hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and handsome
Bear, and today we’re gonna show you stretches and exercises for
costochondritis, which is the inflammation of the cartilage between
your ribs. so let’s get started. so the first thing that you want to do is some deep breathing exercises. so with the deep
breathing, this is not that diaphragmatic breathing that sometimes we do in the
videos. this is really to open up your chest, so you’re breathing up in your chest
area, not down in your stomach. so you really want to kind of open up that
chest area to kind of stretch out those spots in between the ribs that cartilage.
this is causing that costochondritis. so what you want to do is just
take a deep breath and really try and open up your chest while you do it. so so
if you can see, you can kind of see that my chest opens up and comes back down
out. depending on how much pain you have, this might be pretty uncomfortable, so
you might not want to go as much breathing in as you possibly can, but
just go to that you feel just a little bit of that you know a little bit of
pain a little bit of tension in there. hold it if you can for maybe two to
three seconds and then and then release it. so you’re just going to come in and
then let it out. so again that’s just kind of opening up and closing that
chest just to stretch out that cartilage in between a little bit to help get that
irritation that inflammation out of there. so I would just start off with maybe three to five of these. you don’t want to
go overboard because it’s already inflamed, so you don’t want to irritate
it. so the more you breathe in doesn’t make it better, you want this to be
comfortable. so then the next one you can add on to the deep breathing by kind of
bringing your hands up behind your head. and as you can see what this kind of
does is this opens up my chest and then itself so you it kind of expands it as I
bring up my hands this way. so once I do that, then I’m going to do that deep
breathing again. so just kind of holding it this way.
some people kind of like to pull their elbows back to open up the chest even
more. I would say the first couple times you do it, don’t do that because you want
to see how much if you’re gonna have any pain. how much pain you have while you’re
doing it. so just kind of hands behind head. nice deep breath and then let it
out. so you can see as I breathe that in, my elbows did go back a little bit and
so you can enhance that a little bit if the first couple feel okay. then you can
bring those elbows back more while you breathe in. so you’re gonna go in and
then come back out, so just that nice breathing in and breathing out. and that
just again kind of helps open up that chest a little bit. so the next thing
we’re gonna do is just kind of lie down and do a trunk rotation motion, and then
use our arms a little bit to help open up that chest. so with the trunk rotation,
if you’ve seen some of my videos you can see is it’s a pretty easy thing. you’re
gonna prop up your knees and you’re gonna keep them together. so while you
keep them together, you’re just gonna rotate. it’s just like it sounds you’re
rotating that trunk side to side, but with this one you want to kind of add in
your arms to help open up the chest while you do it. so you can do it two
different ways. the first one you can just kind of have your arms out to the
side and that kind of helps open up that chest. and then just drop your legs so
I’m feeling it a lot on the top here on the on the side of my rib. so it’s
opening up that rib cage stretching out that cartilage in between just to get
that inflammation out of there. now with this one you again you probably want to
start off with not a full thirty second stretch maybe ten to fifteen seconds and
then come back up. and then stretch the other side. so then now I’m stretching
the top on this side and this is actually a really nice stretch even
though I don’t have costochondritis I feel a nice stretch in there especially
my arms out to the side. you can also kind of bring your arms up above your
head this way and then go over and so it’s a slightly different stretch but
it’s still the same concept where I’m feeling that nice stretch through here.
so you can try either way or you can do both and just see which one gives you
the best stretch. and one might be a better stretch than the other. so again
maybe just start off with 10 to 15 seconds three times on each side. try and
work your way up to 30 seconds doing three on each side. so then after that if
you want to do some strengthening to kind of help get that
area a little bit stronger, usually if the the ribs up front are inflamed here
you want to kind of get that thoracic area in the back strengthened. because
sometimes if it’s weak then you kind of come forward like this and that can
cause that inflammation in the rib cage there. so doing something like you might
have seen my Is Ts Ys and I just doing the t’s and the Y’s. really kind of
help get that thoracic area some strengthening in there. so what you want
to do is roll over onto your stomach. I like usually having a pillow just to
place my forehead on. you don’t have to you can just have your head all the way
down. I just usually feel like I can breathe a little bit easier when I do
this. so just kind of placing my forehead right here so my nose isn’t just getting
forced into the floor, and then so for the t’s your arms are going to be
completely out to the side and your thumbs are going to be up. so you can see
my thumbs up and you’re just going to come up this way trying to squeeze those
shoulder blades together and then coming back down. so just nice and slow and
controlled. you don’t really have to hold it if you don’t want to, you can hold it
for maybe like two to three seconds if you want to and then come back down. and
you should also feel your chest opening up when you’re doing this because as I
bring my arms back, I’m opening up that chest. so maybe just start off with about
ten. you can maybe try two sets of ten and then slowly work your way up from
there, and then you can also go into the Ys. so the Y’s are the arms are out in
front of you but slightly at an angle. so if somebody was looking up over you it
would look like a Y. so now you’re just going to come up this way with your
thumbs up and then bring them, you can see they’re not going very high. it
doesn’t have to go very high, but you really just want to get that nice kind
of squeeze at the end. and then slowly coming back down.
so again just start off with ten, two sets of ten a couple times a day. and
then you can kind of slowly work your way up from there. that’s pretty easy. so
