Costochondritis Rib Pain

Beef Ribs sprinkled with spices
  Reading time 4 minutes

Costochondritis Rib Pain

If it’s not one pain it’s another. I know it is almost cliché, but it works for this post. I have always had a fairly high threshold for pain, in fact, I have been able to ignore a ton of pain in my life. Usually, I can ignore it and just push through, but that isn’t the case with the pain that I’m having from my autoimmune disease.

I think the worst pain for me is the rib pain from the Costochondritis. According to all the official medical websites, it affects the cartilage in the ribs, but if you look at the human anatomy, you will see that the cartilage is only at the ends of the ribs where they connect to the beast bone (which is also cartilage). In the below image, the cartilage is represented in a pinkish color.

The human rib cage

However, I have pain lower on the ribs, often on the front and the back and both sides. There is no cartilage in the back of the ribs either. I talked with my Rheumatologist and she said that Costochondritis is actually not just the cartilage, but all of the connective tissues around the rib cage, this is why it hurts in the back and why moving to move and lifting too much makes it worse.

Alright, that explanation really makes sense to me because at times it feels like I have been repeatedly punched in the ribs.

Boxer getting hit hard in the rib cage

I know what that feels like in Boot Camp, not only do you get beaten with the pugil sticks (see image below for a better idea what they are if you don’t know) but you also get beaten in the smoker (boxing ring). Since I went to boot camp at 6′ and 145 pounds I was very skinny and even though I was on double rations (twice the food intake) in boot camp and I gained nearly 20 pounds, I was still an easy target in boot camp for both the pugil sticks and the smoker. During the first pugil stick fight I got my ass handed to me big time by a recruit who was huge and had a red stripe (what they call a fat body, but a recruit that needs to lose weight and wears a red stripe on their uniforms in boot camp). The second time with Pugil sticks, was where we were both on a telephone pole and not only had to balance but also beat our opponent, this time it was more of a draw as after a few hits by both of us, we both fell off the pole, now I think they have a wider platform instead of a pole to balance on.

Back to the Costo pain. Right now, I haven’t found a really good solution for the pain. I’m taking pain meds and having to supplement that with narcotics periodically, just to get through the day sometimes. And it seems to be having an effect on my voice as well, as the vocal cords are cartilage and my ENT said that my hoarseness is very likely being caused by the Costo as well. So right now, I just have to deal with it the best I can, in hopes that it goes into remission, which according to all the online medical websites, it does, but according to all the people in my support groups, it doesn’t seem to go away for them. Wish me luck on this one, I will certainly need it.

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