Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Misery, thy name is Costochondritis

Since I was about 12 weeks pregnant, I’ve been experiencing an unpleasant pain in my ribcage intermittently. For those of you who are googling “pregnancy, rib pain” the pain is located in the front, on my right side, just under the bra line, and occasionally radiates around my rib cage to my spine. I have long periods of the day where there’s a dull ache or tingly feeling, and then episodic bouts of stabbing pains. Sudden movements (like coughing, or throwing a ball to my dog) can exacerbate it, and as the day progresses, the pain gets worse and worse. As the weeks have gone by, the pain has become more frequent and more severe, to the point now that I’m occasionally driven to tears and have a hard time sleeping at night.

At first I thought this was all digestive in nature—as it hurt the most after eating a large meal. When it started flaring up when I had an empty stomach, I ruled that out. Then my OB started testing me for all types of internal possibilities—liver failure, gall stones, kidney issues—but everything came up clean (thank goodness!). This last appointment, she diagnosed the problem as Costochondritis. From MayoClinic.com, “Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint — where your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.” In the last 24 hours, I’ve learned that this can affect either your right or left ribcage, but usually not both. Also, it’s not uncommon in pregnancy.

My OB and I talked about treatment options, and if I weren’t pregnant, the easy solution would be anti-inflammatories. Since these are a big no-no during pregnancy, however, we have to develop a Plan B. In my case, Plan B will include regular physical therapy and acupuncture sessions in an attempt to manage the pain and inflammation. If these fail me, I could end up in a Vicodin haze on bed-rest. Let’s hope for success!

I thought I’d post this info for those, like me, who’ve spent hours googling “pregnancy, rib pain” and haven’t gotten good information. My first PT and acupuncture visits are this week, so I’ll keep y’all posted.

And by the way, are there any readers out there who have received acupuncture before? I’m a little nervous at the prospect, but I figure it can’t be any worse than the pain I’m already in!

**Edited to Add:

It turns out this post is one of the most visited sites online about having costochondritis when you're pregnant! Who knew?

It's a shame that there isn't a better source of information out there on this disorder for pregnant ladies. But since there isn't, let's create one. If you came to this blog by searching for information about treating your costochondritis during pregnancy, would you please fill out this questionnaire in the comments? I'll compile any answers I receive and work on creating a post that summarizes our different experiences.

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.)
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
3-How often did you feel this pain?
4-Did you seek treatment?
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
6-What was their diagnosis?
7-What was your treatment plan?
8-Did it help?
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

106 comments:

Rachel said...

Hey girl! Acupuncture really doesn't hurt at all. You might also consider (if you haven't already) using a hotpad/ice alternating. Even more than calming down the muscles, it also helps with random nerve pains.

Tricia said...

I had that pain with Elizabeth often but never very intense. I hope the treatment helps and you find relief soon.

Hannah said...

You are my doppleganger. You just described exactly to the T, what I've been going thru including research.

I am 25 weeks pregnant and just came back from the doctor today after extensive blood work & abdominal U/S to rule out any serious internal mishap, but doc said it's probably costocondritis as well.

I hope the acupuncture helped. Thank you for the info & glad I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

Hi there
I was so relieved to read your blog after doing much research on costochondritis. I have been suffering with it so badly for the last month and now I am 30 weeks pregnant the pain has become unbearable. I have consulted my GP, obstetrician and as a last resot am going to see a bone specialist tomorrow as I have the one sharp pain under my right breastbone that alternates between agony, dull ache and a tugging sensation. I have been told a steroid injection may be a possibility as it is safe in pregnancy. Did the pain go after you had the baby??

Jen said...

Hi Anonymous. I'm glad this was helpful. By the time I went to get help for the costochondritis, I was in agony. And it was just like you described. My OB offered to send me to someone for steroid injections, but suggested I try the physical therapy/acupuncture combo first. After about two weeks of doing two treatments of each a week, I was feeling a TON better. My pain completely went away until I was 38 weeks, when I was gigantic, and then I went back to the acupuncturist twice more and it was gone again.

I was worried that the pain would return during labor (especially the pushing), but my labor never ended up progressing very well, so I had a c-section when the kiddo was in distress and never found out.

Since having the baby, I have no pain at all. I'm pretty certain that if/when I have another, the pain will come back, so I'm ready to start the acupuncture right away in order to avoid it as much as possible. I am not a new-agey alternative medicine type, so I really didn't think acupuncture would help at all. But it did, and to a degree I could never have hoped for. I hope you find some relief!

Anonymous said...

thanks for your email. I ended up seeing a rheumotologist yesterday at st john and st elizabeth hospital in st johns wood and my case of costochondritis was so severe I thought i was going to collapse in his office. he called in a radiologist who under ultrasound scan injected me with a local anisthetic and steroid injection right into the joint where it hurt me. I was really scared but was reassured it was safe in pregnancy. 24 hrs on i am very sore and bruised in the area he injected but he said it would take 48 hrs to feel the full effect of the injection so am resting up and hoping for it to pass!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Your description of the pain is much closer to mine than anything that I have read! I just went to the doctor today and was told I could take motrin but only until 28 weeks (I am 23). She did not mention the acupuncture which sounds like it worked for you. I am a high school teacher and have been in agony - as you mentioned it has only gotten worse. The only time I am ok is when I am in bed - sitting and eating usually exacerbate the pain. I don't know how I will get thru June in the classroom! This is my third baby and I have never felt so awful during pregnancy. Thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

This is an old thread but felt it was important to post b/c I feel like so many OBs out there don't think about costochondritis and pregnant ladies. I have suffered from this condition since I was about the age of 10 (I got it from injury due to serious bouts of bronchitis/asthma) and it would only flair up with injury or a bad cold. Then at about 16 weeks pregnant (after almost forgetting about this condition) the pain came back on my left side. If I hadn't had it earlier in life, I would have never known and the doctors (different OBs) I have mentioned it to were basically clueless. It has only become worse and worse with each week (I'm 24 weeks now) and this past weekend it started to get pretty severe again. As bad as it is, I consider myself lucky to actually know what it is. I am going to look into accupuncture (I did acu to get prego actually) so will see if that helps. Just wanted to write b/c I think it is so important for women to be aware of this issue.

Anonymous said...

Questionnaire:

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? YES
2-On a scale of 1-10 rate the worst the pain ever felt. 10
3-How often did you feel this pain? EVERY NIGHT AND INTO THE DAY USUALLY FOR 8 HOURS OR MORE
4-Did you seek treatment? YES
5-If yes to #4, from whom? OB
6-What was their diagnosis? COSTOCHONDIRITIS
7-What was your treatment plan? LIVE WITH IT FOR NOW. ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF PAIN IS TO HAVE THE BABY AND IT IS STILL TOO EARLY. SUGGESTED SLEEPING IN RECLINED POSITION.
8-Did it help? YES
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? 10 - 2
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? DON'T KNOW STILL HAVE 5 1/2 WEEK TO DUE DATE. FINGERS ARE CROSSED.
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain? I HAD SOME RELIEF WITH A HOT WATER BOTTLE AND HOT SHOWERS BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY. I COULD NOT BREATH AND COULD NOT FIND ANY COMFORTABLE POSITION. I HAVE AN ADJUSTABLE BED AND SLEPT IN AN ELEVATED/RECLINED POSITION AND THAT DID THE TRICK. HAD A PRETTY GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP OTHER THAN THE BATHROOM TRIPS. I AM GOING TO BEG FOR AND EARLY C-SECTION AFTER 37 WEEKS IF THE PAIN COMES BACK BECAUSE I CAN NOT HANDLE 5 1/2 MORE WEEKS OF THAT KIND OF PAIN. GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

Anonymous said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.)YES
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. 9 AT NIGHT
3-How often did you feel this pain? A LOT AT NIGHT, DURING DAY IF I COUGH, MOVE TOO QUICKLY. IT HURTS TO BREATHE DEEPLY.
4-Did you seek treatment? YES
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? URGENT CARE
6-What was their diagnosis? COSTOCHONDRITIS
7-What was your treatment plan? WARM SALT WATER
8-Did it help? HEATING PAD DULLS PAIN FOR A FEW MINUTES
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2. 9-2
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? DONT KNOW YET
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain? IT IS TENDER WHEN YOU PUSH FROM THE OUTSIDE. IT FEELS LIKE STABBING PAIN AND IT IS ENOUGH TO BRING TEARS TO YOUR EYES.

Anonymous said...

I am about 30 weeks now and have had this since last Monday. I was trying to describe it to my husband and it feels like I have a sunburn that someone rubbed sandpaper on and then every once in a while takes the end of a really sharp pencil and starts poking me in the same spot under my right breast/upper abdomen. I have an appointment with my OB on Thursday...they don't tell you about this in the books. I am so glad to read this blog because there is not much information out there.

Anonymous said...

