Stretches for enthesitis in ribs/sternum?

Hey all. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m suffering from what appears to be inflammation in a few ribs and my xyphoid process. It feels like I have a golf ball at the base of my sternum and what I would imagine a broken rib would feel like. I take it that it is a “flare up.” It started 2 weeks ago. The doc put me on 6 days of tapering prednisone, which I completed mid-last week. It helped some but did not not at all knock it out.

Being new to this, I don’t know if I should be doing stretches or exercises specifically targeting the area that hurts, or if I should be just resting and trying to wait it out. I’ve tried the latter for the last few days, but sitting here at work, it’s bugging me. I know that, generally, I need to do exercises to keep PsA at bay, but, in the midst of a localized flare up, should I?

And, if so, does anyone have suggestions on the types of stretches that could help there?



ouch Dave. Seems like you should rest it and allow the inflammation to subside. But that’s just me!

Volterol cream helped mine. Lots of it too. It’s a topical anti inflammatory. And sadly just resting.

I’d imagine that if you feel the need to stretch, then stretching is in order! Even when I was flaring like mad I was told to do certain exercises.

I’m a great fan of Tai Chi, found this which looks gentle enough I guess:

I’m sure we had a discussion about chair yoga (or possibly a different type of chair Tai Chi) a few years back, it & its links might turn up if you do a search.

With Tai Chi you only do what you can & you do the moves ‘with intention’ i.e. pushing gently but surely as if moving through water.

Best check with your doc if unsure, of course.

my favorite “remedy” is a ht pack/heat pad in front and an ice pack in bck and alternating. For stretching I lay on my back with my legs up on a chair (sitting position while lay on my back) I raise my arms and back to the floor as far as I can… If my wife is agreeable I also lay on my stomach with my arms folded and locked under my face and ahve her pull them forward. essentially its Back-pressure arm-lift artificial respiration. ( without the back pressure)

ANYTHING to expand the chest or if left alone, it gets spastic and you start getting nasty spasms. Large chested women with bad fitting bras get the same pain/spasm.

Ok, I do happen to have some voltaren gel so I will start putting that on it. I don’t “feel like” exercising, but never do. Just aches and tired. But was making myself anyways. This one hurts bad enough that I really haven’t moved in a week now.

I am gonna call the doc tomorrow and plead for something.

I will check out tai chi too. I was gonna try yoga before this round to see if it might help. I have lost so much strength since this started. I fear that I will just waste away.



Moving helps, your instincts are good! As a general rule, if tntlamb says something will help, I do it. He knows a thing or two! And my compliance levels are not all that high in life generally LOL.

Tai Chi is probably ‘safe’ though too. I was thinking of stuff you could adapt to do while at work without attracting too much attention. I recall being told to raise and lower my legs about 100 times a day during the first flare up. I didn’t see the point and got muscle wasting around the knees. I reckon that any exercise regime feels as much use as a chocolate tea pot for a few weeks and then, if you persevere, you see or rather feel the results and you’re hooked.

Yoga has a few poses they refer to as ‘chest opening’. I did find they helped when I had costochondritis, though you may need to modify them to suit you. Holding a stretch for any length of time is bad for me, so I used flow yoga (vinyasa) done at beginner level and slowly - I suspect tai chi is similar, but because I was already familiar with yoga, that worked best for me when my brain was already too full!