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  1. #61
    Registered User sandpoet's Avatar
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    Costo Chronditis

    Originally Posted by liztrainer View Post
    I see that this forum has been visited primarily by men, but I am a female bodybuilder with costochondritis and am looking for support / advice.
    I developed costo after doing heavy dumbell shoulder presses two months ago. I took off for a month and it seemed that I had recovered 100%. I started lifting again 4 weeks ago, and last week it came back. It's not quite as bad as before but it's still annoying. I definitely can't do dips and even cable row irritates it on the eccentric or negative part of the movement. I decided screw it and I'm going to keep lifing anyway. I read that you had continued on as well. Did you lift THROUGH the pain or did it only hurt when you did certain lifts and thus you avoided those. How long did yours take to go away? Do you think the fish oil helped? Also, did you feel pain in you upper back between you shoulder blades as well?

    Thank you!
    I had right chest pain about six months ago and saw my doctor to rule out pneumonia. Chest xrays were unremarkable; Continued and I saw a second doctor(cardiologist) and he ruled out heart. Saw a third doctor and he had a CT scan, which came back unremarkable. He diagnosed Costo Chronditis, however and told me to take ibuprofen when it flairs up, which I have done. Being a weightlifter for 40 years, I tried to figure out the lifts that may agravate the condition. Oddly, nothing on the upper body seemed to experience pain when lifting. I discovered today that hack squats were agravating the condition. I figured out that the hack machine had a tendency to bounce at the top of the lift, which brought on the pain. I slowed down my reps and the pain subsided. I had open two heart surgeries(Aortic Valve Replacement) in 2008 and was concerned about my ability to bench press with a sternum which had been seperated. I was back in the gym 3 months after surgery, but using hammer strength machines for flat, incline and decline presses. On the fourth month, I changed to barbell and worked my way up to single reps with 300 lbs in 6 months. The doctor said that the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum gets injured and it may take 2 years to heal. In the meantime, I am not giving up lifting , but perhaps specific exersizes. I weighed 140 lbs at hospital discharge and am back to 185lbs at 5'10", one year post-surgery. I started back on Glucosamine last week and treat the pain with Ibuprofen. I'll bear with it. It's not feeling worse or better, pretty much the same after 6 months. My story and I hope this helps.
    Super Dave of Pismo Beach
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  2. #62
    Registered User joecassiny's Avatar
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    Joecassiny's costo..

    Originally Posted by sandpoet View Post
    I had right chest pain about six months ago and saw my doctor to rule out pneumonia. Chest xrays were unremarkable; Continued and I saw a second doctor(cardiologist) and he ruled out heart. Saw a third doctor and he had a CT scan, which came back unremarkable. He diagnosed Costo Chronditis, however and told me to take ibuprofen when it flairs up, which I have done. Being a weightlifter for 40 years, I tried to figure out the lifts that may agravate the condition. Oddly, nothing on the upper body seemed to experience pain when lifting. I discovered today that hack squats were agravating the condition. I figured out that the hack machine had a tendency to bounce at the top of the lift, which brought on the pain. I slowed down my reps and the pain subsided. I had open two heart surgeries(Aortic Valve Replacement) in 2008 and was concerned about my ability to bench press with a sternum which had been seperated. I was back in the gym 3 months after surgery, but using hammer strength machines for flat, incline and decline presses. On the fourth month, I changed to barbell and worked my way up to single reps with 300 lbs in 6 months. The doctor said that the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum gets injured and it may take 2 years to heal. In the meantime, I am not giving up lifting , but perhaps specific exersizes. I weighed 140 lbs at hospital discharge and am back to 185lbs at 5'10", one year post-surgery. I started back on Glucosamine last week and treat the pain with Ibuprofen. I'll bear with it. It's not feeling worse or better, pretty much the same after 6 months. My story and I hope this helps.
    Dave your story is impressive. What did you do to heal? Ice or Heat? I was told by a chiro the other day to try them off and on. Ice for 10 and heat for 10.
    it may trigger the "hunters reflex" (The hunter's reflex is a physiological condition whereby in cold weather the blood vessels in the forearm allow blood to flow to the hands thus keeping them warm and useful, rather than the normal response which is to withdraw blood from the extremities to protect the core


    I have had this for almost 2 years and no relief. Although i never had surgery, i had a chirorpractor do a deep tissues massage on the area and a pt. The pain since those two appts has been unbearable. i believe i had a small tear in the cartilage and they made it much worse. I try now to lift absolutely nothing. lucky for me i work a desk job and when i travel i always check my bags as to not aggravate the chest by lifting bag into overhead. I also no longer carry a laptop bag. I roll my laptop behind me to relieve pressure (yes, a 15lb laptop bag with power chords and notebookds causes inflammation and week long painful flareups).

    I was told by Ochen whom has posted here to try Epharm joint spray. it provides temporarily relief. i try not to take any more meds as i have taken so many nsaids, percocets, vicodin it just wears on your body in the long run and isnt worth it.

    this stuff is really taking the wind out of my sails and has been for almost 2 years...lets help each other figure this out. Best of luck to everyone.
    -Joe
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  3. #63
    Registered User hindquarter's Avatar
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    I have had Costochondritis since I was young, I remeber grabbing my chest due to the intense pain.
    But lately it has came back, hard. It was during wrestling and I got rocked in my rib area.
    It ended my season then and there, but I still stuck with the team, keeping score and such.
    I did physical herapy with the Athletic trainer at my school and soo noticed I got better in a month.
    All I did was ice and heat and that was it, plusing some strecthing here and there.
    I stopped lifting to, that was the most frustrating part.
    Soon I got over it, the pain has went away and I am starting powerlifting again now.
    I have to say Janurary was the worst month of my life, and that is coming from a optimistic person.
    I know I will have "costo" till I am much older but what I can give advice to themany people that have the SEVERE cases of it is tostay strong, physcially and mentally.
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  4. #64
    Registered User pogi123's Avatar
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    I also have the same problem its been going on for 6 months now.

