There are many causes of chest pain. One of the reasons is costochondritis which is inflammation of the joints between the ribs and the breastbone or sternum. There is a soft cartilage joining between the bony end of ribs and the sternum and these joints can get inflamed and can cause costochondritis. The other serious causes of chest pain could be heart attack, blood clot, or chest infections, among many others.
Costochondritis is not an uncommon cause of chest pain especially in the young patients.There may be some tenderness on palpation. The pain is generally continuous and may get worse on coughing or deep breathing or any strenuous exercise.
This condition is usually diagnosed clinically but other tests may be required like ECG or an X-ray to rule out more serious causes.
We do not really know why patients develop costochondritis.
Treatment of costochondritis:
Most cases of a costochondritis resolve by its own in two to three weeks. In the meantime, topical anti-inflammatory medications can be used. In severe cases, oral anti-inflammatory medications can be used. If the pain is persistent over many weeks to months, we should look for other causes of chest pain.
CCA Phase 5 DHA, Lahore
0311 057 3333
Dr G Sarwar Chaudhry
MBBS (King Edward Medical College)
Fellow Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP Australia)
Fellow American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP)
Conjoint Lecturer, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Consultant Pulmonologist and Sleep Physician
Consultant General Physician