This condition causes chest pain that ranges from mild to severe-Costochondritis

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Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. The condition most often affects the cartilage where the upper ribs attach to the breastbone (sternum). It is also referred to as Tietze’s syndrome. This condition causes chest pain that ranges from mild to severe. 

Causes

The main cause is unknown in most people. However, some of the following conditions may cause it:

Trauma to the chest, such as blunt impact from a car accident or fall

Physical strain from activities, such as heavy lifting and strenuous exercise

Certain viruses or respiratory conditions (such as tuberculosis and syphilis) that can cause joint inflammation

Certain types of arthritis

Tumors in the costosternal joint region

Risk Factors

Women and people above 40 years are most commonly diagnosed with costochondritis. Other risk factors include:

Participation in high-impact activities

Labour intensive activities

Have allergies and frequent exposure to irritants

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Reiter’s syndrome, also known as reactive arthritis

Activities that stress muscles in the chest area

Symptoms

Chest pain in the upper and middle ribs areas on either side of the breastbone 

Radiated pain in the back or the abdomen

Heart attack

Diagnosis

Physical examination must been done by a doctor before making a diagnosis. During the physical examination, the doctor will assess pain levels by manipulating your rib cage.

Signs of infection or inflammation may also be examined.

X-rays and blood tests to rule out other conditions may also be done.

Treatment

Medications: most cases of costochondritis are treated with over-the-counter medications. If your pain is mild to moderate, the doctor will probably recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen(Aleve).

Your doctor may also prescribe:

Prescription-strength NSAIDs

Other painkillers, such as narcotics

Antianxiety medications

Lifestyle Changes: you will have to make permanent changes to your lifestyle if you have persistent or chronic costochondritis. Some types of exercise can aggravate this condition, including running and weightlifting. Manual labor may have a negative effect as well.

The doctor may also recommend:

Bed rest

Physical therapy

Hot or cold therapy using a heating pad and ice

 



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