Chest pain can be caused by various reasons like heart attack, acid reflux, lung problems and ulcers. Costochondritis is one such medical condition that can cause pain in the chest. Such pain is often mistaken for a heart attack or other conditions related to the heart. Studies show that around 30% of the patients admitted for chest pain are diagnosed with this condition. Costochondritis is mostly seen in women and those above the age of 40. Even kids and young adults are prone to this condition. It is also found that those with fibromyalgia are more prone to develop costochondritis. Again, fibromyalgia is common in women.
It is a condition, wherein the cartilage that connects the upper end of the rib bones (except the 11th and 12th) to the sternum, gets inflamed. This condition is otherwise known as costosternal syndrome or costosternal chondrodynia. If the pain is accompanied with visible swelling, then the condition is termed Tietze syndrome. In most cases, costochondritis occurs without any apparent cause. However, there are certain conditions that may cause costochondritis.wholesale jerseys They include trauma or injury involving the chest wall, respiratory infections (especially caused by virus), infections (bacterial) caused by surgery of the upper chest, fibromyalgia and physical strain caused by strenuous exercises. In some rare cases, this condition is caused by fungal infections too.
The most common symptom of costochondritis is chest pain. As chest pain is a symptom that is common for a wide range of ailments, it is very much necessary to rule out the possibilities of other conditions like heart diseases, before diagnosing costochondritis. Chest pain caused by costochondritis can be sharp, gnawing or dull and is found to be concentrated on the upper chest wall, where the ribs meet the breastbone. It has been noted that the fourth, fifth and sixth ribs are mostly involved in this condition. Tenderness of the chest is another symptom and can be felt when you press the chest wall slightly. It has been observed that such chest pain is mostly concentrated on the left side and is aggravated by physical activities or exercise. The pain may also radiate from the chest to the shoulders, arms, abdomen and the back. Even movements caused by coughing and breathing may worsen the pain. This is due to the stretching of the cartilage caused by the movements. The person may also have breathing trouble. In case of costochondritis, the chest pain is not found to be steady, as they wax and wane at times.
As mentioned above, women are more prone to costochondritis. According to researchers, almost 70% of costochondritis patients are women. As per statistics, around 6% to 70% of fibromyalgia patients have this condition too. It is worth mentioning that almost 90% of fibromyalgia patients are women. While costochondritis may resolve without treatment in some cases, others may find it recurring or persistent. The latter category is often found to have fibromyalgia. Costochondritis symptoms in women are similar to those in men, but chest pain may be mistaken for breast pain or breast cancer. Women with costochondritis may find it painful to wear bra. It is also said that under wire bras may contribute to (or even worsen) the condition.
Costochondritis symptoms are common for kids and men too. Diagnosis involves physical examination and a reference to the medical history of the person. As the condition cannot be diagnosed through X rays or other imaging tests, such tests are usually not conducted. But, they may be done to rule out a whole lot of other medical conditions like pneumonia. Tests may also be conducted, in order to rule out serious problems like heart attack that requires immediate medical attention. Once the condition is diagnosed as costochondritis, that does not resolve on its own or is recurring/persistent, treatment is given. This includes medication like NSAIDs, antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Sometimes, a local anesthetic or steroid injection may be administered to the patient, if the pain is unbearable. Antibiotics may be given in case of infection and in rare cases, surgical removal of the cartilage may also be done. You must seek immediate medical attention, if you experience severe chest pain, because it could be an indication of heart attack. So, never resort to self medication.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.
I’ve just been to the doctors today with all these symptoms you’ve all mentioned in your previous comments I’ve read, and I was told it was costochondritis. And I’ve had this pain for quite a while, I struggle with sleep at night because of breast pain, can only lay certain ways. My doctor more or less said there isn’t much that can be done, he did give naproxen, and has reluctantly booked me in for a chest x Ray. I am very worried that it’s something more serious, as I was told this is brought on normally due to a prior injury, or bad coughing, etc, which ive had none of, and I was shocked at how long some people on here commented on how long they had suffered with this, its awful
Emily [October 7, 2014]
I’m not sure if this is what I have but the pain in on my left inner side of my breast. It feels like a sore muscle and when it hurts it hurts to breath and to move. Sometime I can shrug my shoulders or push my chest out and I will hear a popping sound from where it hurts and it won’t hurt anymore. Does anyone know what that could be?
Miranda [July 28, 2014]
Hi there I’m from northeast Tn and I’m not sure if the Dr’s here are stupid or have simply quit caring. I was in a severe car accident about 3 years ago suffered from some chest injuries due to the seatbelt. At this time I was also a heavy IV drug user. I was in hospital about a week then released. All was fine EXCEPT the soreness in my chest wall never stopped or got better. About 6 months later I started swelling on the right side of my chest I went to ER and Dr numerous times with no luck on finding out what is wrong. So after about a year of the swelling (which by this time was SEVERE) an emergency room dr lanced my swollen chest and A LOT of green fluid started pouring out. I was given antibiotics pain meds. It has now been 2 more years and I still have the pain in my chest/upper back on right side, the hole made by the ER Dr is still open and still draining (yes 2 yrs with an open hole in my chest), I have been diagnosed with anything you could think of and appropriate treatment given with no luck! I feel I have a bacterial form of Costochondritis but I can’t make the Dr’s listen to me. Help me please need advice!
April [April 18, 2014]
I was told I have Costochondritis this is so bad it hurt to breathe after given a muscle relaxant an naproxen I have a small amount of pain still so back to Dr’s office I go!
Gavi Loomis [April 14, 2014]
I have been sick with the symptoms like I am having a heart attack, I am exhausted , breathing issues and dizzy spells for 10 years. I have abnormal EKGs but my doctor tells me they are normal for me. I take two aspirins under my tongue and half to one pill a night for the pain. I think I must have the costochondritis (?) I hope I get help sometime to feel better.
Irene [April 2, 2014]
I recently found out I have costochondritis and I have been dealing with it for a long time now. I was recently referred to a chiropractor and I felt better after one visit. My chest felt lighter, I was able to breathe easier as well. I have another appt. tomorrow so we shall see how that goes. I don’t mind trying this if it works. better then taking meds.
Mo [March 27, 2014]
Maybe this is what I have? In the summer I lifted a 50 lb. bag of dog food, then thought I was having an anxiety attack in the checkout line. I had chest pain right between the breasts that wouldn’t go away. I went to the ER they did tests, then did stress test the next day. All was ok. But now I’m having pain again, between the breasts across underneath them. My back was also hurting behind my right shoulder had arm pain. I’m 45 seem to be going thru menopause too. My bp is normal when I check it with my wrist machine. Don’t know whether to go to ER again, or back to DR. was just there last week for perleche that won’t go away.
csue [March 10, 2014]
went to er, the doc admitted me, did heart workup and blood work, I am 60, with fibro, overdid shoveling and thought the pain would kill me. after ruling out heart, he gave me info on costro, fit me to a t! right now I am home, heating pad, motrin and Norco for pain, I got excellent care and shared this article with several fibro friends
jessics [February 13, 2014]
I have suffered with this pain for almost 8 years, and no Dr has diagnosed me yet, but I know this is what I have. http://www.cheapnfljerseysfreeshipping.top/ It started Sept. 6, 2006. I have had every test imaginable and no Dr has ever mentioned this condition. I just happened to stumble upon it. I had the flu about two weeks ago and this is when the pain started getting worse again. It has never really went away (the pain), and I pretty sure I have fibromyalgia. I will be going to the Dr next week to discuss this with him.
Liona [February 10, 2014]
I’ve had this for about 10 years and its progressively gotten worse. I finally found a dr that helped me with it. He perscribed me a medication called Meloxicam, it’s an NSAID pain reliever more often used to treat people with arthritis and thus far, for the past several months, it’s worked great.
Ann [December 11, 2013]
I’ve had this for over 7 years. The thing comes and goes according to the weather, pollen count, etc. Tried everything. I’ve been to doctors thinking it was a heart attack, then had my lungs checked. Everything good. A heating pad helps and lately DMSO. DMSO is expensive so I usually deal with the pain until it becomes unbearable. The pain subsides within 15 minutes but returns within two hours. Do an internet search on DMSO. It’s made from pine, so it cannot be patented. Good luck!