Robyn

starlynn
01-10-2007, 04:32 PM
Hey Everyone....
Well im 24yrs old and I have no idea how i got this!!!
It first started off where the middle of my sternum would make this clicking popping noise and it would hurt....then it just gradually got worse!
I even went into the emergency room b/c the pain was sooooo bad!!! I've actually gone 2x's to the ER and thats when they told me i had chostrocondritis!!!
Since then I've been on Indocin (which did nothing for me) along with Tylenol, also pain killers and muscle relaxers which just made me feel like a Zombie...So i right a way quit taking those!
I have also had a cortizone shot...in the E.R! (Did not work)
I've been on steriods for a week...and it helped for about 2days but thats it....lets see I've also had steroid injections to my chest....and the was the BIGGEST MISTAKE anyone could make!!! It was the most painful thing ever and i was in more pain from the injection for the next week!!! I couldn't even move my arms the pain hurt so bad!!!:(
When I get really bad....I have this overwhelming pressure and I can't breath b/c the pressure is sooooo bad...its so scary!!!
I am currently taking Mobic(anti-inflammatory) and when it gets real bad with the pain or the pressure feeling where i can't breathe...THE ONLY THING that has helped me is getting a little washcloth and soaking it with water, then placing it in the microwave for about 2 min....then applying the warm/moist towel to my chest!!! After about 4 treatments of those i begin to start feeling better:)

Im really bummed...b/c i can't work out the way i use to...i have gained about 10lbs b/c im so depressed and anxious over this thing that I have...I used to run all the time and the minute i attempt it...I can't breathe for about three days...i have constant pressure and pain in my chest:(

Any ideas on natual things i could take or any other workout plans that would help me???
Thanks Bunches!!!
Robyn

smarty
01-10-2007, 09:05 PM
hi starlynn
wow your problem sounds alot worse than some people. I'm interested in finding out what brings about the chest clicking issues in different people.
My probelm comes from bad sitting / posture postion which leads to somthing in the sternum moving out of place, this can by cured by streching arms wide and back untill I hear a click and feel the pop inside my chest. sometimes I cannot click whick then leads to the sort of pain you decribe. Is you pain constant or does a certain activity bring it on?

francis
08-11-2007, 11:15 PM
hi you all,
i was diagnosed with costochondritis about 3 months ago when i went to cardiologist thinking that i have angina or a heart disease. ECG, and other heart tests were carried out by my heart was fine. before then i had been to another doctor 18 months before complaining of the serious chest pain...i couldnt drive, i couldnt move my body when the pain was on...i was given pain killers and it would go off after some hours. 18 months later it came back and it was very painful that i went on sick leave after visiting cardiologist who put me on mobic - meloxicam for 3 months...since then the pain reduced but i am still feeling it...worst thing is i dveloped some allergy towards this mobic that i only took it for 6 weeks and it gave me problems. sometimes when i stretch my upper body i feel the cracking sound as if something is breaking right in the middle of my chest. i am always on the net trying to find solutions to get rid of this...what could work more effectively to eliminate this forever...

smarty
08-01-2008, 08:53 PM
hi Francis
as with other people your problem sounds a bit worse than what I suffer with!
I've self diagnosed myself with costochrondritis, afttr lots of research and trying lots of posture/ joint medicines, i now take 400mg of Ibuprofen daily, multi vits and now do lots of exercise to try to build some muscle strengh around the chest to support the sterum.
costochrondritis is an inflammation, so non steriodal anti-inflammitaries may help???

brboykin
19-02-2008, 06:24 PM
My problem is this. It doesnt matter what I do or when I do it. I always have the need to pop my chest. When I do it, it sounds like fingers popping, but it hurts like no other. This has taken place for over two years and I have never seen a doctor. I am wandering if I should and if I do what will the best to come from it. It seems unlikely that any medication could make it go away. But who knows?

WABob
04-03-2008, 11:23 PM
Hi everyone -original poster here :)

just like to say again that what I had sounds very similar to everyone else and I got the best relief and results from soft tissue therapy to the point I no longer get the pain or have any problems from it. I was referred to an Occupational Therapist in Perth that had treated it before so knew what she was doing - if anyone wants contacts please let me know.

