Tietz Syndrome: Types of Fibro Chest Pain

Chest pain can be terrifying. The first and most obvious thought that races into your mind is heart attack and, as the pain intensifies, the panic associated with it exacerbates the situation. Now a trip to the emergency room is about all you can think of as you worry about life and death.

This scenario may well be your first experience with a symptom that is common to fibromyalgia patients, chest pain. However, the chest pain may be associated with a few different ailments, which means that ruling out various conditions is important for a diagnosis. For people with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), chest pain can be caused by any of the following conditions:

· Myofascial pain syndrome

· Costochondritis

· Tietz syndrome

· Muscle spasms

· Fibromyalgia tender points

Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Chest Pain and Fibro

When chest pain hits a person with fibromyalgia, the pain source may be difficult to locate, especially if the pain is associated with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). That's because MPS pain is often referred pain from a trigger point that is actually somewhere other than where the pain is felt. A very large percentage of people with FMS suffer pain associated with MPS. Although similar, they are distinct and different from each other and knowing how to treat MPS can make a big difference in the way the fibro reacts. MPS can be relieved through trigger point treatment by the doctor. He'll use a needle to insert directly into the trigger point that is generating the pain. The needle releases the knot and the pain in the chest subsides.


Fibromyalgia Chest Pain Caused by Costochrondritis

Costochondritis is a common affliction for people with fibromyalgia. It is a type of inflammation that occurs in the cartilage of the chest at the juncture of the ribs and breastbone. Although the inflammation can be on both sides of the sternum, it is generally found only on one side. A sharp, deep pain that is concentrated in the chest is made worse with physical activity. The pain may radiate across the chest, into the shoulders and down the arms. This is the pain that most people relate to a heart attack. The causes of costochrondritis are not clear, but it is thought that the following may have some impact on the condition:

· Chest trauma from a blow, perhaps a motor vehicle accident

· Overuse injury

· Upper respiratory infections

However, no matter what the cause is, costochondritis tends to be worse with FMS. It is estimated that the occurrence of symptoms of costochondritis are prevalent in 60 to 70 percent of those living with FMS. It is a strange phenomenon because fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation, yet costochondritis (an inflammation) is so common. The possible connection may be fibromyalgia tender points or muscle spasms that are often a daily occurrence for FMS sufferers. Costochondritis pain usually dissipates relatively quickly.

Tietz Syndrome Causes Fibro Chest Pain

Another condition that is almost identical to costochondritis, but does differ is Tietz Syndrome. You may find some places where costochondritis is also called Tietz Syndrome; however, the two really are different from one another. Both conditions involve the same area of the front of the chest and present similarly. Tietz Syndrome is an inflammation of the costochondral cartilages in the upper front of the chest and people with this syndrome develop tenderness and swelling over the ribs and cartilage near the sternum. It is this localized swelling that is the identifying mark of Tietz Syndrome. Other symptoms that accompany the swelling in the chest with Tietz Syndrome include:

· redness

· tenderness

· heat

· variable pain, often sharp that can be confused with heart attack

· pain can last from hours to weeks

· disrupted sleeping and pain even when rolling over in bed

Blood tests, either a sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein test, can show inflammation in people with Tietz Syndrome. Typically, people with costochondritis have normal blood tests.

Treating Fibromyalgia Chest Pain

Treatment for both Tietz Syndrome and costochondritis are the same:

· minimize activity that causes stress to the chest until pain and inflammation are gone

· rest

· take anti-inflammatory drugs

· physical therapy

· cortisone injections

· ice packs applied to the local area

· analgesic patches (Lidoderm) to reduce pain

Chest pain and fibromyalgia seem to be running mates. Knowing the type of pain you are dealing with helps to manage the symptoms and reassure the mind that you're not having a cardiac episode.

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