Tietzes Syndrome

by Janine
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

Hi I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. My 15 year old daughter has been in severe pain now for 11 weeks. After numerous tests and specialists, finally at 9 and a half weeks she was diagnosed with Costochondritis. She is extremely sporty and is frustrated and despondent beyond description, at not being able to participate as she did 3 months ago and before that. It really has been quite debilitating for her.

As you say we have tried numerous anti inflammatorys and pain killers, but nothing seems to bring her any relief. PLEASE HELP!

I have never been to a chiropractor before and honestly I am quite scared of them. At this stage I am desperate to help my daughter, but at the same time petrified to take her to someone who doesn't know what they are doing and will end up making it worse. Please can you advise me of any reputable chiropractors in Johannesburg or even how I should go about assessing / finding one that can help her.

Much appreciated


Hello Janine,
There's no need to be anxious and scared of consulting a chiropractor; mostly we are careful and thorough and well trained.

Having said that, Tietzes syndrome is something of an enigma, and it took me a long while to figure it out. Just as your medical doctors are taking a long time.

It's a good thing they have ruled out the medical causes; they are rare but do occur.

Does she actually have a lump over the breastbone? If so, I'd like to have a photo please.

There are four grades of Tietzes syndrome, but only the last has a palpable, tender, visible lump over the joint between the breastbone and the rib. Mostly it just hurts a lot but there's little to be actually seen.

One small warning that it took me a long time to figure out; a heavy chiropractic adjustment, P to A, will aggravate the condition. An "anterior thoracic" adjustment, mobilisation of the whole rib, and soft tissue therapy along the intercostal muscles is what will help her.

You can start with alternating ice and heat, an ice cube in the shower works well, directly over the tender spot.

The right way to find a good chiropractor is exactly the same as finding a good engineer, accountant and medical doctor; talk to friends and family and even your GP. Someone close by is usually, but not always best. Type find a good chiropractor into the search engine at Chiropractic Help; that might give you some ideas.

Perhaps print this out and take it with you to the chiropractor you choose. If they would like to phone me, that's fine. Like I said, it took me the best part of twenty five years to work out how to treat Tietze's syndrome. They can find my number in the navigation bar on your left.

Let us know how you get on.

Dr B

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