Healthy Living

What is Costochondritis Symptoms​, Causes, Treatment

What is Costochondritis?

‘’Costochondritis is basically the medical term of inflammation of the cartilage that joins human body’s ribs to breastbone (sternum). This area is called the costochondral joint’’

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the gristle within the rib cage. The condition sometimes affects the cartilage wherever the upper portion ribs attach to the bone of breast, or sternum, a part called the costosternal joint or costosternal junction. It acts as a shock, protect the joints. Chest pain caused by costochondritis will range from gentle to severe. mild cases might only cause your chest to feel tender to touch or some pain after you push on the area of your chest gristle. Cartilage is tough however flexible connective tissue found throughout the body, as well as in the joints between bones. Costochondritis might improve on its own once a couple of weeks, though it will last for many months or additional.

The condition doesn’t result in any permanent issues, but might generally relapse.
Severe cases might cause shooting pains down your limbs or unendurable pain that interferes along with your life and doesn’t seem to travel away. The condition usually goes away inside a couple of weeks; however some cases might need treatment.


Tietze’s syndrome:

There is a variation of costochondritis known as Tietze syndrome. This condition causes pain related to costochondritis, additionally as swelling of the rib cartilage.

The swelling of Tietze syndrome affects at least one of the upper portions of four ribs, typically the second or third ribs. Whereas the pain related to redness might subside with time, some individuals with Tietze syndrome can still experience the swelling.
Costochondritis additionally tends to have an effect on adults aged 40 or over, whereas Tietze’s syndrome sometimes affects young adults below 40.Although doctors haven’t defined how prevailing this condition is, they are doing consider it to be a rare disorder. Apart from pain and discomfort, it doesn’t cause any long-term harmful effects.


Fast Facts on Costochondritis:

 Pain in the chest and sternum area is the chief symptom of costochondritis.

  1. The pain might be very severe that the person feels they’re having a heart failure.
  2. This Treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications


What Causes Costochondritis?


Though causes are usually unknown, in some instances, the condition is the results of one or additional of the following:

  1. Severe coughing, that strains your chest
  2. An injury to your chest.
  3. Physical strain from continual exercise or sudden exertion you’re not used to, like moving
  4. An infection, as well as respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and wound infections.
  5. Wear and tear – your chest moves in and out 20 to 30 times a moment, and over time this motion will cause discomfort in these joints.
  6. Having large breasts.
  7. Undergoing surgery which may affects the walls of chest, such as cardiac bypass.
  8. Some types of arthritis.
  9. Deep breathing and sneezing.
  10. Different Tumors in the costosternal joint region.


Symptoms of Costochondritis:

Chest discomfort and pain is also stabbing, burning, or aching in nature. The ribs most affected are the second to fifth ones.

The condition most ordinarily affects those older than age 40, in keeping with an article in the journal American Family medical practitioner. An estimated 13-36 % of those who seek emergency medical attention for chest pain are experiencing redness. The main symptoms of costochondritis are pain and soreness within the chest. a sharp pain is sometimes felt on the left side of the sternum, however it’s possible to feel it on both sides of the chest. The pain will get worse once a toddler takes deep breaths, coughs, moves the upper body or presses on the affected area. It’s going to decrease a bit when a baby stops moving or takes shallower breaths, but normally it won’t escape entirely.

The following activities usually worsened the pain related to costochondritis:

  • The reproducible tenderness when pressing on the rib joints (costochondral joints) may be a characteristic feature of costochondritis. While not tenderness, a diagnosis of redness is unlikely.
  • Chest pain related to costochondritis is preceded or aggravated by exercises, minor injury, or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Costochondritis pain sometimes is going to be sharp and placed on the front chest wall. it should radiate from the chest area to the back or abdomen to cause back pain or belly pain.
  • A specific posture, such as lying down.
  • Pressure on chest, such as wearing a seatbelt or hugging someone more tightly.
  • Significant amount of coughing.
  • Different Physical activities using the upper arms, such as lifting heavy boxes.
  • The most common sites of pain are the fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs. This pain will increase when moving the trunk or when deep respiration and, therefore, might cause breathing issues. Conversely, it decreases as any movement stops or with quiet breathing.

1. costochondritis is misdiagnosed or in the course of anxiety about having pain.

  1. When costochondritis happens as results of infection when an operation (surgery), there is inflammation with redness, swelling, or pus discharge at the site of the procedure


How Is Costochondritis Diagnosed?

To diagnose costochondritis, the doctor will ask your kid questions on the symptoms and can feel for tenderness on the area wherever the sternum meets the ribs. Though it’s impossible to examine costochondritis on a chest X-ray, the doctor could order one to rule out different possible causes of chest pain, like respiratory disease.

If you’ve got symptoms of costochondritis, your general practitioner can examine and bit the upper chest area around your costochondral joint. They’ll ask you when and wherever your pain happens and appearance at your recent medical record.

Before a diagnosing can be confirmed, some tests might have to be carried out to rule out alternative possible causes of your pain.

These are included:

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG) – which records the rhythms and also electrical activity of human heart
  • A blood test is required to check for signs of underlying inflammation
  • X-ray of human body chest

If no other condition is found, costrochondritis may diagnose.