I've had costochondritis off and on for about a year before I got pregnant. I would treat it with anti inflamatories and muscle relaxants and it would go away. Then at 11 weeks pregnant I started getting it nearly every day really bad and I was in and out of the ER a couple of times a week. They basically said take pain meds and muscle relaxants but they didn't help. I did some research on my own and found out that a lack of magnesium in your body can cause your muscles to contract and not let go. Apparently magnesium is a necessary mineral to allow muscles to un-contract. I spoke to my physical therapist about this who was treating me for the pain. She mentioned that a lack of iron could also do the same thing. So I started taking magnesium and iron supplements even though my magnesium levels were tested and were normal at the time. Now, after about a month on the supplements I don't get the pain at all and I'm now 33 weeks along. I'm so relieved. The pain was so intense. It grabbed me around my entire rib cage and squeezed. I couldn't breath or move and heat and physical therapy or the pills did not help at all. I'm so glad to have found relief not only for the pregnancy but hopefully afterwards as well since I've had this almost 2 years now. I hope this helps. I would recommend speaking to your doctor before taking additional supplements, but my doctor felt the extra magnesium and of course iron during pregnancy would not hurt. Here are two websites I found on magnesium. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=75
http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/jalali/magnesium.htm

Deb said...

Hi, I'm 29 with a 1 year old daughter. I have suffered from CC, but mine occured postpartum...I had been to the ER a few times fearing it was a heart attack (i have anxiety disorder so that didn't help) and I got a diagnosis finally a few months back. Mine is centrally located in my sternum and slightly to the upper left side of my chest. The cc was caused by lifting a baby girl a gagillion times a day and honestly...there's not much I can do to releive it. It sucks. I think I may try seeing a chiro and maybe an alt med doc too. Glad I found you here. I googled of course...lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I have been going through for the past few weeks. The pain got so severe that I was worried my placenta was detaching, and at 30 wks it was way to early to have the baby. I saw my GP who also does OB and she told me that most likely it is the costochondritis but it could also be my gaul bladder. She offered me some heavy pain meds but for now I refused them. My pain is minimal in the morning but being the mother of a very active toddler by the end of the day I can barely move it hurts so bad. I guess for now I will just keep plugging along. Again thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

This is the EXACT pain I have been having since I was about 24 weeks, and it has gotten progressively worse and worse...I dont think there is much relief in one position over the other, and my doctor has never mentioned that this could be what I have. It is exactly what I am feeling though...Burning pain right below my right breast...sometimes sharp, and sometimes dull. I want to know if anyone got acupuncture and it worked?

phojomon said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.

15 - It hit me on the way to work. I couldn't breathe, so I called my boss and told her I was driving myself to the hospital. I honestly thought I might be having a heart attack.

3-How often did you feel this pain?

Late in my pregnancy (7 or 8 mos), and it was really only that severe the one time. Perhaps my anxiety exacerbated the symptoms. I was also having mild contractions - again probably from my anxiety - and that added to the pain. The doctor gave me something to stop the contractions, and that helped.

4-Did you seek treatment?

Yes.

5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?

ER, and then the OB. ER took x-rays (even though I was pregnant) to rule out a broken rib.

6-What was their diagnosis?

After a VERY long day at the hospital, they decided it was costochondritis.

7-What was your treatment plan?

Rest and mild muscle relaxants.

8-Did it help?

Yes.
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.

When I left the hospital, pain subsided to an 8. The next few days, it was more tolerable to around 5.

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?

No.

Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Most post discuss this happening in the front of the rib cage, but my pregnant friend and co-worker is at the doctor this morning with similar pain in the back. I'm betting it's also costochondritis.

Also, it would be nice if expecting mothers were warned that this is a common ailment during pregnancy. If I had known that, I wouldn't have been so scared (probably making my symptoms worse).

Posted by Jen at 2:01 PM

Jodi said...

HOLY COW! This must be IT!!! I'm 16 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. I had severe bronchitis for a couple of weeks about a month ago. Ever since then, I've been in AGONY. The pain is right where my bra strap hits under my breasts. It's crushing pain... on both sides, but worse on the left.
They diagnosed it as pleurisy a few weeks ago but the steroid medication they gave me to help didn't put a dent in the pain and it hasn't subsided in the least.
The only time I'm comfortable is if I'm lying on my side.
THANK YOU for this blog; I will mention this to my doctor to see if he concurs.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness. OK, I think this is what i am suffering from but luckily I only developed this pain in my 36th week and i am now almost at week 38. My Dr. said the only way to relieve it was through delivery and since I am so close i think I can bear with it. the only tihng that helps is lying down (sometimes) and at times an ice pack.

QUESTION: After delivery did ot go away? (for those who developed this during pregnancy)

Thanks!

Jen said...

For Anonymous @ 2:12--what was left of my costochondritis pain (after acupuncture) did go away immediately post delivery. Hope yours does too!

Jenna said...

1.During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? Yes it started at about 12 weeks, as a burn in my ribcage like I was sitting with a bad posture.

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. Most Definitely a 10 I actually got to the point at 27 weeks where my husband took me to casualty

3-How often did you feel this pain? I feel it all day everyday. It is there in the morning and gets worse throughout the day
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes

5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? First from the casualty doctor and my OB, the midwife at my OB was fantastic… then I went for physiotherapy

6-What was their diagnosis? The casualty doctor first said costochondritis but after doing blood work and finding an infection decided to check my liver, gallbladder, kidneys and spleen; all were fine. He then decided to put me on anti biotic’s (safe ones for pregnancy in case of Pneumonia, and I suppose it was in the peak of the H1N1 virus out break where pregnant woman were contracting pneumonia) after my anti boitic’s were finished my rib felt better but I had a terrible nerve like pain… sensitive skin to the touch and burning so my OB and midwife suggested physiotherapy for a Pinched nerve. The physio thought it sounded like a pinched nerve. After many sessions of physio and no relief my OB suggested that it may be a hernia in my diaphragm…. I have since done further research and have decided to settle on costochondritis.

7-What was your treatment plan? Other then the anti biotic’s and physio and cold packs not much. Now at 32 weeks I am just in pain and waiting for the end as I believe I will have a sense of relief after my little is born.

8-Did it help? No nothing has.

9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? None… although a warm bath at the end of a day is the best ever!!!

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? I’ll let you know…

Gradipo said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? Yes
2-On a scale of 1-10 rate the worst the pain ever felt. 8
3-How often did you feel this pain? random bursts of pain during the day, mostly in the evening
4-Did you seek treatment? Not yet
5-If yes to #4, from whom? i'll look for an osteopath if it does not solve
7-What was your treatment plan? Ginger oil applied topically, hot water battle, gentle back stretches. Stopped exercising altogether. I plan to by Glcosamine+Chondroitin which appears to be safe during pregnancy.
8-Did it help? Not much yet
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? 8 - 1
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? I hope it will end much sooner. I am 24 wks.
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Yes. I have been doing Tupler exercises for pregnancy to strenghten the abdominal muscles ( the ones who push the baby out). These exercises focus on breathing muscles and are quite straining on chest/abdomen. I have been doing the exercises for 4 weeks and then, wham! I got the Costo.I am quite sure that the exercises caused it. Maybe I was doing too much exercise, or doing it wrong.
My pain is nagging and feels like a sharp pencil between my ribs. I have it on the right side. I feel it both on my chest and on my back. Doing the "windmill" with my arms always gives immediate relief.

I am afraid of having to endre labor AND Costo at one time. Hope it will not happen. Hope it will not last more than a few days. Pray for it.

Gradipo said...

For all who are seeking relief from Costochondritis, I have just found out that taking PYCNOGENOL 100 mg twice a day has helped tremendously with the pain.
Pycnogenol is extracted from the pine bark and has antioxidant & antiinflammatory properties. I had it at home, since my husband used to take it, and I gave it a try. It works! I feel so grateful.
Apparently PYCN is compatible with pregnancy after the 1st trimester, although no extensive studies have been done eso far.
Hope this helped someone!

Anonymous said...

I have never responded to a blog before but after reading this I feel I must have this condition. I am 13 weeks pregnant and at 3 a.m. last night had my husband drive me to emergency as I thought I was having a heart attack or blod clot. I am 37. Tests and an xray showed neither but I was sent home with no diagnosis and have been in a considerable amount of pain ever since. Tylenol every 4 hours makes it tolerable but, at no time am I able to lay on my left side (stabbing pain behind my left breast) and have no idea how I am going to function normally if this persists the entire remainder of my pregnancy. Thanks to all of you for hints and suggestions as I will call my OB first thing Monday to discuss options. Best, suffering in Reno.

Anonymous said...

