Costochondritis is pain caused by inflammation of the joint between a rib and the breastbone (sternum) or between the bony part of the rib and the rib cartilage. (Cartilage is a tough rubbery tissue that lines and cushions the surfaces of joints.) If you have swelling as well as pain, the problem is called Tietze's syndrome. Tietze syndrome is a rare musculoskeletal disease that can be painful. It happens when the cartilage around the joints connecting your upper ribs to your breastbone swells up. Usually the second or third ribs are most affected.
How does it occur?
Sometimes costochondritis is caused by: an injury to the chest.for example, from falling or getting hit by something in the chest an infection, such as a cold or flu overuse of the chest area from new or excessive exercise Often there is no clear cause.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of costochondritis is pain or tenderness in the front of the chest near the breastbone. It is usually a sharp pain that gets worse if you press on it or move certain ways (stretching, for instance). Sometimes the pain may be confused with heart attack pain. See your healthcare provider right away for any chest pain. Coughing, sneezing, exercise or other physical activity, breathing deeply, laughing, wearing a seat belt, hugging someone, or even just lying down might make the pain worse.
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your chest. Costochondritis is not a serious condition, but a heart attack is. Because the pain can be confused with a heart attack, you may need some tests for proper diagnosis of the problem.
Physiotherapy plays a very important role to reduce pain and inflammation permanently.
Home Remedy -Ice packs applied to local swelling can sometimes help to reduce chest pain and inflammation. Local lidocaine analgesic patch (Lidoderm) application can reduce pain.