    When it started i felt pain in my sternum and i just ignored it and continued my regular work out until to the point my sternum makes a cracking sound and it pops when stretch so i decided to stop working out completely due to pain increased.

    I went to the doctor multiple times with no success of recovery. He prescribe me naprosyn, Vicodin, norco and he increase the dose to percocet and still i did not recover. Naprosyn helps the pain go away temporarily but it upset my stomach so i stop all my meds.

    Lately (35 days ago) i probably worsen my condition due to taking pain pill while at work due to lifting a lot of coins like around 50lbs and some other physical movements. Now IM not able to work that's how bad it got!

    Now what i do for treatment is ICE AND HEAT and it really helps. I ice the affected area around 10 to 15 minutes and right after i heat the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes multiple times a day and I also follow the doctors recommendation by not over stretching.

    Right now im getting much better due to ice and heat treatment and making sure IM not aggravating my pain.
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  5. #65
    Registered User tmar89's Avatar
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    I'm really glad I found this particular thread. I've searched my symptoms for a while now and mostly have found responses for symptoms in women and hardly anyone with my profile. I am a 32 year old male, 140lbs 5'6", regularly exercise with weights for fitness but not for bodybuilding (since I've excepted that I am a hard gainer ectomorph, but I digress). I am not particularly flexible but I practice Taekwondo 2-3 times a week and more recently Yoga Flow twice a week along with playing ice hockey. And I've had symptoms that match the most with Costocondritis and stress/anxiety and can't find relief. I am able however to work out to my full potential without pain or problems. It's just general discomfort that is along for the ride. The most interesting part is that the pain is typical not around when I am weight lifting and doing yoga. But it's here right now as I type.

    For about 2 years now, I've had that soreness/tenderness and sometimes sharp or dull pain in my upper abdomen, lower sternum and also down the center of my rib cage starting about an inch from my neck. I also have what feels like muscle knots in my lower left and middle intercostals. I would rub on them vigorously to try to loosen them and have tried professional massage and acupuncture and chiro, but it doesn't help. I assume this is all related. Actually, it may help if I bullet list all I've done and have experienced.

    Physical and Mental Symptoms:
    -Dull Pain/Tenderness to push underneath center of sternum/upper abdomen where the rib cage connection ends
    -Tenderness and tightness in upper middle rib cage
    -Occasional shooting pain for a few seconds in the left/middle sternum/upper abdoman area
    -Occasional "pops" in the upper middle rib cage, almost like cracking a knuckle, when I spread my arms open.
    -Muscle knots in intercostals, mainly on left side. They don't find relief with trigger point massage.
    -Superficial neck, shoulder and upper back muscle tightness
    -Heart Palps and OCD over heart beat
    -Occasional spasm in upper middle sternum and/or strong heart beat. Not sure if it is esophagal spasms, but its best described as a normal heart beat disrupted with a single delayed strong heart beat then back to normal.
    -Occasional burping

    Tests Performed about 8-10 months ago:
    -Blood work: normal, low cholesterol and everything in order
    -Chest X-Ray: normal
    -Upper body CT Scan with Barium swallow contrast: normal,
    -Endoscopy: normal, no hiatal hernia, ulcers or acid refux, GERD problems
    -Heart tests: EKG, stress test all normal. In fact, they had a hard time getting my heart rate up for the stress test because I am in very good cardiovascular shape.

    Pain medications:
    -Naproxen (Aleve): no help
    -Ibuprofen: seems better than Naproxen, but jury is still out on whether it helps.
    -Vicodin: no help
    -Prilosec: no help
    -Maalox: no help with pain

    Anxiety medications:
    -Lorazapam (Ativan): slight ease of mind, but doesn't remove pain symptoms
    -Paxil: no help
    -Prozac: no help
    -PharmaGABA amino acid to ease stress: no help

    Therapies:
    -Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Tried this to help reduce my OCD and anxiety of thinking I'm going to die any moment from this and it helped a bit but it doesn't reduce the physical pain symptoms. I still worry.
    -Standard Massage: Focused on upper body (back and front) and it's generally relaxing but it didn't help to reduce the symptoms over time.
    -Chiropractic adjustments: No help
    -Acupuncture with needle and massage therapy: Relaxing but no help

    Things that DO help:
    -Hot Shower on the chest
    -Ice pack on the chest
    -Just started to try Biofreeze on the area. I like the feeling of it so it may help
    -Doing Yoga and exercise. Push ups/chest press doesn't bother me when I do them. In fact, I have been building strength in that department.

    So I am just not sure what to try next. My diet is pretty good, and I take a multi. Maybe try supplementing Glucosamin/Chond/MSM? I don't know if getting an ultrasound or MRI of the whole upper body is a good idea now to see. My doctor told me a while back that there are just some pains (like I have) that they cannot scan/test to diagnose properly. The worst part of it all is knowing that there is pain and pain is a sign that something IS WRONG. And I constantly focus on this pain and while I can do whatever I want still in my life, it's a personal thing I hate about myself. I used to struggles with IBS in my teens and 20s and while that has lessened dramatically, this has taken over.
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  6. #66
    Registered User pogi123's Avatar
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    Whats up bb.com lol! Its been 5 days now from the day I posted and 43 days of complete resting and avoiding any physical movement that trigger pain from my costochondritis symptoms.