During my first pregnancy I began with the pain in my 19th week. It was just slightly below and nearly an inch to the right of my sternum. I rated the pain an 8-10 on the pain scale. It felt like a grabbing/stabbing/burnning/horrible pain. As the day would go on the skin above the pain would start to go numb. I lived with my fist jammed in my right upper quadrant just so that I could get through the day. It lasted from 19weeks until I got my epidural at 40 weeks. The only relief I found was lying on my left side. I even labored on my left side. I was working 40 hours as a nurse so lying down was not something I got to do often. I remember my shirts being covered in tears from the pain. 3 days after I delivered I felt a searing burn in the area. I felt it once or twice more and then the pain was gone. Occasionally I feel it still. Only now I rate it 1-2/10. We are trying to get pregnant again so we will see how I fair this time. During my pregnancy I saw my OB, my GP, and a GI doctor that my GP refered me to. They all seemed as if they had never heard of such a thing. One doctor even accused me of not understanding the pain scale. I had 2 ultrasounds of my gallbladder and tons of blood work. Everything was normal. My blood pressure never went above 110/70. It's nice to read others' experiences, so that I feel less alone.

carol said...

i had the pain on my first but it went after delivery. I got no answers to what the pain was. There i am 31 weeks on second with same pain. now doc thicks it could be costocondritis. booked acupuncture today after reading this. thanks fingers crossed

Heather said...

right before christmas I got really sick with either pneumonia or bronchitis, depending on which doc I spoke with, and the coughing never quit. I went back to the GP today, and he said it's most likely costo and pluresy. I had both when i was a teenager, and now am on pregnancy #2 at 27 wks. Pain in the right side, right along the bra line. Doc prescribed Methylprednisolone, which I have researched to be a class C drug, one I'm not too happy about taking. did anyone else get prescribed this drug? I've put in a call to OB to ask them about it, but haven't heard anything yet. I'd really like to stop coughing and feeling so miserable!

Jen said...

For anyone reading through all the comments... I just thought I'd add (I'm the original poster): I'm 31 weeks with baby number two and I have not had any symptoms of costo this time around. We moved and my new OB says that it is often caused by some sort of injury or trauma to the area and then exacerbated by the growing and stretching from pregnancy. Here's hoping I make it the next 8-9 weeks without it recurring!

Anonymous said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? Absolutely!
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
10 went to emerg when i couldn't deal with it anymore
3-How often did you feel this pain? Every day. usually after 1/2 hour of sitting at work.
4-Did you seek treatment? Looking for treatment options, accupuncture is NOW on the list.
5-If yes to #4, from whom OB, and Emerg so far. I'm looking for an accupunturist
6-What was their diagnosis? emerg said pretty much suck it up. OB still waiting to hear back.
7-What was your treatment plan? none yet...so far rest.
8-Did it help? Standing / lying down helps the most.

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? Haven't delivered yet, I'm only at 28 weeks...so I'm looking for some help right now.

Thank you for posting this. It has been exremely helpful. I never even though of accupunture.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure this is what I am suffering with. I am 15 weeks with #2. I have been feeling the pain for over a week. I had it with #1 as well but didn't feel it until around 21 weeks the first time round. Had an ultrasound then to check for gall bladder, liver and kidney issues. I had to go on medical leave from work since my job consisted of sitting down all the time and that was the worst position. This time around it hurts when I breath, when I cough and move suddenly. I didn't find this info the first time around but I will definitely be taking this information to my OB for my next appointment unless I can't handle the pain and need to get an earlier appointment. Thanks for the info ladies and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy's!

Jenna said...

hi all i just wanted to add after posting on this sight last year, that the day i had my baby the pain went away... gone... sometimes when i am lying flat on my back and press on my rib it feel sensitive from the months of trama... but the pain is no more!! so i definately think its a lesser known symptom of pregnancy.

Melissa said...

1- Yes... my pain is up to, right in between my breasts.
2- 8
3- I had it once around 24 wks for 3 days and am currently experiencing it again at 37 wks.
4- Yes
5- ER Doctor
6- I went into the ER the first time, not knowing what it it was. Diagnosed as Costochondritis. Dr. said that it's common in pregnancy as the relaxin hormone often causes it.
7- No lifting over 10lbs, rest and Tylenol 3 was prescribed. Dr. said that if it continues, cortizon shots in later pregnancy could be done.
8- Tylenol 3 simply helped me sleep and time helped.
9- After a few days, pain was completey gone.
10- Haven't yet delivered.

Phaelia said...

1 - Yes
2 - 9, at which point I went to the emergency room, afraid something might be wrong with the baby
3 - Constantly after month 5
4 - Yes
5 - ObGyn
6 - Checked for gall bladder problems via ultrasound, eventually diagnosed as costochondritis
7 - Ice packs; I was told there was nothing more that could be done because I was pregnant and that it would clear when my son was born
8 - No
9 - N/A
10 - Yes, though it's not as bad as it was during pregnancy. I'm afraid to have another child, however, and still can't wear a normal bra.

Allison said...

I have posted before and had my baby back in October and my pain did not go away. I found out, on my own, that I had been misdiagnoses for the past 2 1/2 years. I only had it occasionally before I got pregnant and then it was constant and horrible. It turns out it was actually joint sprain from lifting my first son in and out of the car seat over and over (and I have an SUV and didnt' even have to bend over). So it was actually misaligned ribs or floating ribs. The chiropractor has saved my life. I didn't know much about them before except that people didn't have a high opinion of them but honestly, he's great and helped it so much. It's nearly gone after 2 months of weekly treatments (keep in mind I had it very bad for an extended period of time.) If you are suffering from this type of pain be sure you are diagnosed correctly. Apparently the floating rib (aka costovertebral joint sprain) can also be a big culprit and misdiagnosed as Costochondritis. My question is, if this is so apparently common why is it so often misdiagnosed and mistreated?

lucky13 said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? yes!!!!
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. 9-10
3-How often did you feel this pain? at 33 weeks every day
4-Did you seek treatment? not yet
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
6-What was their diagnosis?1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.)
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
3-How often did you feel this pain?
4-Did you seek treatment?
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
6-What was their diagnosis?
7-What was your treatment plan?
8-Did it help?
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?
this blog post is truly the best resource regarding this issue. I am in atrocious pain and I have a high threshold normally. this pain has had me yelp out loud from the surprise stabbing attacks. the skin is sore and I cannot sit or lie down, but am able to recline. reaching, bending or turning are big no-nos. I see my ob on Monday and hope she is receptive to my plight. I can't imagine 6 more weeks of this. thank you for posting this it's obviously still very relevant.
7-What was your treatment plan?
8-Did it help?
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for starting this blog!!!!!!! My mom had this condition with me 39 years ago. I had this with my second son, but never knew what it was. I'm pregnant again and noticed it starting at about 25 weeks. I teach strength training and aerobics, and the pain is a 20 after my classes - only ice works and I lay on my left side (the costo is on my right side) to get some relief. My midwife said the same thing, accupuncture, but I'm too chicken right now to go. This time around it's MUUUUUUUCH worse than the first. I am in agony trying to turn over at night. And it's ALWAYS worse at the end of the day. A few posters said it right: burning, sunburn/sandpaper sensation, sometimes sensitive to touch the skin, wearing a bra stinks, pencil between the ribs kind of pain. I have had some relief with pressure applied to my back level with the rib that's screaming in the front. I'm scared this will affect my labor. Anyone have problems through delivery with this? I am planning a natural birth. My hubby doesn't believe this, but I told him THIS pain is worse than labor pain... I guess if we can get through this everyday, we can get through birth easily....ladies, if you have this, you deserve a cape - superwomen unite. Unless you have this, there's no understanding just how bad the pain can be!!!! Thanks for starting the blod. I'm SO glad there are others like me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My pain has a name! Spent best part of an hour crying after a trip to hospital during which I was treated like some sort of crank or hypochrondriac or malingerer! Why do GPs, OBs and midwives not know or feign ignorance of this condition? Blood tests and an ultrasound of my liver and kidneys have ruled out other mischiefs - gall stones, ulcers etc and the pain and symptoms and reliefs described by you and the posters fits my experience exactly. I am not a lazy or a wimp, I just cannot work. I will now demand some respect! Thank you, a million times, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My pain has a name! Spent best part of an hour crying after a trip to hospital during which I was treated like some sort of crank or hypochrondriac or malingerer! Why do GPs, OBs and midwives not know or feign ignorance of this condition? Blood tests and an ultrasound of my liver and kidneys have ruled out other mischiefs - gall stones, ulcers etc and the pain and symptoms and reliefs described by you and the posters fits my experience exactly. I am not a lazy or a wimp, I just cannot work. I will now demand some respect! Thank you, a million times, thank you!

Emily said...

Oh thank goodness. Now I know what this is. Why does nobody tell you these sorts of things can happen in pregnancy? I thought my breastbone was cracking in half. I will definitely try some ice/heat therapy.

