What Is Costochondritis and Can Chiropractic Help?

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Costochondritis is the name for the condition by which the “hinge-like” (costosternal joint) part of the ribs becomes inflamed. This causes terrible pain and discomfort and the condition is often hard to diagnose. Diagnosis is tricky because it mimics so many other health conditions symptoms.

Depending on how severe it is, a chiropractor may be able to help. Patients suffering from osteochondritis are in worse condition. Osteochondritis is a joint disorder that leads to certain parts of it developing cracks inside the bone.

Some telltale costochondritis symptoms

When it comes to costochondritis, patients often suffer from chest pain. This is because their ribs are directly affected. The inflammation could cause pain throughout the thoracic region of the chest which can be mistaken for a heart attack.

What’s more confusing is that the chest pain may often be on the left side of the sternum (breastbone). This can make it seem like heart failure.

Other symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  • Difficulty breathing (without feeling pain)
  • It feels as if the chest is becoming tight
  • The sternum area may feel sore when touched

How do people develop costochondritis?

There are many possibilities for why patients develop costiochondritis. Oftentimes, a patient may have suffered trauma to the chest. This could have happened during a motor vehicle accident. Blunt force trauma to the chest can also lead to the costosternal joint becoming damaged.

Costochondritis and arthritis are also linked in some cases. This is especially so when the patient is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This long-term inflammation, although common in hands and feet, it can affect other joints.

Sometimes a tumour in the costosternal joint can lead to costochondritis.

What are the options for costochondritis treatment?

Before supplying a treatment plan, doctors have to run tests. Some include blood work, x-rays, and other scans.

Most treatments include anti-inflammatory medications prescribed or OTC meds. Sometimes doctors also prescribe anti-anxiety medication.

Physical therapy is very effective in helping to manage this condition.

To improve the treatment of costochondritis pain, patients can get help from chiropractors. Chiropractic may include soft tissue treatment, mild adjustments and light massage. Hot and cold treatments are also useful.

How to treat your condition may also require certain lifestyle changes. Your chiropractor will tell you about suitable exercises that you could do at home.

If you’re experiencing any type of chest pain, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Only after examining a patient is a doctor able to identify what the problem may be.

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