Do you get a horrible burning pain in your chest and ribcage? Have you thought you were having a heart attack, only to have doctors say your heart is fine? If so, you may have costochondritis.
This was actually my first fibromyalgia-related pain. When it hit, I ended up in the ER with a suspected heart attack. The doctor ruled out anything cardiac or intestinal, then poked a few spots where my ribs and breastbone come together. That hurt like crazy, so he said I had an injury there and that it would heal in a few days.
Of course, it didn't heal. It comes and goes, causing the worst of my pains and a lump on my breast bone that looks like half a golf ball. In the medical community, it's a debate as to whether this is costochondritis, somehow made chronic by fibromyalgia, or just another symptom of fibromyalgia that mimics costochonritis. Personally, I think it's a separate condition. My chest pain is accompanied by a lump on my breastbone that gets better with ice and anti-inflammatories. That doesn't sound like fibromyalgia to me!
Note: If you start getting chest pain, don't assume it's costochondritis or fibromyalgia! Always treat chest pain as a possible heart problem and get it checked out immediately.
Learn more about costochondritis, its symptoms, how it's diagnosed, and how you can treat it:
- Fibromyalgia & Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Fibromyalgia & TMJ
- Fibromyalgia & Bladder Pain: Interstitial Cystitis
Photo © A.D.A.M.