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? Yes, starting around 14-15 weeks
2-On a scale of 1-10 rate the worst the pain ever felt. Maybe a 4 or 5
3-How often did you feel this pain? Constantly. It seemed to go away for a while if I raised my arms over my head or didn't wear a bra, but it's pretty much there nonstop now
4-Did you seek treatment? Not yet, but I'll definitely talk to my OB about it at my appt tomorrow
5-If yes to #4, from whom? n/a
6-What was their diagnosis? n/a
7-What was your treatment plan? n/a
8-Did it help? n/a
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? n/a
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? n/a
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain? I thought it was my stomach or intestines because it seemed to happen after a big meal, or because my bras were too small, no such luck. I'm trying to wear supportive sports bras that don't constrict around my ribs and that seems to help. I'm a little scared for what's going to happen as my pregnancy progresses.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with this condition finally by my OB after spending the past month in agony. I am currently 28 weeks and the thought of having this pain for the next 12 weeks is horrifying! I have tried going to the Osteopath, physio and having acupuncture and Reiki done and none of them have worked. I'm now taking Di-gesic, which is a pain killer, but it only dulls the pain, doesn't make it go away. Lots of other people have described the pain perfectly, especially where it gets worse during the day - sitting at a desk all day is possibly the worst thing for it! Unfortunately I still have 8 weeks of work left and finishing early is not really an option for me. It's very depressing to be in so much pain all the time and lots of people don't seem to realise just how much it hurts. Everyone thinks I'm just complaining about normal pregnancy back pain and they laugh whilst saying I should suck it up. Sometimes it's hard to not punch them in the face and tell them to suck it up! Although I'm still searching for something that might help me, it's at least nice to find this page and know that the people who have written on here understand what I'm going through.

Anonymous said...

I am 30 weeks pregnant and have have had these exact sypmtoms. I ahve never felt pain like it!!! And nothing is more fustrating than when you know no-one belives how bad it actually is. I do feel alot better reading this blog and everyones comments, although I have to be honest, Im starting to believe there is nothing we can actually do that will make it go away totally......except have the baby. I went to the physio due to the exact pain described which i ahve now had for 6 weeks without a break, I have had 2 treatments , with a little relief , but it doesn't last. The only thing that has worked for me is the heat pack and i ahve used some ICE gel and TigerBalm. My oB said I could use the tiger balm. I might start the icepacks once the weather warms up, its been too cold so I have stuck to the heatpack.
I'm counting down my last 10 weeks!!!

Anonymous said...

I just got home from the ER with right sided chest pain diagnosed as costochondritis. I'm 38 yo and 27 weeks pregnant. I've had a cold for 2 weeks on antibiotics. I could barely walk or move this am due to excruciating pain below my right rib. I believe it started from coughing too much while I was sick and the pregnancy just made it worse.

I got a steriod shot and 72 hours of NSAIDS. And was told to use heat for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or so. I'm just lying in bed right now because I literally can't do anything else. My OB said the meeds were safe at this stage of my pregnancy.

Glad I'm not alone with this condition. Although they diagnosed it quickly in the er today. Good luck to everyone out there suffering as well.

Anonymous said...

I am 41 yo and have a precious 19month old daughter. I had pain in my rib cage around my 7th month of pregnancy. It was so bad I could not wear a bra. After she was born, I didn't have the pain for about three weeks but then after breast feeding and sitting in postitions I was not used to caused the pain to come back. I have had every xray and MRI that can be done but nothing shows up. It makes you feel like you are crazy! OB put me on high doses of analgesics for about three months but it didn't help at all. Couldn't wear a bra. Had to wear a camasole and I require a underwire bra for support. I have pain underneath my ribs under my breast and I have pain in my back muscles that radiate to my left side. I had my gallbladder out hoping that was the cause but it was not. I have gotten better over time with help from a chiropractor adjusting me and doing accupunture. I also had some triggerpoint therapy on my back and that really helped. I also can tell that my posture makes a difference. Sitting straight instead of slouching helps some. I am in contant pain except when I lay flat on my back at night on a heating pad. I have recently started taking yoga classes and this has helped alot. I am praying this will all get better in time.

Craig . Kate . Xavier said...

Thank God for this blog.

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your rib cage?
* Yes, right side of my ribs, the skin stretching over them, and under my right breast from my back to my sternum.

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
* At times -- especially at night I experience 9 or 10. (I'm 33 weeks pregnant currently.) During the day it's usually about a 5, if I'm in the car awhile it gets worse and worse.

3-How often did you feel this pain?
* Almost all day long.

4-Did you seek treatment?
* My OB said just today that this is very common, especially in slender women. I had been using Arnica Gel which did not even make a dent in the pain. Today my OB said I could use Icy Hot which actually feels pretty good. It just wears off too quickly.

5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
* My OB

6-What was their diagnosis?
* He did not actually suggest that it could be Costochondritis. He seems to think it's just nerves in the skin stretching -- and that is possible, the skin issue (of painful burning, tingling, and numbness) is actually worse than the rib pain at times. But the rib is still there and I'm convinced that it's Costochondritis.

7-What was your treatment plan?
* Ice packs, low heating pad, Tylenol and Icy Hot were all approved by my doctor.

8-Did it help?
* Only the Icy Hot has made a dent in the pain.

9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
* 9 --- down to a 3 or 4 (temporarily)

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
* Don't know yet

Bonus - Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?
* The skin stretching over my right ribs is ten times more painful than the rib pain itself. Which is still pretty bad. This is my second pregnancy, I had these same symptoms with pregnancy #1 and my OB says the pain gets worse with subsequent pregnancies and it almost always on the right side of the body!

Also -- the pain is always the most unbearable at night. It makes sleeping impossible. And if one more person suggests that this is nature's way of preparing me for "nights with a newborn," I will punch them.

Anonymous said...

I had this with my first pregnancy about 18 months ago, and it didnt start until later in the last trimester. It did go away after I delivered. Now, I am pregnant ago and only in my second trimester and it is already bothering me. Now, I am not sure if it never had a chance to heal completely. But it is actually making a "popping" feeling. Mine is right between my two rib cages right in the middle. It is truely bothersome. I am so glad about your postt. Thanks

Anonymous said...

really glad to have found this post also. I wish it would have come up sooner in my google search, because I've been suffering with this pain in my ribs for at least 6 months. It's gotten significantly worse since I entered my 3rd trimester. At first it felt like my bra was just too tight, but even when I purchased the second, then the third, then extenders for the third, then another extender, did I realize that it wasn't my bra being too tight that was the problem... it was something else below my skin between my right breast and the top of my baby "bump". The Dr. finally concluded that it was Costochondritis yesterday and NOW I'm finally seeing all of the posts about it! I know of at least a few other pregnant women who have suffered from it as well. AND I have a long torso (and have been experiencing this since the 1st trimester), so it's definitely not related to having a small torso, as I've read in other posts.

Anonymous said...

I am 28 weeks pregnant and have been experiencing similar symptoms for months. It only recently became localized to the left side of my sternum and much more painful. It feels like someone hit me with a hammer and I am all bruised under my left breast and in the center of my sternum. It worsens as the day progresses and it is very difficult to sleep. I searched and searched online about sternum pain during pregnancy with no results and I can't believe I finally located this blog! I have a doctor's appt next week and I will see what she says about costochondritis. Thank you!

Leslie Broussard said...

I have had mild success rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the affected ribs (front and back, left side).

Tiger's Balm is a more potent rub that could be used to decrease inflammation.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to have found the site and read all of the messages, again I was completely dismissed by both my local doctors and upon visits to the hospital - I am 37 weeks and feel like I cant take much more of the pain - I cannot understand why when it is obviously so common in pregnant women, that it cannot be diagnosed by doctors. Thanks for your help!!!

Renee said...

I too had been suffering from a throbbing pain in my upper right rib area. I consulted with my OB and ruled out any potential gallbladder concerns. She diagnosed me with Costochondritis. The pain started at 24 weeks. I initally only had relief when lying down or after applying ice to the area. Sitting at a desk or driving my car caused the pain to be unbearable. I'm an RN and asked many other healthcare colleagues if they had any ideas for treatments. Most people said either a chiropractor or accupuncture. I decided to try the chiropractor first since it is much cheaper. It only took 2 visits and advice to apply ice to the area 5-6 times a day, and wear maternity nursing bras that relieved the pain by 30 weeks. My chiropractor said ice is better then heat. She explained that since the joints are pulled it will help heal faster rather then soothe the pain with heat. I also went out and bought a couple nursing bras and started wearing them. The elastic band at the bottom of the bra provided relief rather then tightness. Today I'm 34 weeks and haven't felt a bit of pain in a month. I stopped icing the area and slowly switched back over to my regular bras....so far so good! For all of you that are suffering from costochondritis I totally recommend seeing a chiropractor. Most people think they wouldn't be able to help since the pain isn't in your back, but she did wonders on massaging the cartilage/joints in my rib cage.