In the end I suppose it's finding someone who knows what they are doing to be able to treat it but after trying numerous ways & medication it was the therapy that fixed it.

good luck everyone
cheers

odoliva2
06-03-2008, 07:44 PM
Hi friend, everyone knows that in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you usually do. And to lose one pound per week you need to reduce 500 calories per day. But how do I know how much calories I am consuming and how much calories I am burning during the exercise? Is there any calculator for measuring these things?

JNS2008
17-03-2008, 11:07 AM
WABob

Thanks for setting this forum in motion WABob.

I have been training for my Olympic Trials for 4 months and with 5 days to go it would seen i have a simular problem as the rest of you. i was doing high rep bench pulls and half way through it felt like someone had king hit me right in the chest. the pain was not great but just felt like one big bruise.

The thing was that i could still paddle my kayak so i kept training with little discomfort. After a week however i started getting pins and needles, one day in my chest, the next around my ribs (under my arm) and then into my lats. Once it hit my lats it was all over. I was informed by a Physio that i pulled muslces/cartilage in my chest that then affected my back and i pinched a nerve. Several Chiro's later my back is better but i have not been able to train for 2 weeks now. I will say the pins and needles have gone but i still have that little annoying pain in the front of my chest just to the left of my center.

After reading all the other cases it would seem my Olympic Drean is off for this year and it saddened me to read about the guy that just had his child b/c my first one is due in July.

Anyway life goes on and time to see if i can fix this problem. I live in QLD but could you please send me that OT's detail and they might know someone i could see in my state.

Thanks again WABob. you might have saved me putting up with this injury for several years

JNS2008


Hi everyone -original poster here :)

just like to say again that what I had sounds very similar to everyone else and I got the best relief and results from soft tissue therapy to the point I no longer get the pain or have any problems from it. I was referred to an Occupational Therapist in Perth that had treated it before so knew what she was doing - if anyone wants contacts please let me know.

In the end I suppose it's finding someone who knows what they are doing to be able to treat it but after trying numerous ways & medication it was the therapy that fixed it.

good luck everyone
cheers

vincent_vii
07-04-2008, 05:51 AM
Hey guys. I am so relieved to have finally found a group of people with similar issues to mine.

I have had pain in my sternum and ribs for over a year now. I am almost certain of what caused it.

When I was in my early 20s, while working in a retail shop, I dropped a very large box on my chest near where the right side of where my rib cage ends. This developed a mild "popping" or "clicking" shortly after. I was young enough so it didn't bother me much. Through out the years it never seemed to get worse. A few years ago I dropped another heavy object while working with a family friend's home business. The object hit me in roughly the same place. I brushed it off and it did not seem to worsen the pops and clicks.

About 2 years ago I fell while in the shower and caught the right side of my rib cage on a soap dish and landed on my back. I saw a doctor shortly after and x-rays showed no breaks. Shortly after I developed swelling at the base of my spine. The swelling went away after resting but from that point forward I could always feel specific vertebrae when sitting against a wall or chair. This would sometimes be very uncomfortable. Oh, and the right side of my rib cage (where I had fallen) never felt the same. It always felt tender and bruised. I even began experiencing nerve numbness in my arms and legs at times. It scared me a lot so I went to a neurologist which turned out to be a waste of time and money. They were able to offer no answers.

About 10 months ago I noticed the bottom, right side of my rib cage dipping in toward my stomach more than usual. It was uncomfortable so I tried not to lay on that side while I slept. My GP told me he didn't see any deformities and said it was "nothing". Did not even offer an x-ray. So I tried not to let it bother me. Meanwhile the popping and clicking continued and even worsened. I talked with my GP about it again and he still didn't seem concerned. He prescribed pain killers and told me it would be a problem I would more than likely have to live with for the rest of my life.

I basically just lived with the problem in the coming months until Dec '07 when the "cave in" started traveling up my chest to my breast area. This was quite painful. It felt as if my ribs were being dislocated and pulled downward. Pain killers just seemed to numb my mind to a point of not caring about the problem.