Other medical conditions that may costochondritis include:

  • arthritis of the shoulder or joints
  • slipping rib syndrome, when there is too much mobility in the cartilage supporting the ribs
  • injuries to the shoulder or neck that causes pain to refer or travel to the chest wall
  • chest wall infections or cancer
  • fibromyalgia, a condition that causes nerve pain


A physical examination to find tenderness of the cartilage to the bit may additionally be performed. If an individual has a heart failure or has another kind of heart disease, the gristle within the chest isn’t sometimes sensitive to the bit.

A doctor will hear the heart and lungs, similarly as examine the skin for any signs of infection. an X-ray or different imaging studies won’t show signs of costochondritis.

Doctors will sometimes diagnose a child, adolescent, or young adult by asking questions about their medical record and by conducting a physical exam. The doctor can usually check for tenderness in the chest cartilage, as part of this.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Advice for Costochondritis?

If someone is having pain, they must not try to determine for themselves if it’s a heart-related issue or costochondritis. Instead, they must obtain immediate medical attention.

If a younger one who isn’t at risk of heart failure experiences these symptoms, they ought to obtain emergency attention if their chest pain is sharp and doesn’t improve with rest.

If someone has gone to a doctor for his or her symptoms and has been diagnosed with costochondritis, there are still some instances when an individual ought to look for immediate medical attention once more. These include:

  • Feeling very faint, dizzy, or may be lightheaded
  • in an adult suffering from fever that is higher than 100.4 °F
  • coughing up blood
  • feeling as if the heart is beating too fasten or may be irregularly
  • pain that worsens over time or cannot be relieved by pain medicine
  • having a shortness in taking breath
  • infection such as redness, pus, and increased swelling at the rib joints


If the chest pain is radiating to the arms, neck, shoulder, jaw, or back, a person should take immediate medical attention.


Who is at Risk for Costochondritis?

Costochondritis occurs more often in women and people or men over age 40. You may also be at a higher risk for this condition if you:

  • participate in high-impact activities
  • have allergies and are frequently exposed to irritants
  • perform manual labor

High risk increases if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis, previously known as Reiter’s syndrome
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Improperly handling heavy loads can stress chest muscles. Younger people should lift heavy bags and backpacks or boxes with care. Adults should perform manual labor with caution.


When to seek medical help:

It is troublesome to inform the distinction between the chest pain related to costochondritis and pain caused by additional serious conditions, like a heart failure.

But a heart failure sometimes causes additional widespread pain and additional symptoms, like shortness of breath, feeling sick and sweating.

If you or someone you’re with experiences unexpected chest pain and you’re thinking that there’s an opportunity it can be a attack, dial 999 instantly and ask for an ambulance.

If you have got had chest pain for a moment, don’t ignore it. Make a meeting to examine your physician so they will investigate the cause.


Can Costochondritis Be Prevented?

Since it’s not continually clear what causes inflammation, it’s unfeasible to forestall it. However you’ll facilitate your children avoid it.

First, identify and proper activities that may cause this type of pain in youngsters. costochondritis usually is caused by work — like carrying an heavy loaded backpack, particularly on only one shoulder, that several youngsters do. If your kid must carry many books to and from faculty, purchase a supportive backpack that spreads weight equally over each shoulder and makes sure it’s worn over both shoulders.

Treating costochondritis:

Costochondritis usually gets higher when a couple of weeks, however self-help measures and medicine will manage the symptoms.

Costochondritis may be aggravated by any activity that places stress on your chest space, like strenuous exercise or maybe simple movements like reaching up to a high cupboard.

Any activity that creates the pain in your chest area worse should be avoided till the inflammation in your ribs and cartilage has improved.

You may additionally find it soothing to often apply heat to the painful space, like using a fabric or flannel that’s been warm with hot water.



Painkillers, like paracetamol, are often used to ease gentle to moderate pain.

Taking a sort of medication referred to as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like ibuprofen and naproxen, 2 or 3 times daily may also facilitate control the pain and swelling.

Aspirin is additionally a suitable alternative, however shouldn’t be to youngsters under sixteen years old.

These medications are available from pharmacies while not a prescription, however you must certify you carefully browse the instructions that associate with them before use.

NSAIDs aren’t suitable for individuals with sure health conditions,


  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney or heart problems

Contact your physician if you have symptoms get worse despite resting and taking painkillers, as you may get advantage from treatment with corticosteroids.


Lifestyle changes:

Your doctor could tell you to create permanent life style changes if you’ve got persistent or chronic costochondritis. Some kinds of exercise will worsen this condition, together with running and bodybuilding. manual labor can even have a negative effect.

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Hot or cold medical care using a hot pad and ice
  • Bed restyour doctor could use pain levels to gauge your response to treatment. Once you’ve finished treatment, you’ll step by step build up to your previous activity levels. Daily stretching will facilitate relieve some pain. Your doctor may also perform a procedure known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) that uses tiny amounts of electricity to prevent your nerves from causing signals of pain or aching to your brain.


What Is the Prognosis of Costochondritis?

  • Noninfectious costochondritis can depart on its own, with or without anti-inflammatory drug Most of the people can recover absolutely.
  • Infectious costochondritis responds well to intravenous (IV) antibiotics and surgical repair.




According to American Family medical practitioner, costochondritis will last anywhere from a couple of weeks to months. it should additionally recur if it’s been caused by workout or strain.

The condition doesn’t typically last longer than one year. However, adolescents with costochondritis will generally have a longer period of symptoms.