    So far right now I'am feeling way better than I used to be where my pain level before was 7/10 and now its only 1/10. I my called my primary physician today and I ask him when I could get back doing push up, sit ups and running/ jogging. He (doctor) told me i could get back to those exercises when my pain level actually decrease to 0 and i should give it around one more week from now and then I could try doing push up, sit ups, and running and If I don't feel the pain then I could carefully get back to my normal routine.

    I believed the "Ice and Heat" treatment really help out a lot and also by avoiding aggravating my pain and making sure i wasn't mentally stress, they said STRESS can cause diseases and could cause slow recovery time.

    I'd say consult your doctor about the Ice and heat procedure I did because I believe its what got me better. hopefully everybody fully recover from this.
    Last edited by pogi123; 02-22-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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  7. #67
    Registered User Chris09che's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update Pogi123. I am sitting here icing my chest area and then I am going to try heat as you suggest. I ride my bike to work and I hit a car (I was tailing it to close in heavy traffic). Anyway, I hurt my chest pretty bad and was going to try to work through the pain, but it was too great. I was just going to do squats but even that killed. So I am on day 11 now. Sucks but I am glad you recovered. I hope I have the same success! I am taking Vicoden and Advil and that seems to help with the pain but not with the healing. Its a bitch to do anything...even get into and out of bed. This is the lamest injury one can have and its frustrating not being able to lift OR do any type of cardio. Ill keep you posted on my recover. I pray it wont take years.



    Originally Posted by pogi123 View Post
    Whats up bb.com lol! Its been 5 days now from the day I posted and 43 days of complete resting and avoiding any physical movement that trigger pain from my costochondritis symptoms.

    So far right now I'am feeling way better than I used to be where my pain level before was 7/10 and now its only 1/10. I my called my primary physician today and I ask him when I could get back doing push up, sit ups and running/ jogging. He (doctor) told me i could get back to those exercises when my pain level actually decrease to 0 and i should give it around one more week from now and then I could try doing push up, sit ups, and running and If I don't feel the pain then I could carefully get back to my normal routine.

    I believed the "Ice and Heat" treatment really help out a lot and also by avoiding aggravating my pain and making sure i wasn't mentally stress, they said STRESS can cause diseases and could cause slow recovery time.

    I'd say consult your doctor about the Ice and heat procedure I did because I believe its what got me better. hopefully everybody fully recover from this.
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  8. #68
    Registered User jjl245's Avatar
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    Costo

    I am another victim of Costo. It has been about 2 years for me.

    Same symptoms...pain in sternal/rib attachment, cracking popping if i stretch arms wide, severe pain doing dips, etc...

    Doctor's did not diagnose it early on...CT Scan, X-ray, etc. all showed nothing

    My attempts over 2+ years (approximately $8,000 spent even with having insurance):
    - Initially I tried to work through the pain, this just made it worse.
    - Rest for a month, no help
    - Finally went to ortho doc, he said rib out of place told me to go to a chiro and get adjusted
    - ~4 chiro adjustments - no help
    - naproxin - no real help
    - went back to working out but also used voltaren gel from doc - no real help
    - Grafton sessions for soft tissue work - no real help
    - ART sessions for soft tissue - no real help
    - Physical Therapy: tension/counter-tension and rib mobility + steroid patch - slight relief after treatment (my guess is from steroid patch)
    - 7 day Medrol steroid from ortho doc
    - Naproxen, rest, and Flector patch from rheumatologist

    In addition to this stuff I take multi, glucosamine/chondritin, fish-oil...occasionally ice or heat, and strething.

    That is where i stand. I have been on the last step for about 30 or 40 days. Might be some slight improvement (10-20%).

    Going to stick with the rest for now, but based on advice, this forum, other forums, etc...I am going to:
    - go on a very strong anti-inflammatory diet (salmon, broccoli, green tea, blueberries, sweet potatoes).
    - Supplement as follows: 3x glucosamine/chondritin/MSM, 3-4x fish oil, 1x multi, 500mg of calcium orotate, 500mg vitamin c
    - Ice/Heat contrast at least 5x per week
    - Very light stretching of area
    - walk or very light jog 4x per week

    Any other advice/thoughts?
    Last edited by jjl245; 04-11-2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: addition
    jjl245
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  9. #69
    Registered User Plebbi's Avatar
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    My friend has costo and went to a very old doctor yesterday who told him the inflammation usually goes away in TWO YEARS.
    He asked for a steroid injection in the chest and got one and now he's waiting to see how it works.

    He's had this for seven months now. He got it mostly from heavy benching. His max effort is 400 lbs @ 220 raw, but when the Costo is at its worst he feels a lot of pain doing 200 lbs. He is still training heavy though, just skipping the flat bench presses.
    170(77) [++++++++++++++0] 206(93,4)

    1.07.11 [ ]
    1.08.11 [ ]
    1.09.11 [ ]
    1.10.11 [ ]
    1.11.11 [ ]
    1.12.11 [ ]

    ***Max***
    Bench: 220lbs
    Deadlift: 363lbs
    Squat: 220lbs
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  10. #70
    Registered User YIDIDS83's Avatar
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    I have written on here before probably over a two years ago about Costo and after looking at some of your posts i thought i would bring a bit of cheer to this gloomy subject!

    I can say that i have fully healed from a weight lifting point of view and are now back lifting the weight I was, prior to my injury back in December 2005. Just to make one thing clear it is not something you are going to clear up over night and there will be a lot of hard times to come.

