» » Costochondritis - Causes - Symptoms - Signs - Diagnosis - Treatment


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Inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone is known as Costochondritis. It is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal chest pain.


Chondritis refers to inflammation of any cartilage in the body. Inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone is known as Costochondritis (costo- means rib). It is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal chest painIt results in severe pain in the chest wall around the breastbone (or sternum). It is often seen in people between 20 and 40 years of age. The cause is usually unknown. Females are affected more often than males. The importance of diagnosing this entity lies in the fact that it is a benign cause of chest pain when compared to fatal causes like angina or heart attack. Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition that may go away without treatment.

Sometimes Costochondritis may be accompanied by swelling of the areas surrounding the cartilage; the condition is called Tietze’s Syndrome. Tietze’s Syndrome is not Costochondritis though a large number of sources consider them to be the same. Both diseases affect the same regions of the chest. Swelling is absent with Costochondritis while Tietze’s syndrome involves swelling.

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I'd like to present a New Zealand manual physiotherapy view of costochondritis - because we do not find it mysterious, idiopathic or difficult to fix. One or some of the costovertebral joints [where the ribs hinge onto the spine] are jammed/frozen/hypomobile. This requires the more delicate sternocostal joints (where the ribs hinge onto the breastbone) to work excessively, just to allow breathing. So they strain, get irritated, then inflamed - and there's your costochondritis. Please note this is the ONLY explanation accounting for such a specific pain and inflammation.
Steve_August_NZphysio Sunday, August 28, 2016
Costochondritis is an intense condition of the midsection divider. Costochondritis Treatment normally includes moderate techniques, for instance, the use of ice or warmth in the impacted area as a measure to soothe the manifestations.
bernardblatte Friday, May 27, 2016
Anti-Inflammatory Medications Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications [e.g. Motrin, Advil] help with two aspects of costochondritis.
mak815 Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thank you Nithin and Simi - I think this is a succinct, useful summary for a patient or physician to follow. It is appreciated. I think it would be worthwhile adding in a few images and re-inforcing the need to rule out cardiac or aortic or pulmonary causes [ischemia / myocarditis / pericarditis / aotic dissection / Pulmonary emboli] first before making the diagnosis of costochondritis. Some rule out tests such as the ECG (already mentioned) and bloods such as troponin, D-Dimer, C reactive protein, CK would be sensible to add to the article. Best wishes and Keep up the good work. Dr Ameet Bakhai, MBBS, MD, FRCP - London, England www,
Bakhaa Sunday, January 23, 2011

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