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Massage therapy can help to decrease pain and muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness and relaxation.

HI, I am suffering from costochondritis pain, so what kind of massage would be beneficial for me to heal the pain?

Johanna Wasen (Blue Ash, OH) on Oct 1, 2012
1 user found this answer helpful
Do you know the underlying reason for the pain? If you were to pinpoint origin of pain, does it reside in the breastbone and/ or radiate into the intercostal (rib) muscles? As a massage therapist, I would perform some Myofascial Therapy to the intercostal muscles, to attempt to reduce any inflammation/tightness/congestion. I would incorporate some Reiki to the lung meridians and include Craniosacral Treatment to thoracic area for a start!
Stephen Fortier (Pinellas And Pasco Countie, FL) on Oct 27, 2012
1 user found this answer helpful
Neuromuscular and deep tissue work will help alot. You should find a therapist who specializes in deep work, but has years of experience with work on the diaphragm, ribs, and chest.
Tony Ruggiero (Greenville, SC) on Oct 14, 2012
1 user found this answer helpful
Costochondritis pain resolves itself over some time. Aggressive massage would be counterproductive and possibly more painful and delay healing. Light stretching would be best to gently rework the cartilages to allow them to heal naturally. The reason massage for the area would not be beneficial is due to the fact that because Costochondritis is cartilaginous, it is non-vascular, which takes much longer to heal. Treatment with ice and an anti-inflammatory (suggestion since I cannot prescribe) will go far to speed your recovery. Palliative care through massage can help you relax but avoid the area until healing begins. GO SLOW!
Alicia Bunting (Phoenix, AZ) on Oct 2, 2012
1 user found this answer helpful
overworked pectoral muscles of the chest can cause chest(costochondritis) pain, so I would suggest trigger/pressure point therapy. Talk with therapist to make sure breathing and pressure is tolerable for you. I would treat your whole rig cage, (chest & back) to release tension resulting in less pain. The ribs never get a break, we always have to breath and we are always reaching in front of us causing tight tense & overworked pectoral muscles, weak back muscles (rhomboids). So I would treat upper body.
Katherine Turner (Schertz, TX) on Oct 1, 2012
1 user found this answer helpful
medical massage therapy focused on the breathing muscles and other muscles that attach to the thoracic cage (rib cage)
Jason Zwickler (Norwalk, CT) on Oct 14, 2012
I would put a Dixie Cup filled with water in the freezer. Use the ice in the Dixie Cup as a tool to massage the effected area.
Karen Orlosky (Lafayette, CO) on Oct 14, 2012
Due to it's inflammatory nature, your condition may benefit from the gentle, light touch techniques of CranioSacral therapy and Reiki.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Oct 14, 2012
Costochondritis is the inflammation of coastal cartilage joining breast bone. Keep away from heavy lifting , exercise or sports. Use ice or hot pack as per need. Combination of Cold Laser and Craniosacral Therapy should be tried. Chakra balancing can be helpful. Diet changes will also be helpful.
Ken Elwood (Fostoria, MI) on Oct 14, 2012
Swedish and other light massage therapies would help ease the pain and allow deeper therapies. I have seen car accidents and bad falls lead to costochrondritis.
Kymberly Kula (Lakewood, CO) on Oct 11, 2012
I believe any massage in general would benefit you and help towards pain relief. I specialize in injury, sports, deep tissue, trigger point, and mostly modalities that help with chronic pain patients. I believe i would be able to help manage your pain using my mixed massage techniques .
Sherry Glover (Austin, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
I have found that often this kind of pain involves the rib heads being jammed and slightly pulled as-cue causing pain in breathing and movement. I have great success using orthobionomy to relieve this kind of pain. Feel free to call me to discuss you needs and concerns. Sherry Glover 512-784-4285.
J. Tim Cochran (Hendersonville, NC) on Oct 14, 2012
This is very tricky. Have you been diagnosed with this? It could be psoriatic arthritis (like the golfer Mickelson), or lupus,pleursy. Hot stones should help, along with soft effluerage between the ribs. Deep breathing exercises several times during the day would also help.
Angel Orozco (Miami, FL) on Oct 14, 2012
Lymphatic drainage would be the most appropriate type of massage. Stay away from deep tissue which would produce more inflammation. Also physical activity may aggravate the condition. In my practice I combine the L. massage with E.T.P.S.( Electro Therapy Point Stimulation) also refer as M.P.S. ( Microcurrent Point Stimulation) and I have gotten phenomenal results with costochondritis. At home you could apply arnica topically or a German homeopathic cream called Traumeel.
