Last Modified on Jun 18, 2014
What Is Costochondritis?
A number of heart conditions and causes of chest pain are known today and can be particularly difficult for the affected individual to identify. Costochondritis is one such condition. Inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the sternum, costochondritis causes pain like that of a heart attack and may mimic symptoms of angina and other heart conditions. Known several other names including chest wall pain, costosternal chondrodynia, and costosternal syndrome, costochondritis coinciding with swelling is denoted as Tietze syndrome.
Much like symptoms of angina, the symptoms of costochondritis are fairly typical of any chest or heart problem. Common symptoms include pain and tenderness of the chest cavity, localized pin on the left side of the breastbone and worsened pain when breathing deeply or coughing. While not typical, some cases may also cause nausea, fatigue, and sweating.
While most cases of costochondritis have no finite cause, some potential causes have been recognized. Costochondritis may be caused by injury to the chest, physical strain such as from lifting or strenuous exercising, arthritis, infection in the joint, and tumors.
Costochondritis Remedies and Natural Treatments
As the cause of costochondritis is frequently unknown, treatment often focuses on relieving the pain or symptoms associated with the condition while the costochondritis improves on its own. Many natural treatments are available that assist in both. Goldenseal, olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, and cat�TMs claw are all effective supplements for treating infection that may be causing costochondritis. L-lysine, multizyme, and dolomite are also effective supplements for supporting overall bone and cartilage health. Additional treatment options include visiting a chiropractor and trying prolotherapy to directly focus massage and healing on the chest cavity.
[YEA] 07/25/2012: Jennifer from Atlanta, Ga: "I have had a struggle off and on for years with this malady. I do believe in most cases it is the result of an infection- viral or fungal. The things that help me most are antiinfective herbals. I usually take three capsules of goldenseal and olive leaf TWICE a day for several days. If it is severe, I add six - ten drops of grapefruit SEED extract in water ( chased with juice as it tastes yucky ). These all target a broad variety of infections and usually make a noticeable difference. I also take aleve or ibuprofen, but the herbs seem to GET rid of the problem a lot faster.
Excellent herbal antiinfectives : andrographis, grapefruit seed extract, cat's claw, and olive leaf extract . If you have an infection and want to avoid antibiotics, these are scientifically legitimate and have been studied. I usually have good results with three capsules TWICE daily ( six total ) for several days. For colds, flu, viruses, etc.. These are safe and QUITE helpful!!
My doc has said he thinks costo is usually a viral infection, and these herbs are effective for many bacteria, viruses and fungii. More info on these can be found at Sloan Ketttering Memorial website or Pubmed."Replies
07/23/2013: Mike from Morrisville, Nc replies: "Hello - you shared that you usually take 3 capsules of goldenseal and 3 capsules of olive leaf TWICE a day for several days, And then if it is severe, you add six - ten drops of grapefruit SEED extract in water.
Question: What is the dosage of each goldenseal capsule and olive leaf capsule that you take?
Also, are you taking 3 capsules of goldenseal and 3 capsules of olive leaf... twice a day? That would mean you are taking 12 capsules in one day, correct?
Has this been working for you? You can send your response to my e-mail if you want: mjhoner (at) outlook.com"
[YEA] 01/03/2013: Luz from Anchorage, Alaska Usa: "I take two tablets of 1000mg the first day and than 1 every day until the pain is gone normally 3 days, but it comes back after stress or heavy lifting."
11/20/2011: Alvester from Mililani, Hawaii: "I'm a 14 year old male with chest pain. I'm about 5'9 and 145 lbs. I've had this chest pain for about a year now and it is really bothering me. I can make a cracking noise in my chest the way you can crack your knuckles. The doctor told me it was costochondritis and that it would go away in a couple months if I took anti-inflammatories, but that didn't help."Replies
11/22/2011: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Alvester, also consider the possibility of a lung injury, as that "crackling" sound is reported in some pulmonary fibrosis patients. About a yr ago, did you breathe something toxic or caustic? Try very hard to remember the first time you noticed these symptoms and what might have caused them during that time. Magnet therapy might help. Edgar Cayce Castor Oil Pack might help. Gotu Kola & Silicon may help. Good Luck."
11/05/2011: Virginia from Sacramento, Ca/usa: "Hello EC, I absolutely LOVE this website. I've learned SO much from the short amount of time I've discovered it. Okay, so I'm seeking help for my brother. He suffers from what I believe to be costochondritis. He has chest pains and his doctor has told him that it is not heart related. His doctor has not diagnosed this as being costochondritis, and has simply told him to lie down and put ice packs on his chest. Not good enough.
