Tietzes Syndrome - left chest and arm pain

this doesn't show it too well :/

this doesn't show it too well :/

I went to the emergency room last week for pain in the left of my chest and my left arm panicked that I was going to have a heart attack (which would be highly unlikely because I'm a healthy 19-year-old girl). After many tests, I went home still clueless as to what I had. I then had a follow up appointment with my regular doctor, who told me it was costochondritis.

Then, later that day, I realized that the area beneath my collarbone, more on the left side, was swollen and appeared to be a shallow, though rather large-in-area lump. The lump is a little tender to touch. I called my doctor and he said it could be due to the costochondritis. I then did some research of my own about costochondritis which took me to Tietzes syndrome.

This must be what I have, even though I don't remember having any trauma to my chest. I've been using a heating pack and ibuprofen for the pain, but I'm finding it extremely hard to avoid lifting things and twisting my body too much (which my doctor would worsen it.)

How do I get rid of this? Can I exercise without making it worse? In addition to the pain in my chest and arm, there is now pain in my neck and back. I also have some indigestion (constant rumbling stomach that feels empty even though it's not.) Please help!

You're right, the pic isn't too clear. Could you send the full file, without reduction to me brlewis@mweb.co.za This website may reduce it automatically and I'd like to see the full graphic.

When Tietzes syndrome affects either the first rib, or the collarbone, it may affect the "brachial plexus of nerves" and hence the pain down the arm. Inter scalene triangle ...

And, because the diaphragm attaches to the underside of the (lower) ribs, it may also cause indigestion.

I presume a chest X-ray was taken. If not, I would recommend. What's vital is that the correct diagnosis is made, as there are other conditions that can mimic Tietzes syndrome. Keep in touch with your doctor and if concerned, ask to see a physician specialist. Were blood tests taken?

There is no proven treatment for Tietzes syndrome. Because it's something that kept arriving periodically in the clinic, I developed an interest and came up with a protocol that managed the condition quite well. I can't promise that the average chiropractor, or any doctor for that matter, will have any idea about the treatment of it.

If you decide to see a chiropractor and s/he would like to skype me, I would be very happy to discuss the chiropractic management of your condition with him/her.

Keep active, but I wouldn't exercise at present. But likewise, keep moving, otherwise everything is likely to stiffen up.

Meantime ice is good for pain relief and to reduce the swelling.

What does concern me a little is that the mass seems to be central rather than unilateral. Send me the full digi pic.

The pain often travels along the whole length of the rib, back to its attachment to the spine, hence your back and lower neck pain.

I wish I could be more helpful...

Dr B

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Sep 30, 2015
Years of pain
by: Misty

I have had my pain for nearly ten years. I've been to dr after dr that never found anything. I've had MRI of my shoulder, chest X-ray, even an ultrasound. I went to a pain clinic that said he thought I had thoracic outlet syndrome and tried to send me to a dr out of state. I have learned to live with the pain because I thought I had too. It feels better when I apply pressure on it for some reason. I recently had a ct scan of my neck for a different reason and you can see the muscle in my left in that area is bigger almost inflamed looking. I'm completely miserable with this pain. It has my arm feeling so weak. I would travel to where u are just to fix it. I'm gonna call some chiropractors Tomm to see if they know about this. Thank you for helping me diagnose my problem.

I'm glad it was helpful, Misty. Now to see if there's someone to help you.

Contact me again if need be with more details of your particular problem.

Dr B

Dec 25, 2014
by: Anonymous

Tietzes syndrome

This might as well be written by me, it's exactly what I've been experiencing for almost 3 years. I'm 23, and my doctor says I will likely outgrow it in my 40s or 50s. I'm honestly not sure I can live with the pain that long.

Please help

Hello Casey,
Mm, thirty years is a long time to wait, if there's a reasonable alternative.

I say reasonable, as what I have is unresearched; really nothing more than a chiropractic anecdote.

I have struggled to find a treatment for this nasty syndrome for over twenty five years, and now have perhaps fifty cases under the belt. Few are cured, most are 50 to 80 percent better. Would you be satisfied with that?

Casey, start looking for a conscientious local chiroprator, and ask him to email or skype me; I'll happily go over my protocol with him or her.

One little warning; a heavy manipulation in the middle of the back will aggravate this condition. Don't let anyone do it.

Dr B.


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