costocondritis / tietzes syndrome


Two years ago was diagnosed with costocondritis by a medical doctor. I have been to two chiropractors during the last 18 months and even took printed pages of your web site for them to review. Is it possible to get detailed instructions from you that my chiropractor could use to do the type of adjustment that you refer to for tietzes?

The pain started as a sharp quick pain after a violent sneeze that would be sporadic and has gradually subdued to a dull pain / soreness on the left side at the fifth rib area- in the cartilage to the sternum area. Also sometimes have the same dull ache on the left side back that seems to be related to same location as the front- just below the shoulder blade.

The dull ache seems to come and go, some days OK and then other days can be quite painful and miserable.

Any help that you could give to me to relay to my chiropractor would be greatly appreciated. My chiro seems reluctant to call for help and this is my last option. Or if you could possibly recommend a DC that is knowledgeable in your techniques with the activator or other methods in the Augusta / Macon, Georgia area


UPDATE: I'm about to give a lecture on the treatment of TS to a chiropractic congress. The lecture notes will be available on this site, for chiropractors only, for .99c. Tell your chiro.

It's all about ego, I'm afraid. This is a difficult condition, and it took me 25 years to figure how to treat it. I shudder to think of the number of cases I either completely missed, or had no understanding of what was happening. Or aggravated, as a heavy manipulation in the middle of the back, posterior to anterior will aggravate the condition.

Suggest he come to the chiropractic convention in South Africa in September where I'll be lecturing on the subject!

Seriously, if he's open to learning about it, I'd be most happy to talk to him. Suggest he contact me at CONTACT and we can set up a Skype discussion. It's not rocket science, but some very specific things need to be done.

It's a horrid, nasty, very treatable condition. There's hope! The symtoms you describe are typical. If it's chronic I would recommend an X-ray of your midback.

Any indigestion?

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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Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

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Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

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