then the next one is opening up the chest again so doing a PEC stretch or
this pectoralis muscles because up in here again if though
tight and that’s pulling everything together. that inflammation is just going
to hang out in that rib cage. so you can stretch out your pecs a bunch of
different ways, I have a video for that if you want to check that out, but one of
the ones I really like because you can just really completely relax is using a
foam roller. if you happen to have one if you don’t have a foam roller maybe if
you have a yoga mat you can roll up the yoga mat and use it like a foam roller.
or you can even use a big beach towel to do it because a lot of times if you’ve
got that costochondritis it’s a irritation in there. you don’t really
need a huge roll. so just a rolled-up beach towel might be enough for you. and
then you’re just gonna have it vertically and you’re gonna lie down on
it. so it’s going to just kind of be along your spine. now this was a shorter
one. some people have longer ones so make sure and support your head. so if you if
it’s not long enough to have your head placed on it, maybe bring your pillow in
so you can just kind of support that head a little bit, and then you’re just
going to come bring your arms up to start off with and then bend your elbows
and come down. your elbows don’t have to touch the floor like mine are, but you
just go until you feel a really good stretch. and you should feel that stretch
right in that PEC area right there and so this one’s going to be a full 30
second stretch. again if you feel like you can’t hold it for 30 seconds is
probably too much of a stretch and you might want to even try this without the
foam roller. if that’s too much you can also change your arm position. so you can
straighten out your elbows a little bit and come down and you’ll get just a
slightly different stretch in those pecs. and so you can kind of move around a
little bit and see which one’s the best stretch for you. but again holding that
for 30 seconds and doing that 3 times. if you don’t have a foam roller you can
also go into a doorway put your hands in the doorway lean forward go in a corner
or you can use like a stick or something. this is just a PVC pipe. if you have
maybe a cane or a broomstick you can just take your hand and then put it out
and push back that way. so again I’m getting that PEC stretch just by pushing
out this way and that’s that’s a pretty good stretch in there. and then again you
can kind of change the position. so if I want to go up just
a little bit, I’m still stretching those PEC muscles I’m getting a really good
stretch but just in a slightly different way. so again holding that stretch for 30
seconds, but then make sure you’re switching sides because usually with the
costochondritis you’re gonna feel it on both sides. sometimes people just
feel it on one side, but usually it’s both sides. so again 30 seconds three
times on each side. getting that nice stretch. so then
another one is just doing scapular squeezes. that I like this because you
can do it anywhere, especially if you have a desk job. you don’t have to get
down on the floor or you know you don’t have to have any equipment for it. so
scapular squeezes or shoulder squeezes is just like it sounds. you’re just kind
of squeezing everything back. the key is that you want to use those muscles in
your back, those rhomboid muscles, those little trap muscles, to squeeze the
muscles back. so you’re not just bringing your elbows back even though that will
help open up your chest, you’re squeezing those muscles. imagine that somebody’s
hand is right on your spine and you’re trying to squish their hands with your
shoulder blades. so I’m going to show you it. okay you want to also keep your
shoulders down. so it’s not coming up like this and going back, it’s really
keeping them down and squeezing back. I like to use my elbows to help kind of
guide the shoulder blades back, but if you feel like you’re not really
squeezing and you’re just taking the shoulder blades back with your elbow, you
can squeeze back without using your elbows as well. but sometimes it’s just a
little bit harder if you haven’t done these before. so little squeeze back
maybe hold it three to five seconds and then do five to ten of those. and you can
do those several times throughout the day. so then the last one is after you’re
kind of getting everything stretched out doing the scapular squeezes, then you can
use a resistive band to do it kind of a row exercise. so with the rows if you use
a resistive band, make sure you’re starting off with the lightest one. this
is not the lightest one this is theraband. resistive bands different colors
mean different things, so make sure you’re starting off with the lightest
one because again without inflammation you don’t want to cause more
inflammation. so start off with a little bit if it feels good the next day, you
can add a little bit more. so just take the band, you can do this sitting in a
chair you don’t have to be on the floor or you
can even do it in your bed, but you’re just going to wrap the band around your
feet. you can also wrap it in a door as well if you want to do it standing. I
just like it because you have your feet wherever you go. so you can wrap it
around your feet and it’s the same thing as that scapular squeeze, but now you’re
using the band. you want your thumbs to be in an upward position. you want your
elbows to stay pretty close to your side. and again you want to keep those
shoulders down. so it’s not coming up like this, but it’s really coming back
and squeezing. I also have a lot of people sometimes the first time they do
it they’re like you know almost like you’re really rowing a boat, but it’s not
quite like that. it’s coming back squeezing where my back
staying in one spot, but I’m getting that nice squeeze and then I’m coming back
forward. but it’s also some people will do this, but that’s not what it is. it’s
not moving at your elbows bringing your hands up, it’s pulling them back,
squeezing those shoulder blades and then coming back in. so again start off with
the lightest resistive band, ten reps to says a couple times a day. again if that
feels pretty good, you can increase the reps. if you get to twenty to twenty-five
and it’s easy then you can increase your resisted band. so those were your
stretches and exercises for costochondritis. if you’d like to help
support my channel, make sure and click on the link up there, and don’t forget to
subscribe by clicking down there. and remember, be safe right Bear? have fun,
and I hope you feel better soon.

45 thoughts on “Costochondritis Treatment – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Need a long foam roller to perform one of the stretches shown in the video above? Click here: https://amzn.to/2FUlCdI (affiliate link)

  2. Doctor can i still chase my dream to become proffesional football player even if i have knee arthritis and i need to train 2 hours a day for 4-3 days a week,or i just need to quit because im destroying my knee? :// my knee is always exhausted after training and I have little pain.

  3. Hi Dr Jo. My costochondritis has been around since November and really getting me down. I don't have a constant pain but it comes and goes which is almost more frustrating as you feel it's cleared up

  4. Hi Dr.Jo everytime I run my left leg from my glute to my hamstring starts to pain. Can u suggest some remedies against this eg. Warm-up and cooldown exercises??

  5. Omg I’ve had this for over 20+ years at no point has a doctor recommended that PT stretches could help, seriously PT are the most under utilized health care workers. Thank you I’m so happy I found this, I hope this helps.

  6. These are amazing! Thanks Dr. Jo!! My pain only starts when I pull my shoulders back. After 20 mins or so of good posture, the costo kicks in, and it's literally breathtaking. Should I just fight through the pain and keep pulling back my shoulders? My default posture is a slouch with a forward head.

  7. I pretty sure I have costo…..been suffering 8 years…. pain is located in the sternum…. At times radiates to left upper ribs…also right side too…..gets worse in the winter … not so noticble I. The warm months…..use to skateboard alot I. My youth also had alot of falls ….. worked a job at 15 till bout 22….was sitting constantly bent down……also have a thoracic kyposis………my question is does this sound like costo? !!!!!! Just about to see a physical therapists……also pain when I move certain ways…esp bending forward….pops and cracks in sternum when I am able to stretch….. Please help!!