Teena A Masters (West Mifflin, PA) on Oct 14, 2012
Costochondritis sometimes responds to general Swedish massage and a few carefully executed trigger points, but this appears to be the case with a smaller percentage of cases. I am also a BodyTalk System® practitioner and have had some success with costochondritis and other issues that are more elusive to mainstream treatment. For more information, please contact me. Teena A. Masters, LMT, CST Hands of Life Massage Therapy
Cheri Baum (New York, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
I work on a client with same condition, and I know that a good therapeutic massage definitely help them to a point of complete relief.(that was since they came once a week for a 40 min session for a couple of months in the prone position only)
Deborah Hill (Oakland, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
I would suggest lymphatic massage. It will get the lymph and blood moving through the area reducing the inflammation and possible reduce the pain.
Dmitriy Greenberg (Louisville, KY) on Oct 12, 2012
Welcome! I will help you instantly!
Paula Harmon (Columbia, MO) on Oct 10, 2012
Depending on the cause for this condition, I assume you have already seen a physician...Massage therapy can be helpful to alleviate some pressure. I would probably apply sports massage therapy techniques to your session. Some passive/active stretches might alleviate some of the "pressure" that you might feel and you could apply these techniques at home in between sessions as well. I would also consider icing the area after the sessions or heat, whichever you find more comforting.
Jessica Arnold (Los Angeles, CA) on Oct 10, 2012
Besides physical therapy, medical massage is the only other natural form of relief for costochondritis pain. I specialize in side-lying scalene massage which helps this condition. The scalenes assist in breathing bringing the rib-cage up, these and other muscles surrounding, like pectoral muscles and rotator cuff muscles should be worked on. Without relief for the tense muscles the condition can worsen, it is necessary for the patient to take action.
Kate Reust (Seattle, WA) on Oct 14, 2012
Evening, The cause of the pain needs to be used to guide the type of therapy you select. If it from being hyper mobile or from over tension of the capsules? It may be that topical homeopathic pain reliever may help - I'd use it in conjunction with probably acupuncture and massage with a therapist that listens to how your body responds to pain/discomfort etc. Would love to assist if you're in the Seattle area. Kate Reust Omsho Crysalis . Com
Jennie Mison (Philadelphia, PA) on Oct 9, 2012
I looked up the general description of this condition and it appears to be commonly related to overuse types of strain during weight lifting. Without knowing more about you or having you in front of me, I would suggest any type of non-invasive massage would be good along with some work in the shoulder area on affected side for good measure.
Brenda Breedlove (San Francisco, CA) on Oct 6, 2012
Hello, First let me say that I'm sorry that you have to suffer from this condition, as I have bouts of it myself from an impact injury years ago. I find that what works best for me is myofascial release mixed with deep tissue around the trunk of body, including the abdomen and glutes. Along with regular gentle yoga and chiropractic adjustments (Very VERY gentle only!!), and icing along the joint keep it at bay for me :). Hope that helps!
Joseph DeBoo (Naperville, IL) on Oct 6, 2012
First, let me ask you one question! Did you ever have surgery where they had to open your chest buy cutting open the sternum or the ribs? It is obvious to me that you know what this pain is so there is no need to explore this. When they close up the sternum, traditionally what is used is piano wire or fishing line. This could be the cause of the pain because that may be causing the inflammation of those articulations or joints between the ribs and the sternum. Since the wire or line is introduced to the body, being used as a part of a healing process, the body has to become used to its presence. This makes sense because it will become a part of the body for the rest of its life - unless they use something that is dissolvable. The answer to your question "Yes" massage therapy would help. A nice general, full body massage that is nonspecific(by that I mean does not focus on that particular area) or lymphatic massage would be very beneficial. Massage helps to reduce the inflammation and to bring those muscle fibers back in line with one another. In otherwords it aids in the healing process and rehabilitation of the tissue. It also aids in the draining of the toxins and intercellular waste caused by the injury. Another type of massage that is very good is lymphatic massage which focuses on the lymphatic system(the lymph and the lymph nodes). "The lymphatic system aids in the maintaining of fluid balance, defends the body against disease and absorbs liquids from the intestine and transport them to the blood." So, suffice it to say that it has a vital role to play in the healing process "The Lymphatic System collects and returns fluid that leaks from blood vessels. It absorbs fats and vitamins. Lastly, it defends against invading microorganisms and disease." Massage would help to increase the flow of oxygenated blood to the body and return the flow of deoxygenated blood so the wastes and micro organisms can get out of the body thru bodily functions. If you need anymore explanation you can e-mail me or give me a call at 6308069306. I do look forward to hearing from you. Joseph M. DeBoo Body/Image Massage Therapy
Jennifer Labauve (, ) on Oct 6, 2012
Deep breathing expanding the rib cage
YJ Word (Roswell, GA) on Oct 6, 2012
I suggest Swedish massage or soft tissue massage around the affected areas. Usually trigger point release may be helpful also. This depends on the area of pain. Release of the sub scapula and scapula. Soft tissue massage of rib cartliage. Heat will also be very affective.
