Almost all of us experience the chest pain due to one or the other reasons. Most people attribute chest pain to the acidity. But there are other reasons as well for the chest pain. Costochondritis is one such condition. It can be defined as a situation of chest pain because of the inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall.

When does Costochondritis occur?
It occurs when there is an inflammation of the sternum (breastbone) and the junction of the rib bone. At the junction, there exists cartilage which joins these bones. It can become inflame and irritated. The extent of Costochondritis will decide the amount of pain experienced by the individual.

There is not a single particular cause of Costochondritis. There are other reasons as well -
• Orthopedics suggests that it can be because of overuse. This means that the activities are causing regular damage to the cartilage and hence, the inflammation of the chest walls. People of age group between 20 to 40 years are most likely to get affected. Also, it is also found as an overuse injury in the athletes. People who do excessive rowing are most likely to get affected.

• It can also be a result of a trauma or an accident. For example, during the car accident, the driver chest may strike the steering wheel which can result in Costochondritis damaging the cartilage and ribs in the front.

• Upper respiratory infections are also a cause of Costochondritis.

How do you know if you are suffering from Costochondritis? Orthopedics find these as common symptoms in patient suffering from Costochondritis –
• Pain over the breastbone (in the upper chest).
• Extreme pain after the exercise or when taking a deep breath.
• Touching the area affected is painful for the patient.
• Pain in the shoulder and arms.
• Redness and Swelling in the area most tender (Tietze’s syndrome).

Most commonly Costochondritis gets heal automatically by following simple steps like –
1. Take Rest – Take as much rest as you can. In order to reduce the inflammation, the patients have to stop the activities or exercises that cause pain. Avoid deep breathing, exercise, and strain on the chest because these may worsen your case. The thumb rule is to avoid things that make your condition worse.

2. Provide Heat – Try to apply the hot packs to your chest area several times a day. These may help in relieving the inflammation. Always apply heat pack before the activities that irritate your symptoms. Also, applying ice pack can also help in relieving the pain but applying ice pack on the chest might be quite uncomfortable.

3. Anti Inflammatory medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications help in improving the condition in two ways. Firstly, they help to reduce the pain caused by inflammation. Thus, comforting the patient. Secondly, these help to reduce the inflammation which is the primary cause of the disease. Two most common medicine used is Motrin and Advil. Consult your doctor beforehand while taking these medicines as these have some risks as well.

4. Cortisone Injections - While the condition can be improved with the other three factors, but there are cases where inflammation is much high and cannot be treated with the above three. In these cases, orthopedic might give you the Cortisone Injections. But the treatment should be adopted only when the other treatment has failed to provide life over the span of months.

Therefore, Costochondritis is a condition that does not require surgery. Many people who suffer from chest pain are likely to consult the physician. But, if the case is Costochondritis, consult an orthopedics.

To know more about your specific condition, please visit an Orthopedician in a trusted hospital close to you.

Author's Bio: 

Aditya Mewati is a content writer at a online healthcare platform Logintohealth. Please visit or to read more health related blogs.