Costochondritis Treatment: Facts And Fallacies

Fact: Costochondritis symptoms may be likened to chest muscle pain.

Fallacy: Costochondritis is not a  heart attack with the precursory symptom of chest pain.

Fact: Costochondritis is difficult to  diagnose as many doctors are unfamiliar with this condition.

Fallacy: Costochondritis is not  simply a sprained or strained muscle or a bruised bone or cartilage.

Fact: Tietze syndrome is not costochondritis.

Fallacy: Costochondritis is Tietze syndrome.

Costochondritis Treatment begins with knowing  what costochondritis is. It is a swelling of the cartilage connecting the breastbone (sternum)  with the rib, an unbearable pain is evident in the joints of the costosternal. This swelling may at times be on several sides of the sternum, but most often is on a single side alone.

Costochondritis treatment likewise requires knowing the factors causing the same, but sadly such cause is not known to the medical community, health proponents have advanced  heredity (genes), trauma and virus as possible causes, but no concrete evidence had been offered in support of these propositions.

In Costochondritis treatment, the condition is studied  and examined if it exists by itself or a result of a complication of another disorder, e.g. psoriatic arthritis, crohns disease, fibromyalgia, diseases of  bowel swelling, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis or reactive arthritis.

Aches due to costochondritis are similar to a heart attack, but is definitely not a heart attack.

Costochondritis treatment as opposed to Tietze syndrome requires knowing that  the latter is a condition happening on the chest front as well, but costochondritis  is not related to inflammation contrary to Tietze syndrome, which is characterized by inflammation. Tietze syndrome is the swelling of the costochondrial cartilage of the  chest’ upper front and the development of tenderness and inflammation over the cartilage and ribs adjacent to the breast bone.  Localized inflammation is the peculiar finding of a Tietze syndrome. Testing of blood through sedimentation rate or the c-reactive  test for protein would  indicate swelling in patients with the Tietze syndrome while patients of costochondritis would give negative results  for swelling.

Pain that is prevalent in a localized area directly above the sternum that elicits  enormous pain when touched; and elevated pain when inhaling deep breaths as well as pain running along the sternum when muscles adjoining such are put into activity could and may indicate costochondritis condition. 

An MRI  or a CT-scan may prove beneficial in ruling out  any condition not related to costochondritis to arrive at a correct diagnosis of the condition.

Treatment of costochondritis may include one or more of the following:

  •  A simple rest  may just do the trick as it is possible that the condition had been aggravated by muscle strain or fatigue.
  •  Medications involving anti-inflammatory drugs  may be  prescribed by your doctor  as easing the pain and swelling is part of the symptomatic relief.
  • Heat or cold application, depending on the individual preference ,  on the area  affected may  alleviate the pain being suffered.
  • Avoidance of the specific exercise which was the likely cause of the pain.

Pain associated with costochondritis should subside and go away permanently in 1 to 2 months up to a maximum of six (6) months if fracture be present.

Fact: Costochondritis can be treated.

Fallacy: Costochondritis can’t be treated.

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