Costochondritis: Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


What is Costochondritis?

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. This can cause pain that mimics symptoms of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

Chest wall pain (costochondritis) is a condition in which pain and swelling can occur in the area around the chest (costosternal syndrome). This can also be called costosternal chondrodynia or Tietze syndrome.

What is Costochondritis?

Most cases of costochondritis have no known cause. Treatment focuses on relieving your pain while you wait for the condition to improve on its own, which can take several weeks or longer.

Costochondritis usually goes away on its own although it might last for several weeks or longer. Treatment focuses on relieving pain.

  1. Musculoskeletal system

  1. Human skeleton

  2. Joints

  3. Ligaments

  4. Muscular system

  5. Tendons

Medical terms

  • Costochondritis is a painful inflammation of the cartilage (costochondral junction) that connects your ribs to your breastbone (sternum) It causes chest pain and tenderness in this area The pain can spread to the arms and shoulders but it typically occurs just where the ribs meet the sternum When you breathe in deeply you may feel discomfort or even sharp pain along this site The condition most often affects middle-aged women though anyone can be affected at any age The specific cause of costochondritis isn't known; however it's thought that minor trauma or repetitive stress on the location

  • Pain in the chest that travels to the shoulders and upper back along with shortness of breath is a symptom of costochondritis This condition occurs when inflamed cartilage rubs against each other in the rib cage leading to irritation and pain There are several activities you can do to stretch your torso and ease costochondritis pain

  • Costochondritis is inflammation of the areas wherever your higher ribs are a part of with the animal tissue that holds them to your sternum. These areas are known as costochondral junctions. The condition causes pain, however it’s usually harmless and typically goes away with no treatment. however any pain in adults ought to be taken seriously, thus you ought to be examined and tested for cardiovascular disease.

A rare condition known as Tietze syndrome is commonly said as inflammation, however the 2 are distinct conditions. you'll tell the distinction by the following:

Tietze syndrome usually comes on all of a sudden, with chest pain spreading to your arms or shoulder and lasting several weeks.

Tietze syndrome causes swelling at the painful area (where your ribs and breastbone meet).

Symptoms Costochondritis

The pain that is associated with costochondritis usually lasts for a short time.

  • This happened on the left side of my chest.

  • Is sharp, aching or pressure-like

  • Affects more than one rib

  • Coughing makes the symptoms worse.

When to see a doctor

If you experience chest pain, you should go to the hospital for emergency treatment. This could be a sign of a life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack.

Causes Costochondritis

Costochondritis is not always clear in its cause. Sometimes, however, it may be caused by:

  • Injury. A blow to the chest is one example.

  • Physical strain.Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise can cause costochondritis.

  • Arthritis.Costochondritis might be associated with specific health problems such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.

  • Joint infection.Ribs can be infected by viruses, bacteria, and fungi such as tuberculosis and syphilis.

  • Tumors.Cancerous and noncancerous tumors can cause costochondritis. Cancer may travel to the joint from another part of the body, such as the breast, thyroid, or lung.

Why is costochondritis so painful?

Costochondritis is a painful inflammation of the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone (sternum) It can affect one or both sides of your chest When you have costochondritis you might experience pain in just one spot on the bone or across multiple spots The pain may feel dull or sharp and may be constant or intermittent You might also experience muscle weakness swelling and tenderness in this area Costochondritis occurs most often in people between the ages of 20 and 40 but it can occur at any age.

How should you sleep with costochondritis?

If you suffer from costochondritis the best sleeping position is on your back with a pillow between your knees This forces the intercostal muscles to relax alleviating pressure on the area Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises may also help relieve some of your pain.

There are over a hundred different types of inflammation so to be more specific about how to treat costochondritis one must know what type of inflammation they have. This is because the treatment for each kind of inflammation is very different.

Diagnosis Costochondritis

Your doctor will feel around your breastbone and other areas to see if you have any tenderness or swelling. They might move your rib cage or arms in certain ways to see if that is what is causing your symptoms.

  1. Palpation

Costochondritis can cause pain that is very similar to pain experienced with other illnesses, such as heart disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal problems, and osteoarthritis. There is no specific test that can confirm a diagnosis of costochondritis, but your doctor might order tests based on your symptoms. An X-ray or MRI scan is performed to rule out other conditions.