I'd like to find a natural remedy for my brother's pains. He says the pains center in the middle of his chest after excursion of any kind. He is not a natural health kind of guy, but he is very open to what I can help him with if it doesn't involve yet more of those nasty drugs. Can someone out there PLEASE give your input on this subject? I am seeking a natural remedy so that he doesn't have to keep taking meds. Is he deficient in something? He also has Diabetes II, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I'm simply trying to help him get off the meds and start doing something more healthy to cure his ailments. He's already impressed with what the ACV has done for him. I have not seen enough info on this website as pertains to costochondritis. I welcome any and all help. Thank you EC for all you do for us. What would we do without you? Virginia from California."Replies
11/06/2011: Steve from Las Vegas, Nv replies: "You may want to consider checking out a low level laser therapy pen or using EFT (emotional freedom technique). You can also google healers as there are many healing practitioners out there that can help with this type of pain."
03/12/2011: Nancy from Buffalo, Ny: "Am therapist and have been experiencing discomfort in my sternum when I do massage."
01/26/2011: Adriann from Maumee, Ohio: "My doctor diagnosed me with costocondritis.... Swelling between the ribs. I have pains in my chest. No trouble breathing. Just uncomfortable dull pains across the chest. Can anyone help me?"Replies
01/29/2011: Darlene from Kewaskum, Wisconsin, Usa replies: "Have you tried a chiropractor?"
02/07/2011: Theirmommie72 from Grand Prairie, Tx, Usa replies: "Hey. I have had Costo for years now. I am taking Tramadol and would like to find something natural as well."
02/08/2011: Jake from Winkler, Mb replies: "I had costochondritis for a number of years and found two things that helped: 1) a chiropractor who was able to reset and loosen my ribs, 2) prolotherapy was extremely helpful."
03/02/2011: Adriann from Maumee, Oh replies: "I have not tried a chiropractor. Jake, what is prolotherapy?"
[YEA] 04/06/2011: Kim from Newport, Ri replies: "I have had almost instant relief from Costo with Rolfing - it is expensive but the only thing that has worked for me. I did medical massage for over a year with no relief. I have no costo pain at all after 3 sessions. Well worth it!"
11/07/2011: Kelly from Plano, Tx replies: "My daughter was diagnosed with Costochondritis by her pediatrician. He told me to give her advil 3x day for pain for six weeks before he would refer us to someone. That didn't seem right to me. Anyway, she was in a lot of pain. She was going to the school nurse several times a day and she loves school, so we all knew it had to be something. I was able to get her in to see my naturpath doctor and he said she did not have Costochondritis. Apparently she is having digestive issues mainly from protein and due to that gas forms around the heart causing severe pain. He has her taking 1 Multizyme capsule with meals and 1 Magnesium capsule at night. She also takes 1 Dolomite if she has the chest pain after meals. Note that the Dolomite only temporarily removes the gas. It doesn't resolve the issue. It worked immediately.
As long as I give her the Multizyme capsule at least once a day she has no pain. I don't give her the Dolomite unless she had pain and missed taking the Multizyme. She's only been to the nurse once in 10 days and it was when she went over 24 hrs without taking anything. She's only 7, so I have to break open the capsule and dissolve it in a tiny bit of water. She then drinks juice afterwards. The naturpath said that if she had Costochondritis it would hurt her just to barely put pressure on her rib area. I think maybe some people are being misdiagnosed. I hope this helps! "
10/11/2012: Ryanv123 from Annapolis, Maryland replies: "I popped something in my chest a year and a half ago while straining to push up a very heavy object. I can now "pop" my chest, much like cracking your knuckle, about 2-3 times a day. It actually relieves a little pressure and dull pain when I do pop it. However, when I go to the gym and do dip exercises the pain is excruciating, to the point I have to stop almost immediately. (I've obviously stopped doing dip exercises) I went to a chiropractor after looking at a couple threads that mentioned it could actually be my spine, but that didn't help much at all. I've lived with this pain for about a year and half now and not even my doctor has been much help.
Has anyone had this chest popping issue and completely recover from it?"
08/03/2013: Healer from Florida Panhandle replies: "Reply to Ryanv123 from Annapolis, Maryland: I really hope that this has already resolved! The popping in your chest sounds like a fracture/break of the cartilage. I experienced the same type of excrutiating pain high on my sternum/3rd rib after a car accident. Being high on the sternum, I could still breathe shallowly and not reinjure the connection. I had to be careful with how I moved my arms and shoulders because that would separate the rib and sternum which prolonged the healing. So, if I had your type of pain, I would get some Kinesio tape to stabilize the area and I would AVOID popping it for at least 6 weeks. Cartilage takes longer to heal than muscle, similar to a bone fracture. The Kinesio tape can be left on for about 3 - 5 days at a time. Avoiding the popping allows the tissues to join. I hope that you heal well!"