Costochondritis, also known as chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome, or costosternal chondrodynia is an acute and often temporary inflammation of the costal. Costochondritis is the medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone (sternum). This area is known as the costochondral. Costochondritis is inflammation of the ribs’ junctions to the breastbone or sternum that causes chest pain. Read about costochondritis symptoms, treatment.

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Back to Health A-Z. Costochondritis is the medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone sternum.

This area is known as the costochondral joint. Cartilage is tough but flexible connective tissue found throughout the body, including in the joints between bones. It acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the joints.

The condition doesn’t lead to any permanent problems, but may sometimes relapse. When the costochondral joint becomes inflamed it can result in sharp chest pain and tenderness, which may develop gradually or start suddenly.


Make an appointment to see your GP so they can investigate the cause.

They’ll ask you when and where your pain occurs and look at your recent medical history. Before a diagnosis can be confirmed, some tests may need to be carried out to rule out other possible causes of your chest pain. Costochondritis can be aggravated by intercostql activity that places stress on your chest area, such as strenuous exercise or even simple movements like reaching up to a high cupboard. Any activity that makes the pain in your chest area worse should be avoided until the inflammation in your ribs and cartilage has improved.

These medications are available from pharmacies without a prescription, comdritis you should make sure you carefully read the instructions that come with them before use. Contact your GP if your symptoms get worse despite resting and taking concritis, as you may benefit from treatment with corticosteroids.

Costochondritis: Causes, Complications, and Treatment

Corticosteroid injections may be recommended if your condgitis is severe, or if NSAIDs are unsuitable or ineffective. They may be given by your GP, or you may need to be referred to a specialist called a rheumatologist.


Having too many corticosteroid injections can damage your costochondral joint, so you may only be able to have this type of treatment once every few months if you continue to experience pain.

TENS is a method of pain relief where a mild electric current is delivered to the affected area using a small, battery-operated device. The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles.

Costochondritis: Diagnosis and Treatment – – American Family Physician

Although TENS may be used to help relieve pain in a wide range of conditions, it doesn’t work for intercostak. There isn’t enough good-quality scientific evidence to say for sure whether TENS is a reliable method of pain relief.

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