    I first felt Costo when stupidly I went to the gym slightly drunk one afternoon on Christmas Eve and as it was dead, i decided to whack 40kg each side on the bench press. My sober PB was 36.5kg each side before this. After i managed to get the worst one rep max out ever, i felt okay and carried on with the rest of my session. The problem started the next day when i leaned over to pick something up and the pain just felt like my heart was being ripped out. Eventually the paid stopped and as it was Christmas, i waited a few days before going back to the gym. Once i did i felt this pain down the centre of my chest every time i tried to rep. My next stupid mistake was to continue doing this for a month and just fighting the pain.

    I eventually went to see a doctor who sent me for an x-ray and nothing was found. Over the next 12 months i went to see three further doctors and they still could not understand why i was still feeling the injury. (by this time i had stopped bench pressing and was just doing light weights)

    Another year went by and with my son was on the way, so I stopped going to the gym but i still felt the pain every time i was picking up a heavy item or even when i would try to run on a running machine. As i play Football a lot i found that i was able to run on grass but not concrete without feeling any pain. In 2009 i decided to go back to the doctors as i had moved into a new area and i thought i would give it last go to get a proper diagnosis. Within 10 seconds of explaining my symptoms he told me, I had Costo and gave me Naproxen to take twice a day for 14 days.

    I did what he said and at the end of the 14 days, i went to the gym to bench press for the first time in 4 years and i felt no pain (Although i was only lifting 20kg each side). So i have carried on an now two years on I am back bench pressing 40kg each side (I only weigh 11st 6oz) and feel more stronger then ever.

    The only exercises which i still have to be wary off is dips which can cause strain on the centre of my chest and general running on treadmill, as my arm movement causes strain on that part.

    So my conclusion is yes you can recover from it, I did but it may mean giving up the gym for a while (i know that is the last thing you want to hear) to be able to recover for the future. But i am back to my best and look in better shape now then i ever did!!!
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  11. #71
    Registered User pogi123's Avatar
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    Whats up BB? I just graduated Army BCT thats Why I havent got a chance to visit/update with my post relating to my costochondritis.

    Anyways Right now Im feeling way better than i used to be my scale level of pain right now is 1 or 2/10. So for those that have it just take it easy and dont worry to much because you will recover eventually.
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  12. #72
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    costo

    Your symptoms sound exactly mine. I have had costo for about 9 years now. I was firstr diagnosed about 3 years ago when I was working in Qatar. They have a excellent sports clinic there. I did a ct scan and the Dr. told me that my sternum was really messed up. Mine comes from extremely heavy benching for years. He gave me a couple of shots in my chest and the problem got5 alot better. About 6 months ago I was getting back into lifting ppretty heavvy and it started again. The cracking and popping and the pain has returned worse than ever, guess i'm getting old. Right now i'm having the exact symptoms you are describing. I am currently taking Tramadol but it isn't working.I am working in Afghanistan now and will head home on Thursday to see the Dr. I'm going to try to get the shots again , and do an MRI . The worst part of this is the panic attacks. Having to deal with those is much worse than the costo. Even after 9 years I still get worried it'smy heart. Stay strong I'm pulling for ya.

    Originally Posted by tmar89 View Post
    I'm really glad I found this particular thread. I've searched my symptoms for a while now and mostly have found responses for symptoms in women and hardly anyone with my profile. I am a 32 year old male, 140lbs 5'6", regularly exercise with weights for fitness but not for bodybuilding (since I've excepted that I am a hard gainer ectomorph, but I digress). I am not particularly flexible but I practice Taekwondo 2-3 times a week and more recently Yoga Flow twice a week along with playing ice hockey. And I've had symptoms that match the most with Costocondritis and stress/anxiety and can't find relief. I am able however to work out to my full potential without pain or problems. It's just general discomfort that is along for the ride. The most interesting part is that the pain is typical not around when I am weight lifting and doing yoga. But it's here right now as I type.

    For about 2 years now, I've had that soreness/tenderness and sometimes sharp or dull pain in my upper abdomen, lower sternum and also down the center of my rib cage starting about an inch from my neck. I also have what feels like muscle knots in my lower left and middle intercostals. I would rub on them vigorously to try to loosen them and have tried professional massage and acupuncture and chiro, but it doesn't help. I assume this is all related. Actually, it may help if I bullet list all I've done and have experienced.

    Physical and Mental Symptoms:
    -Dull Pain/Tenderness to push underneath center of sternum/upper abdomen where the rib cage connection ends
    -Tenderness and tightness in upper middle rib cage
    -Occasional shooting pain for a few seconds in the left/middle sternum/upper abdoman area
    -Occasional "pops" in the upper middle rib cage, almost like cracking a knuckle, when I spread my arms open.
    -Muscle knots in intercostals, mainly on left side. They don't find relief with trigger point massage.
    -Superficial neck, shoulder and upper back muscle tightness
    -Heart Palps and OCD over heart beat
    -Occasional spasm in upper middle sternum and/or strong heart beat. Not sure if it is esophagal spasms, but its best described as a normal heart beat disrupted with a single delayed strong heart beat then back to normal.
    -Occasional burping

    Tests Performed about 8-10 months ago:
    -Blood work: normal, low cholesterol and everything in order
    -Chest X-Ray: normal
    -Upper body CT Scan with Barium swallow contrast: normal,
    -Endoscopy: normal, no hiatal hernia, ulcers or acid refux, GERD problems
    -Heart tests: EKG, stress test all normal. In fact, they had a hard time getting my heart rate up for the stress test because I am in very good cardiovascular shape.