Treatment Costochondritis

The pain from costochondritis usually goes away on its own, although it might last for a few weeks or longer. Treatment focuses on relieving pain.


Your doctor might recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.Some over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), can be used but your doctor might prescribe stronger varieties that have less side effects. Effects can include damage to your stomach lining or kidneys.

  • Narcotics.If your pain is severe, your doctor might prescribe medications that contain codeine, such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin Norco) or oxycodone/acetaminophen (Tylox Roxicet Percocet). Narcotics can be habit-forming.

  • Antidepressants.Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are often used to control chronic pain, which can make you sleepy at night.

  • Anti-seizure drugs.Gabapentin (Neurontin) is successful in controlling chronic pain as well.


Physical therapy might include: -Exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility -Treatment for joint pain or stiffness -Massage to relieve tension and stress

  • Stretching exercises.Chest exercises may be helpful.

  • Nerve stimulation.TENS is a procedure that uses adhesive patches to send a weak electrical current to the skin near the area of pain. This might stop or mask pain signals from reaching your brain, preventing you from feeling the pain.

Surgical and other procedures

If conservative measures don't relieve your pain, your doctor might suggest injecting a numbing medication and a corticosteroid into the painful joint.

Lifestyle and home remedies

It can be frustrating when your doctor cannot do much to treat your costochondritis. But you can take some simple steps to make you feel better, such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are pain relievers that you can buy over the counter.Before taking ibuprofen or naproxen, consult your doctor.

  • Heat or ice.Apply heat to the painful area several times a day. Keep the heat at a low setting. Cold compresses might also help.

  • Rest.Do not do things that make your pain worse.

Making sure you are ready for your appointment.

If you have a disorder of the joints, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in rheumatology.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms,Make sure to bring any relevant documents with you to the appointment.

  • Write down your key medical information,The doctor will consider other conditions and any history of injury to the painful joint.

  • Write down key personal information,Make sure to relax and get some rest before your decoupage project is complete.

  • Make a list of all your medications,Vitamins or supplements are substances that help the body stay healthy.

  • Ask a family member or friend to come with you.This will help you remember what the doctor told you.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • Why am I experiencing my symptoms?

  • What kinds of tests do I need?

  • What can I do to improve my symptoms?

  • Do I need to restrict any activities?

  • What should I be looking out for at home?

  • When will my symptoms go away?

  • What other health conditions do you have? How can I best manage them together?

Don't be afraid to ask your doctor any questions that you may have. In addition, feel free to ask any other questions that come to mind.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you a number of questions. Being prepared to answer them may leave time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:

  • What are the symptoms you are experiencing? Have they been getting worse over time?

  • Where is your pain located?

  • Does working out make your symptoms worse?

  • Did anything else make your pain worse or better?

  • Are you having any difficulty breathing?

  • Have you been feeling any respiratory infections recently?

  • Are you injured in any way near your chest?

  • Do you have any other health conditions?

  • Are you feeling a lot of stress or change recently?

  • Do you have any family history of heart problems?

General summary

  1. Costochondritis causes pain and inflammation around the cartilage of your ribcage resulting in tenderness in the front of your chest This condition is not itself a heart problem nor does it indicate you have a serious illness If you've been diagnosed with costochondritis most likely you'll be prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs or given a pain reliever prescription to alleviate symptoms The length of time that it takes for costochondritis to heal varies but will depend on how severe your case is In some cases sufferers report taking as little as a week before they feel relief However more prolonged.

  2. Costochondritis is the inflammation of the cartilage that attaches your ribs to your breastbone Many people who suffer from costochondritis will experience pain in the upper area of their chest and on one side but it can also flare up in other areas as well Costochondritis can occur for a variety of reasons including injury or overexertion though it most often comes about as a result of viral infection It usually responds well to home treatment; if symptoms persist more than a couple weeks or worsen with time however you should consult a doctor who may recommend further tests such as an X-ray or MRI.

  3. Costochondritis is not a permanent condition and can be cured There are multiple types of treatment methods which vary depending on the severity and cause of costochondritis.

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