Maria said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.)
Yes, I am 16 weeks pregnant and woke up one morning with pain in the dead center of my chest/sternum and a little to the left. i could not take a deep breath or move to get up.
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
I would rate the worst pain a 10 but since I had no other symptoms of a heart attack, I knew it was something else and did not want to go to the emergency room in a snow storm.
3-How often did you feel this pain?
I feel this pain a few times a day for a few hours, the worst being in the morning when I wake up in pain.
4-Did you seek treatment?
yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
I went to my primary physician
6-What was their diagnosis?
Costochondritis
7-What was your treatment plan?
Ice packs and tylenol since I am pregnant
8-Did it help?
no
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
Pain was a 10 and after Tylenol it was an 8
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? Still pregnant
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Craig . Kate . Xavier said...

I wanted to let everyone know - I had my baby 2 weeks ago and the costo pain was immediately gone after delivery.
However, I do have some lingering numbness under my breast and across my abdomen. But nothing severe.
So take heart -- it gets better!

Anonymous said...

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with my second child. I had costochondritis with my first child from about 20 weeks - and I thought that was bad. Doesn't compare to the agony I am going thru now with my second child. This pregnancy it started from 16 weeks. Probably as I can't just lie down as much as I have a 2 year old to look/chase after. I have tried massage, accupuncture, chiro and cupping. None of these have helped unfortunately. My obgyn suggested I try dencorub, however that doesn't really do much at all. I was wondering if the heat and cold packs are safe for baby? Anyone know? It's annoying that people that aren't aware of it, or that haven't been thru it think that it is just normal pregnancy back/rib pain. As you all certainly know - it certainly isn't. My cc did go away immediately after the birth of my first child, so I am hoping it does this time too.

Anonymous said...

hi, i am had costochondritis since i was 7. The pain was much worse as a child i would be doubled up in pain! The pain as an adult is much better to manage and i take iburofn. I am now 20 preg and was trying to work out if its pain from streaching or costo.. i am not sure its my costo.

Esther Tattersall said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.)

Yes, starting at about 20 weeks. On the right hand side.

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.

About 6-7.

3-How often did you feel this pain?

Every day. It gets worse when I've been sitting for a long time.

4-Did you seek treatment?

No - my midwife reassured me that it was normal, and because it hasn't been too bad for me I haven't felt the need to seek professional treatment.

5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?

I DID ask Mum for advice tho! I also read a bit about it in a pregnancy book, and my midwife was helpful too.

6-What was their diagnosis?

Baby pressing up under ribcage. They said it should disappear when baby drops. But I'm 40 weeks today and he still hasn't dropped (sigh).

7-What was your treatment plan?

I seem to have the most pain when sitting. I've been doing things like using a cushion in the small of my back when I'm travelling in the car, sitting in a more upright position, and of course getting up and walking around more often, or lying down. Also pressing my hand to the spot seems to give some temporary relief!

8-Did it help?

Enough to be worth it. I NEVER go travelling or to the movies without my cushion!

9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.

I can keep the pain to about 4 most of the time.

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?

Don't know yet.

Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Anonymous said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? YES
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. 10
3-How often did you feel this pain? Only once, on-and-off for 24 hours. Trying to lie down in any positions reduced me to tears and I spent a night trying to sleep propped completely upright.
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? Mentioned to midwife, who referred to GP, to referred me to hospital, who kept me in for 24 hours while they looked for signs of a PE.
6-What was their diagnosis? No PE, likely costochondritis.
7-What was your treatment plan?
No treatment plan, but happily pain mostly gone (now at a steady 0.5 out of 10, rising to a 4 if I sneeze!)
8-Did it help? na
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? not delivered yet!
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?
Yoga is apparently meant to help, but you might want to be wary of stretching too much and doing further damage! Anyone unable to sleep for agony, hang on in there- it shouldn't last.

Peter said...

Wow, your description of this pain is identical to what I've been experiencing for a few months now (I'm 34 weeks). I kept thinking that it was an errant foot or hand under my ribcage but that never really explained the way my rib ached when the baby clearly wasn't there. It is really strange that there isn't more info on this condition out there. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Hi all-

I first had costo chondritis with my second pregnancy. Most severly one month after delivery. My doc was able to give me steroid/cortisone shots into my chest, inbetween my ribs. It really helped, but there are not many doctors who are willing to treat this way. Now two years on from my delivery I still get flare ups once or twice a day. So sharp and painful, takes my breath away for 3-5 seconds. Not pleasent. Planning my third pregnancy this year but am not looking fwd to all the pain. Sounds like if you are experiencing costo chondritis in pregnancy you will always be prone to it. There is not a cure or an understanding of what actually causes it. Glad Im not the only crazy person out there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish this had come up weeks ago when googling "rib pain pregnancy." I only found it diagnosed as costocondritis today, now that I've found a solution.

I'll post answers to the questions below, but for those of you that read down this far, the number one best thing I have finally found after weeks of pain no matter what position is a velcro rip wrap. My dad got it years ago when he broke his rib, but you can find them online. It's basically a giant ace bandage with strong velcro. It also keeps down the feeling-like-my-ab-muscles-are-splitting-apart pain. I'm at 36 weeks, and managed to sleep 5 hours in a row last night without even getting up to go to the restroom because I was so comfortable. (I'm not sleeping with it on, but I wore it until I was in bed and put it on first thing in the morning.)


Anyway:

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? YES

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. 8
3-How often did you feel this pain? All day every day, unless I was laying down and NOTHING was touching my torso
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? The midwife I was seeing
6-What was their diagnosis? Regular pain of pregnancy, nothing you can do but put pressure on it and take tylenol
7-What was your treatment plan? Tylenol (which wasn't very effective), ice (worked only while on), and binding. (Which worked great!)
8-Did it help? See above
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? Brought it to a 1 or 0
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? Don't know yet

-Katie

Anonymous said...

Ok, I've never posted a comment on a blog before, but I just wanted to write a sincere thank you for writing this post. This is my 2nd pregnancy, and I don't remember having this kind of pain with my first. My OB said it was probably costochondritis, but the pain was so severe after seeing him, I was beginning to believe he was wrong. But, after reading some of your other posts, it does alleviate my worry that something more serious is wrong. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post. This describes my experience exactly!! You are right, after much futile googling, yours is the best (and most accurate) info out there. Thank you!

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage?
ANSWER: YES
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt
ANSWER: Was low-grade (felt achy and black and blue for two weeks (28-30 weeks pregnant) and then turned very intense (felt like a broken rib) and won me a trip to emergency room. So, started at 4, ended at 8.
3-How often did you feel this pain?
ANSWER: Still dealing with the pain. Started around 28 weeks pregnant. I am now almost 31 weeks pregnant.
4-Did you seek treatment?
ANSWER: Yes.
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
ANSWER: Called my midwife first and she recommended I get checked out in the hospital. Doctors at the hospital ran a bunch of tests (all came back normal) and then told me they couldn't prescribe anything for the pain since I am pregnant. They recommended complete rest. I have an appointment scheduled with an acupuncturist later this week.
6-What was their diagnosis?
ANSWER: Costochondritis.
7-What was your treatment plan?
ANSWER: Rest.
8-Did it help?
ANSWER: Working on it...
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
ANSWER: Yet to be determined.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Samanatha said...

I have had costochondritis for over a year, and am now pregnant, was pretty sad to hear that my pain may actually get worse. I had done IMS (intra muscular stimulation) with a pain specialist, and it relieved my pain for about a month, but then didn't touch it after the first attempt. They said mine is so longlasting because I'm very busty and don't have good enough blood flow to heal properly. Other things that have worked for me (despite them being only temporary easements) were infrared therapy-done at pt, massage of the back, and the IMS. Good luck to you all, hope yours subsides with birthing!

Anonymous said...

I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS BLOG!! I have researched every variation of pregnancy + rib pain and have found virtually nothing until I read this blog.
My pain actually started in my back at about 26 weeks pregnant and by 27 weeks, it was also in my ribs just under my left breast. It started off as a tingling feeling and then progressed to an uncomfortable burn and then to a painful throb, then to an excruciating feeling like someone is continually pushing on a very sore bruise.
I went to a chiropractor every day Monday-Thursday through weeks 27-29 and have received no relief, although the pain is now solely in my ribs and is no longer in my back (I originally thought that perhaps I had a rib out of place.)

I am now 33 weeks and am still feeling the pain of cc on a daily basis. The pain is increased if I am sitting or standing for too long which makes restaurant dining and grocery shopping almost unbearable. Thankfully my boyfriend knows that we need to "eat and get" when dining out - no more gazing into eachother's eyes from across a candle-lit table, lol.
I've found that when sitting at work, it helps to elevate my feet on an upturned trash can - I don't know why that seems to help but it does - it also helps with ankle swelling.
The only time I do not feel any pain from cc is when I'm lying in bed in any position, on my side or back. If I am sitting and raise my left arm above my head, the pain will subside as long as my arm is raised - like my ribs are being stretched, but I can't sit like that at work all day :)
I am hoping the pain will go away in its entirety after delivery. I am going to continue to stick it out for the next 7 weeks and pray that my little boy is on time and not overdue!!
Thanks again for this blog and God bless!

