As I opened my profile page this morning I came across a question posed by an IDEA Fitness Connect user regarding the above condition.
I wrote this blog sometime ago and I have decided to edit and repost it for the benefit of the IDEA Fitness Connect community.
If you are unfamiliar with the costochondritis, costochondritis as defined by Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary is "inflammation of the costochondral joints of the chest, which can cause chest pain. The pain of costochondritis can sometimes be distinguished from other, more serious forms of chest pain by its reproducibility on palpation of the involved joints and the absence of abnormalities on chest x-ray examinations, electrocardiograms and blood tests.
The symptoms include pain and tenderness over the joints lateral to the sternum. It is treated through the use of NSAIDS which often helps reduce the discomfort, which normally resolves itself spontaneously over time."
Examples of illnesses that feature costochondritis include: fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease."
Unfortunately, there isn't much research regarding exercise programming for the costochondritis population. There is, however, much research on exercise programming for fibromyalgia which might be a more prudent approach.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that individuals living with fibromyalgia undergo exercise testing first with the objective of determine exercise intensity levels. Once that is determined, the guidelines for exercise programming are:
Engage in aerobic activities that use large muscles like walking, cycling and aquatics. The goal is to restore and maintain functional ability, decrease pain, decrease anxiety depression, go faster/longer and to increase time to exhaustion.
The intensity that you should perform the activity is at 50-75% of your heart rate reserve. The duration is 20-40 minutes on two to three days a week. It is important that you monitor your pace and your heart rate. Focus more on duration than how hard you are working. And progress gradually. Remember these are guidelines. Everyone comes in at different levels of condtiioning.
Begin with one set of 8-12 repetitions peformed at 40% of the heaviest weight you can lift one time. Don't forget to pause between reps. Remember this is just a guideline.
Increase your flexibility around your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Stretch to a tolerable point as often as you can as long as you don't develop pain.
Perform lifting activities as your body can tolerate. The objective is to improve your quality of life.
Never forget that exercise should be restorative. If you are having pain after your workout, it's a good idea to decrease the intensity to a point to where you are feeling invigorated after every workout.
All the very best!