Costochondritis is a painful inflammation in the front of the chest. It is in the cartilage that attaches the ribs to the breast bone.
Tietze’s syndrome is similar inflammation in upper ribs. Neither of these conditions is a serious issue. However, their symptoms are similar to dangerous conditions, like a heart attack. It is important to confirm what is causing your symptoms.
|The Rib Cage|
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Costochondritis will often go away on its own. It may take a few weeks to a few months to pass. Options to help manage the pain include:
- Hot or cold compresses over the area
- Over-the-counter medicine such as:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
- Cough suppressant medicine
- Avoid strenuous activity; Limit or avoid activity that is causing pain
Treatments that may help lingering or repeating pain include:
- Injection of corticosteroids into the area
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy to help muscle balance of the upper body
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Tietze’s Syndrome)
Family Doctor—The American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation http://kidshealth.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Costochondritis. EBSCO Dynamed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114285/Costochondritis . Updated November 28, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Costochondritis. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/costochondritis.html. Updated January 2015. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Proulx AM, Zryd TW. Costochondritis: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(6):617-620.