How to Identify Costochondritis

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Identify Costochondritis
Identify Costochondritis (Image: Adam Ciesielski)

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the uppermost ribs to the sternum. This condition can cause severe chest pain and can often be difficult to diagnose.

Know the symptoms. The most common symptoms of Costochondritis are chest pain associated with exercise, mild trauma or an upper respiratory infection.

Locate the pain. The pain associated with Costchondritis is often found at the front of the chest, but may move to the back or the abdomen. The most common place for the pain is the upper ribs and can increase without trunk movement.

Diagnose the problem. The definitive diagnosis for Costchondritis is often related to palpable tenderness at the joints of the upper ribs. If this pain is not present, the condition is often not diagnosed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Medical care should be sought if there is associated fever or an increase in pain even while on medication for the condition.

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