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Questions re Costochondritis

609 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  acard
Me again folks - not felt much like posting but been lurking. I'm now on week 4 of having costochondritis and I have a couple of questions for those that have had it before.

1. Did you get muscle spasms? - I can only sleep on my right side but if I'm not relaxed enough the muscles on the left side of my ribs go into spasm. It's like a viscious circle as I then can't breath properly because of the pain and I get upset. I've found that applying heat helps and allows me to slow my breathing. I am now dreading going to bed each night in case it happens. Hubby has been working away and he witnessed a spasm on Friday night and was so worried at the amount of pain I was in.

2. How long does a bout typically last? - As I said I am now on week 4 and although I can manage the pain with meds and rest there does not seem to be any improvement. If I overexert in any way the pain increases. My rheumy doesn't feel it's related to lupus but my GP does - I'm with the GP. I've been trawling the archives here and so many of you seem to get recurring bouts. Why is that?

It's really getting to me that I can't do anything about the house and my garden is a mess. Don't get me wrong I am behaving myself and catching up on things I wouldn't normally be able to but I am not a sit down person! Hubby went away again this morning and I had my shopping delivered so I'm all set for this week.

Thanks for reading, :thanx:

Pam xxx
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Pam ((((((((hugs))))))), so sorry to hear you are dealing with this awful stuff:( . As for your questions, 1. Yes, I get muscle spasms, I actually have the muscles come up in hard knots, like what happens when your foot gets a bad cramp:sad:My breast bone also pops just like a knee would. 2. I think most people differ here, for me I have had it go on for 6 mos. and stop only with cortisone injection or increased prednisone. My rhuemy says it is a seperate condition from Lupus, but that the two occur together frequently. My rheumy treats me for the costo as well. As for why it is recurring, I wish I knew. I pesionally do believe it is linked to the lupus, because when my sle is more active the costo is worse.
I have found that extra supportive bras do help a bit during the day, and sleeping on your side with your chest supported by soft pillows helps.
I hope you get some relief soon:)
Hello, I don't have any answers, just wanted to offer a bit of sympathy. I get Costo too and it can be most unpleasant.
x Lola
Hi Pam

Sorry to hear you are in so much pain.

I had a little look at the symptoms online and it sounds a really difficult thing to have to go through.

Having toothache myself at the moment which is mostly at its worst at night I do feel lots of sympathy for your interrupted sleep and the ensuing probs.

Just a thought...can your doctor give you some stronger type sleeping tabs to get you through this period.
I have some and they on the whole have helped.

Seems 'oh active minded one' that you are going to have to rest up for it to get better.:)

Keep focusing on getting those non active things in order..

Lots of powerful and good old vibes being sent your way.

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By the way

I know that secondary conditions as a result of lupus appear down the line somewhere in this lupus health arena.

All the tissue, muscle, fibre, cartlidge etc is affected so its all linked in really isnt it. Inflammation causes so many probs.

I get stiff calf muscles still and therefore my achillies play up because of that.

The lupus dosnt affect my achillies directly but as a result of my stiff muscles.

I really need to write a bit about my experinces with that.

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Hi Pam

So Sorry to hear that you are not very great. I hope you start to feel more comfortable real soon.

I was in hospital in January with what was finally diagnosed as costochondritis and I know exactly what you are going through; its so painful. It lasted for weeks and I had to take increased pred.

About three weeks ago, I developed the same sort of pain under my right armpit (at the bottom of it) on my ribs and when I was at the lupus clinic 10 days ago my consultant said that when people have active lupus they are more prone to get these sorts of problems including costochondritis and general pleuratic pain. I was advised to take paracetamol 4 hourly (max 8 in 24 hours) until it subsides. Well it hasnt and over the weeked it got a whole lot worse. The lupus clinic said that if it got worse and I got breathless (which I havent, thankfully) I should go again to A&E due to aps. I asked a friend who is an aromatherapist and she advised me to rub on some pure 100% lavender oil gently on the area at night and it might be doing the trick, its very anti-inflamatory and she does know my medical history and medications. If this does work it will be a miracle because nothing else seems to settle it down for me but time.

