COSTOCHONDRITIS? TIETZES SYNDROME

by MELISSA
(GLASGOW UK)

TIETZES SYNDROME

HI THERE CAN YOU PLEASE ADVISE ME I HAVE HAD PAIN FOR NEARLY 2 YEARS IN THE RIB, STERNUM, BREAST REGION SOMETIMES RADIATING TO MY MID BACK, RIGHT UNDER THE SHOULDER BLADE.

ALSO I HAVE HAD PAIN IN MY ARM, WITH TINGLING IN MY FINGERS.

I CAN'T LIE IN CERTAIN WAYS, I DEFINITELY CAN'T LIE ON MY FRONT AND TWISTING IS A NO-NO.

I CAN'T LIFT THINGS FOR ANY LENTGH OF TIME.

IT'S SERIOUSLY AFFECTING MY LIFE THAT I'M SO DOWN EVERY DAY AND I HAVE 3 GORGEOUS GIRLS WHO ARE NOT SEEING THE BEST OF THEIR MUM AND I AM SUFFERING.

I'M OK IF I DON'T MOVE BUT I CAN'T GO ON EVERY DAY LIKE THIS, MY DAUGHTERS HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS AND SEVERE SKIN CONDITIONS AND I THINK YEARS OF DOING THEIR SKIN ROUTINE HAS OVER WORKED MY MUSCLES BUT I'VE HAD SCANS XRAYS BLOOD TESTS AND NOTHING IS SHOWING UP I WOULD JUST LOVE A DIAGNOSIS OF SOMETHING AND A PROMISE IT WIL GET BETTER AS I CAN'T FACE LIFE LIKE THIS EVERY DAY.

PLEASE CAN YOU HELP

I,M IN SCOTLAND UK

ANY ADVISE IS WELCOME AS I HAVE THE PAIN CLINIC AT THE HOSPITAL SOON AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH ME. THEY ARE SAYING I,M A HYPOCHONDRIAC SO I JUST SHUT UP AND PERSEVERE NOW.

I TRAINED AS A HOLISTIC THERAPIST AND QUALIFIED JUST BEFORE THIS HAPPENED AND THAT DREAM IS IN TATTERS NOW AND AFFECTING FAMILY INCOME.

IF YOU CAN FIND ANYTHING THEN I WOULD BE SO GRATEFUL,

YOURS SINCERELY

Hello Melissa,

Regretably I can't do anything to help you, but there is sure to be someone nearby to help you out. You have what seems to be a classic case of Tietze's syndrome.

I take it you have seen the page on Tietzes at C-H, hence this letter.

Is it also giving you indigestion? The diaphragm attaches to those the lower six ribs and so upset tum is often a biproduct of the problem.

Tietze's syndrome is a dysfunction of the whole rib, hence you are getting pain all the way from the midback where the rib begins, all along its course to the breastbone.

One big NO-NO. Never let anyone manipulate you hard in the midback. That will aggravate the condition. Talk to your local Chiropractor about that, as it took me 20 years to work that out. S/he may not know it either. You need help, Melissa, see your local DC.

What you can do for yourself is:

* Fill a polystyrene cup with water and put it in the deep freeze. When frozen tear away a little of the polystyrene so that the ice is proud. Take it to the shower or bath. First give yourself an ice massage over the offending rib-breastbone joint. When very cold, go in the hot water. Repeat a few times. Do it at least once a day, preferably more often.

* Take a little massage oil or cream and gently run your index and middle finger, straddling the painful rib(s), starting at the breastbone and moving as far under the breast as you can reach.

* Lying on your side, ask hubby to use some cream to rub all along the rib from your back towards sternum, under the armpit, under the breast (no hanky panky now!). Take him with you, by the way, the treatment goes all around the breast (mostly you can pull the breast tissue out the way with your own hand which gives you a modicum of privacy.

But that rib needs a very specific and careful Chiropractic adjustment to fix this condition.

Thought: It took me me 25 years to work out the treatment of this condition. If your chiro is floundering, suggest he skype me. I'm very happy to go thru the protocol with her/him.

There's hope, Melissa. Really there is. This is something I treat on a daily basis, it's really quite common, just you have a particularly bad, and now chronic dose of it. If all else fails, I'll be in Ludlow in June, tho not sure what the laws of the land are. I'm not registered in the UK. Otherwise you could come to Dordrecht in the Netherlands for a week or two in July or August where I'll be doing a locum, nice holiday in Holland! But first your local DC.

Oh, btw, don't believe that bs about being a hypochondriac. That's we doctors do when don't know what else to do: blame the patient: IT MUST BE YOUR FAULT! This is a very real condition, just Medicine is not so good at handling musculo-skeletal conditions.

Oh, by the way, it's well known that a progressive and inadequately treated Tietzes syndrome begins to affect the neck and arms.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



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