    Pain medications:
    -Naproxen (Aleve): no help
    -Ibuprofen: seems better than Naproxen, but jury is still out on whether it helps.
    -Vicodin: no help
    -Prilosec: no help
    -Maalox: no help with pain

    Anxiety medications:
    -Lorazapam (Ativan): slight ease of mind, but doesn't remove pain symptoms
    -Paxil: no help
    -Prozac: no help
    -PharmaGABA amino acid to ease stress: no help

    Therapies:
    -Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Tried this to help reduce my OCD and anxiety of thinking I'm going to die any moment from this and it helped a bit but it doesn't reduce the physical pain symptoms. I still worry.
    -Standard Massage: Focused on upper body (back and front) and it's generally relaxing but it didn't help to reduce the symptoms over time.
    -Chiropractic adjustments: No help
    -Acupuncture with needle and massage therapy: Relaxing but no help

    Things that DO help:
    -Hot Shower on the chest
    -Ice pack on the chest
    -Just started to try Biofreeze on the area. I like the feeling of it so it may help
    -Doing Yoga and exercise. Push ups/chest press doesn't bother me when I do them. In fact, I have been building strength in that department.

    So I am just not sure what to try next. My diet is pretty good, and I take a multi. Maybe try supplementing Glucosamin/Chond/MSM? I don't know if getting an ultrasound or MRI of the whole upper body is a good idea now to see. My doctor told me a while back that there are just some pains (like I have) that they cannot scan/test to diagnose properly. The worst part of it all is knowing that there is pain and pain is a sign that something IS WRONG. And I constantly focus on this pain and while I can do whatever I want still in my life, it's a personal thing I hate about myself. I used to struggles with IBS in my teens and 20s and while that has lessened dramatically, this has taken over.
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  13. #73
    Registered User RiccoCelt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by middleweight160 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm a pro boxer, and was diagnosed with costochondritis 6 months ago.

    I was doing very heavy (for me) pec deck, and felt a big discomfort in my sternum. Ever since, it hurts too much to any training at all. I can't even throw punches, and the funny (?) thing is, it hurts worst when I sneeze. My nose is crooked from being broken a couple of times, so I sneeze like 5-8 times a day (wierd that I know that, but the pain keeps me counting them).

    Boxing is my life, and I'm seriously considering injecting pain killers in my chest, and hitting the gym again.
    Same here bro. When I sneeze it reactivates it. Seems to be getting beter then I have the unexpected sneeze. I try to squeeze my arms together when I sneeze which seems to help. Can't really throw punches or hit the bag anymore like I used to. Had this since Jan 2012 after a double chest cold. I think it happened while coughing excessively. Hope it gets better soon so I can go back to proper training.My Doc ordered xrays and everything looks fine, so he thinks it's costo.
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  14. #74
    Registered User xtream99's Avatar
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    Any update?

    Same here, also pain when I sneeze
    Off-time period doesn't help
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  15. #75
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    Im back again I just graduated AIT today. Anyways my pain went back again my pain level right now is 3/10 because i went back bench pressing and wrestling, I think i really messed it up yesterday because my chest got bruised from wrestling yesterday so I'm back to my Naprosyn and freaking ice and heat treatment.
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  16. #76
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    Costochondritis solutions

    Hey

    I have had chondritis for nearly four years now. I developed it when I was in high school in 09'. I figured it was from starting weightlifting at a young age(started at age 13) and just plain bad luck.
    A couple years ago I woke up with such bad pain in my chest and had difficulty breathing, so I went to the hospital to get my heart checked. It was fine and the doctor said it was Costochondritis, which I already knew from a previous diagnosis.

    I decided then to completely quit weightlifting untill the pain stopped. Finally a few months ago I figured i would start lifting again. And the pain has come back slightly, but I have found a few techniques to keep the pain mild.

    For lifting :
    1) main tip for the love of god never do parellel bar dips, something about the angle just grinds **** up in there.
    2) warm up really good with light weights or rubber bands
    3) stretch before, during(inbetween sets) and after
    4) do not try to push a heavy weight lift maybe 75-80% of your max
    5) Do reps slowly and controlled

    Daytime and nighttime tips:
    1) don't forget that you have the problem ex.) sometimes the pain goes away and you just do a certain quick movement and something shifts in sternum and bam, done.
    2) I'm not sure if this is good but it relieves tension. I'm not sure if everyones does this, but crack the ribs when there tight(mine pop like cracking knuckles). Take a breath in and push your chest out, sometimes you have to tilt your head a bit and it pulls the ribs apart from the sternum to pop them.
    3) heat. This is a very good one. I use vapor rub stuff(for colds). I suppose there is that rub A-35 stuff but iv never tried that. Rub it on the sternum and pecs. I usually just use it at night, but during the day too if I feel I'm going to have problems.
    4) never lay on your side or stomach with your arm(s)propping you up it puts too much tension on the cartilage
    5)the final thing I find best is sleeping on my back, but what I do is put 2 pillows under my head and one pillow under my back running lengthwise from my lower back to my neck. I feel this kind of opens up the front of the rib cage.

    So you can try these things out or not, I'm a landscaper not a doctor so don't hate if they don't work. I just find they help a bit. I didn't read this whole thread so if someone already had these tips then ****. Good luck
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  17. #77
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    My Story

    I see it's been a couple months since anyone wrote on here, but I just wanted to add my two cents. I've lifted occasionally in the past, but not for a number of years. My case, compared to many of yours is quite mild. I'm 28 and have had it for about 4 months. I don't feel it most of the time unless I concentrate on it, and then I might describe it as a slight twinge or something comparable to mild indigestion or heartburn. Then there are the times when I will tweak it. The common triggers for me are sneezing, strong coughing, twisting my head and torso (for example when I was pulling back out of a parking spot), or the thing I catch myself most on - getting up when I've been lying down ( this motion is similar to a dip, so not surprising).

