Symptoms or costochondritis are often confused with myofascial trigger points.
The purpose of the ribs is to protect the organs inside the chest from damage or trauma. Because of the lungs being one of those, it is important that the muscles between the ribs, intercostal muscles, work in tandem with the act of breathing. When there is pain, there is guarding, when there are myofascial trigger points, there is restriction of movement. It is important that the lungs are able to fill with air as oxygen is food for our cells.
Costochondritis is an inflammatory condition. Please see Dr. Bennett’s article on newly diagnosed FM. He talks about the myofascial trigger points that were once thought to be tender points, and still are by some, though this needs a clearer definition. These myofascial trigger points frequently occur in the muscles between the ribs or in muscles that refer pain to the muscles between the ribs (intercostal muscles). Presence of myofascial trigger points can mimic costochondritis. That is why the treatments for inflammation don't help other than their analgesic properties for the pain. The only thing that will help significantly is treating the trigger points.
People with chronic fatigue syndrome are usually made worse with activity. It is quite possible that the chest pain we experience could also be attributed to the development of myofascial trigger points.
It is important to keep the muscles between the ribs moving appropriately. After treating the trigger points be sure to do exercises, such as deep breathing to stretch the intercostal muscles (the muscles that hold the ribs together) and certain yoga poses. The child’s pose with breathing will help stretch those muscles between the ribs on your back, and don't forget the ribs on your sides, you can get a stretch here by bending to your right and take your left arm up over your head as you gently bend, then repeat on the other side. There are many stretches provided in the book.
Take a look:
Defining Myofascial Trigger Points.
Chest Wall Pain, Esophageal Spasm, and GERD
The NFA article for new FM patients written by Dr. Robert Bennett
My website: www.TheseThree.com
Harmony and Hope, Celeste