Anyway, I really hope you are a little better very soon.

(((((Pam))))) very gentle!!

Julia x
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Hi Pam,

My bouts have all last different amounts of time. This last time started a year ago and is still with me but not near as painful anymore. Heat really helps me also. Depending on where yours is eating smaller meals may help. Sometimes just that little added pressure increases the pain. Have you tried sleeping on your back or propped to a reclining position?

Hope the pain goes away soon.

Take care,
I've had it, and the worst time was due to a terrible viscious cough that I had that lasted for months. The pain was so intense I could not pick up my then 1 year old daughter... so you have my deepest sympathy on this pain!

I ended up taking cough medicine with an anti-nausea drug and finally got on the right antibiotic which took the cough away but it still took another month for the really bad pain to go away and a solid two months for all the pain to go away. Many say prednisone is required.

I was advised by my physical therapist that there are some specific things you can do in physical therapy that will reduce the liklihood of a recurrence, some even as simple as laying down flat on your back. You may want to inquire about this for the future when you are feeling a bit better (I know there is NO exercise even possible right now!).

Take care & hope it improves soon (I second the suggestion of a pred burst, if it's due to lupus this would help greatly).
Thanks for all the replies - alot of you describe what I've experienced. I'm just glad I'm not going mad. The funny thing is that all my bloods are perfect so my lupus isn't active at all. I've had a couple of days where I think it's getting better but today I just couldn't take the edge off the pain at all. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

Neongirl: it's good to know that someone else has experienced spasms and I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's so painful and a bit scary. The doc tried to do cortisone injections but felt the pain site was too risky - maybe my lung or something???? My mum bought me a V shaped pillow which has really helped me to sleep when I do get comfortable. I get pain and palpitations if I sleep on my left side or my back.

Nicky: I have been good - honest! I think you are right with the whole connective tissue, cartilage thing. I think I'm also getting deferred pain in my neck and shoulder because of the way I'm holding myself. The pain meds knock me a bit silly but not always enough to sleep. I've never taken sleeping tablets and I'm not keen with hubby being away at the moment. I see my doc next Tuesday so I'll see what he thinks. I'm not due to see my rheumy until June 23rd but might ask to see him sooner.

Bluesis: I'm sorry it's come back again for you. Knowing how bad the pain can get paracetamol wouldn't even lick the pain! Poor you and I hope you get some relief soon.

Lazylegs: The mention of food is spot on as I am only able to eat very small meals. This is why I thought it was something internal at first as everytime I ate the pain would increase. I've now lost 10lbs - which I needed to do but just not like this.

Maia: it sounds like you had the most awful time - especially with a wee one to care for. I was thinking of calling my physio tomorrow to see if acupuncture would help as I've had positive results before. She's very approachable so I will be sure to ask about exercises.

I've been dodging the pred bullet for months now but if it comes to it then I'll go with it just to get out and about again and doing normal things.

Hugz, :grouphug2:

Pam xxx
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Haven't anything helpful to add, but I do hope that things start getting better soon Pam, it sounds horribly painfull, (((hugs)))
Pam just to say get well soon, dont evey anyone with that, i had it before xmas it was terrible. you take care

Hugs Lin xxx:getwell:
Pam I hope the pains subside very soon and lets hope your GP visit goes well and a solution is found to help pain!

All my love!

I've had it several times over the last 3 to 4 yrs. Normally flaring when it happens. Different durations every time. The worst case I had the left side of my ribcage moved out while the right side moved in, made everything including breathing hard to deal with. Meds never worked to ease the pain it would last as long as the inflammation was there. Heat did help me too. My docs seem to think it is more my fibro than the SLE but since both flare simultaneously who can say. Take it easy and this too shall pass with time. Sorry you're feeling so bad.

I am so sorry thatr you are suffering. I think it varies on the length-I've had it as long as months, but usually it is aggravated by something else going on in the body. I know you have had a rough time and I am sure you are comin out it(power of +thinking:) )Keep us posted-I am not on like I used to be, but I poke in to check on everybody:wink2: I am thinking about you always!!!!

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