ZocdocAnswersCould the pain in my chest be caused by costochondritis?

Question

Could the pain in my chest be caused by costochondritis?

I was diagnosed with costochondritis in my heart, but now my whole chest hurts. I exercise frequently and my lungs feel like they?re touching my ribs when I do. Is it a symptom of my condition or something worse?

Answer

Costochondritis is pain in the chest that can sometimes be mistaken for pain coming from the heart. In fact pain from costochondritis comes from inflammation that occurs in between the ribs and the sternum. Thus the heart is not involved at all in this pain. The cause of costochondritis often is unknown, but it can occur after an injury to the ribs. The pain gets worse with breathing and worse when the chest is pressed on. This can be quite painful and it can feel like your whole chest hurts. Often doctors will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications which can help with the pain and reduce the amount of inflammation. Pain in the chest like what you are describing could also be a condition called pleuritis. This is inflammation within the lining of the lung. This can cause chest pain that is worse with deep breathing and can feel like your lungs are touching your ribs. If you have experienced a change in this pain, you should seek medical attention from your primary care physician. He or she will want to make sure that your pain is not caused by something else such as heart disease. Your doctor may want to order some tests such as an electrocardiogram and a chest x-ray.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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