A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Costochondritis
I had a question the other day about costochondritis.
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where your upper ribs join with the cartilage holding them to your breastbone.
It causes chest pain you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage.
Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually goes away without treatment.
The cause is usually unknown, but may happen from increased activity involving your arms.
Costochondritis is a common cause of chest pain in children and adolescents.
It accounts for 10-30% of all chest pain in children.
The peak age is ages 12-14.
Costochondritis is also a possible diagnosis for adults who have chest pain.
Chest pain in adults usually leads to a battery of tests to rule out heart attack and heart disease.
If those tests are normal and your physical exam is consistent with costochondritis, you’ll be diagnosed with costochondritis.
The condition affects females more than males (70% versus 30%).
Costochondritis may also occur as the result of an infection or as a complication of surgery on your sternum.
To deal with costochondritis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Boswellia, an Ayurvedic herb, is good for reducing inflammation.
*Fenugreek and flaxseed powder can be combined with slippery elm bark to make a poultice for swelling.
*Ginger is also a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects.
*Horse chestnut extract gel, applied topically to the sore area, can reduce swelling and inflammation.
*Mustard poultices are good for swelling and can relax tense muscles.
*Consume plenty of juices made from fresh raw vegetables, including beets, garlic, and radishes. Raw vegetables are high in valuable vitamins and enzymes.
*Avoid all meats and animal protein products until you’re healed. Don’t eat gravies, oils, fats, sugar, or rich or highly processed foods.
*Increase essential fats (flax oil, olive oil, Omega-3 oils).
*Increase fresh, raw fruits and veggies (organic when possible).
*Consider fresh juicing; consume fresh garlic and onions.
*Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, soda pop.
*Eliminate MSG and all artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins.
*When pain hits, immediately drink 2 large glasses of water. This often gives relief within minutes.
*Apply ice for 20 minutes and then remove for 20 minutes for the first 24 hours. On the second day, apply ice intermittently every 4 hours. Then after the inflammation has subsided, apply heat for 20-minute periods 2 or 3 times a day.
*Learn to recognize and reduce stress. Relaxation techniques can be very helpful (yoga, meditation, prayer, deep breathing).
*Move around. Don’t sit in the same position for long periods of time.
*Address emotional connections.
*Increase fresh air, sunshine, connect with nature.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds (food and environmental).
*Decrease “hidden allergies”.
*Maintain a healthy weight and get regular moderate exercise.
*Understand your medications and possible side effects.
*Consider chiropractic evaluation.
*Consider massage therapy.
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