Angie said...

-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage?
Yes, it started about week 15 and was right in the middle. Around week 20 it moved to the right side of my ribcage.
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
10-got sent to the ER when this happened at work
3-How often did you feel this pain?
24/7 after week 15 or so, I'm week 26 now...still got a while to go. Sometimes it's a dull ache (those are good times) sometimes it's like a knife stabbing me
4-Did you seek treatment?
Yes, the doctor said it's just going to hurt until the baby is born
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
OB, Regular doctor, ER doctor all gave same answer
6-What was their diagnosis?
Muscultatal/skeletal pain for ER and OB, Costocondritis for regular doctor
7-What was your treatment plan?
Deal with it until the baby is born...try heat and leaning back
8-Did it help? No, not really but I'm dealing with it
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? 0
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? Haven't delivered yet.
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?
I can deal with it, I'll do anything for a healthy baby.

Anonymous said...

I thank God that someone decided to right this blog in order for women to see that they are not alone. I'm 13 weeks pregnant and dealing with what the doctors think is a fractured rib and cc. Last week I had a severe GI bug which caused me to vomit q20 minutes for 24 hours. The doctors believe that this excessive vomiting led to fractured rib and cc. I have NEVER felt pain like this. It hurts tremendously to walk, sit, stand, walk up stairs, etc. I've alternated both ice and heat with little results. The doctors prescribed category B pain meds, but I'm still reluctant to take them. The one place I did find relief was in my warm bath tub. I think that, when in water, all the pressure is removed from the ribs. I'm so worried that this pain could last through my entire pregnancy. My job entails working with children which includes picking them up...I can't even pick up a carton of milk without being in pain. Does anyone have suggestions for pain management? Thanks so much!

Candace said...

Hey i am pregnant for the 4th time and about 10 months ago i was diagnosed with Costochondritis after having walking phenomena for 6 months the ER doctor told me that may have caused it but since the causes is still un know he cant say for sure up un till i found out i was pregnant around 4 weeks so 2 weeks ago i was just fine taking my naproxen it helped SO much but naproxen is pregnancy category C by the FDA :( and now i am in the worst pain cuz its on my left side so i feel like i'm having a heart attack an i dont know what to do

M.E. said...

Hi, I just found this blog and wanted to say thank you all, you have made me feel sooo much better. I am 29 weeks pregnant and have been having very intense pains in my right ribcage for the past 2 weeks, and people kept saying it was my gallbladder, and that I had to change my diet, and after getting NO relief from eating a totally bland diet, and ending up in the doctor´s office hysterically crying, I was finally diagnosed with costochrondritis. Sigh. I guess it is good to know what it is, after feeling so desperate and getting no relief. I might check out acupuncture and see if that helps...thanks for all the tips!

KATARINA said...

I'm 36 week pregnant and had left side rib pain since I was in approx.20 week.It started as pins and needles under my left breast and pain went also through my back on the left side only.Pins and needles lasted for long period ,which enabled me to sleep on recommended left side .I went to see my Gp after while and she refered me to see a physiotherapist . No diagnosis at this point.Physio only saw me once with advice to follow some shoulder excercises.I did them , but without any effect.Then around 32 weeks pins and needles changed dramatically to stabbing sharp, constant pain .I went to see my Gp again and he diagnosed me with costochondritis on which he prescribed PHORPAIN GEL (Ibuprofen) .I don't use it as I read on manufacture's site that it is unsafe to apply in pregnancy. :-( Since then I'm fighting with ubearable pain with ice packs from freezer, which seems to help oonly when it is directly on the skin,. When it gets to 10 on the pain scale I take paracetamol. Other than that I pray that it will easy off after labour.I wish good luck and speedy healing to all costo sufferers in pregnancy .

Lee Turner-Conn said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? yes it started in my middle back but radiated around to ribs in lower front.
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) It comes and goes in waves but at the end of the day after sitting awhile it was a 9 and my husband suggested emergency room a few times
3-How often did you feel this pain? At 22 weeks pregnant it was only at the end of the day, now at 26 weeks it is throughout the day.
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)?
GP sent me to physio, she sent me to acupuncture, my OB diagnosed Costo, I am now seeing an osteopath who treats pregnant people.
6-What was their diagnosis?
They all determined it was more rib than back pain and then my OB who is a twin specialists quickly diagnosed Costo.
7-What was your treatment plan?
Like many of you he said rest and rolled his eyes at osteo and physio. He gave me paracetamol with codeine which hasn't touched the pain. Today the osteo did some mild stretching and rubbing. She used menthol rub and is suggesting some exercises to push down the ribs and to use my back more when I breathe so not to distend the ribs further.
8-Did it help?
Lying flat provides relief. Sitting or standing can be unbearable for over 30 minutes. Ice feels best and I liked the icy rub. Hot baths and swimming are a nice relief. Doing prenatal yoga does not bother it so I am going to try more of that. She wants me to keep trying acupuncture but it didn't have any effect the first time I tried it.
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—
When I'm walking for 30 minutes it can feel excruciating at a 9 and then when I lie flat with ice it goes down to a 2. I do get relief but it just comes and goes in waves all day and through the night.

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
TBD. I have maybe 10 weeks left with twins and it kills me that it may not ease up until then.

Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

This blog is the only thing I have found that describes the pain accurately. However, some people talk about pain in the sternum and others in the sides or back of the ribs. I wonder if the sternum pain is when you get it from extending after being sick while the other is the bottom the ribs being pushed out.

Although it is great to know I'm not alone I'm shocked how no one has a consistent cure or relief. The doctors all seem to say your pregnant can't do anything. I love the women that said they wanted to punch people who said it is typical or your body's way of preparing you. Ha.

I wish we could do more than this blog or get chiropractors, osteos and OBs to comment with thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have had chronic costochondritis for the past 5 years. It went away for the first 3 months of my pregnancy (first time in 5 years), and at week 14-15 came back with a venegance. As I have had it for the last 5 years perhaps I can offer a few suggestions:
1. Physio can help
2. When in severe pain, roll a towel and place it along your spine and lie on it. This will open the chest area and provide some relief and I often sleep like this. I asked my neo-natal specialist about sleeping on my back and she said it's fine up until the 24th week. This is often the only way to relieve the pain.
3. Tylenol arthritis works fairly well. Talk to your doctor, but mine gave me the OK to take 1-2 pills per day.
4. I am on a very low dose of a medication called Elavil (10mg) which is only safe during certain times in your pregnancy so be sure to talk to your doctor. I think it is a bit of an old drug and was also used as an anti-depressant. I found pre-pregnancy it provided relief. Take it at night as it knocks you out. I am only allowed to take it up to 30 weeks and I started it in my second trimester.
5. Try to sit up straight as much as possible. Slouching will make it worse. Using physio to improve your posture helps.

Again, talk to your doc before taking any of these meds but this is what I've found works.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you all for posting. Im 23 weeks and have had the same symptoms you're all describing for about 2 weeks now. My OB had no idea what it was, but my GP just diagnosed it as costochondritis. I thought that maybe the baby had broken my rib bone, and am so relieved to know that its normal and nothing to worry about (besides dealing with the pain). Thanks for your ideas and hopefully if we spread the word enough, this information can be added to all the pregnancy books.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that this website is very helpful. I had the same issues when I had my first. I was hospitalized at 8 months with a massive kidney infection and the fever that came along with the kidney infection magnified the pain 1000-fold. Have you ever heard of this happening?? Anyways, I'm a little over 4 weeks pregnant with my thrid (never experienced with my second) and have started feeling thesse twinges of pain under the right side again...

Karin said...

I was diagnosed with costochondritis about a year before becoming preggo... and yes, usually I would take an awesome anti-inflammatory that would nip it in the bud. But I've been at a loss as to how to treat it now. It flares up whenever I'm fighting a cold. Sigh. Boy does it hurt! But rest assured, it is not dangerous in the slightest.
Mine is on my top rib on the right side, right where it meets my sternum. (Last year when it started I thought I had cracked a rib or something!)

Anonymous said...

I came across this post while sitting in the ER. I am 8 weeks pregnant and felt like every rib on my right side was bruised. It was hard to breath at 9am with a little pain under my shoulder blade, the pain progressively got worse until 3pm and I was having a hard time catching my breath, as the pain spread from my back to my chest I realized this was no pulled muscle and with shortness of breath I ended up coming to the ER. After all my tests came back normal and being pregnant they were unable to do additional testing and scans, I am being sent home with Lortab (which I am not wanting to take) and a sheet on low back pain.
I am not happy that they were unable to diagnose my issue. I know this is not a pulled muscle and until I found this site I stressed that this would require more dangerous testing for my baby and I. I have been on the couch for 24 hours now, sitting up so my ribs don't hurt, on a heating pad and I'm feeling a lot better and am now able to breath with regular breaths now.
I plan to follow up with my OBGYN tomorrow and see if he can spread some additional light on this topic or if ill be introducing him to your blog as well...
Thanks for the information and hope my information helps someone else...