Lisa Machala (Birmingham, MI) on Oct 5, 2012
This is an interesting condition that I was previously unfamiliar with. Given the location and the lack of significant muscle mass in this area, my recommendations would be for modalities that focus on myofascial release, craniosacral therapy or energy work like Reiki. CST uses very gentle light contact to urge the connective tissue (or myofascial tissue) to release and soften. Our bodies are a 3D web of myofascial tissue and there is a transverse diaphram of connective tissue in this general area that may benefit from the gentle therapy of CST.
Anna Waggoner (Indianapolis, IN) on Oct 4, 2012
There is really nothing that could be done to relieve the pain caused by costochondritis, although massage on other parts of the body may make you feel more relaxed.
Jesse Freeman (Mansfield, TX) on Oct 4, 2012
I would recommend a light Swedish massage with Acupressure massage and then soak in Epsom salts 3 to 4 times a week.
Beth Rosentreter (Worth, IL) on Oct 3, 2012
massage would be great for you..releasing the muscles along the rib cage and releasing tight tissue...
Anthony Lung (San Diego, CA) on Oct 3, 2012
Personally, I wouldn't recommand you to do any type of massage. I would suggest you to an acupuncturist who can use moxibustion to ease the inflammation which will also ease the pain as well.
Ronda McClellan (Concord, NC) on Oct 2, 2012
Hi! I am sorry to hear you are in pain and suffering. I have not massaged a client with this particular pain problem but depending on the pain level you are having a Swedish massage and compression to the ribs and sternum could be helpful. I don't know if you are having pain in your neck and shoulders but these are areas that can also be worked on to alleviate the pain in your ribs and help you to breathe better if that is an issue too. I hope this helps, thank you for your question.
Theodore Schiff (Northampton, MA) on Oct 14, 2012
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions. I would highly recommend Swedish Massage Therapy with the addition of perhaps CranioSacral Therapy to aid in the reduction of pain and inflammation in this area and to help your body be able to enjoy relax and enjoy the many benefits of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
Paula Reeder (Katy, TX) on Jan 6, 2013
what is the cause of your costochondritis pain?
Eve Torres (Pinellas Park, FL) on Jan 6, 2013
The best thing to do for this type of pain is to release the muscles around the costals and then rock the rib heads back into place. The pain that comes from a "twisted rib" is inflammation caused by the twist, constant breathing and movement. A Swedish massage or gentle myofascial will alleviate the situation, as will heat and ice over the area after the massage.
Dionna John (Atlanta, GA) on Oct 21, 2012
Good day! I am sorry to hear of your ongoing bout with costochondritis. I know that that must be the worst feeling. How are you sleeping at night? I would suggest that you schedule a medical massage with a massage therapist as soon as possible. I am available if you would like for me to come to your home. Included in your massage, we will work on releasing the tender cartilage with physical therapy as well. Again, I apologize for the pain that you are feeling. Yours truly, Dionna
Heather Park (Sandy, UT) on Jan 3, 2013
Acutherapy, I suggest this modality because much of the energy work used to help heal the body is so light touch, but it activates the muscle fibers and surrounding tissues to aid in the healing process. Your condition is someone contraindicated by any kind of manipulation of general massage. Cranial-Sacral therapy is also a wonderful therapy used for your condition, if your open too attempting something different let me know. HEather Park
Herman Crespo (Miami, FL) on Dec 23, 2012
i read that medical massage therapy would be the best for the type of phatology
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on Dec 11, 2012
The causes of costochondritis are unknown, but usually begin with a strain or injury. I would suggest some sort of deep tissue massage, or even a firm Swedish massage would help. I have had this condition at times, and I would guess that working on the chest muscles and their attachments (which are all over the ribs and costal cartilage) may give you some relief. And, like any exercise-related pain, resting the affected muscles is an important part of the solution. You can take over-the-counter NSAIDs for the pain and inflammation. It may take longer than other muscle strains to resolve, because these are muscles we must use every day.
Kristin Uchida (Thornton, CO) on Nov 11, 2012
Light Swedish tissue massage would be a good start to help this issue. These tissue need to be lengthened to help ease the symptoms of this disease.
