Definition

Costochondritis is an inflammation of a rib or the cartilage connecting a rib. It is a common cause of chest pain.

Alternative Names

Chest wall pain

Signs and tests

Your health care provider can diagnose costochondritis by pressing on the area where the ribs meet the chest bone (sternum). If this area is tender and sore, costochondritis is the most likely cause of your chest pain. However, your doctor should make this diagnosis only after speaking with you and examining you.

Treatment

Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetiminophen, are used to treat costochondritis.

Expectations (prognosis)

Costochondritis pain usually goes away in a few days or weeks.

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