Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I possibly have costochondritis?"
Have some sharp pain around the middle of my chest that is wrose when I am moving around. Is it costochondritis? I know this is when you're sternum hurts.
Costochondritis is a condition in which the cartilage connecting the ribs to the sternum (breast bone) becomes inflamed and tender. It is one of the most common causes of chest pain in otherwise young and healthy people. The symptoms typically include pain that is worse with moving around and with taking a deep breath. Also, it is often possible to make the pain worse by pressing directly over the area where the inflamed cartilage is located. A strained intercostal muscle (which are the muscles between the ribs that help with breathing) can also produce pain that is very similar to the pain of costochondritis. If this pain is persistent for you, I would recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor. They will be able to examine you and confirm the diagnosis of costochondritis or a strained muscle. If so, the treatment is usually very straightforward, consisting of rest and anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen. On the other hand, if there is any concern for a more serious cause of your chest pain, such as a heart or lung problem, then your doctor will be able to recommend which steps you should take next for further evaluation or treatment.
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