Kristin Uchida (Brighton, CO) on Nov 11, 2012
Light Swedish tissue massage would be a good start to help this issue. These tissue need to be lengthened to help ease the symptoms of this disease.
Steven Green (Chicago, IL) on Nov 9, 2012
not sure what it looks like or its cause. but if the ribs are raised you would benifit from massage an a streching of the intercostals
Eva Galindo (Canoga Park, CA) on Nov 7, 2012
Dear costochondritis pain sufferer, Usually inflammation is contraindicated for deeper forms of massage because it indicates that there is an injury of some sort. Lymphatic drainage is usually a good alternative if the inflammation is at limbs or near lymph node sites. As far as I know there are none on the sternum. Because of the location of your affliction I would say your best alternative is a gentle pressure point treatment. It is possible to reduce swelling without working directly on this site. This will avoid any further inflammation as a result of deeper work. Inflammation is normal part of the wound healing response, but in your case we want to bring down swelling that would cause further pain. I hope this helps.
David Barr (Seattle, WA) on Nov 3, 2012
There are a couple techniques that would probably be effective in relieving costochondritis pain. A combination of deep tissue (including Pin and stretch, slack/sink/stroke, among other things) and more subtle methods (including energy work and Diaphagmatic release) would likely be very useful in providing relief from this condition.
Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Oct 27, 2012
Acupressure and other low impact forms of soft tissue therapies are very beneficial and do not agitate the inflammatory issues of the costochondral region. It is of great benefit to stimulate the release of tension and increase blood flow to the area. Thank you for your inquiry.
Sarah Gantenbein (, ) on Oct 24, 2012
After researching the condition, I recommend trying Connective Tissue Massage (CMT), to offer more space to the ribs and costal cartilage. Of course, the condition will be self-limiting, which means if you bump into too much pain, it is better to rest until the condition gets better on its own. The CTM approach would be at a very gentle, oblique angle and with a broad contact for best results. and I DEFINITELY recommend against typical cortisone injections which melt connective tissue. That option is always there, and able to be used as a last resort if no relief is found with massage and/or rest. I wish you the best!
Thomas Friedrich (Corte Madera, CA) on Oct 24, 2012
I would not recommend any massage in the chest area during the acute phase. Due to the inflamed cartilage, any pressure or increased circulation to those joints will result in pain and prolonged recovery. I would, however recommend looking into diaphragmatic breathing to help with relieving the pressure on the ribcage during respiration. Massage may also be helpful on the surrounding muscles that assist in respiration. Try limiting your massage sessions to the abdomen, (the internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis and the diaphragm) and the neck (sternocleidomastoid and the scalenes muscles). All of these muscles assist each other in respiration and can become overused while suffering from costochondritis. Light swedish, shiatsu, softer MFT work, polarity, jin shin and the other energy modalities can help bring relief to these muscles in addition to releasing endorphens and serotonin (the bodyâ''s means to reducing pain). In the non acute phase, massage on the intercostal muscles, pectoralis major and minor and the serratus anterior in addition to the ones I listed for the acute phase, can help with your recovery. While under stress, trigger points can form in any of these muscles, which can result in additional pain in the chest. In particular, the intercostal muscles. Trigger point therapy, MFT, swedish massage, shiatsu, neuromuscular therapy, polarity, jin shin and others can be utilized to facilitate your recovery. As always, when recovering from any injury or illness take the process slowly. Include your massage therapist in with your whole medical health team, so your recovery is smooth and well documented. I do hope it all works out for you. If you have any questions please let me know. Cheers, Thomas Friedrich, CMT
Karen Bronson (Bothell, WA) on Oct 24, 2012
Deep tissue intercostal is painful and is a long process but should help you. Cupping would also be a great method. See my website
Nadia Loury (Glenolden, PA) on Oct 23, 2012
Swedish Massage would be beneficial with focus on the surrounding mucles of the inflammed area.
James Kennedy (, ) on Oct 20, 2012
definately sweedish, and slight deep tissue to stretch the whole torso area. Also look for grief issues that always end up on the lungs. Heal the grief.
Canney Yang (New Hyde Park, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
Gentle massage might help to heal the pain.
Alexander Zivian (Woodstock, NY) on Oct 20, 2012
Your condition can be helped with massage of the diaphragm and abdomen area. Specific muscles would be the Intercostals, Muscles and Connective tissue between the ribs, also scalenes and pecks, lats... Often, massage that incorporates stretching a "twisting" and accessing the side body can be very beneficial. I would be happy to assist with an integrative massage incorporating these methods.
