How do I manage breastbone pain

by Rebecca
( Northern Michigan)

How do I manage breastbone pain

I've had this bump on my chest for over a year. My rheumatologist was concerned so I had a breast exam. This is when I was told it was Tietze's Syndrome.

In the last few months, I've had some back pain. It feels like the lump straight thru to the spot between my should

er blade and spine, directly behind the lump. History: Spina Biffida Occulta, child of a Vietnam Vet exposed to Agent Orange, SLE, Sjogrens, Raynauds, food and environmental allergies, RA, moderate OCD, Vitamin D deficiency, GAD, pyloric stenosis (as an adult diagnosed, I understand it doesn't really happen to adults, lucky me), ischemic colitis and I'm hypersensitive to sounds, touch, sight, smell and stress.

I currently take Tylenol arthritis, tramadol, protonix, chlorpheneramine, zofran or phenergan, dicyclomine, xanax, plaquenil, zinc, magnesium, cinnamon bark, b12 sublingually. I should mention that I am unable to take narcotic pain relief because it won't stay down.

My doctor told me to ice it and heat it and do some stretches and in a few weeks it would go away. I did what she said and it got worse so I went back. This time she said that with my rheumatic history, it probably won't ever go away. She tried pushing it back in. All that did was make it worse!

Is very painful now and I don't know what to do to get some relief!

PLEASE HELP! (I can feel the lump better than I can see it in the pic. I hope you can see it! )

Hello Rebecca,
Yes, I can see it, though it's never clear on a photo unless you get the light exactly right.

Wow, you take a lot of medication. But I doubt that is causing your Tietze's syndrome.

It took me 25 years to realise that my chiropractic treatment, like your doctor's, actually aggravated this condition, and even caused it a few times.

It's a chicken and egg situation. It's no coincidence you feel it right though to the midback - it's a condition that affects the rib at both ends.

Important: a heavy PA (posterior to anterior) manipulation will aggravate the condition. The key is an "anterior thoracic" adjustment, and that you'll have to see a local chiro. Please stress to him/her that heavy PA adjustments will increase your pain.

What you can do:
1. Get an ice block, take it to the shower, and do alternating ice and heat right over the joint.

2. Get a little cream and, after your shower, rub your fingers, straddling the rib, away from the breastbone, and under your breast.

3. Lie on your side, and ask someone to massage along the offending rib all the way from under the armpit, in both directions, towards the spine and towards the breast and breastbone.

4. Find a good chiropractor may be your next step.

I have worked out a particular technique to fix this problem, Rebecca. It won't cure it, but it will get 80-90% better. Your chiro might want to Skype me and discuss it, no problem.

Good luck, Rebecca. This is a painful condition, but really, it's very treatable. Oddly, I had a case this morning in the clinic. It's not uncommon.

Often there is a associated gastric troubles because the diaghragm attaches to the underside of the ribcage. So, what you're experiencing is fairly typical.

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Oct 24, 2013
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Update on Tietzes syndrome
by: Rebecca

After being seen by an Orthopaedic Surgeon, he had a bone scan, SPECT scan and aCT scan done as I was very worried it was a bone tumor. He agreed it is Tietze's Disease. I was given Voltaren cream and lidocaine patches and follow up in 6 weeks. Because of my autoimmune disease, he thinks I'm healing slower than normal. I think I'll check into a chiropractor here in town, are you able to recommend anyone?

Thank you for posting my issue!
[Hello Rebecca,
Cold comfort, but rather Tietzes than cancer, Rebecca.

Goes to show, most of our anxieties are much ado about nothing, but very real nevertheless.

Frankly, this ALWAYS heals slowly. It's a difficult condition and took me 25 years to figure out how to treat it.

Remember: a heavy PA thoracic adjustment will aggravate it. Tell your chiro, maybe print and take these reports with you.

Did the bone scan show anything? Often will.

Ice massage in a hot shower, alternating hot and cold, will help.

Dr B]

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