Pain in the chest is something that should be taken very seriously. However, it’s not always that the symptom is cardiac in nature. Take for example costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the sternum or breastbone. The pain caused by this condition can sometimes mimic a heart attack.
Also sometimes known as “chest wall pain”, costochondritis usually resolves on its own, although it’s not unlikely for it to stay around for several weeks or months.
Medical experts say that there are some telltale signs that what you are experiencing is costochondritis and not a heart attack. For instance, the pain which is usually sharp in nature tends to worsen when you cough or take a deep breath. But in order to be sure, it’s of utmost importance to be thoroughly checked by your doctor.
Sometimes, the cause of costochondritis is unidentifiable. However, it’s something that may result from physical strain or an injury. There are instances in which it can be associated with other problems, like arthritis.
The treatment goal for costochondritis is to have the pain and inflammation relieved. A doctor usually recommends the intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. But the problem with these drugs, most especially if they are taken in large doses for long periods of time, is they can come with side effects and risks.
Fortunately, there are some all-natural approaches to dealing with costochondritis. If you are diagnosed with it, here are some of the best home remedies for the condition that you may try:
Give It Plenty of Rest
One of the smartest things for you to do when you are suffering from costochondritis is to give the problem enough time to heal on its own. It is a good idea to steer clear of activities that trigger or worsen the pain, usually those that involve certain arm movements.
Several times throughout the day, you may place an ice pack on the affected area of chest. Just make sure that you don’t apply ice cubes directly on your skin — they should be wrapped in a small towel or piece of cloth beforehand.
Opt for a Hot Compress
You may also attain relief from costochondritis with the help of a hot compress. However, refrain from applying too much heat on your chest as it may only cause worsening of the problem. For many people, alternating cold and heat provides much-needed relief from costochondritis pain.
Drink Ginger Tea
It’s no secret that a cup of ginger tea is an excellent fighter of nausea and indigestion. Did you know that it’s also a drink that you may rely on each time you are battling something inflammatory in nature? Several times a day, make yourself a cup of ginger tea to minimize pain and swelling associated with costochondritis.
Take a Relaxing Herbal Drink
Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep because of your achy chest? Then consume a cup of a relaxing herbal tea of your choice. Lemon balm, chamomile, jasmine and passion flower teas are some good examples.
Dodge Pro-Inflammatory Foods
While battling costochondritis, it’s definitely a good idea for you to stay away from foods that can cause inflammation. Anything that has lots of sugar in it should not make it past your lips. Processed food products should also be avoided. Otherwise, consuming pro-inflammatory foods can make the problem worsen or stay around much longer.
Have Fruits and Veggies
Certainly, adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet can help in managing costochondritis. They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that encourage the body to heal itself.
Turmeric is revered for its ability to deal with inflammation. It’s exactly for this reason why you should sprinkle a little of this golden-colored powder to your soups and stews to attain immediate relief from costochondritis. You may also add a dash of it to your favorite smoothie, juice or tea.