    It happened when I was working. We had a tool we used to pull up soil cores out of damp ground. You would bend over it and pull up with both hands. There was often very significant suction. After doing a bunch of those I felt a pop in my sternum and pain followed. I've known since the beginning that it was a sternum issue, but after a while I realized how easy it was to re-aggravate and came across a costo diagnosis soon after. I'm now on a mission to let it heal.

    Things I've found that help. With regard to sneezing, I've found if I bend over at the waist almost to the ground (or if I'm sitting put my torso between my legs), so that everything is totally loose when the sneeze comes, it doesn't trigger it. I also try to use my legs more when I stand up. I adjusted the way I push up out of the prone position. I also avoid reaching behind my back and other positions that twist the torso. If anything improves, I will let you guys know. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell if it's improving or not until you tweak it and realize you're back to square one.
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  18. #78
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    Originally Posted by costovictim View Post
    Hi, guys.

    I registered on this forum just to add my two cents on the topic.

    First of all - this condition is a f*cking CURSE!!! It's beyond depressing and frustrating!

    I was experiencing the rib pain when doing dips back in august 2011, but was ignoring because it had happened before and i just though it was a muscle or something. At one point it got so worse that I couldn't even do push ups anymore, I couldn't exercise at all. I've had it for 5 months now and I would say that on a good day I have 20-35% improvement compared to the initial injury.

    From what I've read so far in this thread it seems like it's mainly the dips exercise that's causing this annoying thing. Hence I think even people who don't have costo should refrain from it because trust me - it's not worth the risk.

    Now - I've done heavy research oh the topic during all these months and as discouraging as it is - there are people who've had this condition for 20-30 years, for life basically.

    One of the reasons it takes forever to heal is that cartilage is not blood supplied like muscles, tendons and bones. Blood brings nutrients, no blood = no nutrients.

    The only way costal cartilages get their nutrients is through a surrounding membrane called perichondrium, it has some blood vessels in it and it basically wraps around the cartilages from the outter side. This membrane has chondrogenic properties (chondrocytes are the cells that build cartilage), but the tricky thing is that the production of the new cartilage cells is a) really slow b) the produced matrix is initially liquid-like, with time it becomes thicker and thicker and fills the cracks/injuries in the cartilage. The produced cells has to be pushed downwards in order to build the cartilage, this has been proved to happen with movement, so total immobilization is not advised.

    The two things I have noticed to work are:

    1. REST and SLEEP. The more you sleep, the more the inflammation goes away, the quicker the body regenerates itself.

    2. Heating pads on the painfull area. Heat brings blood to the perichondrium (the vascularized outter membrane of the cartilages) and thus more nutrients for the perichondrium to produce new chondrocytes.

    Another thing I noticed: At one point 3 months post the injury I had gotten really well, no pain with movement, it just felt it was going away. And then I had to travel to a different country and my suitcase was really heavy. Lifting the suitcase on that day made it come back, in general any strain/lifting/carrying heavy stuff basically re-injures the area and that happens because the newly-produced cartilage matrix is still fragile/liquidy, it hasn't calcified.

    Things that should be implemented as supplements:

    1. A balanced multivitamin formula would be a good start. The body needs different vitamins and minerals to regenerate.

    2. Additional vitamin c - 500 mg a day (not more, so that you don't interefere with the absorption of other important vitamins). In addition to chondrocytes cartilage consists of collagen type 2 and vitamin C is known to accelerates collagen production in all connective tissue.

    3. Omega 3 - fights inflammation.

    4. Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM formula - for healing cartilage. This formula has been advertised to osteoarthtitis for a couple of decades now. Some studies suggests it works, some say it's a scam. I guess when we're so desperate it won't hurt to try. Some osteoarthritis patients do swear it helps.

    5. A specific form of Calcium called Calcium Orotate.

    The site wouldn't let me post links, but just google this: "THE CLINICAL EFFECT OF CALCIUM OROTATE1 ON CARTILAGE TISSUE" and click in the articles.

    The paragraph regarding Costochondritis (a.k.a. Tietze syndrome):

    Specific effect on cartilage:
    It was first reported by WHITE towards the end of 1969, that calcium orotate showed an astounding curative effect on the Tietze syndrome. These reports were repeated over and over during 1970 and 1971, so that we were induced to try calcium orotate in three cases of stubborn Tietze syndrome. The effect of the calcium orotate was indeed surprising--all the details of the WHITE article were fully verified. Tietze syndrome, according to our information, is much more common in the US than here in Germany. According to WHITE, the syndrome is suppressed by very low doses--down to 1g/week, which we could verify. A dosage of 500mg/day is fully effective, it is highly significant that there is no effect whatsoever from calcium EAP, calcium-L dl aspartate (calciretard), calcium gluconate, calcium citrate, magnesium orotate, and K-Mg-aspartate, upon the Tietze syndrome.

    On the basis of our knowledge of the effect of calcium orotate on the Tietze syndrome, we must conclude, that a favorable trophic effect on the cartilaginous intervertebral substance is the reason for the not infrequently spectacular improvement of the patient.

    This fully specific effect of calcium orotate on cartilage, as evidenced by the Tietze syndrome experience, appears now to be of tremendous clinical significance. Unfortunately, we only learned this after the repeated reports of WHITE. While we were treating patients with spinal column syndrome and calcification damage, it had been apparent, for a long time, that the reported and verified improvement of their condition, must be attributed to more than simply an influence on the bone tissue. For example, we had five patients (f) and one patient (m) from 26 to 76 years, with symptoms of weakness and painful sensitivity in the wrists. In three cases, it could be observed only with an sphygmomanometer, and in three cases observation was not possible at all. In every case, the complaints disappeared with calcium orotate therapy. Upon the removal of the therapy, or when the dosage was insufficient (less than about 1.6g/ week) the complaints returned.

