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All about costochondritis causes of costochondritis symptoms of costochondritis diagnosis of costochondritis treatment for costochondritis Tietze's syndrome

What is costochondritis?

Costochondritis is 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.) Costochondritis is

one of many disorders associated with autoimmune diseases. Normally this disorder will go away on its own. When associated with an autoimmune diseases such as PBC, it may linger for years or a lifetime.

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum. Costochondritis causes mild to severe pain in the lower rib area or upper breastbone. Some patients fear they are having a heart attack. The most severe pain is usually in the lower rib area between the breast and upper abdomen. The pain may be more noticeable in sitting or reclining positions, and stress is known to aggravate this condition. Stress may aggravate this condition. Generally the third or fourth ribs are affected. However, any of the seven costochondral junctions may be affected, and more often than not more than one site is involved. The inflammation can involve cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum, but usually is on one side only. Costochondritis should be distinguished from Tietze Syndrome, which is an inflammation involving the same area of the chest, but also includes swelling.

More information on costochondritis

What is costochondritis? - Costochondritis is inflammation of the joint between a rib and the breastbone or between the bony part of the rib and the rib cartilage.
What causes costochondritis? - The most likely causes of costochondritis include injury, repetitive minor trauma, and unusual excessive physical activity.
What're the symptoms of costochondritis? - The main symptom of costochondritis is pain or tenderness in the front of the chest near the breastbone.
How is costochondritis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of costochondritis is based on pain upon palpation (gentle pressing) of the affected joints.
What's the treatment for costochondritis? - The goals of treatment for costochondritis are to reduce inflammation and to control pain. It usually responds well to pain-killing, anti-inflammatory medications.
What is Tietze's syndrome? - Tietze's syndrome is an idiopathic costochondritis. The patient complains of pain that is often localized to the costal cartilage.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005