Jen, Florida

DeAnne said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? (If no, you’re done. If yes, please continue on.) YES
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt. 10-DEFINITELY A 10
3-How often did you feel this pain? ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT!
4-Did you seek treatment? YES. WILL EXPLAIN LATER
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? ALL OF THE ABOVE
6-What was their diagnosis? COSTOCHONDRITIS
7-What was your treatment plan? DOCTOR DOESN'T KNOW.....STERIODS...BUT HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THE BABY
8-Did it help? HAVEN'T DONE IT YET
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 9, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

SO MUCH TO SHARE:
I have been in a severe amount of pain for about 3 months now. I got a sonogram done and an MRI. All my major organs are fine but the pain won't go away. I have seen my Gyno, GP, a Liver specialist, Accupunturist, Chiropractor and a General Surgeon.

The Gyno and GP came to the conclusion that I have "several-more than 3" broken ribs. They said it will have to heal on its own......well, it hasn't...in fact, the pain has gotten much worse.

I am a very active person and own my own sales business. I am not one to stay in bed. But have been in bed now for about a month.

I can't move without being in a severe amount of pain. So I keep going to specialist after specialist to try and figure out why my ribs are not healing.

Finally I went to a General Surgeon. He sent me in for chest x-rays because after 3 months of pain, I was only getting worse. (Most broken ribs heal in 6 weeks.)

He discovered yesterday....I do not have any broken ribs. So, now my doctors have diagnosed me with Costochondritis.

There is not much information about it online. So I am very glad to find this blog!

My doctors are recommending me to take Steroids.

Anyone else have any knowledge about how taking these van affect the baby? I really need some help determining what to do. I have been to the Accupunturist and a Chiropractor and they are not helping at all. I am only getting worse.......

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I had my daughter in December of 2010 and now she's almost a year old. I posted a while back about my rib pain. It subsided immediately after my daughter was born. In fact, I'm pretty sure that once she 'dropped' the pain lessened significantly. To anyone who's feeling hopeless because of the pain, take comfort that it's temporary, and you will be back to feeling normal again soon. Take it easy, don't over do it. Icy Hot patches pressed over the sore area (the self adhesive kind) work wonders. I would replace them as soon as the cooling effect wore off. Also, ditch the bra if you can, and if it feels better to do so. Don't even worry about what people might say, they aren't the ones who have to deal with your pain! Good luck!

Kaisa said...

Thank you for making this blog. With my first pregnancy I started getting rib pain at about 20 weeks. Being pregnant the doctors couldn't do anything. I always describe the pain by saying I think it would feel like relief to take a crow bar and snap all my ribs apart. It is soooo uncomfortable and just something that no one should have to live with. I am now pregnant for my second and I am 22 weeks and the pain is starting to hit. I have an appt coming up so I am praying there is something they can do for me. My last pregnancy I got a hot/cold wrap that I would throw in the freezer and it was temporary relief for my rib pain. http://www.amazon.com/Elasto-Cold-Therapy-Catalog-Category/dp/B005HWV0DW/ref=sr_1_122?ie=UTF8&qid=1322096257&sr=8-122
It is long enough where you can wrap it around write below your breasts, and it will give you SOME relief. SOME...good luck...lets hope that they can research and find out what works with pregnant women and this condition!

Anonymous said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? YES, mid to late pregnancy, 3rd child, baby 4.2kg
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.7
3-How often did you feel this pain? During pregnancy, daily
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? Yoga, massage
6-What was their diagnosis? Never reached one!
7-What was your treatment plan? Obviously none, I still have it!
8-Did it help? Yoga helped and massage, temporarily
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean: my pain was originally a 7, after treatment I’d rate it as a 2.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? YESSSS!! Youngest daughter is now nearly 8 years old (!!!!!) and I am still getting the pain intermittently and unpredictably.
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain? It's definitely muscular in nature. Lying flat on my back or flat on stomach helps relieve it. I feel it was definitely due to large baby and separation of abdominal muscles during pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I posted on May 16th about my cc pain, and I wanted to let you all know to take heart and stick it out - the pain went away the moment I gave birth. I know it's so hard but there is a very likely chance that you will no longer have the pain once you give birth. My son was born just over 7 months ago and I haven't had any pain from cc since that day. I'm thinking of you ladies - I know how painful it can get, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

ErinColorado said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage?
YES - starting at week 10
2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.
10 - woke up feeling like arib had slipped out of joint
3-How often did you feel this pain?
several times (1-2X per week)
4-Did you seek treatment? Yes
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc)? OB
6-What was their diagnosis?
costochondritis - the pain was always in the same place (he originally thought it might be gall stones but ruled that out when the pain never moved)
7-What was your treatment plan?
Ice, okay to use icy hot sparingly and no lower than the sternum. if gets unbearable - can do novicaine (spe?) shot. at 27 weeks now and considering it...the pain is excrutiating.
8-Did it help?
ice - minimally; icy hot - for 20 minutes
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? You can answer numerically—for example 9-2 would mean:
9 - 5 (it is only as low as 2 lying on my left side hugging a pillow with another pillow wedged behind my back - starts back up past 5 within 3 hours of waking up.
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?
Dont deliver until June 2012
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?
contrary to other suggestions - binding hurts so bad I feel like a balloon is going to burst out of my chest. Any kind of friction or contact is extremly painful - spend most of the time NOT wearing a bra at all - no amount of pressure is okay. have a friend who is both a dula and a massage therapist who specializes in prenatal and deals a lot with CC - something's gotta work! Thanks for the blog!

Frenchy said...

Hello! And thank you so much for this blog! I feel less lonely right now... (i m writing in tears , on the floor of my sitting room)
I am only 7 weeks pregnant and caught the flu the day after learning i was pregnant... It became a bronchitis to then become a costochondritis. My doctor prescribed me some codeine which doesn t do anything except giving me a super dry mouth during the night... My big problem is that i still caugh a lot and it brings me to tears as the pain in my right upper ribs is unbearable, giving me sharp pain in the back .. I suppose i have to heal that caugh (without syrup?) in order to suffer less... I m going to take some acupuncture appointment from tomorrow... And hope for the best....
I m now on my way to a sleepless (but not tearless) night....

april esquivel said...

I am so greatful to read all of the posts. Before I was pregnant I did have some pain but I knew that was due to poor fitting bras. Stopped wearing bras for a week and got fitting bras and the pain was gone. I was exercising hard for a month before we found out I was pregnant and no pain except sore muscles. Found out I was pregnant and was so tired and nauseous that I couldn't do anything anymore. Then the pain hit right in the middle of my sternum to the bottom soft cartalige (that is the most sore) as well as under my breasts on both sides. It is painful but I am grateful that hopefully will go away. Also I will try some of the advice from the other posts. I am only 10 weeks and will only continue to get bigger, which will lead to more pain b/c the cartligde will be more stretched. Good luck to all of you.

Courtney Cantrell said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage?

Yes, today.

2-On a scale of 1-10 (1 being barely noticeable, 10 being hysterical emergency room craziness) rate the worst the pain ever felt.

So far today, a 6.

3-How often did you feel this pain?

It has come and gone for the past 8 hours.

4-Did you seek treatment?

No. See answer to bonus question.

7-What was your treatment plan?

Easy stretches to pull shoulders back and cause chest (sternum) to "pop"; also lying flat on my back.

8-Did it help?

Yes.

9-What was the approximate reduction in pain?

Originally a 6, reduced to between 1 and 3.

10-Did the pain continue after you delivered?

N/a yet; I am 22 weeks pregnant as of today.

Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

I first experienced costochondritis in high school (I am now 35), and then it was due to constant slumping at desks and lack of exercise. It wasn't until after college that I found out the name of the condition.
When the symptoms started this afternoon, I suspected a costochondritis flare-up, mainly because I've been sitting a lot and haven't gotten enough exercise. I didn't know that pregnancy can bring this on, but considering how much our connective tissue changes when we're pregnant, I guess I shouldn't be surprised!

Anonymous said...

I have the pain, it started at around 7 weeks. I initially thought it was caused by my breast augmentation (under the muscle) from way back in 2005 that might not have healed correctly. My OB suggested it was gall stones. I have switched to nursing bras and am very careful in my choice of movements always fearing that stabbing pain on my right side just under the bra line. I have a desk job and it kills me by the end of the day. My husband just thinks I distrust doctors but let's face it - better to eliminate conditions through expensive diagnosis and attempted treatments than to say "it'll pass, get an ice pack"

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that i found this. I am 30 weeks in to my second pregnancy and have this all the time, it's awful! The only thing that relieves it if lying flat on my back. I am currently signed off from work as I do a desk job and sitting is a killer. I had this in my first pregnancy too. I'm do happy that I now know what it us though! X

Rachel said...