Then, also in Dec, I was in a mild car accident where my wife and I were hit from behind at a low speed. I was angled to the left (because it bothers me to sit flat against a chair because of my right side) and my left side took the full brunt of the force. And then the right side of my rib cage began collapsing as my right had done months ago. I ended up in the ER and they x-rayed, said there was nothing wrong... this might have been a different story if I had insurance.

So here I am now with what feels like a collapsing rib cage. It is almost always difficult to swallow and breathing can be shallow at times. I have resorted to sleeping on the floor because laying on a soft mattress gives me the feeling of being kicked in the back when I wake up in the morning. I can run my fingers down my sternum and feel gaps where I'm sure cartilage has broken away or deteriorated. Unfortunately I don't have any money or time to see a specialist for a proper diagnosis... and with my past experience - I doubt a new doctor is going to offer any different answer than before (very frustraiting).

So here I am with this problem and no end in sight. I am happy I found this forum, however. At least I have hope now. I will try some of the remedies listed in here. When I have the time and money I will seek help through physical therapy. If anyone knows of a good therapist who could help in the Austin, TX area please PM me and let me know.

I have a feeling the reason this has gotten as bad as it has is because I work an office job and don't get out much. I am relatively unhealthy and do not work out much. Thanks again and good luck to you all.

joma
29-04-2008, 09:00 AM
Playing soccer 2 weeks ago i coped a knee in the chest, after a week i decided the pain should have eases if it was only bruise ?? I went to the local hospital for an x-ray, after a very, did i say very short consultation (as the doctor was late for his coffee break) he determined that i had no broken ribs, 1 week later sneezing and coughing make me want to cry, excruciating pain, could i have done cartilage damage ? how long should this take to heal if I have done this sort of damage ?

Aodui
09-05-2008, 07:43 PM
Hi,

I'm in the same condition as a lot of you.
Pain at the location of where my rib meets sternum, on the upper right side.
Already ruled out everything but muscular / skeletal, and currently taking anti-inflammatory medications and doing physical therapy routines to open up the chest and build up supportive muscles. It has been seven months now, the last three times it flared up it only lasted a couple months (it originated as a desk moving down a staircase injury, flared up from stretching in karate, then again from stretching in karate. The pain / immobility limits my ability to do dips, and even pushing my hands together in the center of my body like in prayer or when opening child-proof medications. I also cannot lay on my side to read books or whatnot.)

I am wondering though; Is popping your ribs when they hurt something that will hinder the healing process?

Often I can feel the pressure there, like I can feel it in my knuckles, and by stretching it I can get it to pop and then the pressure / pain feeling subsides. Am I doing more harm than good?

Danny...
02-08-2008, 04:43 AM
5-6 yrs ago I was training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had a similiar pain just right of center after a loud pop sound. I stopped training for 5yrs because of the injury and it would reinjure from time to time. Everything I found and was told for treatment was basically "too bad", "rest" and "it will always be a problem". Recently I began training again after a long period of no incidents of pain and reinjured the same spot. Where I promptly reinjured it! LOL I'm smart like that.

I have begun a treatment that is helping so far. Instead of pain for months I have pain for a few days with each day showing great improvement. I incorporate stretching into my morning routine as I wake up extremely stiff/sore after a fresh reinjure. I found information in google searches about vitamin B6 treatments/studies for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. These treatments/studies are designed at increasing cartilage growth & repair. I have also noticed that my old knee injuries do not hurt as often also. I take everyday 100+MG B6, Vitamin B complex, Cod liver oil, Men's daily vitamin and flax seed. I have not been taking glucosamine since I tried that with the initial injury with no results. However I will try it again as a powder or liquid as others have stated it it more effective that way. This has made a dramatic difference for me. Each time I reinjure the area the pain is less and the healing time is shorter. As a matter of fact I injured it last night with today having a full range of motion with minor inflammation!

So check out the Vitamin B6 treatments/studies if it worked for me it may help so of you.

hawaiian_coconut
05-10-2008, 10:47 AM
To all those with a 'popping/cracking' noise in their chest wall/sternum. SEE THE CHIROPRACTOR.