Dora Vazquez (Palm Desert, CA) on Oct 19, 2012
Hi the massage therapist need to be able to work with you and asseste your problem so you can get the right treatment and a great massage that can help your ,good luck please let me know how it works out.good luck
Crystal Wright (Valrico, FL) on Oct 18, 2012
Massage is certainly beneficial. I would reccommend self massage because otherwise, especially in women, this can be an uncomfortable site to receive massage from anyone at this area of the body. The key to remember is that you want reduce the build up of inflammation and open the restriction so best to use Oil of Cypress essential oil and rub the intercostal and breastbone areas of the body and follow up with 10 min. of ice (use an ice pack) to the area at least 2x/daily until you feel absolutely no pain and are able to breathe more freely without the use of ice or the massage (massage should be 10-15min- quick and effective). Women, only allow a trusted, licensed massage professional to administer this type of massage if you are unable to and you want to relax better during the massage. Sincerely, Crystal Wright, LMT Valrico, FL 888-609-5538
Effie Hall (Charlotte, NC) on Oct 17, 2012
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone, or sternum. The condition causes localized chest pain that you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage. Costochondritis is an inflammatory process but usually has no definite cause but can be due to a viral, bacterial, Fungal or even trama. It will generally resolve itself with, but in the mean time boosting your immune system with an improved diet (following the Weston A. Price Foundation Nutritional guidelines) will assit your body to heal itself. Eat whole, natural foods. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel. Use only natural supplements. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress. Practice forgiveness.
Geraldine Macinski (Sandy Hook, CT) on Oct 16, 2012
If your doctor has diagnosed the pain as costochondritis, massage may induce a relaxation response. Also, anti-inflammatory supplements can help.
Geraldine Macinski (Sandy Hook, CT) on Oct 16, 2012
If your doctor has diagnosed the pain as costochondritis, massage may induce a relaxation response. Also, anti-inflammatory supplements can help.
Kweli Ya-Saleem (Latham, NY) on Oct 15, 2012
This is from Mayo Clinic. By assessing the condition of the breathing muscles and other muscles connected to the rib cage, your medical massage therapist can formulate a treatment plan to effectively alleviate your symptoms completely in many circumstances. Your therapist will stretch and release hypertonic muscles in the intercostals (muscles between each rib), diaphragm (your main breathing muscle) as well as the other muscles he or she finds are exerting an abnormal amount of pressure on the costosternal joints. You can find a therapist in your area by going to Find the tab marked "find a therapist". Type in your zip code and away you go.
Joseph McCoy (Muenster, TX) on Oct 15, 2012
Myofscial release, as well as Diaphragm work to free up the ribs. Could also be very tight Lattissimus Dorsii depending on where your pain is on your intercostals and/or ribs.
Vernon Burgess (Colorado Springs, CO) on Oct 15, 2012
The ribs and cartilage needs massage with direct slow pressure from the sternum and along the intercostals separating and relieving. Costochondritis will not last forever. But of the possible tightness and conjoining of the ribs to the cartilage, time will heal with a massage done correctly. Release the sternum, then the ribs and the cartilage will follow. Helping your chest cavity to expand. There are techniques involved to where you must help with certain breathing techniques as the massage is in session.
Catherine Schneider (Toledo, OH) on Oct 15, 2012
I would definitely try CranioSacral Therapy. CranioSacral helps relax connective tissue: enhancing circulation, taking stress off nerves, providing relaxation. The stress of pain can interfere with the healing process and I find that CranioSacral helps clients find a deep, healing calm.
Detra Rose (Altadena, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
I believe that medical massage is recommended for treating costochondritis pain. Find a person who is sensitive as well as patient enough to get the best results. I also believe that acupuncture can help in relieving inflammation and also open up blocked meridiians along with some healing Oriental herbs.
Detra Rose (Altadena, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
I believe that medical massage is recommended for treating costochondritis pain. Find a person who is sensitive as well as patient enough to get the best results. I also believe that acupuncture can help in relieving inflammation and also open up blocked meridiians along with some healing Oriental herbs.
Jon Stange (Santa Monica, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
There are two ways to help with costochondritis conditions, 1 is to have a regular (Swedish) massage to calm the nervous system and for pain associated with the inflamed cartilage, the other is to try myofascial work on the surrounding area of the rib cage and abdomen.
Douglas Chu (Brooklyn, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
Costochondritis is cartilaginous, it is non-vascular, which takes longer to heal, light stretching helps work the cartilage to increase blood flow which can give aid in the healing process and decrease the feeling of tightness in the chest. If massage is not contraindicated by your physician, a general, soothing Swedish massage should assist in alleviating the pain by relaxing the nervous system, etc.