What is Costochondritis

Topics: Inflammation, Sternum, Paracetamol Pages: 4 (840 words) Published: October 13, 2014


What is Costochondritis?

The purpose of this description is to educate people on non-heart related chest pain from costochondritis. WHAT IS COSTOCHONDRITIS?
Costochondritis, also known as chest wall pain or costosternal syndrome, is an inflammatory condition which consists of swelling, pain and localized tenderness in the costal cartilage which connects your upper ribs to your sternum. One of the first indicators of costochondritis is chest pain which may be reproduced by pressing the cartilage or front of your ribcage (Shiel and Stoppler). Other symptoms include pain which has spread down your arm, abdomen or back and may worsen when you try to lift heavy objects or breathe deeply (Allina Health). Although the main symptoms seem severe and a cause for concern, costochondritis is a harmless condition that can go away on its own with rest and treatment for pain. What causes Costochondritis?

The primary cause for costochondritis is still unknown, however certain factors can increase the likelihood of costochondritis. One likely cause is injury to your chest and ribcage which can trigger inflammation in the costal cartilage. These injuries could be the result of recent physical trauma or overuse of some sort of physical activity. Strain on your costal cartilage may come from playing sports that require the repetitive movements of the arm like tennis or exercises that emphasize the use of heavy weights. Other conditions that may trigger costochondritis are inflammatory diseases like arthritis or bacterial infections in your chest and lungs. What are the signs and symptoms of Costochondritis?

As shown in figure 1, costochondritis occurs at the junction of the costal cartilage and ribs, also known as the costosternal joint. Most often the pain will be on the left side of the breastbone and affects more than one rib (Mayo Clinic). When the costal cartilage becomes inflamed one of the first symptoms is...
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