What are the Symptoms of Costochondritis?

What are the Symptoms of Costochondritis?

Costochondritis is the inflammation of the cartilage where the upper ribs attach to the sternum, an area known as the costosternal junction. The symptoms of costochondritis can mimic those of a heart attack or other serious conditions. Common symptoms include:

  1. Chest Pain:
    • The primary symptom is localized chest pain, often sharp and stabbing in nature. The pain is usually felt on the left side of the sternum, but it can occur on the right side as well.
  2. Pain Exacerbated by Movement:
    • Pain tends to worsen with certain movements or activities, such as twisting, stretching, or deep breathing.
  3. Tenderness:
    • The area where the ribs and sternum meet (costosternal, costochondral, or costovertebral joints) is tender to touch.
  4. Pain with Pressure:
    • Pressing on the affected area can elicit pain and tenderness.
  5. Increased Pain with Coughing or Sneezing:
    • Coughing, sneezing, or deep breathing can intensify the chest pain.
  6. Pain Radiation:
    • Pain may radiate to the back or abdomen, mimicking conditions like heartburn or gallbladder issues.
  7. Discomfort in the Ribs or Rib Cage:
    • A feeling of discomfort or aching in the ribs or rib cage area.
  8. Muscle Pain:
    • Muscles around the chest may feel sore or achy.
  9. No Associated Shortness of Breath or Sweating:
    • Unlike a heart attack, costochondritis typically does not cause shortness of breath, sweating, or other symptoms associated with cardiac events.
  10. Pain Relieved by Rest:
    • Resting and avoiding aggravating movements or activities can alleviate the pain.
  11. Pain Can Be Chronic or Recurrent:
    • The condition can last for weeks to months and may recur over time.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis if you experience persistent or severe chest pain or if you’re concerned about your symptoms. While costochondritis is generally harmless, a proper evaluation is essential to rule out other potential causes of chest pain, such as heart conditions or respiratory issues.

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