The cause is not often known. Sometimes there is a clear cause of irritation to the area such as:
- Muscular imbalance
- Inflammation of the nervous system
- Recent or current vigorous coughing
Problems may be:
Sharp pain that may be worse when:
- Sneezing or coughing
- Deep breathing
- Twisting motions of the upper body
- Tenderness or swelling over a joint between the rib and breastbone
This problem will often go away on its own within a few weeks or months. Symptoms can be managed with:
- Supportive care, such as resting the area and using warm or cold packs to ease pain and swelling
Medicines to ease pain and swelling, such as:
- Over the counter pain medicines
People who are not helped by these methods may need physical therapy. An exercise program will be created to promote strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
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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