Costochondritis – Pain in the Sternum Or Side
First thing that always comes to mind is an injury to the rib cartilage called Costochondritis. The first time people heard it they said, “What’s that?” This is not a commonly heard term but hundreds of cases coming to the emergency room each year. People often think that they’re having a heart attack. Costochondritis can also occur on the side where the ribs and cartilage connect to the rib cage.
When the sternum is involved costochondritis inflammation of the cartilage connecting to your chest. It is a common cause of chest pain. Mild to severe pain, pain and pain near chest (usually the left side) are symptoms, and the pain gets worse if you stretch or apply pressure to the area.
This pain can range from mild to severe. the pain does not go away easily and is easy to reinjure the area. It usually does not hurt to keep moving around but it can be painful to do so. People often seek pain relief immediately.
How to Diagnose Costochondritis?
Your doctor will usually diagnose costochondritis by pressing on the area where the ribs meet the breastbone (sternum). If this area is tender and sore, costochondritis is the most likely cause of the chest bone pain or chest pain. You want to make sure that costochondritis is the correct diagnosis and that no heart-related. If you press on the area itself, do it very gently so you do not reinjure the area. If you do not have other pain that radiates out to the neck or arms or any numbness, chills or a fever than you are not likely to have heart problems.
Cause of Costochondritis
Do everything you can not to reinjure the area. Costochondritis often happens when people move furniture or other large items or in contact sports. Bending and lifting items out of reach can also cause it although that may happen with costochondritis in the sides more.
Sometimes a rib belt can help. Be sure to stop doing whatever makes the pain worse. Slowly return to regular activities.
Be sure to protect yourself so further inflammation does not occur. Sometimes costochondritis can become chronic if the area is injured again and again. But generally will be better in a few days.
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