1 year ago I started having chest wall aching. When I would lay on my side or slouched and then straightened myself I felt it come on very strongly. It would be very tight, feel like a lot of pressure built up in my sternum and then I would stretch until POP! which would somewhat relieve the pressure but the aching would linger for awhile. It was re-occurring almost everyday, so long as I was in bad posture. When I consulted doctors they had nothing to say. I consulted chinese medicine and they assessed my chest as being inflamed and prescribed me anti-inflammatory medication.
But !!! I decided to call a chiropractor and tell them what my deal was. The guy said "Yep, that's a spinal problem."
I came in, had 2 chiropractic adjustments, and all that daily chest wall pain I had for 1 year abruptly ended. If this makes sense to you, the chiropractor told me this -- "You notice the pressure and chestwall pain when your posture is bad which is a clear sign that it's your spine. Your spinal posture affects when your chest is and isn't in pain. When you're up straight, it's ok. When you're laying on your side, slouching, you really feel it. This is because when theres a slight misalignment in your spine, the nerves come right around to your chest. you stretch and hear a popping sound, that popping sound tells you there's a joint out of place."
CALL THE CHIROPRACTOR. Just call them and tell them what your pain is and see what they have to say and if they think they can help you.

Gypzee
21-10-2008, 07:55 PM
I am a 39 year old female suffering on and off for the last 3.5 years with Tietze.

I really worry when I get shortness of breath. Sometimes I find it hard to even converse with people as it becomes too much for me. Is this common?

When I was 1st diagnosed the Doctor told me it may last 6 weeks to 6 months that it was rare- and that it WOULD not come back- you will only get this once.

Well its back or never left me.

I am so glad to read these posts, and gain a little more understanding and not suffer alone.

thanks

berto
17-01-2009, 07:24 AM
I injured my rib area in a submission grappling match where I was pinned on the bottom and exerted myself doing a bridge to my right hand side. I felt a pop on my left side near the sternum and since have been suffering from what I believe to be some form of costochondritis.

There are different severity levels with the worst requiring surgery. You'd know if you needed surgery because there is basically a complete loss of function. X-rays won't really show you anything unless you broke or cracked a rib, and it's about impossible to tell if you injured a ligament or cartilage or both. Ligaments take longer to heal so you might start feeling better because the cartilage was almost done healing but your ligament(s) still needed more time. Some words of advice after reading this thread that may or may not help:

There is a low blood supply to this area of the body so healing takes a while. They say 6-8 weeks or longer. Stop or minimize anything that could potentially aggravate the injury. If you're a smoker expect that you're getting even less blood to the injured area.

Use ice therapy to help with the inflammation. Heat only seems to aggravate it.

Take anti-inflammatory like some ibuprofen.

Wear a rib belt to help compress the area. Make sure you can breath, you still want that valuable oxygen to get to the area and you don't want to develop any lung infections.

Some sort of joint therapy medication like chondroitin, glucosamine, and fish oil can help and speed up the healing process.

Cardio exercise to increase blood flow.

Light massage to increase blood flow.

A chiropractor may or may not help. I haven't gone that route yet as there's no way I was going to let someone twist me around with the pain I was in for the first month or so.

Sleeping on my side was not an option for me due to the pain and other shoulder injuries I have. You really should be sleeping on your back to begin with as it's the body's natural position for sleep without tweaking out the rest of your body. Put a pillow under your knees if you experience low back pain.

Remember that any kind of re-injury forces you to start the healing process all over again. This injury can take a long time to heal. Re-injury can also make it more likely that this becomes a chronic problem for you.

What is the root cause of the injury aside from an obvious trauma? In my belief I tend to agree with a couple of the previous posters that posture plays a lot into it. Most people tend to have rounded shoulders from sitting at a computer all day or behind the wheel of a car. This causes the shoulders to round forward, and the chest muscles to get very tight. If you lift weights as I did, most people concentrate on the front of their body with things such as the bench press but forget about the posterior (back) side of their body. The back muscles tend to get very weak and the chest muscles very tight. Concentrating on letting the injury heal up properly and then lightly getting back into some sort of conditioning program where you fix the imbalances (particularly the back and core muscles) should help.

A good stretching or yoga program can also provide wonders as most people are not very flexible.

Best of luck to everyone in their recovery and a prosperous 2009.