1-During your pregnancy, did you ever have pain in your ribcage? Yes
2-On a scale of 1-10, I would say 8
3-How often did you feel this pain? Started tonight. Lasted about 7 hours
4-Did you seek treatment? I called the help line very worried and unsure
5-If yes to #4, from whom (OB, regular doctor, naturopath, etc) midwife on-duty at hospital
6-What was their diagnosis?
Costochondritis or preclampsia
7-What was your treatment plan? Take Tylenol, and apply a warm (not hot) heating pad while laying on my left side.
8-Did it help? Either that or simply time. I'm not sure which
9-What was the approximate reduction in pain? 8-2
10-Did the pain continue after you delivered? idk yet
Bonus-Anything else you’d like to share about your rib pain?

Grace the Heart Breaker said...

I'm so glad to have found this blog post! Since Preggo Week 32, I have had this radiating pain, exactly as you have described it! I once had the condition pleurisy, and this pain is very much like that pain, except this is localized in one area, where pleurisy is pretty much your entire rib cage!

Before my 34 week appointment today, when I finally got my answer of costocondritis, I was pretty sure I was suffering from either a failing liver, gall stones or pulmonary thrombosis (Thanks Dr. Google!). The doctor assured me that my description of this feeling like localized pleurisy was the best possible way to describe and it is indeed Costocondritis. She said after edema (swelling), it's the second most common third-trimester pregnancy side effect!

I'm sorry all you ladies are also suffering from this, but it's good to read that I'm not alone and that it WILL go away after delivery! Yippeee! So until then, I'll just spend my days pushing downward on the point of pain, because really, that's what makes it feel the best! :)

Bethie said...

This post was my saving grace. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share what worked for them. I'm currently only 9 weeks pregnant but already have had 3 episodes with this sharp, deep rib cage pain. With my first child it was diagnosed as gall bladder attacks and I was told to sleep in an upright position and lower my fat intake. It happened so often that I'd bought a giant recliner just for me to sleep in. It lasted the entire pregnancy and then *poof* disappeared. Now, after ten years with no symptoms, I'm pregnant again (at age 32 and am literally the healthiest I've ever been) and all of a sudden I wake up feeling I'm surely having a heart attack... Then I remembered the long ago gall bladder symptoms. I'd eaten poorly that day so I attributed it to that. The second time I'd barely eaten, and I'd thrown up all day with morning sickness, I thought perhaps it was muscle strain.

Tonight, as I lie here at 2:37 am, having been awake since 12:01 thinking I'd have to end the pregnancy rather than endure this pain again, I realized I had more power than I did 10 years ago - I had Google! Deeply regretting my dinner decision of a twice baked potato with butter and cheese I figured I'd look up the symptom and see what helps a gall bladder when you've eaten high fats and gotten an attack.

After reading a little of this post and seeing that it didnt sound like my gall bladder at ALL, I ran downstairs, got an ice pack, a sports bra and a heating pad, slipped the bra on, fluffed up some pillows to sit up in bed and put 2 pillows under my knees so that I'm in an N position, slapped the ice pack on my ribs and the heating pad under my back opposite my ribs and the relief was almost instantaneous! I'm still in pain, but it feels like a stiffness from sitting in a hard chair with bad posture for too long. I'm currently alternating the ice to the back and the heat to the front and that is totally reducing the residual pain.

I really hope this helps someone else!

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

When I first became pregnant my mom warned me of the pains I would be experiencing before the birth. She mentioned these exact pains. Around week 16, I felt it, especially sleeping on my side. It went away with an Advil and a muscle rub, which I was allowed to take early on.

Now at 32 weeks and unable to take Advil & muscle rubs (according to the OB), I find lying on my back for 20 minutes with a heating pad around the affected area is the only relief (and it is temporary). I'm not supposed to sleep on my back anymore but sleeping on my side only makes these rib and chest pains worse. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I use the heating pad religiously but just have to remember to roll off my back before I doze off back to sleep. I have found that sleeping semi reclined in my lazy boy chair helps with the pain (aka I don't wake up in the middle of the night in complete agony).

Thank you for this post. I will try the different things I read in it.

Anonymous said...

Please visit a chiropractor who is familiar with pregnancy and rib subfluxation. I had pregnancy related rib pain (about a 4 on the pain scale) for a couple days. Then, I sneezed and the pain became unbearable. I visited my primary care doctor, which was a waste of time. My on prescribed vicodin and a brace which helped, but at 36 weeks, this is not ideal at all. after 2 days I found a chiropractor who popped rib back in place and I have felt MUCH better ever since. I'm back to just being uncomfortable as opposed to bring in agony. Trust me, only a chiropractor can pop those babies back in place!

harmless holidays said...

Has anyone tried TENS for this issue? I am currenlt 30 weeks in my second pregnancy, I was actually bed ridden with my first for 2.5 months because of severe costochondritis. Now its back, and its sharp , and im terrified I will not be able to move again. The doctors I have seen have not helped at all- prescription of CODEINE, GABAPENTIN (topical) and thats it. I think they think it is way less serious then it really is. Has anyone had ANY experience using TENS?? PLEASE SHARE! thanks so much!

harmless holidays said...

Has anyone tried TENS for this issue? I am currenlt 30 weeks in my second pregnancy, I was actually bed ridden with my first for 2.5 months because of severe costochondritis. Now its back, and its sharp , and im terrified I will not be able to move again. The doctors I have seen have not helped at all- prescription of CODEINE, GABAPENTIN (topical) and thats it. I think they think it is way less serious then it really is. Has anyone had ANY experience using TENS?? PLEASE SHARE! thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this blog! I can't believe there isn't more information out there on this. I have been having severe pain for over a week. It's been keeping me up at night. My OB ran all kinds of tests to rule out liver and pancreas problems, all clear. I haven't been to work in a week now and have been so frustrated by the lack of a diagnosis, and by my OBs office writing it off as severe heart burn. It is EXTREMELY painful! This sounds exactly like what I have, and I am thrilled to find this website.

amy said...

I am 34 weeks and i was diagnosed with costochondritis about 10 months ago and i have an appointment with my ob/ gyn today at 1. I will let u know wat happens.

amy said...

So the dr said tylenol bengay and hot/cold compresses

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you!! I finally feel normal - I read this whole post to my hubby so he knows I'm normal! How do you all deal with the pains?!? I'm also having horrible stabbing burning round ligament pain that just started. What to do!!

Anonymous said...

How long after delivery did your cc pain start? I have extensive rib cage pain ,much worse in my lower ribs front and side. I am now 5 1/2. months postpartum and this started about 2 1/2 - 3 mos ago. It got much worse and more extenssivve around 4-5 mos postpartum. I did not have this when pregnant and you are the first I've found reporting pp cc. I"m worried.. It does not seem normal. I had a chest ct 2 mos ago for other reasons. Nothing was really. found. Had mri a couple of weeks ago and there is severe intercostal inflam onleft and mild on right. Did yours get worse before it got better? When did it start and how long before it resolved?

Anonymous said...

You need to try this product. It cured my severe chest pain from costocondritis in 3 days (15 small tablets per day) and its safe for pregnant women.
http://peakhealthinc.com/sevenpoint2-recovery-with-hydrofx/

Linda said...

Thank you so much for this blog post!
I'm 25 weeks tomorrow, and have had a nagging pain exactly where you describe for a few weeks now. I didn't bother mentioning it to the doc at my last appt because I figured it was a normal part of baby pushing other organs out of her way.
I don't think my pain has been as bad as others have described; maybe a 6. I'm curious if anyone's OB mentioned ways to prevent it from getting worse?
So far the only thing I've felt makes it any better is eating tiny meals and leaning back to expand my chest/stomach space as much as possible, as often as possible.

I have another appt next week and will discuss this with them. Thank you again for giving me a possible diagnosis I can bring to the table and maybe prevent unnecessary expenses in testing for other things!!

dannii said...

Can't believe there are so many people experiencing the same thing. I have had every test going to work out the problem had it with all 3 pregnancies each time getting worse and worse towards end of pregnancies. Currently 34 wks and its agony. Finally found out the problem when i saw a specialist inflammation of cartilidge. I have to take paracetamol every 6 hrs (safe in pregnancy) doesn.t get rid of the pain but lessens it slightly. So glad i.m not alone. Not that i.d wish this on anyone. Has made pregnancy quite miserable but be assured it does go once you deliver. The area stays tender for some time but to pain.

dannii said...

*no pain

Anonymous said...

I'm getting this postpartum as well, started at 15 weeks pp, and seems to be brought on by exercise, even though I'm not doing anything too strenuous. Ibuprofen helps, but it takes 3-4 days of doing very little to make it stop hurting. I'm hoping it will stop on it's own and I can resume normal exercise and activity.