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Costochondritis: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The ribs are bones present in vertebrates of curved and flat shape in charge of forming the rib cage, and their primary function is to protect the organs within it while allowing the expansion of the lungs during the respiratory act. Generally, there are 12 on each side, and all except the last two are connected through the cartilage to the sternum.

Sometimes people have chest pain that can be stabbing or annoying, the origin of which is often unknown or is associated with another condition. This pain can be caused by costochondritis. This FastlyHealarticle will explain costochondritis: symptoms and treatment, important information as it is one of the most frequent causes of chest pain.

What is costochondritis

Costochondritis, also known as costochondritis or Tietze’s syndrome, is the cartilage inflammation that joins the ribs to the sternum (Costo- sternal joint) that causes sharp, stabbing pain. It is the most common cause of chest pain and can appear in young people and adolescents, being more frequent in women or older adults. Sometimes it can be confused with a heart attack, but it is a mild pain that usually disappears after a few days. It can arise indistinctly on one side or both. Pain can develop immediately after an injury or at the time of injury.

Among the risk factors for this disease, in addition to the elderly, are those who suffer from:

Causes of costochondritis

In many cases, there is no specific cause of this condition, and that is why it isn’t easy to prevent it altogether. However, corrective measures can be taken in some cases and avoid activities that cause pain. Costochondritis can appear due to any of the following factors :

  • Injury or trauma to the chest can be from a direct blow or accident, which can lead to bruising and damage.
  • Muscle tears
  • Rib fractures.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Inflammation of the coastal cartilages.
  • Tension from physical exertion.
  • Presence of viruses that cause diseases such as tuberculosis or any that cause inflammation of the joints.
  • Tumors are present in the costo-sternal joint.
  • Repetitive cough due to infections.

Symptoms of costochondritis

Among the most common symptoms is mainly pain, which is sharp and sharp and can spread to the back or stomach, and sensitivity to pressure in the thoracic area.

It is also reported that there is an increase in this pain when you cough, take a deep breath or perform a specific movement and therefore, there is difficulty breathing normally.

Another possible symptom is the feeling of discomfort in the ribs.

These symptoms are related to those of a heart attack; the difference is that the pain of a heart attack is usually more widespread and covers other parts of the body, commonly the left arm, and on the other hand, the pain of costochondritis is less as if it came directly from the place where the sternum meets the ribs.

A doctor will make the diagnosis through a physical examination. It will measure the levels of pain that the patient presents if there are signs of inflammation and the symptoms mentioned above.

Chronic Costochondritis: Treatment

Costochondritis often resolves on its own within a few days; however, the following actions can be considered as part of treatment while the pain persists or in cases where the injury has become chronic:

  • I used pain relievers under medical supervision to manage pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Use of hot and cold compresses in cases of muscle tears.
  • Rest and modification of specific movements and avoiding physical activities that worsen the condition.
  • In advanced situations, treatment with physiotherapy.
  • In case of fractures, the doctor may consider using compression bandages, in which the chest is wrapped to stabilize the area avoiding pain and new injuries. However, this causes difficulty in breathing.
  • In the presence of viral infections, the treating physician will prescribe the drug and the dose required by the disease.
  • In cases of tumors, the doctor will decide whether the intervention should be surgical to remove them or chemotherapy and radiotherapy to reduce them since surgery is considered very dangerous and high risk.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Costochondritis: symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

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