  8. Hi I have a muscle pull like strain right in the centre of my chest. I'm a female. Difficulty breathing and pains when I reach out right hand to the towards my left shoulder and vice versa. Is it costochondritis?

  9. Hi I have a muscle pull like strain right in the centre of my chest. I'm a female. Difficulty breathing and pains when I reach out right hand to the towards my left shoulder and vice versa. Is it costochondritis?

  10. I just found your youtube video here and I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge regarding this very painful costochondritis. I have suffered with this for over a year and currently experiencing a very painful bout of it right now. I finished some of your exercises here and am now loosened up a bit. I am definitely going to be doing more of these exercises as you provide the best that I have seen. Thanks again. Just subscribed to your channel and liked your video. Keep up the great work. Love your dog, by the way. My hubby and I do rescue work with dogs and we absolutely love being able to help these precious animals.

  11. I have it since January 2018 and nothing seems to help. I have days when my chest (left side) hurts that i`m afraid to sneeze. When i sneeze, feels like i`m getting hit in the chest with a 2×4.
    No exercise or physio work…Doctor told me to get used to it and live my life as it is.

  12. I have severe asthma and copd. so laying flat is not a option as I start to gag and cough. is there a exercise i can do that will help the same way? also, laying down on my stomach is also not possible due to weight issues, and disabled in the legs and arms

  13. I went to the doctors last week and they said I have costo. Does costo include chest tightness along with short breath? I am a teen and I had this for 2 weeks now.

  14. This has been so helpful for me. Thank you so much. Your knowledge about costochondritis made me feel normal. Not many doctors know much about this condition and I really appreciate you posting this.

  15. I’m 12 😭 and I have this , can u help me ? I really want to make the track team but I can’t because of my rib pain 😭 it feels like something is stabbing me in the ribs

  16. Hey, I have pain on the back of my rib-spine connection(s). Do these exercises also help? I feel like I automatically do some of these allready haha!

    Also… can Costochondritis be so bad that you have to lay down in bed all day? I have this pain for 3 years now, and I have to lie down in bed for at least 18 hours a day, 20 on a bad day.

    Doctors always said it was because of my condition EDS, but this sounds so familiar..

    Thanks in regards!

  17. Thank you for this wonderful practice…along with Chiro adjustments…I have felt so much relief! Awesome shirt, too!

  18. Thank you so much. I developed costochondritis after being on the operating table for 5 hours in reverse Trendeleburg for a robotic gastrectomy. Your exercises gave me more relief than Hydrocodone. Much thanks, again, from a retired Registered Nurse!!

  19. Thank you so much for this video, Dr. Jo. It helped me a lot with minimizing costochondral inflammation that I had been dealing with on and off for several weeks

  20. I fell a few days ago really hard on my back I have had some pain in my chest stomach and lower back . I keep on hearing that it’s just sore from the fall but I also have pain sleeping on the side I usually sleep On

  21. Love all your videos..they have been very helpful. I take yoga and Pilates frequently. Can the purple pillow you have be used in a Pilates class for neck support….where can I get that pillow? Thanks

  22. I think i have this problem. So im gonna give these a try. Starting today. My pain in on right side and it does feel like stuck or off or inflamed. I feel it in the front, side and back. Any females with this problem have issues wearing a bra? Its become very uncomfortable for me on the right side only. Makes it very difficult and makes it feel worse so i wear it only when absolutely have to ..to leave house . I take it off asap. If u have this problem with bra..any tips? I been wearing a sports bra when i can . At home. To take the pressure off as it feels like its compressing it

  23. Thanks a lot. I guess I have costochondritis as my ribs/sternum hurt and they have creaked couple of times with certain movements. I've felt like Drs. don't know exactly what to do with it, except for prescribe anti-inflammatory so I'm really grateful at you. PS. I love your socks.

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