Help! Costochondritis

So it looks like I’m suffering from costochondritis ( ; basically inflammation of the rib cartilage in the chest). The pain has been building the last few pressing sessions, and I wasn’t sure what was going on, but figured a week-and-a-half of rest while on a vacation that I left for on May 6 would do the trick.

Then, the day after I got back, I came down with a real nasty virus that kept me out of the gym for another whole week. It was honestly as sick as I’ve been in years, and I figured with the chest pain, another week of rest and I should be GTG, so I didn’t push it and stayed out of the gym.

Last night I get in for my first training session since May 5, and it was a disaster. Chest pain on pressing movements was unbearable, worse than before I left. Treatment for costochondritis is basically rest, NSAIDs, and ice/heat, so it’s looking like my chest and tricep training may be taking a major hit over the next few weeks (hopefully just weeks).

Has anyone here had this condition before? What did you do to alleviate the pain, and what alternative chest/tri exercises did you use? 100% out of the question are barbell bench, incline, and decline, in all variations including close-grip; Hammer Strength and Cybex bench; dips; and probably floor press. Possible: DB work; 4 & 5-board press; and rack lockouts, although probably not heavy, which kind of defeats the purpose of board presses and lockouts. GTG: cable flyes.

I’m (what’s the word to use here?) TERRIFIED that this pain/inflammation will take a long time to heal, and I’ll be stuck with light DB work and flyes for months. Any help here would be GREATLY appreciated.

I was diagnosed with it once last year. Interestingly I saw a doctor he said if I could lift through the pain it was okay since it wasn’t anything musculoskeletal and not risking injury to anything. However I generally took it easy until it went away because it was getting in the way of lifting. Also I’m probably not lifting as much weight as you though so I can only imagine what yours experience feels like.

I hope it goes away soon man.

Thanks earthquake for the reply!

Might I ask how long it took to clear up? I’ve heard the same thing re: lifting through the pain, but in all honesty I’d rather lay off for a few weeks if that is all that’s needed. It would be very difficult to use maximal weights with the type of pain I had last night; my concentration and intensity would take too much of a hit.

For me the worst part went away after 3 weeks. After that the only feeling I had was taking the barbell off the rack and then racking the barbell. It gradually subsided until it disappeared.

Thanks man, appreciate it.