Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (5): 450-454.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.07.001

• Case Report • Previous Articles    

External application of two unrestricted herbal medicines to treat costochondritis in a young collegiate athlete: A case report

Bin Zhang a, Ying Jiang b, Chun-song Cheng a,c, Hong Lin a, You-ping Guo d   

  1. a Sports Teaching and Research Room, Martial Arts Team, Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230038, Anhui Province, China
    b Institute of Physical Education, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, Anhui Province, China
    c Faculty of Chinese Medicine, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa 999078, Macao, China
    d Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Zhuhai Fanghua Hospital, Zhuhai 519100, Guangdong Province, China
  • Received:2020-03-05 Accepted:2020-06-19 Online:2020-09-10 Published:2020-07-10
  • Contact: Hong Lin; E-mail address:; You-ping Guo; E-mail address:

Costochondritis (ChC), especially chronic ChC, typically manifests as spontaneous vague pain in anterior chest area and often occurs in adolescents for unknown reasons; it has prevented many collegiate athletes from participating in physical training and competitions. A 21-year-old female collegiate taekwondo athlete suffering from chronic chest pain was sent by her coaches for diagnosis and treatment. Seated motion palpation was used to identify spontaneous and motion-involved pain areas. Palpation in the supine position was used to initially rule out breast diseases. X-ray, electrocardiogram, and cardiac Doppler ultrasound were used in conjunction with myocardial enzyme testing to rule out lung and cardiovascular diseases. The patient was treated using herbal medicines applied via an external patch. The medicine was comprised of Rhizoma Corydalis and borneol, and the treatment lasted for seven weeks. For five weeks patches were applied at a frequency of two or three times per day, followed by a two-week period of once per day. The patient reported that the pain was relieved after two weeks of external herb use, and the autonomic chest pain had resolved. Re-examination after one month showed that her upper limb range of motion was close to normal, and her psychological burden had almost disappeared. It is possible to seek more active medicinal treatment and more practical external products for young athletes who is suffering chronic ChC that affects the sport training and competitive performances.

Key words: Costochondritis, Herbal medicine, Tietze's syndrome, Chest pain, Case report

[1] Cai-lian Fana, Wan-jun Caib, Meng-nan Ye, Miao Chen, Yi Dai. Qili Qiangxin, a compound herbal medicine formula, alleviates hypoxia-reoxygenation-induced apoptotic and autophagic cell death via suppression of ROS/AMPK/mTOR pathway in vitro. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(4): 365-375.
[2] Bin Zhao, Yong Chen, Shi-min Liao, Jian-ying Zheng, Shi-hua Yan, Dong-shu Zhang. Successfully treated recalcitrant atopic eczema with acupoint autohemotherapy: A case report and hypothesized mechanism of the therapy. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(2): 182-186.
[3] Tareq A. Wani, Zahoor A. Kaloo, Nisar A. Dangroo. Aconitum heterophyllum Wall. ex Royle: A critically endangered medicinal herb with rich potential for use in medicine. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(2): 104-113.
[4] Shu-yi Chen, Qun-wei Chen, Liu-mei Shou, Hong Pan, Shan-ming Ruan, Zhe-hao Liang, Qi-jin Shu. Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis successfully treated with Chinese herbal medicine Pi-Yan-Ning: A case report. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(6): 555-560.
[5] Rakhi Chakraborty, Swarnendu Roy. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors from plants: A review of their diversity, modes of action, prospects, and concerns in the management of diabetes-centric complications. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(6): 478-492.
[6] Xin Yin, Shu-bin Cai, Lan-ting Tao, Lu-ming Chen, Zhong-de Zhang, Su-hong Xiao, Arthur Yin Fan, Xu Zou. Recovery of a patient with severe COVID-19 by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine adjuvant to standard care. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(5): 460-466.
[7] Ruo-lan Li, Qing Zhang, Jia Liu, Li-ying He, Qin-wan Huang, Wei Peng, Chun-jie Wu. Processing methods and mechanisms for alkaloid-rich Chinese herbal medicines: A review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(2): 89-103.
[8] Jie Wu, Shu-wei Duan, Hong-tao Yang, Yue-yi Deng, Wei Li, Ya-ni He, Zhao-hui Ni, Yong-li Zhan, Shan Lin, Zhi-yong Guo, Jun Zhu, Jing-ai Fang, Xu-sheng Liu, Li-hua Wang, Rong Wang, Nian-song Wang, Xiao-hong Cheng, Li-qun He, Ping Luo, Shi-ren Sun s, Ji-feng Sun, Ai-ping Yin, Geng-ru Jiang, Hong-yu Chen, Wen-hu Liu, Hong-li Lin, Meng Liang, Lu Ma, Ming Chen, Li-qun Song, Jian Chen, Qing Zhu, Chang-ying Xing, Yun Li, Ji-ning Gao, Rong-shan Li, Ying Li, Hao Zhang, Ying Lu, Qiao-ling Zhou, Jun-zhou Fu, Qiang He, Guang-yan Cai, Xiang-mei Chen. Efficacy and safety of Shenyankangfu Tablet, a Chinese patent medicine, for primary glomerulonephritis: A multicenter randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(2): 111-119.
[9] Baoyi Shao, Saiying Hou, Yuenyan Chan, Changchun Shao, Lixing Lao. Remission of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus in an adolescent using an integrative medicine approach: A case report. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 85-88.
[10] Ming-sheng Lyu, De-ying Li, Shao-zhong Zhou, Cheng-jun Ban, Jun Yan. Adult-onset Still's disease successfully treated with Chinese herbal medicine: A case report with 15-month follow-up. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(6): 530-534.
[11] Qing-lan Wang, Yan-yan Tao, Hong-dong Xie, Cheng-hai Liu, Ping Liu. Fuzheng Huayu recipe, a traditional Chinese compound herbal medicine, attenuates renal interstitial fibrosis via targeting the miR-21/PTEN/AKT axis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(6): 505-513.
[12] Mu-yan Kong, Le-yan Li, Yan-mei Lou, Hong-yu Chi, Jin-jun Wu. Chinese herbal medicines for prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer: from molecular mechanisms to potential clinical applications. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(5): 369-384.
[13] Arthur Yin Fan, Sherman Gu, Sarah Faggert Alemi, Research Group for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine. Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19: Current evidence with systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(5): 385-394.
[14] Shuai Yan, Yin-zi Yue, Ming-ming Sun, Ben-sheng Wu, Xiao-peng Wang. Suppressive effect of Aurantii Fructus Immaturus and Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma on glutamic acid-induced autophagy of interstitial cells of Cajal. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 334-343.
[15] Bin Lan, Jin-wen Ge, Shao-wu Cheng, Xi-long Zheng, Jun Liao, Chao He, Zheng-qing Rao, Guo-zuo Wang. Extract of Naotaifang, a compound Chinese herbal medicine, protects neuron ferroptosis induced by acute cerebral ischemia in rats. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 344-350.
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[5] . Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication (Chinese version, part two). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1001-1005
[6] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[7] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[8] Zhao-guo Li . A discussion of English translation of 1995 and 1997 Chinese National Standards of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminologies for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1090-1096
[9] Rui Jin, Bing Zhang. A complexity analysis of Chinese herbal property theory: the multiple formations of herbal property (Part 1). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1198-1205
[10] Hui-min Liu, Xian-bo Wang, Yu-juan Chang, Li-li Gu. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of integrative medicine therapy for treatment of chronic severe hepatitis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1211-1228