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Costochondritis....my experience

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Im young (23) and in pretty good aerobic shape (20-30 miles running per week average in the offseason) so when i started experiencing mild to moderate chest pains toward the end of last ski season, I began to worry a bit. Come the end of season, the pain still persisted, in-fact, got worse while doing some landscaping in early spring. It hurt my chest to take a deep breath, sneeze, lay on my back and any other load bearing upper-body exercise.
A trip to the doctor was made and I ended up being told to take it easy, take some advil and see what happens. One week later, the pain persists, another visit to the Doc. The EKG came out normal, and so did the chest X-rays. His diagnosis....Costochondritis. A congenital defect/ abnormality in my skeletal structure where my sternum and an upper rib are rubbing against each other when in certain positions (eg bearing heavy loads). I knew there and then what caused it. Double poling...
As an instuctor who spent a lot of time in the Level1-2 area of our school (serviced by 2 magic carpets and a long but shallow slope), I would load the students onto the carpet and then skate uphill alongside them as I hated riding the darned thing. Well, I got really good at it, and accolades about my skating technique followed (I wish my downhill skiing caught as much attention ). But the Costochondritis can be linked directly to that, long periods of repeated movements (poling).

Obviously, my Doc, a non-skier (heck I doubt he does any physical activity) prescribed rest for a few months. But now, as fall nears, I need some type of plan to get my upper body back in shape for the teaching season. As a followup,
Is there a lifting regimen for nordic skiiers to strengthen their upper bodies (specifically skate skiing)......any help would be great....
post #2 of 5
Did you ask your doctor before soliciting advice here? Perhaps he will refer you to a sports medicine specialist with more experience with this type of condition. Myself I would trust them more than any advice I could get over the internet.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
sorry about the confusion, I guess i didn't phrase myself clearly. I have recovered from the pains etc. All I needed was some advice on upper body conditioning since I've lost some muscle tone due to upper body inactivity during recovery. Anyhows, your suggesion of a sports PT is probably my best bet since they could give me something a little more specific....
post #4 of 5
Glad you are feeling better. If I was a skate skier or used weights to train for skiing, I would have shared some knowledge. I'm sorry the only advice you got was not to ask about such things on the internet! At least you seem to take it in stride. I avoid lifting of any kind, but I guess a PT and or a trainer could tell you which exercises target the muscles you want to strengthen.
post #5 of 5
If you swim it would be good for building strength though a full range of movement without execissive load being put on anything. If you happen to be afraid of water it may merely be an exercise in drinking foul water.

Either way I would go to an athletic therapist or physio therapist as I would think the situation could largely be treated by focus on muscle balance as opposed to the standard just rest and see if it goes away.
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