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 the ribs.
- 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).
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & David Messenger MD