Costochondritis is an inflammation of the joints formed by the
cartilage connecting the ribs to the breastbone (sternum). The inflammation may
be caused by an injury to the chest, but often the reason for the inflammation
is not known.
Common symptoms of costochondritis may include:
Sudden, severe pain and soreness in the chest,
usually around the breastbone.
Pain that increases when pressure
is applied to a specific area of the breastbone where the cartilage connects
Pain that increases with coughing, sneezing, or deep
breathing, all of which move the cartilage or the ribs.
The discomfort of costochondritis may last for days or weeks.
Treatment includes rest, warm compresses, and the use of anti-inflammatory
medicines (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen).
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD