I've been reading various postings and threads on this group site for close to 8 months - and decided to post my own experiences and outcome from costochondritis.
I, like many others, started feeling a sharp chest pain. It then developed into many shooting pains, stabbing pains, even burning sensation pain in the upper half of my body. The pain would be mainly in the chest, but would also radiate through my arms and down to my wrists, around my back and through my stomach. It then progressed into costochondral separation - where my ribs would separate from the sternum. I learned to literally "push" any rib that had popped out back into place. The pain was excruciating and unbearable and was certain that was the end of "me".
Diagnosis took, what seemed to be, a lifetime. After seeing 10+ different doctors, and having a million tests done (CT, bloodwork, MRI, x-rays, echocardigrams, EKGs, etc ...) it was one who finally made a positive diagnosis and could finally begin a road to self, or at least directed, recovery.
The doctors had me taking indomethacin, tramacet, oxycodone (oxycontin), celebrex, pantaloc, amitriptyline, etc ... None of the aforementioned drugs had any real effect in stopping the debilitating pain. I was barely able to walk, sleep, breath or talk properly. My windpipe (trachea), it turned out, was also inflammed.
After reading copious amounts of information, both here and elsewhere, I decided to stop taking the pain medication altogether and start changing my diet. I followed the Dr. Barry Spears prescribed diet (there were others, but this was the one I chose) http://www.ereader.com/product/detail/18354?book=The_Anti-Inflammation_Zone:_...
After stopping my medication, the pain increased quite a bit - but I had to do it in order to, in a sense, start my detox. I then started on a diet of fish (salmon - NOT atlantic salmon!, snapper, halibut, crab), veggies (no potatoes), fruit (not bananas) and water. Cut out sugar, dairy, breads, eggs (the yolks) and red meat. This was supplemented with regular doses of omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin C and turmeric.
Within 7 days I was starting to feel better. The pain had subsided noticeably and my mobility was greatly increased. This was after having been in debilitating pain for about 5 months. The transformation was no less than astounding.
I'm now fully pain free and still continue to maintain my diet and when cooking use ingredients according to the following website (which lists a multitude of foods according to their inflammation properties - if you choose a food then scroll to the bottom, it would show the inflammation propery) http://www.nutritiondata.com/
. I now eat red meat and breads/pasta made from flax. If I do end up eating potatoes, dairy, or something that is inflammatory, I DO in fact feel pain (such as Christmas).
I am fully convinced that diet is a major contributor to kicking this ailment - or at least alleviating many of it's painful aspects. It definitely worked for me, and write this now in the hopes it just might help others out there who are suffering.
It truly is a horrible infliction and only those who have had it really understand how bad it is to live with. Each night was like trying to sleep in a bed of razorblades. Each morning, getting dressed, was like trying to put a shirt on without having skin. All day long it felt like every bone in my chest was being crushed. It does not get the "press" it deserves. For the average observer reading information on it, it would seem to be a passing discomfort - it is anything but that. It was absolutely horrible and I'm thankful now to have gotten through it and now continue to keep it at bay.