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Tietze syndrome and osteopathy

What is Tietze syndrome?

Tietze syndrome, also called costochondritis, was discovered in the 19th century by Alexander Tietze, a German physician.

This syndrome results in acute chest pain that is mainly located in the 2nd and 3rd chondrosternal joints on one side or the other.

What causes Tietze syndrome?

tietze syndrome osteo bodybuilding

The exact causes of Tietze syndrome are not yet well understood. However, there are some risk factors

  • trauma to the anterior aspect of the thorax
  • Repeated micro-trauma. This syndrome is commonly found, for example, in athletes practicing bodybuilding and particularly pectoral work.
  • An infection, autoimmune disease or underlying health condition, such as arthritis

Tietze syndrome symptoms:

rib pain thorax tietze syndrome

Here are the main symptoms found in Tietze syndrome:

  • Pain that can be of very violent intensity in the 2nd and 3rd chondro-sternal joints When the pain is located on the left side, it can be very distressing because it can be assimilated to a heart attack pain. This is also the reason why it is necessary to systematically investigate a possible cardiac pathology in front of this symptomatology. 
  • The pain is increased by mobilization of the rib: such as moving an arm or even just breathing in.
  • Pain reproduced or increased on palpation
  • Swelling on the painful area, which may also show redness.

Complementary examinations

As explained above, it is imperative to eliminate a cardiac pathology: it is therefore recommended to perform :

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Troponin assay

An ultrasound may also be performed: in some cases, we can see a small pleural effusion, a hematoma when there is a notion of trauma.

Treatment of Tietze syndrome

Before anything else, it is important to have eliminated other pathologies. Once the diagnosis is made, here are the treatments that could help / treat this syndrome:

  • Analgesics for pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation but remember that inflammation is a natural process that the body sets up. Removing the inflammation will certainly provide relief but will slow down recovery. If pain permits, avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and use them only if pain and syndrome persist.
  • Rib mobilization exercises and muscle work with osteopathy and physical therapy
  • In rarer cases, corticosteroid injections may also be used to relieve the inflammation.

Tietze syndrome and osteopathy

osteopath tietze syndrome versailles

Osteopathy, thanks to precise and painless techniques, will be able to work on the mobility of all the structures of the thorax whether they are bony (ribs, sternum, thoracic vertebrae) but also muscular (intercostal muscles, accessory inspiratory muscles, etc.) and others. Thus, he will be able to rebalance all the small disorders of the body that disturb the proper functioning of the thorax. Osteopathy can be practiced as a complement to medical treatment and medication. 

In the case of any chest pain, your osteopath strongly recommends that you first consult a doctor to rule out any cardiac pathology. 

Marie Messager
2 rue Alexis de Tocqueville
78000 Versailles

Marie messager osteopath versailles

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