    -------------------------------------------

    Needless to say I already ordered Calcium Orotate and I suggest you do the same guys.

    In the meantime I would be glad if anyone reports on their progress.

    Awesome post.. I am going to try all these things!
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  19. #79
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    Well, I thought I'd chime in and share my story (so far) with all of you. I didn't obtain this injury from working out, it started from a cough when I was really sick and stressed. In the beginning it really wasn't too bad, but the pain progressed further as I worked out. If I had known this was an injury that takes months to come back from, then I would have waited it out! My advice first off to anyone who even thinks they have this, give it a week or so before working out. You might end up like most of us in here, out of the gym for months! So yeah, it started 3 months ago with the cough, and then a month into it the pain just became unbearable. That's when I went to my doctor who did an EKG, X-Ray, and CT Scan. He told me that this would be gone in a few weeks.. HA! Not the case. I met with another doctor after that who had this as well and said that it should subside in 3 months. Well around the 3 month mark I started feeling really good, not perfect, but pretty damn close. So I started training with resistance bands and all was going well... or so I thought. A buddy then asked me to help him lift some boxes, and well, that was it. I reinjured the area and am back to waiting this out again. So second piece of advice, EASE BACK INTO ACTIVITY! I am so friggin pissed at myself for what I did. Take it easy. I'll tell you some things that helped though. REST! Get enough sleep. I found that on days I lacked shut eye, I hurt more. Your body needs to recover. Heat will be your best friend. A nice hot shower or a heating pad feels great. I tried my best to stay away from anti-inflammatories because really all that does is mask the pain, and then you think you're feeling better and you may get a bit ahead of yourself. I only used them when absolutely necessary. Here is a list of supplements I'm using that I feel help: a multi-vitamin, fish oil, glucosamine, calcium orotate, magnesium, and turmeric. This really is a miserable injury and so debiltating. I don't know if this is everyone, but I can't even run with this injury, so I have to stick to walking. Doing daily chores is a pain as well, so try and avoid them if you can. Sitting for too long can bring about inflammation, so try and get up and stretch every half an hour or so. Basically just be careful! This is something that is going to effect every aspect of your life for awhile, so you need to keep a conscious mind and remind yourself you have it. Feel free to reply back to me or message me directly if you want to talk or whatever. I know this can be depressing, but hang in there!
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  20. #80
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    Damn a whole year? Thanks for sharing your experience, I've just started getting something in the past week or two that sounds like a case of costo and I'm trying to figure out how to tackle it.

    IHSV

    Originally Posted by thepijj View Post
    Oh, god this one was miserable. I believe I had it almost a year. I would wait a month it would came back, waited about 2 months, it came back again...I think eventually just started training with the pain. Obviously when that didn't go well I switched the training to avoid dips and decline especially, certain types of lat pulls. It just eventually faded away. Honestly I think I may have even started back up on dips and decline when it was there and it still went away. The entire experience was incredibly weird/frustrating. I had been getting injections into the sternum that didn't work, physical therapy didn't work, but for some reason it just faded away.
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  21. #81
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    Had it as well. It took about 3-4 months for mine to go away. Sucked ass trying to breath, move, god it sucked.
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  22. #82
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    My experience with costo:

    1) I've been lifting for almost ten months now, my max bench is around 280 (just to put things into perspective). And for the first time in my life, I've had a pain (usually as I'm lying on the bed, just chilling on my laptop) like exploding in my chest near the sternum all at once due to a certain angle in which I put myself. The pain is excruciating. To the point where I can't move without killing myself even more. The pain usually faded away the next day. It happened several times. It never bothered during my workouts or even after, it seemed as though they were unrelated.

    2) Five days ago, something different happened, but still related to the pain as it happened in the same area. So, I wanted to integrate some bench in a freestyle workout (was recovering from a rotator cuff injury), and after a very short warmup, I started doing extremely rapid bench reps and really slow heavy controlled weights (I believe the rapid ones ****ed it all up). Then I went in my gym's turkish bath and as I was stretching I felt as though an elastic snapped in my chest, and the pain appeared. Since then, it's been there. Haven't done any pressing since then though. I can still run without pain, but I can't do pullups and rack my weights without pain. I can also feel it when I lean my head to the right (it stretches the right pec, where the pain is located). I hope I haven't brought it to a whole new level...

    Anyway, I'd rather kill myself than not going to the gym. I might set my lats and pecs to lag for the coming months by not working them out, but I'm sure as hell will keep on curling, rowing and the like. FML.
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  23. #83
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    Maybe is is what I have??? So about 4 months ago I was doing a chest day and need with heavy dumbbell incline flys..next day my left side of my chest hurt s bad with any movement or crouching or laughing..it dwindled a bit but never went away..bout 3 weeks after I was doing flys again and it flared up..I went to 2 doctors being its my left side they wanted to check the heart so I had 2 ekg's an echocardiogram and a 24 hr heart moniter..all came back fine. So the doc said its hard to diagnose chest pains it could b many things. Strained cartilage pulled joint in the chest...I still have pains here and there with movement but its not 100% to one area it's kind of random..very frustrating
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  24. #84
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    has anyone experienced choking pain with this

    also the choking feeling and chest pain increases in the morning or when im lying down backwards for me, and also when i take deep breaths while exercising

    I developed this pain 4 days ago and i was hoping it was not heart problem like pericarditis and its just this costochronditis thing

    i havent exercised in a couple of months too so i dont know how it could be a musculoskeletal thing, it started when i first tried out super cissus supplement..
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  25. #85
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    Lightbulb Costochrondritis

    I'm having the same problem except I've had it for yearrrss. I got it in undergrad when I started working out. Docs told me it was a panic attack (I didnt believe them cuz the pain continued for hours). Its flaring up again so Ive been doing google searches on it. I wish I could do more than just take ibuprophen and not workout. Im trying to get in shape! I'll continue reading for advice myself.
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  26. #86
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    I have the same deal. I have been out of the gym for 2 years. I wanted to return to my workout plan and get back into shape. On my second visit, I was doing the stack on the fly machine. (Stupid, I know.) Now I have costochondritis....

