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What you need to know about Costochondritis - And what to do if you have it


 

Costochondritis is a commonly occurring condition and is one of the most frequently observed causes for musculoskeletal chest pain in adults and children alike. Most patients report sharp or pressure-like pain in the chest wall that gets worse with movement. It can be debilitating, with pain lasting from between a few weeks to well over a few months. Most diagnoses are followed by superficial attempts at pain relief that leave patients scared and confused as to what they’re dealing with. The best approach then is to arm yourself with knowledge - and this is where we’d like to help. 

What is costochondritis 

In order to understand costochondritis, it’s important to first understand how your chest wall works. The functioning of your lungs is only possible when the ribcage surrounding them expands and contracts. However, the ribcage is made of hard bone - you can feel this for yourself - and therefore is quite rigid. In order to enable movement in rigid structures, the body uses cartilage - it’s a strong but flexible tissue that is present in joints all over the body and helps to cushion and protect them. The movements required for breathing are specifically possible by the action of the costal cartilage that is found in the joints of the ribs and the breastbone. The joints between this costal cartilage and the ribs are known as costochondral joints. Costochondritis is the term used to indicate an inflammation of either the costochondral joints, sternocostal joints (joint between cartilage and breastbone) or sternoclavicular joints (joints between the clavicles and breastbone), or a combination of these. 

This inflammation manifests itself by making it very painful for sufferers of the condition to engage in any physical activity. It becomes especially pronounced when taking deep breaths and coughing. This restriction from drawing full breaths often results in breathlessness and hyperventilation that lead to panic attacks. Pain, anxiety, lack of adequate knowledge regarding the cause and unreliable treatment options can all be very frustrating for someone experiencing costochondritis. 

What we know now 

Up until recently, it was believed that costochondritis was a systemic auto-immune inflammation that occurs in some people for reasons that can not be determined. The existing understanding of this topic was severely limited by a lack of clinical trials. However, a team of brilliant physiotherapists in New Zealand has been approaching this problem differently all along. Their research and experience point to a single unequivocal understanding of costochondritis which is as follows.  

Due to a variety of reasons, some of the rib joints at the back can not move. When this happens, the joints at the front near the breastbone have to move excessively in order to allow for normal breathing and movement. This excessive movement over time results in the joints getting strained and irritated and gives rise to inflammation. The inflammation is a localized response to injury - similar to other injuries in your body which see swelling from fibrin building up to glue the torn fibres together. This was an essential part of the puzzle that was missing from popular understanding of costochondritis and it makes a world of difference to the treatment approach. 

How you can help yourself 

In most cases, treatment was previously limited to either a medical or non-medical form of pain management. However, in order to properly treat costochondritis, it’s important to free up the rib machinery at the back. As long as the joints at the back are not addressed, other treatments will be able to provide only temporary relief at best. Our team has been focusing all their efforts on addressing just this problem. 

As a culmination of 35 years of research and experience from the best physio minds of New Zealand, we bring to you The Backpod®. We believe it’s the only tool available that can fully and effectively free up your tight rib joints to give you the relief you require.  

As far as we can tell, there isn’t anything other than the Backpod that will do this effectively - for clear technical reasons. The Backpod's stable peaked form, shape, size and construction are exactly designed to give the best possible stretch for tight rib and thoracic spine joints.  You can force stuck joints free with manipulation, but they don’t stay free unless you also stretch the tough, tight collagen material around them - hence the Backpod. In our experience, Backpod® users have reported feeling obviously better in the first week, and 90% better in three weeks.  

Don’t take our word for it however - visit the links below or our Youtube channel for first hand accounts of users of The Backpod® and see for yourself. 


BackpodTV


Wir haben eine umfangreiche Auswahl an Tutorials und informativen Videos erstellt und auf Youtube veröffentlicht, damit Sie bequem darauf zugreifen können.

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