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June 10, 2008

Questions From Readers (Costochondritis)

A reader writes to ask:

I’m writing to see if you have had any experience working with someone with costochondritis?

My reply:

Thanks for writing. I've only just been introduced to costochondritis since I've started PT school. That doesn't mean I didn't run into it in my practice, I just may not have known what it was. I'm assuming that your client has been referred by a doctor to have approached you with a condition name. If they have not, it is crucial that they get checked by a doctor in case they have something more serious such as heart disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal problems or osteoarthritis.

I like the Mayo clinic website for giving a nice, concise description of a lot of conditions that clients present with. If you haven't checked it out already, here's what they say about costochondritis:
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint — where your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

They also suggest heat as a self-care treatment (I find that interesting, usually inflammation responds well to ice . . . ). If you use hot stones in your practice, this would be a great time to use them. Of course, work within this person's pain threshold and keep up good communication. Chances are this condition will clear up in a week or two according to Mayo clinic.

I hope this has been helpful for you and thanks for reading.

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Posted by linda at June 10, 2008 7:11 AM

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