    Doc prescribed a very strong anti-inflammatory for 6 days. 6 pills the first day, 5 the second, 4 the third day, etc etc. After that, pain was completely gone.

    It slowly came back in the following week (as I expected), but with lower pain.

    I have been out of the gym now for 6 weeks. The pain is almost gone. I have started back up on the elliptical machine (legs only... don't use arms) without any issues. In fact, it seems to be helping the pain. With regard to pain, I am now at 0.1 out of 10.

    I do not plan to return to the weights for at least a month AFTER the pain is 100% done. Even then I will work it up slowly. This is horrible, and I for sure never want to do this again.
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  27. #87
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    Originally Posted by venomoustroid View Post
    has anyone experienced choking pain with this

    also the choking feeling and chest pain increases in the morning or when im lying down backwards for me, and also when i take deep breaths while exercising

    I developed this pain 4 days ago and i was hoping it was not heart problem like pericarditis and its just this costochronditis thing

    i havent exercised in a couple of months too so i dont know how it could be a musculoskeletal thing, it started when i first tried out super cissus supplement..
    I do have pain high up in my chest like close to my throat.. but I dont know if its acid reflux or from costochondritis
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  28. #88
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    Man I am glad I found this forum/thread.

    I have been suffering from this aligment for about 4 or 5 months. It started after I did a pretty heavy chest workout at the gym. I was fine and felt no pain or anything odd while working out. On my way out to my truck I had a really tight chest, but I get pretty tight chest from working out so didnt think much of it. Not 10 seconds after I put my seat belt on I had this inside crushing feeling in the left inner side of my chest. First thing I thought was o crap im going to die of heart problem. (Seriously it felt like something in there was being crushed and felt my heart was beating insanly fast) so I went to the ER. They did EKG and found nothing wrong, did xray and was fine. I stayed there for 3 hours and nothing was abnormal.

    The strange thing I remember was as soon as I took off my seatbelt and got out of my truck the pain started to subside.... After my hospital visit on the ride home I felt the same pain as after working out (but only about 60% as bad) there is something about riding in the car that makes it the worse... Working out and lifting hurts maybe 20% as much as riding in the car.

    Does anyone else literally feel like they are going to die when they have a seatbelt on or to tight of clothes? I have had acid reflux off and on since I was 14 so I cant figure out how these are linked but I am pretty sure they are some how.

    This pain sucks so bad! I took like a month off and took some nsaids but it came back like 2 weeks after I started back up. Now I just workout through it becuase in past 2 years have stopped like 3 times due to back, chest pain.

    I also have a problem with one of two of my ribs coming out in the back and have my active release therapist "push" them back in about once a month or so. On top of this I work at a computer and play computer games a decent amount with bad posture.... I think this is the main reason I have this problem. My massage therapist says my back muscles are crazy tight in my upper back which could be contributing to chest pain....

    I am thinking about trying acupuncture becuase while I have tried a lot that seems to help... nothing helps it fully.
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    Thumbs up

    I got diagnosed with this November 2012, it's been 5 months that iv had it and it feels better than it did before but it is still there. It hurts to touch my chest I don't know if that is how your felt but mine was a serious case of it. I couldn't touch my chest without being in excruciating pain. But it's been 5 months and I still have it
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  30. #90
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    costo

    My experience - I got costo about 4 months whilst surfing. I was paddling for a wave when I felt an intense, stabbing like pain in my right rib cage. I pulled out of the wave and laid there for a few mins thinking ****, how am I going to get back to shore as the pain was excruciating. Anyway, I managed to catch the next wave into shore, as I walked onto the beach I fell to my knees as it was agony. I thought I'd cracked a rib (I'd taken a few slams during my session), but ruled it out as I hadn't been hit by my board at all. I struggled driving my car home, lying down or standing up was almost impossible, sneezing / coughing was terribly painful. I did some reading on the Internet and thought it was a pulled intercostal muscle - I decided to see a chiro after a week of pain and he said it was costo. I saw him twice a week for the first month and mostly rested - I tried surfing a few times which wss impossible, I also tried a session at the gym, which was also agony. I went back to chiro and foundation training (look it up) as my chiro said costo comes from misalignment of the spine, which puts strain on your ribs. So the process was to get my spine back into proper shape, get my ribs articulating properly and strengthen up my posterior chain through foundation traing. Anyway, I'm now surfing again, I've started hittibg the gym, whilst keeping my weights light and I seem to be ok. Last weekend I did a legs session at the gym, 2 hour surf and played tennis - later that evening I was a bit sore, but used an ice pack, the next day I was fine again.

    I wouldn't say I'm back to how I was pre injury, as I'm still getting niggles, but I feel like I can do all the things I love again.

    My advice is get yourself a "good" chiro. Take time away from physical activities, take fish oils, multi and drink plenty of water - if it flares up, use heat or ice. It's an old clich, but time is the best healer. Trying to work through the pain is a massive error. My chiro also suggested swimming as a good way of recovering, due to your body being supported by water, it also helped me.
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